"My life is different," she said, her dark, wide-spaced eyes reflecting her happiness, despite being an orphan in one of the worst places on earth to be orphaned.
Since Mary* lost both her parents, "no one has thought of helping her," explains ITMI's Lazarus Yezinai.
But Lazarus and his ITMI supporters have done more than think about helping Mary. They've actually done it.
With help from his ITMI supporters, Lazarus regularly meets various basic needs for the orphaned, widowed, and vulnerable in South Sudan.
During these deliveries, Lazarus or one of his team will pray with the recipients, share from God's Word, and offer Gospel-centered counseling if the recipient opens up about their trials and struggles.
Many of these outreaches have resulted in Bible study groups being formed.
Lazarus prays with people as part of an outreach.
Lazarus shares from Matthew 6:24-28.
A member of Lazarus' outreach team, Rev. Gisma, encourages the Bible study group formed through repeated food distribution outreaches in the Lemon Gaba area of Juba.
Lazarus and Rev. Gisma pray with the Bible study group.
From trauma to faith!
Losing her parents and being an orphan in South Sudan has been traumatizing for Mary, but through Lazarus' outreach, Mary has received Jesus as the Lord and Savior of her life!
As part of Lazarus' ministry, she is being discipled and regularly studies the Bible in one of Lazarus' ministry's Bible study groups.
She shared that through this group, the Lord has encouraged her to be strong - that she can be strong - because the Holy Spirit is her Helper, especially during difficult times.
The seeds of evangelism have already been planted in her heart. She expresses hope that many more vulnerable children like her will be reached for Christ through the gift of food.
*name changed to protect privacy
Mary is an orphan in South Sudan who came to faith in Jesus through ITMI supporters' partnership with Lazarus.
Lazarus visits and delivers a bag of sugar to a disabled orphan who lost his father in an accident.
Lazarus visits and delivers a bag of sugar to a disabled orphan who lost his father when he was in primary 5 grade in school, but couldn't continue in school because he couldn't afford the fees.
Part of the discipleship that accompanies the food outreaches is teaching the groups to respond with gratitude.
When a person accepts Jesus' gift of salvation, we cannot repay Him for it.
Neither can these South Sudanese recipients repay anyone for what they receive. But we do respond to the Lord with gratitude and display the outward signs of the change He activates in our hearts.
Lazarus leads these groups to do the same. They are taught and encouraged to respond in gratitude by praying regularly for those who have sacrificed to bless them and meet their needs, asking God to protect them and their families.
Imagine the joy of meeting these dear brothers and sisters in Christ someday - probably on the other side of Jesus' return - and rejoicing together in Him! What a treasure to store up for that coming day.
This is the beauty of giving to the Lord to care for the poor, widowed, orphaned, and needy. It's an investment that won't disappoint.