Door opens for Ingessana outreach
By AfriGO Team
On 1 August 2015 four young people from the Ingessana tribe travelled from the Gendrassa refugee camp in South Sudan in search of Getachew, a missionary from Ethiopia who serves with SIM. “The youth came to us with a letter in their hands, asking for me by name,” reports Getachew. “When I told them I was the one they were looking for, one of them said, ‘We want to discuss with you about Jesus. We have grown up as Ingessana Muslims … Nobody has ever told us the truth about Jesus the Messiah until now. We heard about you from a man who was working in our camp with an aid agency. He told us how you taught the Jumjum people about Jesus, and now they have become Christians. We held a big meeting and now the whole of the Ingessana youth want to believe in Jesus the Messiah.’”
After an hour of discussion, Getachew took the young people to one of his teammates, and together they concluded that they should approach the Ingessana chiefs to gain approval before any teaching was started. When permission was given, the team began teaching at the refugee camp.
The youth then led their teachers to a second camp, Batil, where their relatives live. So now there is Christian teaching going on in both camps. “A lot of people are coming to Christ now,” says Getachew. “In the past few months a total of 108 came to Christ from different tribes, including the Ingessana, Jumjum, Mayak and Barta. Recently two Barta people, who are from a very strong Muslim background, accepted Jesus.”
On Sunday, 9 August, a little more than a week after the youth approached Getachew, an historic meeting took place between Ingessana chiefs and leaders and SIM leaders and missionaries. As a result of ongoing internal tribal discussions, the Ingessana had decided it was time to explore and adopt the Christian faith.
“This is a huge open door,” says SIM’s Brett Hoelzer. “We need to step through it by combining our efforts to bring the discipleship the people are asking for. I was told by one of the men, who is leading this effort to establish the Ingessana Church, ‘As soon as people hear there is freedom now, many will come to the truth!’”
Photo by Cathy Hoelzer