Remo was a farmer living in the country of South Sudan. Although he had not been able to complete his education, he had learned to read some English. A group of nearby Seventh-day Adventist members asked him to come to their church and share with them what was written in their English Bible-study guides, since they themselves were unable to read. Remo read and explained each lesson to them. In the process, he began learning many biblical truths, especially the truth about a loving God. The church members were very loving and caring. Their attitude caused him to investigate more about their faith. He started worshiping with them on Sabbaths, and before long he was baptized.
Soon Remo was holding offices in the church. Then he was invited to become a Gospel Outreach Canada evangelist and was sent to Aboroto to work with the Keliko tribe of which he is a member. No Adventist work had previously been conducted among this people group. At first, the people showed little interest, but he persevered. In less than five years, Remo has baptized 65 people, and they have built a small church in which to worship. He broadcasts on the local radio station for one hour every Sunday. He and his fellow church members share everywhere they can—witnessing at funerals, at health centers, in prisons and markets.
In that same area, a local man operates a private school that teaches a class in religion and the Bible. Two Adventist students scored so high in the class that other students and teachers asked them, “How do you know so much about the Bible?” Their reply was, “Our pastor taught us these things at our church.” As a result, Remo was invited to speak to the students. Everyone was thrilled to hear him, and they invited him to return. As a result, he now conducts Bible studies with 168 students and teachers every week. Three students have already been baptized.
Remo began an evangelistic series in Morobo where 20 people attended and 12 continued to study the Bible. Banga, a drunkard and heavy tobacco smoker, came to these meetings. He had married five women, none of whom stayed with him. So, he and his three daughters moved in with his elderly parents.
Unfortunately, the parents died. Before they were buried, Banga went out and got drunk. His elder brother scolded him for doing such a disrespectful thing. In his anger, Banga went into the house and returned with a gun, intending to shoot his brother. People grabbed Banga, tied him with a rope, and began beating him. Remo happened by and saw Banga lying on the ground. He went over and talked with him about controlling his emotions. Then he prayed with him.
Eight months later, Banga came to Remo’s home at 2:00 in the morning. Remo asked him, “Why have you come at such an unearthly hour?” Banga responded, “I am like Nicodemus coming in the night, and I need to talk to you.” Remo went out to meet Banga, and the two men sat outside and talked until dawn.
Obviously, something had touched Banga’s heart. He asked, “What can I do to quit drinking and smoking so I can have money to support my daughters?” Remo encouraged him to fully accept Jesus and depend on Him. He also invited him to attend church on Sabbath. Early the following Sabbath, Banga showed up for Sabbath school. The lesson was about our body temple and how God expects us to care for it. Banga enjoyed the discussion and stayed for the church service. He didn’t miss a Sabbath after that!
Remo invited Banga to attend his evangelistic meetings, and he did. In time, Banga made his decision to be baptized. He also encouraged two of his friends to attend. They did and were baptized along with one of his daughters. His other two daughters have also decided to prepare for baptism. Now Banga, who has found freedom from his unhealthful habits, serves as the group leader of the local company of believers.
NOTE: Names, locations and some details have been changed.
By Dave Crook, Regional Director
Dave Crook is the Gospel Outreach Canada regional director for East Africa.