In 2015 a simple, dirt airstrip was built and this now provides safe access in and out for missionaries in Kali, South Sudan. “Without MAF, we couldn’t have a ministry to the unreached people in Kali. There is only one road in and out. So when there is trouble on that road, we have no exit. MAF is a big blessing to us.” Carin de Leeuw
Just a year ago, the de Leeuw family were ministering to unreached people groups in Uganda with Africa Inland Mission (AIM). But they felt God calling them to Kali, South Sudan. Ard de Leeuw went to visit Kali and returned to his wife Carin enthusiastic and convinced that this new ministry was where God was leading them.
Ard and Carin, originally from the Netherlands, have been living in Kali with their three children for the past nine months. They have figured out daily routines and built relationships with their community. Mornings start early with preparing food from scratch, cleaning and gardening. Next comes home schooling the two older ones on the open veranda until lunch. Home school time is often interrupted with many requests from the neighbours. One needs some salt and soap, something unavailable in the community so the family sells these items at an affordable rate. Another visitor needs care for his scorpion bite. Without proper treatment, he will be in agonizing pain for days. As you can imagine, there are countless visitors each week, just waiting at their fence.
Saturdays are always a highlight in their ministry. Before they came to Kali there was no church; the people did not spend time worshipping or learning God’s word together. So they started to meet at the home of the village chief and share Christ. Now every Saturday morning when the de Leeuws arrive at the chief’s compound, the community is already there, eagerly awaiting for church to begin. Together with their translator Peter Amos, a young man who knows English from going to school in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, they tell Bible stories and answer the peoples’ questions.
In May the family was evacuated from Kali due to insecurity. In a joint effort between MAF and AIM Air, they flew out to Uganda for safety. Six weeks later, the conflict calmed down and the family flew back to Kimatong on MAF’s 5Y-ESU and returned to Kali to continue to share the Gospel with the Laarim people in Kali.
The de Leeuws are grateful for MAF and the weekly shuttle in and out of Juba. Carin explains, “Flying on the MAF shuttle is a really good option for us, as a family of five it is much cheaper than chartering our own plane. Plus, we are able to bring up extra cargo such as fresh produce and food. In our area the only things we can buy are flour, onions, dry pasta and tomato paste, so we really rely on bringing in many supplies of our own.”
On this particular flight Carin is bringing up 90 kilograms of food. She continues, “Without MAF, we couldn’t have a ministry to the unreached people in Kali. We rely on MAF and the airstrip in Kimatong to get us safely in and out of our community.”