Akop County is one of seven Gospel Outreach church planting sites in South Sudan. Here GO workers focused their efforts on visiting homes and holding meetings. A young 16-year-old, Majok Adewun Paduot, responded to the message and was baptized even though his family members were all followers of the African traditional religion, which included worshipping idols of all kinds.
When Majok accepted Jesus, he took to heart all the biblical doctrines he was taught: He began to keep the Sabbath, return his tithe, and change to a more healthful lifestyle. His behavior was so changed that people in the community took notice and watched him carefully.
Majok developed a spirit of self-reliance by cultivating his own garden and buying some chickens to raise. His father had chickens as well, and all the chickens were kept in one shelter. The father, who worshipped many gods, used to sacrifice chickens to his gods, especially during the rainy season, at harvest time, or to appease the gods whenever there was sickness in the family. But Majok took his new religion seriously. He no longer believed in his father’s gods, and he didn’t want any of his chickens to be sacrificed to them. He was saving his chickens to help the family with medications, to buy food and to give tithe back to God.
“If God protected my chickens in such a wonderful way, then how much more is He protecting me as His steward? Praise be to Him!”
People were amazed when they heard that Majok was returning one chicken to the church for every 10 chickens he owned. This caused much tension between him and his father, and the community ridiculed him for giving up one chicken in 10. Bad enough that his ideas about Sabbath observance and eating and dressing differently were so strange, but now to jeopardize his family’s unity! This was great cause for concern. It was finally decided that a partition be built in the chicken coop to keep the two groups of chickens separated—one for sacrificing to the gods and one from which Majok could return his tithe. But before that wall could be built, something happened.
One dark night a wildcat got into the chicken coop. Feathers flew as the cat wreaked havoc among the trapped birds. The morning sun brought a scene of devastation as dead chickens were found everywhere. But lo and behold, all of Majok’s chickens came running out from the shelter of the chicken coop. Not a single one was hurt.
This miracle quickly became known throughout Majok’s village and beyond. It was clear to all that the God of the Christians was a true God indeed, and that the traditional gods were no gods at all. Majok’s faithfulness in returning tithe had been rewarded.
The chicken miracle made such an impact on Majok’s eldest brother, Wol, that he agreed to study the Bible and soon was baptized. Together, Majok and Wol joined hands to form an effective team to share the gospel in their area. Their positive influence in the family resulted in the baptism of their mother and three sisters. While Majok’s father with his second wife and another brother were not yet ready to join the church, they no longer opposed the Adventist message.
The little church where Majok and his brother serve has grown to 150 members within a three-year period. In looking back to the chicken miracle, Majok says, “If God protected my chickens in such a wonderful way, then how much more is He protecting me as His steward? Praise be to Him!”