We thank God Almighty for the blessings and protection He granted us towards the successful PLTI training despite the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The classes started on Monday 21st September and ended on 4th October 2020. Two facilitators – Rev. Captain Paul Lueth taught the Storytelling “Communicating God’s words to others” in the first week and Rev. Peter Garang Deng took Christian Spirituality during the second week.

This training was supposed to be done in April 2020 but due to the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was pushed back to 21st   September – 4th October 2020. Thirty-Three (33) students turned up for the training and six (6) students were absent. Among the absentees were five (5) students who live far from Lietnhom.

Due to the COVID-19 restriction, many students had been scattered to remote areas where there is no telephone connectivity. It was therefore hard for the students to get information on time and that contributed to the absence of six (6) students. The thrity-three PLTI students came from three difference denominations namely; Roman Catholic Church (RCS), the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS) and the Church of God. The students came from Twic, Gogrial West, Western Bhar- El- Ghazal Wau, Tonj, and Warrap, which is the host state.

These areas include, Pathon West, Pathon East, Tony and Tony North counties respectively. Out of the thirty-three students, four were women and twenty nine were men. the students’ education level ranged from primary eight leavers to 12 grade, which is senior four. The facilitators and students from long distance arrived in Lietnhom on 20th September 2020 and were joined  by the students from nearby as classes kicked off on Monday 21st September 2020.

The training was codnucted within a period of two weeks. Each week began with self-introduction and giving personal details as well as updating the students on the COVID-19 pandemic protocols and how to go about them during and after the training. This was followed by the trainer describing each course, explaining the course objectives and defining key term used in the course. The course delivery was through discussions and interactions of the students with materials and the tutor and the results were positive.

Rev. Captain Paul Lueth Kat facilitated the 1st week. He took the students through Storytelling

  • How to communicate God’s Word to others.
  • The course helped the students to remain focused to the work of our Lord Jesus Christ. The classroom was well designed and very conducive for learning.
  • The course is very relevant to the current situation in South Sudan where there is a dire need for the Gospel to be communicated to unreached community.
  • The course is inspiring and its delivery was enjoyable. It therefore made a great impact on the students. We recommend it as an effective course among others.
  • The course was graded through field-based practical exercises, credited at 10% Continuous Assessment Test (CAT) credit 30% and the final exam shall be

The Rev. Peter Garang facilitated the 2nd week during which he took the students through Christian Spirituality.

  • During the training, the students practiced their spiritual growth through the use of the Bible.
  • These was demonstrated through the use of terms such as prayer, devotion, fasting, meditation, transformation, etc. Students were empowered to apply the message in their own lives as they shared God’s Word with others to transform humanity.
  • The course was graded through class assignment 20%, attendance 10% and the final examination 70% totaling to 100% of the final grading.
  • The average performance of the students was 80% and this was very encouraging because according to the students’ remarks, the exams was difficult.
  • The two-weeks of training ended with an AGAPE Meal during which the students, tutors, ALARM Lietnhom staff and the local Church leaders had dinner.
  • Bishop Abraham Ngor of ECS Gogrial Diocese who was in Lietnhom during that last week of training shared the Word of encouragement.

Conclusion

It is a great achievement in the Ministry of ALARM to have the 4th batch of PLTI students attend classes. This is especially special because it happened after the COVID-19 pandamic that has terrorised the world and affected many plans and projects. It was a miracle for this training to happen despite the COVID-19 crisis, but God is faithful he gave us strength to successfully and peacefully facilitate the training. Glory to God.

Students’ Testimonies

The Rev. Peter Akech Madut: He is the 1st PLTI student and is a 24-year old pastor from the Episcopal Church of South Sudan Mayen-Jur sub-parish. He said; “From the time I started ministry as a preacher, I couldn’t differentiate between communicating God’s Word from and normal speaking. I could talk anyhow in front of the congregation. I for long preaching but today, I can differentiate between communicating the gospel to people and speech as well as communicating God’s Word to adults and children. This course has contributed a lot to my future ministry. I greatly appreciate the facilitator who taught this course. He really committed himself to give what I was longing for and my thanks goes to the ALRAM Administration who always think on how to equip church leaders to continue with the ministry. May God bless ALARM.”

Rebecca Aker Kur: She is the 2nd PLTI Student who is a 21-years old Youth Leader from Maliai Parish Pathon East Payam. She said; “Oh my God! I did not know that God can use anything to communicate his Word to people. Through this course, I have learnt that if people are silent, God can use rivers, oceans, trees, sky and other big creatures to communicate hiss Word. I even got shocked when I studied this course called storytelling. In the class we discussed Matthew 10:33 which says ‘But those who reject me publicly, I will reject before my father in heaven.’  Indeed we are denying God’s word by failing to communicate it to others in public. Even me I hide God’s Word by failing to communicate it to my relatives or neighbors but from today, I will communicate it to my relatives and neighbors because I don’t want Jesus  to reject me before His father. This course has made changes in my life. I understand that God is demanding us to communicate His Word to others. like in the Old Testament times,  He sent prophets to communicate his word to people. Likewise, from today I will put myself in the shoes of the prophets to preach God’s Word. I thank ALARM for offering this storytelling course. I wish to continue with the training and that the training be offered to other students. May God bless ALRAM to continue serving us and bless PLTI in Lietnhom. I am praying for well-trained facilitators to continue teaching at PLTI. Nevertheless, I thank the Rev. Capt. Paul Lueth for devoting his time to equip us in this course – Storytelling. May God bless him and ALARM.”

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