God led Elizabeth Kang and her family from Sudan to Australia.
I was born and raised in North Sudan, one of seven sisters and one brother, in a Christian family.
My father moved to North Sudan when he was young, seeking refuge from the war in South Sudan. He worked in the Army (military) as a physical educator and my mother was a housekeeper.
Life was not easy, but because of my father’s hard work we were able to be fully educated from kindergarten to university. We had the opportunity to be safe as well as have good health.
It was not easy growing up in the North Sudanese culture but it was better and safer for us than being in South Sudan.
My journey with God started when I accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour at a youth summer camp when I was 16 years old.
I later moved to Lebanon where I met my husband Reak Deng. We were married in 1999.
In 1985, Reak was badly injured by an explosion during Sudan’s second civil war—that same bomb killed his entire family. With an operation to remove the shrapnel unviable, Reak had an injection to relieve the chronic pain and itching.
Both of us were passionate about serving God. Our house was always open to people who were new to the country. We offered them shelter and help until they settled.
We ran a Bible study and prayer meetings in our home. I had the opportunity at church to be involved in children’s and women’s ministry, and was part of the leadership board and worship team.
In April 2005, we came to Australia with our daughter Helen. God then blessed us with two more children, Grace and Jonathon.
We have also been blessed with many things that we didn’t have in Sudan. Now we have a house, our kids go to school, and we study. I know that God has been with me and my family all the way.
We joined the Sudanese congregation at Berwick Corps (church) in Victoria in 2010. The people welcomed us and looked after us. I soon moved into the same church roles that I had in Lebanon.
Reak completed a Diploma in Business and Logistics and a Certificate in Hospitality and Tourism, while I studied for a Diploma in Community Welfare. Reak also helped out at our corps by driving the bus for various children’s ministry programs.
Being involved in activities at church or studying helps him to forget the pain of his injuries, but we are hoping that God will one day do a miracle.
Being part of The Salvation Army has been life-changing for me and my family. Our officer (pastor) encouraged me to share my testimony with the corps. It was then I felt that God was calling me to be an officer (minister), and he was calling Reak too. In 2015, we started our training to become Salvation Army officers.
English is our second language so our first year at Catherine Booth College was challenging, but by God’s grace we have overcome all obstacles.
God always sends people to gather around and pray for me when I am challenged, affirming God’s calling on my life, and this encourages me to keep going. God is good!
My skills have been stretched and I have been out of my comfort zone through the many training out-placements and classes. When I look back at where I was, and where I am now, I realise that I am a completely new person.
My training is nearly finished, but I know that God is not finished with me yet. He continues to equip me for the challenges of ministry within The Salvation Army and I am looking forward to what God has in store for me and my family in the next step of our faith journey.