The Need

lazarus yezinai, south sudanThe 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 a 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.


Lazarus is a humble, mature leader in South Sudan. 

It is important to Lazarus to depend on God. For years, he fed his wife and children on a regular income of $23 a month. But God provided for them to live and even share that with the needy around them. Lazarus and his wife have taken in 6 of their nieces and nephews.

Lazarus originally refused partnership with ITMI because he didn't want to change anything about his relationship with God. He changed his mind, however, when he understood that a partnership with ITMI would allow others to be used by God to provide for the needy in South Sudan.


Revival and Fire Church

When Steve Evers and Timothy Keller visited South Sudan in 2009, ITMI partner, Vicky Waraka traveled to Mundri, South Sudan, to meet with Steve. 

South Sudan, Vicky Waraka, Steve Evers, Tim Keller, Jahim Buli, Justin

Left to Right: Timothy Keller, Lazarus, Vicky, Steve Evers, Justin, Jahim Buli.

Logistics led to her and a couple travel partners being stranded in Mundri, where the ITMI team was sharing the SALT material. With nothing else to do, they stayed for the teaching. 

South Sudan, SALT training, Vicky Waraka

SALT training in Mundri, South Sudan.

When Steve returned to South Sudan in 2012, he discovered that the SALT material he'd presented two years before had taken such root that Vicky, Lazarus and two others had planted a church, Revival and Fire Ministry, Juba, based on the principles! 

Shared leadership - not one leader with a title. 

No titles.

No head pastor.

Humbly responsive to the Spirit.

This model was so starkly different from the standard African church, that people are drawn to this church by droves. 

They had already funded a church building, which is unheard of for such a young church in a war-torn, impoverished, African country, but quickly grew out of it in 2 months time!

Vicky Waraka, Steve Evers, South Sudan, Church Planting

Lazarus, Vicky and Steve Evers with other leaders from the Revival and Fire Ministry.(2016)

South Sudan, Revival and Fire Ministries, Vicky Waraka

Revival and Fire church gathering on Easter Sunday in South Sudan.

South Sudan

The church is located in this Muslim neighborhood.

This dynamic church can’t even keep up with the awning space needed! 

During Steve's visit he preached to the congregation under multi-colored awnings, which the church members pain-stalkingly erect each Sunday. 

This church is a refreshing preview of God's Kingdom for the war-torn and weary people of South Sudan! 

Equipping South Sudan with SALT (Seven Areas of Life Training)

Since co-teaching SALT with Steve in 2009 and helping Steve demonstrate that any one of the seminar attendees could turn around and teach someone else what they were learning, Lazarus has continued to teach the SALT material in South Sudan.

He proposed the translation of the SALT material in to Arabic, so that he could use it to open a language school. He wants to see God's Word root down deep into people's lives.



ITMI partner, Vicky Waraka introduced ITMI to Lazarus in 2009. As the relationship continued, we observed Lazarus' faithfulness to lead the church in a humble manner, care for widows and orphans and depend on God.


Latest News

How the Fleeting Has Led to Lasting Impact

Project Joseph, India

When word of pandemic-related lockdowns first reached us, it seemed for a moment that many of our partners’ ministries would grind to a halt. Schools that were the main point of contact with needy families would be closed. Churches wouldn’t be able to gather. But quickly, ITMI’s role became clear: help our partners make the most of these God-orchestrated opportunities. Project Joseph was born. 

More Project Joseph Stories and New Believers!

South Sudan, Project Joseph, Lazarus Yezinai

ITMI’s Lazarus Yezinai stood behind the off-white vehicle whose back end was loaded with large white bags containing Project Joseph food provisions for fifty-five households. He…

Your Impact: More New Believers in South Sudan

Lazarus Yezinai, South Sudan

Mary John clutched the arms of the forest green plastic chair she sat in.

In front of her were two more rows of chairs, occupied by twenty-nine others from her communities of Lemon Gabba and Joppa in Juba, South Sudan who’d been chosen to…

Meet Project Joseph’s New Believers!

Project Joseph, South Sudan, Lazarus Yezinai

Kuluda Aziza stared at her palms as they rested in her lap. The complex white and cornflower blue pattern of her dress behind her hands went blurry, reminding her to blink. What she’d just heard struck her in a way nothing had before.

Why Project Joseph Isn’t Just for the Recipients

Project Joseph, Lazarus, South Sudan, Jerry Cans

When ITMI helped our South Sudanese partner, Lazarus Yezinai, put together hand washing clinics that would allow him to share the Gospel during lockdown…

A Financial Report that Revealed Something Exciting

Lazarus Yezinai, South Sudan

A dull, numb feeling wrapped around Sarah (name changed for privacy) like a dark cocoon. She was attending a hygiene and virus suppression seminar in her community, put on by ITMI’s Lazarus Yezinai and his team. But…

It’s Not Over, but the Lord is at Work

South Sudan, Lazarus, Vicky

When a Juba resident left his home to visit someone in a village outside the city, little did he know that this visit would take a very surprising turn. 
As he approached the settlement…

Angelina’s New Hope: Vicky, Lazarus and Team Share Hope in Uganda Refugee Camp

Bweyale Uganda, Lazarus Yezinai, Vicky Waraka

Angelina and her children were forced from their home in 2013 when the first tribal violence erupted in South Sudan. Angelina and her family ended up around 130 miles south of South Sudan’s southern border, in Kiryandongo Refugee settlement near Bweyale, Uganda. Last month, ITMI helped a team of believers from Juba, South Sudan equip pastors and leaders in Bweyale with a 3-day workshop. 

3 Haunting Stories You Can Help Change

south sudan, lazarus

FEAR ROSE INSIDE HIS CHEST as Bilal ducked under the door of his home – a mud hut where his family was squatting. At night, he still woke in a fearful sweat, remembering what happened the last time he and his brother had come home empty-handed.

Our Visit to South Sudan, featuring Steve Evers and Kent Reisenauer (Podcast Episode)

Our Visit to South Sudan, Podcast Episode

ITMI’s Steve Evers and Kent Reisenauer tell us all about their time in South Sudan, including: How they managed to get in and stay out of trouble, our partners’ “secret” of how they manage to stay spiritually healthy in the midst of trauma a jaw-dropping story from Lazarus’ past, and…

How South Sudan Supporters are Helping Traumatized Families

South Sudan, Lazarus Yezinai, Vicky Waraka

Dorca is a widow in Juba, South Sudan. The pressure and responsibility of providing for her children had been unceremoniously dumped on her shoulders. It was up to her – and the Lord. It wasn’t like she could just go get a job. How would she keep these children entrusted to her alive?

The Remarkable Feats of God’s Word

Bible, God's Word

The village dashed madly for their huts. They had caught one glimpse of the initial brownish-grey clean-out water spilling from the head of the newly drilled well. Moments later, they returned with the various makeshift containers, ready to collect the contaminated water.

Doing What Few Would Do in Search of Hope

south sudan

When ITMI’s Lazarus Yezinai saw a half-naked 13-year-old boy wearing only a shirt, he didn’t think twice. The fact that the sight of this boy wasn’t a social spectacle or moment of shock and awe illustrates the extreme poverty and oppression the people of  South Sudan are facing. Lazarus quickly…

Hungry and Impoverished Returning Refugees Want One Thing: “Teach us more from God’s Word!”

South Sudan, Vicky Waraka, Lazarus Yezinai

What would you do if you found yourself living in a war-zone? If you regularly saw your neighbors’ homes pierced with bullet holes? If you didn’t feel safe in your home but felt even more at-risk outside of it. If the threat of tribal violence threatened your children?

The Seeds You Planted This Year – A Christmas Greeting from Lazarus Yezinai

Lazarus, South Sudan

Lazarus gives a special thanks for the seeds ITMI supporters planted in 2017

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: 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…

Why He Turned Down Financial Support (and why it rocks us)

Lazarus, South Sudan, Steve Evers

His response was so unexpected that ITMI’s Director, Steve Evers, re-stated the question. “Would you like to be an ITMI partner?”Most people jump at such an offer. But not Lazarus.