“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people,”1 TIMOTHY 2:1
As is our goal with every update, we want to share with you some of the recent events, and our future desires, with the hope that you will be able to pray more effectively, especially for our little village of Adak.
We were discouraged by the news that our friend, Caesar Opiro, had passed away. Caesar was one of the first people we met when we moved to Adak in early 2018. He and 2 other young men had been friends with the previous missionary, who had built the house we live in, and they hoped to establish a relationship with us as they had with him. Caesar was younger and still in high school, a bright-eyed, friendly, well-mannered, happy guy. Caesar claimed Christ but began having serious struggles when he was kicked out of school for injuring one of his classmates. We watched helplessly as his attitude changed over time, and he sank into depression, alcohol, violence, and fornication. At some point, Caesar no longer saw life as worth living and eventually found malaria as a means of escape by hiding it from his family until it was tragically too late to get treatment. Sadly, Caesar’s story is not unique. In fact, in the month of July, our village experienced too many traumatic events to be recounted in only one update. Abuse, witchcraft, addictions, betrayal, robbery, revenge, immorality, jealousy, and the like. The world is truly dark, and sin really does produce death. But what the enemy meant for evil, God is working together for good. The visible advancement of darkness in our village has strengthened our resolve for our local community outreach, “Yalwak Manyen,” New Generation Sports Academy. Together with my partners in this ministry, we evangelized Caesar’s family, who finally recognized their need for a Savior. Caesar’s mother rededicated her life to Christ, and his father and his brother became born again.
Yalwak Manyen has now been operating in our community for more than a year. On average, per season, we’ve had 40 children enrolled in our football (soccer) program, including 4 of our own children. These kids gather together with their coaches multiple times a week for Bible lessons and soccer practice. We have seen great change in all of the participants, especially in our daughter Apio. God has blessed the football ministry with 5 acres of land. When we bought the land, it was an untamed “bush” with more than 25 large termite mounds. But now, we have successfully leveled its entirety, built a small residence for the manager and his family, and we are now starting to plant grass on the first of 2 football pitches. We are developing the land in part by enlisting the help of the local young men, who have been involved in much of the village’s problems, in exchange for enrolling them in the new “youth division” of our program. We are excited to see how God works through this in the lives of Adak’s next generation.
Spiritually, our vision for Yalwak Manyen is summarized in the phrase, “Better character for a better community.” We do this by focusing on our 3 core values: Duty – take responsibility, Discipline – develop self-control, and Diligence – always do your best. Because as our theme verse says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Prov 13:44). The vision for the ministry’s physical development is that our land would be fully established, with even grass and trees for shade, a water pump and playground for the community, changing rooms and pit latrines, and even a pavilion for rain shelter. We want to do this by engaging in self-sustainability tree farming.
Please join us in prayer:
- Caesar’s family would hold fast to their new faith in Christ and be disciplined in the local church.
- That the community would heed the tragedy of Caesar’s death and recognize their need for a Savior.
- That the light of the gospel would shine brightly in this community.
- That God would bring self-sustaining provision for His ministry.
- That our family would maintain good health.
- For bringing Caesar’s family to salvation.
- For sustaining the local church through the recent death of Pastor Charles.
- For the funding that has come in to continue the work on our School of Discipleship campus.
- That the pastors in the 2 current classes have all passed their tests through Exodus and will be joining us again this month for study through Leviticus.