Thirteenth Sabbath Program
Pioneers serve a unique and special role in starting new congregations in new areas, among new people groups.
“Christ for the World”
The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, no. 370
Superintendent or Sabbath School teacher
“Reaching the Billions in Northern Asia”
"Soldiers of Christ, Arise"
The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, no. 616
Participants: Two narrators and one male reader.
Props: Flags (or pictures of flags), from Rwanda and South Sudan; Large map of Africa or the world, with the countries of Rwanda and South Sudan highlighted.
Narrator 1: This quarter our mission focus as been on the East-Central Africa Division, and specifically on the countries of South Sudan and Rwanda. We have heard some amazing stories of God’s intervention in very difficult circumstances, of survival, and of forgiveness. Today we will hear one more story coming from South Sudan. This story involves demon possession and the ministry of one of our Global Mission Pioneers in that country.
Narrator 2: A Global Mission Pioneer is a layperson chosen by the church, who is asked to move into a community and teach the everlasting gospel while modeling the values of Christianity. Pioneers serve a unique and special role in starting new congregations in new areas, among new people groups. Wherever pioneers work, they look like everybody else, live like everybody else, serve in an incarnational ministry, and make friends with people. The average length of time a pioneer commits to a community is from three to five years.
Narrator 1: Our story today is about Ajak (ah-JACK) Bol Ayuel, a Global Mission Pioneer who is working in his home territory of the Greater Upper Nile Field, located in the north-east corner of South Sudan. He’s been serving as a Pioneer since May, 2015.
Narrator 2: The local Seventh-day Adventist church in Ajak’s town isn’t large, but when fighting broke out along the northern border with Sudan, most of the members fled. However, Ajak and his family decided to stay and minister to the ten members who were left, as well as the other townspeople. As the fighting subsided, more people returned to the town.
Ajak mingled with the people and got to know them and their needs. He started giving Bible studies in several homes.
Then one day one of Ajak’s neighbors had a very frightening experience. Ajak tells us about it in his own words:
Male Reader: An evil spirit came into my neighbor and she was screaming and crying. She ran out of her home, came over to my house, and fell down on the ground. I came out and when this woman saw me she screamed, “I don’t like this man!”
She got up and continued screaming as she ran down the road toward the Pentecostal church. When she got to the church she threw herself down and continued screaming. Several people ran outside and held her down so that she couldn’t keep running.
When she saw me approaching she yelled, “I don’t want this man in this place!”
“Let’s pray for this woman,” I told those who had gathered around her. But as I came closer to pray, she blew blindingly hot air in my face and I had to step back for a moment. Nevertheless, I knew it was very important to pray for this woman if she could ever hope to be free of the demons that were possessing her.
I stepped forward again and began praying, trusting that God would heal her. As I continued to pray, the evil spirits left her. The woman relaxed and came back into her right mind. She opened her eyes, looked to the right and to the left and asked, “How did I get here?”
When she realized what had happened, she began to thank and praise God. As we walked back together to her home I told her, “God has released you from the evil spirit that was taking hold of you. It’s very important to continue to pray so that it [the evil spirit] doesn’t come back.”
Narrator 1: Ajak is now studying the Bible with this woman. She is very grateful that the evil spirit has not returned. Hopefully, she will be baptized soon.
Narrator 2: As we have seen this quarter, the people of South Sudan have been through wars and many difficult experiences; nevertheless, the church continues to grow there. In Juba, many are being reached through the Adventist radio station located on the mission compound. Others attend evangelistic programs, and still others learn the Adventist message through friends or relatives.
Narrator 1: While there are Adventist churches in South Sudan, there are no rooms or other areas within these very basic buildings where children and youth can meet for Sabbath School or other activities such as Adventurers, Pathfinders, or Adventist Youth (AY) meetings. So they meet under the trees or open sky when the weather is good, but must cancel when it rains.
Narrator 2: A portion of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering this quarter will go to build a special building—known as a “Lamb Shelter”—for the children in Juba, South Sudan. This building will provide a protected place where the children and youth will be able to regularly hold their meetings, regardless of the weather.
Narrator 1: The other portion of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will be going to the new campus of the Adventist University of Central Africa (AUCA) in Kigali, Rwanda.
Narrator 2: As we have heard this quarter, Rwanda is a country that has risen from the ashes of the genocide and through forgiveness and God’s grace has become a place of healing and moving forward together.
Narrator 1: In conjunction with the East-Central Africa Division, AUCA is establishing a Seventh-day Adventist medical school on its beautiful campus in Kigali. Students at this Adventist university will not only receive excellent medical training—they will also be trained in how to serve as effective medical missionaries, working together with Jesus in healing mind, body, and spirit.
Narrator 2: AUCA is in need of dormitories to house these students as well as a cafeteria where wholesome, vegetarian food will be available. Part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will be going to help build these needed dormitories and cafeteria on the campus of AUCA.
Male Reader: Thank you so much for your generous gift today that will help the children and young people in South Sudan and Rwanda. Please be assured that your offering will make an eternal difference in the lives of many. May God bless you!