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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Opening Our Eyes - How We Can Make A Difference

By Justin Edwards

Please read the following in regards to With Open Eyes ministry in Sudan. Josh is a dear brother in Christ and a leader at my church home, Central Church of God. If you are not able to donate financially or physically help, your prayers are greatly needed. In fact, prayer is the greatest request among the persecuted Christians in Sudan - not food, not water, not medicine - but prayer!

"Opening Our Eyes - How We Can Make A Difference"

A lot has happened since we last connected with many of you. The Lord is working through With Open Eyes to touch lives of those abroad and here, at home. Our work is growing daily and we appreciate your prayers and support.

One can’t help but notice the devastation happening around us each and every day. The needs are tremendous! As we continue to pray for the Lord’s direction, we are communicating with folks on the ground in Haiti and Chile in hopes that we would know what our involvement should be. In the meantime, we remain committed to strengthening our efforts in Sudan.

Just one month ago, a small team from With Open Eyes embarked upon a vision trip to Sudan, Africa. Aaron Polsgrove, Frank Harrison and Gabriel Chol joined me. I was particularly excited about this trip, because I was going places that I had never been before. After spending time in Juba, the capital of Sudan, Frank and Aaron went to the Nuba Mountains in Central Sudan and I left in a truck with Gabriel and two armed guards carrying AK-47s. This trip was 90 miles on dirt paths that they made into a road. It took us nearly five hours to get to the village of Lui, near the Congo border.

The main purpose of this trip was to spend some time with Pastor Sosthen, who is our Coordinator of the “Mobile Messengers”. As he took me through the village of Lui, I saw some things I'd never seen before. People who were deathly sick and quite frankly, needed help more than I could provide. They lay in the dirt streets just trying to survive one more day. As you can imagine, I wanted to do everything I could to help these people. Without being able to do much on my own, I knew it was time for WOE to invest in this area of Sudan.

I also got to see the hospital in Lui first hand. It was heart breaking! I saw so many people who looked hopeless. The hospital is run down, the pediatric ward doesn't have much to offer, it is very difficult for them to perform surgery and many people don't even come to the hospital anymore for the lack of supplies and help. One encounter I had really shook me up. There was a young man sitting on the steps of the pediatric ward with his head in his hands. We approached him and through an interpreter, he told me his story. Eight months before, his wife died giving birth to their first child and just 2 weeks ago, his 8 month old son died of water-borne disease. What do you say to a man who has lost so much? I felt as if I was talking to a modern-day Job. In the middle of his pain and through many tears, he looked me in they eyes and said “I just want to see Jesus”. After praying and crying together, I felt so inspired to live my life more like this man, simply named Peter.

As we left the hospital, I could tell Sosthen was very excited about our next stop. As we walked a half mile down the road we stopped at a school and he shared with me that most of the children were not going to school, but because of With Open Eyes’ support, they were able to reopen the primary and secondary school. There are currently 585 children attending the primary school and 240 in the secondary school. These children were excited to learn and be a part of something very special. As I walked through the school and met the children, I asked what can we do to help even more? With a big smile on his face, Sosthen said we need Bibles!

There is a great need in Sudan and we know that we can't do it all at one time. As we prepare for our next 3 missions trips this year, please pray about helping us.

We are currently planning a medical missions trip in October and want to take doctors, nurses, assistants, supplies, equipment, etc. to the hospital in Lui. We need your help!

I will be returning this summer to work in the schools, ministering through youth conferences and most importantly, passing out Bibles. We need 2,500 Bibles to give the men, women and children of Lui, Mundri and Yei. Please consider how you might help us and email us at , call our office at 704.442.7117 or visit our website at

Thank you for your prayerful and financial support. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Joshua Livingston

Baby waits to be treated outside the hospital in Lui

Pediatric Ward at Lui Hospital

Children in the village - eager to learn.

Your assistance will allow us to purchase Bibles to send to these children.

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