One family’s incredible Christmas journey home

One family’s incredible Christmas journey home

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.” Philippians 3:12-16 The Message

Coming ‘home’ to Tonj has been an incredible journey filled with a mix of emotions. When we started our 6-month furlough, we had not been on home assignment in the US for 6 years! Of course, we had our plan but God had something completely different in store for us. Now almost three years later, we can look back and appreciate the importance of staying focused on Him during that time and not on our immediate circumstances. I’m sure Mary’s plan did not include giving birth in a stable to the King of Kings! It’s challenging when plans change but it definitely grew our faith and trust in Him.

AIM AIR landing in Tonj, South Sudan with KUJ Family

 

So here we are at Christmas time…. in Tonj! Our favorite time of year to be here. What a blessing from God to bring us back for this special time of year. We accomplished everything we needed to do in USA to leave in peace. Our In Deed and Truth ministry is in good hands and our family, for the first time in 17 years, was able to travel, knowing we are no longer ‘stuck’ if a crisis should arise. We all have US citizenship…. it’s quite a privilege and freedom.

 

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Gabriel’s Graduation

Our first 10 days in Africa was spent in Nairobi, Kenya, preparing our charter flight for South Sudan. It was wonderful to have this ‘stop-over’ so we could all adjust to the 9 hour time difference and rest from 2 months of hectic packing, downsizing and moving. The highlight was definitely attending Gabriel’s graduation from The Presbyterian University of East Africa.

He’s our first medical student to graduate and will return to Tonj this month to start a one year internship in our In Deed and Truth medical clinic. We were also able to connect with friends in Nairobi, and the KVC church we have attended for 17 years whenever we are in Kenya. Their annual Carols by Candlelight, held at the famous Karen Blixen Museum, was always a family favorite and we managed to squeeze that in before flying to South Sudan. If you’re ever in Nairobi in December, it’s a ‘must!’

On arrival in Tonj, we were warmly welcomed both at the airstrip and compound by our amazing team. God has truly knitted our hearts together with this community and the reunion was so special.

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Our Airstrip Welcome

Now we are settling into our new home, which was renovated while we were away. It has two bedrooms, a sitting room, kitchenette and bathroom. When we left South Sudan, we were sleeping in a tent and this past month our house was finally finished just in time for our return.The veranda is huge and wraps around the front and side of the house, giving us plenty of room to cool down when the afternoon temperatures soar. We carefully thought about the security and heat when designing this home. We welcome you to come and visit us!

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Our New Home in Tonj

We are busy unpacking the remaining items from a container we sent from CA in December 2014! We’ve also located some furniture which had been stored in various places around the compound.

One important find was the Christmas Tree and ornaments. We had lots of fun decorating it with the Macleod kids  and it now feels like Christmas!

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Christmas party with staff

 

 

We celebrated all the Lord has done throughout 2016 with a staff Christmas Party. Thank you to everyone who has partnered with us in prayer and financial gifts. We love and appreciate each one of you. We can not be here without you! Together we are making an eternal impact for Jesus Christ in South Sudan.

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Sabet, Hannah, Jedediah, Suzy, Agum

On behalf of In Deed and Truth Ministries, our family hopes you enjoyed a Christmas that was focused on celebrating the real gift, our Savior, Jesus Christ!

In His Love, Sabet, Suzy, Hannah, Agum and Jedidiah Kuj.

In Deed and Truth Ministries is a Christian mission established to bring the love of Jesus Christ and the hope of the Gospel to the remote area of Tonj, in South Sudan.

By living among the Dinka people as a family, the Kuj family has entered into the suffering and brought hope in desperate situations. God has opened the doors for them to minister to the medical needs of children, orphans, widows, expectant mothers, the elderly, disabled and lepers. Through pastoral training of 13 native pastors, In Deed and Truth Ministries has multiplied its effectiveness on the ground enabling them to evangelize over a widespread area of Warrap state and bringing salvation through Jesus Christ to thousands of Southern Sudanese.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. It includes easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.