First Baptist Church-Minden will host a
missionaries Carrie and Shannon Lewis are on a six-month leave of their four-year mission to South Sudan, Africa.
"This is our first time back home," Carrie said.
She said their three boys are adjusting well but have had to learn the differences between Tomosa culture and Western culture.
"They are doing good," Shannon said.
The Lewises were local registered nurses before serving overseas as career missionaries.
Currently, they are church planters and community developers, living and working among the Toposa (African-tribe) through the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
"We have done some bore holes and medical clinics," Carrie said. "God has blessed us with the medical knowledge we have."
However, their main purpose is to share the Word of God with the Tiposa people.
"Less than two percent of 500,000 Tiposans have a relationship with Jesus," Shannon said.
They have built trust among the Tiposans to teach them God's word orally, by telling stories of the Bible. They also use story cloths (pictures of stories that are in the Bible) to teach the Gospel.
The missionaries face several barriers including language, culture and religious practices (such as witchcraft.) They say one of the most effective tools in overcoming these barriers is prayer.
"We are still learning the language," Carrie said.
The Lewis family has learned some of the Nilotic language but have a translator to share God's word.
Their culture is much different than the Western culture. The Tiposa's way of life revolves around cattle, goats and sheep while their main crop is sorghum.
Carrie explained that the women and girls in the Tiposa culture are responsible for building homes, gardening, cooking food, cutting trees, making charcoal and bearing children.
Men and boys are typically responsible for taking care of the goats and cows.
The Tiposa stay busy during the day tending to cattle and gardens, so the Lewis' usually visit people after dark, when villagers have finished work and their evening meal.
"That's the time families can gather together with us to learn more about the Word of God," Shannon said.
Shannon and Carrie were very humbled by the gift of a 'pounding'. It will be after evening service around 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church-Minden.
Anyone wanting to donate dry goods, food items, canned items, toiletries, gift certificates and monetary donations will be kindly accepted.
The Lewis family plans to also take some donations back to Africa, in addition to buying more audio Bibles. They will return to Africa after August.