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Gratefully Serving a Mission

Gratefully Serving a Mission

The journey of Elder Jervase Ajok from South Sudan to serving as a full-time missionary was filled with both challenges and blessings. He was born in 1989 in a village of South Sudan in the midst of a severe drought. One night in 1998 when he was 9 years old, his village was attacked because of accusations that they were hiding rebels. As a result, the house where they lived was raided while the family was sleeping and he was forced to flee his country because of civil unrest.

He then resided in the village of Chukudum and, in late 1998, while he was hiking to another village with other refugees, his leg was injured. At that point his life became terrible as there was no food, water or shelter and added to that there was the danger of wild beasts. In March 2000 he found staying in a camp in Kenya very hard so he went to Nairobi, where a kind family took him in and the father helped him afterwards to locate other fellow Sudanese for which kindness he was very grateful.

After some time there however, he felt he had no friend to look out for him. At this point, he became friends with a fellow Sudanese and went with him to his church one Sunday. He later met two missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who introduced him to the Bishop, and he was baptized a member of the LDS Church in late 2008. At last he was able to feel a measure of peace in his heart as he embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ and felt the joy of the Saviour's love.

Elder Ajok remained in Nairobi and enrolled in school with the Bishop helping to pay his school fees until he completed high school in 2011. In August 2012, he walked 1,000 miles back to Southern Sudan and met with the branch president there who helped him find food and shelter and obtain a passport in order to serve a full-time mission. Working as a security guard to earn mission funds, he was able to locate his mother, two brothers and two sisters who had survived the village attack. What great joy filled his heart as he was reunited with his family after so many years, and what gratitude he felt towards the Lord for preserving and reuniting them.

Eventually entering the Ghana Missionary Training Centre, he served in the Ghana Cape Coast Mission for the Lord who gave him the great blessing of the gospel, and returned him to his family.