This blog covers the years 2014-2016 when we (the Robisons) were at the Ghana MTC. To see the blog covering the period 2016-2018 click on this link:

Friday, August 15, 2014

Each Missionary Arrives at the MTC with His or Her Unique Story

The journey of Elder Jervase Makur Dhoul Ajok from living in South Sudan to serving as a full-time missionary has been filled with both challenges and blessings.

Challenges, Blessings for South Sudanese Elder

Contributed By Lynette Pierce Shulz, Church News contributor (9 July 2014)
The journey of Elder Jervase Makur Dhoul Ajok from living in South Sudan to serving as a full-time missionary has been filled with both challenges and blessings.
Sister Shulz, the wife of the Cape Coast Mission President shared this story with me when we visited them in their home a couple of months ago.  We had been talking about the wide variety of countries that each missionary called home and that fact that many of them came on their missions at great trial and after much sacrifice.  This is the story of our first missionary in the MTC from South Sudan.
Elder Jervase Makur Ajok was born in 1989 in the village of Ananatak, South Sudan, when his country was in the midst of a severe drought. One night in 1998 his village was attacked because “our villagers were accused of hiding rebels. Hence, they raided the house where my family was sleeping. They started by shooting my uncle, his wife, and his son,” said Elder Ajok. He was forced to flee his country because of civil unrest.
Young Jervase ran “into the bush, crying, leaving behind my father, mother, five brothers, and two sisters where everyone was lying among those who had been killed.”
He found himself in the village of Chukudum and, in late 1998, was forced to become a child soldier in what was called the “Lost Boys of Sudan.” After three months he escaped, “because [he] did not want to be a soldier.” While he was hiking to another village with other refugees, his camp was bombed and his leg injured by shrapnel. Elder Ajok said, “At that point, my life became so horrible because there was no food, water, or shelter. We were attacked by wildlife, and everything was in total chaos and got worse for the next week.”
In March 2000 he was taken to a refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. Elder Ajok said that during his stay in the camp, many would try to steal others’ possessions, and he fled to Nairobi, where a kind family gave him shelter.
“I thanked Heavenly Father … because a good Samaritan took me into his house before helping me look for other Sudanese people. I was very grateful for his kindness.”
In Nairobi, said Elder Ajok, “I did not have a person that could care for me if I became sick. At this point, I became friends with a fellow Sudanese countryman and went to the Catholic church one Sunday.” He later met two LDS missionaries, who introduced him to the bishop, and he was baptized a member of the Church in late 2008.
Elder Ajok remained in Nairobi and enrolled in school with the bishop’s help. “[The bishop] paid my school fees until I completed my [high school] in 2011.”
In August 2012, Elder Ajok walked 1,000 miles back to South 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. Elder Ajok worked as a security guard to earn mission funds and was able to locate his mother, two brothers, and two sisters who survived the village attack.
In June, Elder Ajok entered the Ghana Missionary Training Center and is now serving in the Ghana Cape Coast Mission.

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