He stumbled in, noisily landing on the floor in the back of the room, mumbling loudly.
From the front of the room, Jahim Buli paused. Glancing around the room, he noticed there were plenty of open chairs where the South Sudanese soldier could have seated himself.
The ushers tried to prevent the confused hero from entering the room. It was clear he was drunk.
“Abuna (pastor), please, let me hear the Word of God and I will go!” he cried out.
As he quieted down, he was allowed to stay and listen as Jahim discussed focusing on our Father who is bigger than and in control of the world.
Training Chaplains in Juba, South Sudan
On this particular day, he was training 25 chaplains of the South Sudan Military stationed outside the country’s capital, Juba.
As Jahim finished the material, he again noticed the soldier in the back. His nose was runny and he was being overwhelmed by tears. They flowed from his eyes and he couldn’t make them stop.
Jahim stopped to ask what was wrong. The solder answered,
“I don’t want to go to hell. I need God to forgive me. I have allow myself to be used of devil. Pray for me,Abuna.”
Jahim prayed with the man and he calmed down. He even seemed to become more sound of mind. The soldier left with a gift of clean clothes.
Sudanese Soldiers Have Seen So Much Evil
In general, the soldiers in the South Sudanese Army have witnessed some of the darkest hours of humanity.
Being a soldier in a place like Sudan means grappling in the trenches with extreme violence, suffering and depravity.
Horrible images from decades of war are burned in their memories, never to be forgotten. They need a worldview – a bigger story – that explains and gives meaning to the suffering they’ve witnessed and endured.
They need to hear there’s good news.
Training Chaplains and Providing Bibles is Having a BIG Impact.
Many of the soldiers who are already believers don’t own Bibles. But getting God’s Word into the hands of soldiers is changing lives.
Elizabeth was married to a soldier in the South Sudan army.
Each Sunday when she came home from attending church, her husband would beat her and accuse her of having a boyfriend there.
Then a chaplain gave her a Bible, provided by Jahim’s ministry. Not only did he bring the Bible home, he did something Elizabeth couldn’t believe she was hearing!
He actually asked her to teach him about Jesus.
Praise the Lord, the whole family follow Him now!
Much of Jahim’s effectiveness as a trainer is found in his humility. Even as he is teaching, he knows he can still learn. He exemplifies the heart of a learner, pursuing God’s training for his own heart.
After the Juba training, Jahim shared:
“As I was teaching the lesson “Where to Focus” the Holy Spirit spoke to me in His gentle voice, “My son you not focusing to me but to world.” I wondered how, but I went to the father in prayer after the training that evening.
I ask God in prayer with intention of repentance. I thank my father and my God for bringing things I overlook into my attention.
God reminded me how I was focusing my mind on the political situation in country particularly in Juba and forgetting his power to Control every situation. I repented and ask forgiveness for focusing on world and not to God.
Support Would Ensure Jahim Can Keep Offering These Vital Trainings
ITMI would like to create a buffer of support for Jahim so that he can continue offering these trainings that are changing South Sudan.
Each day, Jahim drives a motorbike taxi until he has earned enough to provide for his family for the day. After that, he devotes the rest of the day to this ministry.
Any support we help him with will free him up to accept more invitations to train chaplains and pastors. It will also help ensure that Jahim doesn’t have to stop training in order to provide for his family.
(If you do feel led to help support Jahim, after clicking the donate button above, include the words “Jahim support” in the comments.)
Summer Kelley is a writer who lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and three kids. She has had the privilege of telling ITMI’s stories since 2006. She loves to write uplifting stories of God’s work overseas, read and learn about the world around her and enjoy her family.