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JOSEPH KAWAJA

Associate pastor of Calvary Chapel Naruce & principal of the Christian school

I met Joseph 15 years ago while serving in the refugee camp in Uganda. Throughout the years he has proven to be an incredible leader and spiritual mentor to his people. Below is a story that illustrates Joseph’s love and commitment to the Lord and to the unreached in South Sudan.

The large acacia tree shaded myself and 15 native missionaries in South Sudan from the burning heat. I had spent the last three days training them in evangelism. After lunch, they were sent out to the surrounding unreached communities to put God’s Word into practice.

Joseph and a small group of missionaries gathered the courage to approach the dilapidated concrete jail that bore the shrapnel scars from years of war in the Sudan. To their surprise, the guards welcomed them to share “a message of hope” with the ten prisoners inside. The four guards and inmates listened intently as the missionaries spoke of man’s sin, God’s love and sacrifice through Jesus and the hope of reconciliation with the God who created them. All 14 men showed deep signs of remorse. The message had cut to their hearts. They nodded in agreement with one of the prisoners who stood and said, “We know we are sinners. We are in this place because of our guilt. If there is a God who loves us and can forgive us – we want this Jesus today!”

Joseph and our evangelists returned two days later to check on the prisoners. They found them and the guards showing great signs of a new found joy. The jailers had given the prisoners new clothes to wear. Two of the criminals who had their feet chained on their initial visit, were unbound and peaceful. The guards had witnessed such a difference in their character, that they had removed their chains.

Pastor Joseph continues to visit the prison every Sunday afternoon preaching the gospel to most who are hearing it for the first time. He comforts those that are waiting to receive the judgment of their crimes. For many, it will be the death penalty. As they stand at the door of death, he offers them the hope of eternal life and forgiveness that is found in only in Jesus.

Thank you for your prayers and support for our national missionaries serving the Lord in South Sudan.

Pastor Rob