Monday, June 13, 2016

A personal update from me, Jonathan!

This is a personal update from me, Jonathan Lueken, whom you haven’t heard from for a long time. 

For the Last 7 months I have been staying in Borongole, Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan and working with Operation Nehemiah. Our vision is rebuilding this new nation spiritually and physically by God’s Grace and promoting Sustainability.

For three years I have been privileged to join hands with the ground team, under Country Director Timothy Levi and Senior Pastor Michael Levi in South Sudan. There are many areas of work here, including rebuilding the family spiritually, biblical discipleship, agriculture, medical, brick production, radio broadcasting, and building Godly infrastructure.  As the Director of Sustainable living, here in Borongole, my time has been full and productive. William Levi, [Founder and overseer of Operation Nehemiah], has been here with his family since the beginning of May (2016) to encourage and declare the vision that God has given him for South Sudan. God is doing an exciting work through the Mission to the hearts of the people in our community.
Since 2013, God has drawn me into the Great Commission here in South Sudan and I have been so blessed to work alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ.  It has become clear that my calling is to be here long term, learning from and sharing life with the Christians here, who have become my family. I now am putting down roots here in many ways. 
One of these ways is God leading me towards marriage with a Godly young woman living here in Borongole, South Sudan.  I have been in a courtship since December with Joyce Gune Kenyi, niece of both William and Pastor Michael Levi.
She loves the Lord with all her heart and is the hardest working young woman I have ever met. She has a true servant’s heart and is currently helping in the Nehemiah Field Clinic, working alongside me, as I now head up the Medical department. I have seen God growing us in our faith as we have come to know each other and have faced the trials of sickness together on quite a few occasions.

 Seeking God’s will in this relationship, the Lord has  made this clear to both Joyce and I that He is the one who brought us together and I am very sure that I have met my best friend for life. With Godly counseling, we are preparing and planning for marriage. Our desire is to have a wedding in the month of November here in South Sudan (Yes, this is something of a destination wedding!)
There is much to be put into place before that and the focus now is continuing premarital counseling and looking to meet some of the obligations required in African marriage. One of these priorities is a “blessing” (also known as a Dowry) to be paid by the young man to the young women’s family.  It is my desire to be able to give generously to the family who is blessing me with Joyce. This is a cultural tradition that has Hebrew biblical roots and is standard for marriage here. The ancient Hebrew wedding’s requirement involving payment of dowry by the bridegroom to the family of the bride which is still practiced here in this Hebraic culture, where Joyce is raised, is a kind of foreshadowing of the relationship between Jesus the Messiah and His bride, the Church.  Jesus purchased his bride, the church (all believers) by shedding of His blood on the Cross.  I am praying for the provision of that gift to give to my future-in-laws, who are giving their faithful daughter into my care. I appreciate your prayers as I enter this new phase of life and prepare to lead a new family.
Prayer needs:
1-      The dowry for the family of my bride as explained above $7000
2-     To build a small house on the mission property for Joyce and I $10,000
3-      For our Wedding planning in November 2016 when we pray my family in the USA can come.
4-      Pray for our relationship as we continue in premarital counseling as we lead up to the wedding
5-      Our desire to travel together to the USA together to visit friends and family after the wedding in November.
Joyce and I greatly appreciate your continued prayers and support as we look to start a family together. Please also pray for all the Families who are working with Operation Nehemiah here in South Sudan and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to go forward. Thank you for praying as we seek God's guidance in this new adventure!
Rubanga kola nito   (God be with you)                                                                     
Jonathan,  Director for Biblical Sustainable living & working w/ Operation Nehemiah Missions 
We are excited for Jon and love Joyce dearly. We have been earnestly praying for them as God works to unite them in the months ahead. We would ask you to pray that God would enable us by His gracious working to be involved in creative ways in the wedding preparations and planning and that He would work out the details to make it possible for us to be there for the wedding. 
Jon cannot receive mail as there is no mail service in South Sudan. In order for him to receive anything it must be hand carried through us. But if you'd like to communicate anything directly to him, you could send him an email. Email:
Anything else must be sent via the options listed below. 
NOTE OUR NEW  Personal & Operation Nehemiah MAILING ADDRESS:
PO Box 502, Otis, MA 01253

Donations can be made on the Operation Nehemiah Missions website
Scroll to the bottom - Choose "option #2 "
All contributions are tax deductible.

Make checks out to: Operation Nehemiah PO Box 502, Otis, MA 01253
Our physical address is:     266 North Main Road  Otis MA 01253