The Need

jahim-buli-teaching_id-photoThe civil war in Sudan between the Islamic north and the Christian south waged for almost 3 decades.

In 2011, the South gained their independence from the North, and Juba became the capital city of the newly birthed South Sudan.

But the decades of bombings and attacks left their infrastructure destroyed and South Sudanese believers isolated from the rest of the world. The only way in to the area for so long was on a puddle-hopper airplane, so materials that could be brought in were limited.  All this combined has been a great challenge to the South Sudanese church’s spiritual growth.

With no outside accountability, it has been difficult for the church not to bow to the culture around her. 

It's not uncommon to find large segments of the church in Sudan existing for the benefit of the leader or pastor, who in turn promises his followers prosperity and refuge. However, in the course of using his title as pastor for personal benefit, he often delivers only guilt and pressure.

This has severely maimed the Body of Christ in this area, rendering her almost powerless to declare and demonstrate truth into their culture.

Only two years after this baby nation was formed, in December 2013, tribal violence erupted in Juba. 

By May 2014, a UN Envoy reported thousands slaughtered, over a million displaced and five million in need of humanitarian aid.

Three months later, the food crisis in South Sudan was the worst in the world according to the UN Security Council. (BBC News, 2015)



Pastor Training
Finding leaders with any amount of training in this area is rare, but Jahim Buli has been discipled and trained well, so he knows what a Biblical pastoral ministry looks like.

Jahim spent some time studying under ITMI partner, Muhindo Kawede at the International School of Missions in Uganda. He was also been trained by ITMI and equipped by our own Steve Evers and Timothy Keller to train groups of pastors using discipleship material that ITMI has been using effectively in Africa for quite some time now.

The S.A.L.T. (Seven Areas of Life Training) material was developed in the U.S. by a group of counselors with the goal of helping believers find the root of their issues in order to weed out sin.

Jahim Buli, South Sudan, Pastor Training

Jahim training pastors in South Sudan.

Jahim Buli, South Sudan, Pastor Training

A South Sudanese pastor takes notes while Jahim shares Biblical truth.

A pastor from one of Jahim's trainings in Yei said,

“Through this lesson I now know that I have been controlling and seeking praise from my church members. I have been [trying to put myself] in the place of God. Now I am asking God to forgive me from all that I have done and let Him lead me and the people He has entrusted to me.”

This material is so effective in Jahim's hands because he already has a network of contacts and language isn't a barrier. Jahim is poised and ready to shake the salt of God’s Word all over war-ravaged South Sudan for the Kingdom of God.

Jahim travels around South Sudan, training and teaching pastors and church leaders to lead their congregations by a Biblical model.

pastor training, South Sudan, Jahim Buli

A group of pastors, thankful for Jahim's training.

Church Plant
As Jahim shared Jesus with his neighbors, so many were coming to faith that the only thing that made sense was to plant a church where their discipleship could be continued!

So, long before Jahim expected to be a pastor, he'd planted a church through evangelism.

This baby church gathers on Sunday in the area and Jahim equips them with the Word of God.

South Sudan, Church Plant, Jahim Buli

Jahim's church plant worshipping.

Jahim Buli, South Sudan

Jahim joyfully shepherds his flock.

Jahim Buli, South Sudan, Gisma Buli

Gisma, Jahim's wife, worshipping.

Steve Evers, South Sudan, Church Plant, Jahim Buli

ITMI Director, Steve Evers, encourages the baby church.
Jahim Buil, South Sudan

Jahim's neighborhood, where most of the new believers of the church live.Jahim Buli, South Sudan

Jahim's home in South Sudan.

Mercy Ministry to Refugees

As a former refugee himself, Jahim’s compassion for widows, orphans and those separated from their families led him to partner with ITMI to minister to the many refugees in his backyard.

Refugees, Jahim Buli, South Sudan

A refugee camp in South Sudan.

Jahim Buli, Refugees, South Sudan

Refugees in South Sudan are living in terrible conditions.

Refugees, South Sudan, Jahim Buli

Refugee, South Sudan 

Refugee, South Sudan

As funds are available, Jahim has been able to provide several feedings in refugee camps, delivering the gospel message of hope.

Through Jahim's boldness to stay in his country and compassion to meet the needs of the suffering and preach Jesus at a time when they need it the most, a cascade of God-sized events has occurred.

A hostile political leader became saved and Jahim was given the opportunity to preach to refugees on-air, broadcast not only in South Sudan but all over the world!


Around age 11, Jahim's family was ripped apart by tribal conflict. His father was dead, his mother captured and taken 800 km away, and Jahim was forced by his male relatives - who stood to gain his inheritance if he left - to leave his village.

A refugee himself, Jahim has an extra level of compassion for those suffering in refugee camps, separated from their families.

He began bringing food to them whenever he could. This angered those from the opposing tribe in high positions, and Jahim began receiving threats on his life.

But Jahim wouldn’t be intimidated. He knew His calling and he knew in Whom he trusted.

He was dragged into the office of the government official who was threatening him. Jahim boldly and humbly declared the gospel to several powerful government officials that day.

Eventually, one of the main officials who was threatening Jahim, became saved through Jahim's continual declaration of the gospel!

That lead to his superiors sending him to the front lines of battle, possibly in hopes of getting rid of him.But this new believer's faith was genuine, and he continues using his position to build God’s Kingdom.

He is discipling his troops on the front line, leading people to Jesus and bravely protecting and serving the people around him. He often calls Jahim with a satellite phone to say, “We’re being sent into a bad situation where we’ll probably all die unless God protects us. Will you pray for us?”

This same man was sent to an area of South Sudan after a tribal battle where Jahim's long-lost mother just happened to be. She was identified and reunited with Jahim!

South Sudan profile - Timeline. BBC News UK. (2015, January 22). Retrieved from

Latest News

“If God Loves Me, Why Did He Take My Parents?”

Jahim Buli, South Sudan

“Uncle, if God loves me, why did He take away my father, my mother and brother from me?”The twelve-year-old boy wasn’t even fighting the tears that spilled from his upturned, searching eyes.

Eleven Partners Share Their Hearts

December Newsletter, ITMI Monthly

During this season of giving, we asked ITMI partners to share their heartfelt answers to several questions. May their answers bless and encourage you!

3 New Places We’re Sharing the Good News

3 new places we're sharing the good news

“When Jahim returned to his lodging within the camp, he was shocked at what he found! “I was so shocked when I saw…”

Dear Team: How to Turn Burdens to Blessings

I had to stop short when I read it. “If God can turn night into day, He can turn your burden into a blessing.”

A Desperate Father Leaves Toddlers at Church Gate

Jahim Buli, Word of Life, South Sudan

What leads up to such desperation that compels someone to walk away from two young sons? Maybe he stood in the middle of the road staring at the gate to Word of Life Church in Juba, South Sudan for a few quiet moments. Perhaps…

One South Sudanese Man’s Letter: “Everything Has Changed in My Life!”

South Sudan, Jahim Buli

“After you spoke…everything has changed in my life,” wrote one South Sudanese man, a believer who had lived in a family feud with his sister for 8 years. Their angst toward one another had grown so bitter and strong that…

Almost Arrested: A Day We’ll Never Forget

Steve Evers, South Sudan,

It dawned as normal as a morning can be for Americans visiting Juba, South Sudan. But it turned out to be a day we’ll never forget.ITMI’s Kent Reisenauer and I waited in our hotel’s small restaurant. Vicky Waraka, our long-time South Sudanese partner, was late for our breakfast meeting. 

A String of Blessings that Began with You – A Christmas Greeting from the Buli Family

Jahim Buli, South Sudan

Jahim shares how a truth from God’s Word transformed his life and what happened when he began to pass along the wisdom he received.

“No One Has Ever Told Me My Money Belongs to God.”

Jahim Buli, South Sudan, SALT training

“No one has ever told me that the money I have belong to God and I am just a manager managing God’s money and have the privilege to enjoy His money. I have never tithed in my life and I spend what I have in foolishly. I am going to starts a new life from what I have learned today.”

Dear Team: Don’t Fall for a Bluff

Steve Evers, Dear Team

During WW2 Singapore City was about to face a siege by the Japanese. General Yamamoto delivered a note saying, “In the interests of chivalry we invite you to surrender.” Lance Percival fell for it and surrendered despite outnumbering the Japanese 4 to 1.

Dear Team: Facing (What Seems like) Giant Limitations

Steve Evers, Dear Team

ITMI’s Jahim and Gisma Buli, in Juba, South Sudan are facing the “giants” in their world. Jahim is being persecuted by other believers because…

Dear Team: We Really Shouldn’t Be So Surprised…

South Sudan, Steve Evers, Dear Team, Jahim Buli, Lazarus

ITMI’s Lazarus Yezinai tells us of a woman named Miss Anita who came to the church that ITMI helped start from the teachings of VCLi’s S.A.L.T. Discipleship training. The church is located on the front lines of battle, inside this Muslim slum. Miss Anita was not at church to worship, but specifically to…

What a Map Won’t Tell You

Steve Evers, Jahim Buli

Without some insight, it really doesn’t make much sense. When you take off from LAX (Los Angeles Airport) on your way to India via Hong Kong, you go straight…north. Toward San Francisco. Hong Kong is 15 flight hours from LAX, and if you look at a map, it is almost due …west! Ah, here is the issue.

After Captivity: A Real Story of Honest Struggle

Jahim Buli, South Sudan

Jahim’s mother, Rebecca, was taken captive. She endured years of slavery and abuse before being reunited with her family in an incredible turn of events.  It would be tempting to put a neat bow on this story and say they lived happily ever after as a big happy family. To tell you that in response to this miracle, his mother has been happily living with Jahim, serving in his church and has been an active agent for God’s Kingdom in South Sudan. But that wouldn’t be quite accurate. Not yet anyway.

“I Was About to Shed Another’s Blood with My Hands.”

Jahim Buli, South Sudan

It was an early morning in South Sudan.Martha (name changed) fearfully peeked between the bamboo that formed a bathroom structure. She didn’t dare breathe. Even the sound of a breath could make it the last one she drew into her throbbing chest. Her eyes were dry. She didn’t even dare to blink. She watched from behind the bamboo as her neighbors murdered her brothers and sisters.

South Sudanese Rebels’ Plans Thwarted by Prayer!

South Sudan, Jahim Buli, Prayer

Before December 2016 there was a plan by the rebels to attack the capital of South Sudan, Juba, before Christmas. The government was preparing for a wide-scale war with rebels. We saw movement of army and their weapons. It was not rumours anymore. It was real. We could see it and feel it.

“Heavy Artillery Echoed Outside Our Sunday Service, But I Was Not Afraid.”

Jahim Buli, South Sudan

It was a Sunday in July of this year. We were in our normal Sunday service and there was an intensive war with big artilleries and helicopter was hovering over us.

Why Nationals?


“Why do the men sit on one side and the women on the other?”

Years ago, ITMI’s founder, Bill Bathman and his travel companion, Don Christiansen were in a Romanian church. This particular group of believers held long-standing traditions that had gotten them through the persecution of the Communism and the scarcity of the aftermath that followed.

But after the Iron Curtain came down, Don wondered why they sat the way they did. Was it to keep everyone from being distracted? Was it their sense of modesty and propriety?

Out of the Ashes: What Will Rise?

South Sudan, Jahim Buli

What Dule’s sister was worried about turned out to be the answer to his prayers.

Jahim’s Courageous Response to More Fighting in South Sudan…and What it Led to.

Jahim, South Sudan

When Jahim Buli’s family woke up in their home in Juba, South Sudan, on Monday, all was quiet. The morning’s quiet was just the calm before the storm. “We did not know that the situation will get worst than yesterday,” Jahim says.

No, I Am Not God…or a Witch Doctor.

Jahim Buli, South Sudan

When he first arrived at their home in the center of Juba, South Sudan, the family thought ITMI’s Jahim Buli was a witch doctor.

Offer Food, Feed Hope

refugees, Jahim Buli, South Sudan

Amid yet another report of political rumblings in South Sudan, ITMI partner, Jahim Buli, is working relentlessly and selflessly on behalf of his people.

FREE May 2016 ITMI Desktop Calendar – Available Now!

Desktop Calendar, South Sudan, Refugee, Jahim Buli, Steve Evers

We couldn’t do what we do without you, our supporters. This is just one small way we can say, “Thank you!” Each month, download one beautiful photo from Steve with a convenient calendar of that month for you to set as your desktop photo.

What Happened When Steve Visited a Refugee Camp

South Sudan, Refugees, Jahim Buli, Steve Evers

Inside a plastic tent, in such heat that Arizona-native Steve felt it might be approaching temperatures unhealthy for the human body to endure, Steve asked God for a message to give them. This is what God gave him.

A Nebraska Family Makes a Mountain of Difference

February ITMI Monthly, Giving

Christmas is a time of year when many who would otherwise be uninterested in things of God are more receptive to His message. So whatever their resources, ITMI partners are often found creatively designing ways to reach people around them this time of year. The result?

3 Good Stories from the Field

January 2016 ITMI Monthly, Steve Evers

As 2016 begins, a theme in the stories I’m getting from the field of late is that God knows and sees everything…He is important, He is listening and He is ahead of us. As John Piper says, “God is always doing 10,000 things and usually we are aware of only 3-4 of them.”

He Comes to Make His Blessings Flow

Christmas 2015, ITMI Monthly, December 2015

I would ask my mother, “Why are you drinking?” Her answer, “I drink so that I can forget what I have gone through all the years was a slave.”

A list of ITMI Christmas 2015 Giving Opportunities!

Christmas, 2015, Giving

Many ITMI partners use Christmas time as a way to bless their communities as well as reach them with the gospel. Here’s a list of all of them in one place!

Heartfelt Thanks Straight From Our Partners (Video)

Christmas Videos, Video, Jahim Buli, Bans

ITMI partners express their gratitude for some different blessings throughout the year.

Giving Spotlight: American Widow May Go Hungry, but Provides for South Sudanese Orphans

South Sudan, Jahim Buli

God put the situation of 3 orphaned children living with their grandma on the heart of ITMI’s Jahim Buli, giving Jahim the opportunity to be part of the provision of school fees for these orphans in an unexpected way and from an unexpected source.