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Blankets are commonplace for many of us. We have extras hiding in our closets and attics. They aren’t difficult to come by here in America. But for the impoverished in South Sudan, where inflation drives the price of this “luxury” out of reach for most of the population, a blanket is something they never imagined they could own.

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. 

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…

Lazarus Yezinai, South Sudan

“I Never Thought I’d Own a Blanket!”

Blankets are commonplace for many of us. We have extras hiding in our closets and attics. They aren’t difficult to come by here in America. But for the impoverished in South Sudan, where inflation drives the price of this “luxury” out of reach for most of the population, a blanket is something they never imagined they could own.

Project Joseph, India

How the Fleeting Has Led to Lasting Impact

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. 

South Sudan, Project Joseph, Lazarus Yezinai

More Project Joseph Stories and New Believers!

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…

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…

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.

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

Lazarus Yezinai, South Sudan

Your Impact: More New Believers in 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…

Project Joseph, South Sudan, Lazarus Yezinai

Meet Project Joseph’s New Believers!

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.

Project Joseph, Lazarus, South Sudan, Jerry Cans

Why Project Joseph Isn’t Just for the Recipients

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

THE CONTEXT

After decades of civil war with what is now Sudan, South Sudan gained independence from the north in 2011. Shortly after gaining independence, the country erupted into political unrest along tribal lines in 2013.

This instability and the general lack of infrastructure has isolated many churches, creating the opportunity for overdependence on one person who enjoys the title of pastor or leader.

It's not uncommon for churches to exist for the benefit of one pastor, who promises his followers prosperity and good fortune that he doesn't have the authority or means to provide.

Revival and Fire Church

When Steve Evers visited South Sudan in 2009, ITMI partner, Vicky Waraka traveled with a group of other believers, including Lazarus, 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.

Vicky and the group she traveled with ended up stranded for the night in Mundri, where the ITMI team was teaching the Seven Areas of Life Training (SALT) material, a Biblical discipleship tool developed by Victorious Christian Living.

With nothing else to do, Vicky and her group stayed for the teaching.

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 based on the principles!

Revival and Fire Ministry took what they'd learned from the Biblical teaching and implemented these counter-cultural 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 were 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.

 

Discipleship 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.

The Lord has opened up many opportunities for Lazarus to teach people with Biblical truth, including a large gang of marginalized young men from an area particularly hard-hit with tribal violence.

Steve Evers, Lazarus,South Sudan, SALT training, Vicky Waraka

Lazarus co-teaches SALT with Steve in 2009.

Bweyale Uganda, Lazarus Yezinai, Vicky Waraka

Lazarus continues to use the SALT material as a discipleship tool wherever he is invited and has the funds to go. 

lazarus, south sudan

Lazarus praying with an attendee after teaching a discipleship seminar. 

 

What Pastors in South Sudan are Saying about Lazarus' Teaching

Widows and Orphans

Lazarus ministers in his community by visiting widows and orphans, listening to them share about their struggles and praying for them.

With help from his church or ITMI donors, he is often able to provide gifts of basic necessities.

lazarus yezinai, south sudan, widow

Lazarus visits an elderly widow. 

 

Meet Dorca, a South Sudanese Widow

Home and Family

Lazarus and his wife have opened their home and their resources to 17 relatives and people in need.

As part of Lazarus' household, they take turns leading daily devotions, and even going to neighbors' homes to teach them how to have a family devotion time!

Lazarus Yezinai, South Sudan

Lazarus has had about 17 people living with him for several years now. 

Lazarus and his wife, Mary.

WHAT YOUR SUPPORT DOES

Provides a Biblical Leader

Your support enables Lazarus to share the Gospel and disciple many with Biblical truth, offering the only lasting source of healing to the many traumatized and hurting people in South Sudan.

Reaches South Sudan with the Gospel

Your support enables Lazarus to reach many with the Gospel - from his outreaches to widows, orphans and gangs, to his seminars teaching Biblical truths.

Equips Believers to Multiply

Lazarus' outreaches always include church members and other believers he is raising up and equipping to follow his lead in reaching people with the Gospel.

HISTORY

ITMI partner, Vicky Waraka introduced ITMI Director, Steve Evers, 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.

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 originally refused partnership with ITMI because he didn't want to change anything about his relationship with God. It was important to Lazarus to depend on 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.

 

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…

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 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. 

Lazarus Yezinai, South Sudan

A Financial Report that Revealed Something Exciting

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…

South Sudan, Lazarus, Vicky

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

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…

Bweyale Uganda, Lazarus Yezinai, Vicky Waraka

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

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. 

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.

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…

south sudan, lazarus

3 Haunting Stories You Can Help Change

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, Podcast Episode

Our Visit to South Sudan, featuring Steve Evers and Kent Reisenauer (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…