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"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the Kingdom is the Lord's and He rules over the nations." Psalm 22:27-28
Below is contained a report on our most recent mission in January and February to refugee populations from the worst holocaust of the 21st century, perpetrated by the government of Sudan on the peoples of Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile. The journey began in Juba, South Sudan and quickly moved North into Sudan and then Chad.
“Cush will submit herself to God.” Psalm 68:31
In the Bible, the land of Cush (present day Sudan) is referred to 52 times, making it the second most mentioned place in Scripture. People of Cush have been submitting themselves to God for centuries. In fact, Southern Sudan is the oldest Christian community in Africa. For more than 60 years now, they have been a bulwark holding up the southward expansion of Islam in Africa. The first leg of the mission our team moved over 1400lbs of Bibles, solar powered Bibles, Jesus Film kits, ECS courses and other discipleship materials from Juba, South Sudan to Yida Refugee Camp which is approximately 14 miles from the border of North Sudan. Below is an overhead shot of Yida Refugee Camp, home to over 90,000 homeless people from 65 tribes and approximately 90 people groups.
“The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Psalm 19:7
Upon arriving in Yida, we quickly made the necessary arrangements to move North into Sudan. This June will mark 6 years since the government of Sudan began again terrorizing Christians in an area known as the Nuba Mountains. A month before South Sudan achieved its independence in July of 2011, the government began to carry out a new campaign of aerial bombing, rape, mass murder and scorched earth policies on this island of Christianity in a vast sea of Islam. The purple region in the map below known as Southern Kordofan is the region in which the Nuba Christians are located.
Revival or Islamisation
“Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in you? Show us Your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us Your Salvation.” Psalm 85:6-7
There is no doubt that Muslims around the world are set on making Sudan the cornerstone of the Islamic Caliphate in North Africa. The agenda of president Omar Al Bashir in Sudan is clear. Since he came to power in 1989, he has slaughtered millions of Christians in what is now South Sudan and ethnically cleansed other black African tribes in the Darfur and Blue Nile regions while exploiting the oil, precious metals and gold mines. In early 2016, the Sudan Armed Forces mobilized over 40,000 men composed of ISIS operatives, Lord’s Resistance Army fighters from Uganda, Boko Haram from Nigeria, al Shabaab of Somalia, Mali Jihadists along with the Sudan Armed Forces. Right now, they are currently mobilizing over 150,000 jihadists from the above listed groups as a “Final Solution” to complete the destruction of black Africans in Darfur and Christians in the Nuba Mountains, as well as an overthrow of the government in Chad. If this objective is attained, it will change the map of Africa. The area from South Sudan to Mali would constitute an African Caliphate.
According to intel from various sources, the full scale cleansing was scheduled to begin in January 2017. The governor of Nuba has requested help from the outside world but no help has yet come. In addition, the world’s newest nation, South Sudan, which declared its independence from Islamic Sudan back in July of 2011, is facing one of the worst humanitarian crisis this world has ever seen. As of last week, over 7 million people were on the brink of starvation. With the war escalating in the North and absolutely no infrastructure in the South, plus the hostility of the UN in general towards Christian mission work, it presented us with a wonderful opportunity to trust the Lord.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’". Matthew 28:18-20
“’Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of Hosts."Zechariah 4:6
Some of the highlights from the first leg of this mission included Scripture book Evangelism amongst the soldiers (pictured above) and a visit to Karkari where just weeks before this Christian village was destroyed in the name of Allah and Islam. Both of the churches were shot up and many homes were bulldozed. The same government Obama eased sanctions on recently sent an army to destroy this Christian village and surrounding civilian settlements in a brutal pre-dawn attack that sent the entire population to flight. Horror stories of the sick, aged or children left behind out of necessity, or lost in the midst of the chaos abounded.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in Heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12
If you’re reading this and you’re a Christian that attends a Bible believing church, “the question is not whether or not we will be working to spread the Gospel around the world, but what role we will play in this. A church that is not devoted to the cause of Christ around the world is not a Church in the Biblical sense” (Multiply, Francis Chan). It is past time to step up and take action. If you’re a Christian, you’re either a missionary or a mission field. You can’t be neutral. Business as usual is not going to cut it. The status quo just isn’t working. Especially in places like Sudan where many Christian agencies have pulled out.
“His Word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” Jeremiah 20:9
This Sudanese tank on the above right made it to within 500 yards of the village before the SPLA – N (soldiers protecting the Christians) destroyed it. On the above left is a picture about 6 miles from the village of the community that was displaced from the attacks. We had the privilege of ministering to and sharing with them.
“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardship are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the Gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:22-24
Suffice to say, hearing the direct account of the tragedy that brought them there was only overcome by the power of Christ sustaining them amidst the suffering. We offered words of encouragement and comfort from the only source of truth for those in the midst of such terrible persecution. Then we left our Bibles, mosquito nets, clothing, food and other items from our backpacks with them. It was probably the most inspiring, and humbling moments of the journey for me. Much different than just giving to Voice of the Martyrs .
“For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability…and they did not do as we expected, but they gave of themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.” 2 Corinthians 8:3,5
One of the other highlights from our time in Nuba was a visit to Kush Theological College. It was bombed relentlessly in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Due to necessity, its location is now in the midst of giant rocks and boulders. At this school the students ranged from Pastors who had never completed their education to “young Timothys” fresh off completing their secondary education. They are being targeted by their own government as enemies of the state, guilty of treason for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Many of them pastor anywhere from 6-8 churches which have absolutely no budget and are lucky to have even just a few Bibles. Below is a picture from one of the training sessions early one morning.
“After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, ‘The Holy Spirit says, in this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’ When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, ‘Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus.’ When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, ‘The Lord’s will be done.’” Acts 21:10-14
The way the Holy Spirit is working through these men brings tears to my eyes. After mapping every single unreached and unengaged tribe within the Nuba Mountains, they requested tracts and were strategically planning to go out 2 by 2 on foot to hike over 100 miles to some of these places with unreached and unengaged Muslim people groups. So, we loaded them up with Scripture books, Bibles, Solar Powered Audio Bibles and other tools to help assist them.
The next leg of the mission was very interesting to say the least. For the past 2 years I have been praying for an opportunity to reach Darfur for Christ. Darfur means “the place of the Fur people.” There are at least 36 main tribes in the region without one bit of Evangelical Christian presence. They are some of the least evangelized people in the whole world with no indigenous movement of Christianity whatsoever. After combing through thousands of pages in UN documents, talking with various humanitarian groups that have worked there in years past and praying for God’s guidance and wisdom, we believe we had found a way to achieve access. We caught a charter flight to Abeche, Chad and then continued the mission.
“Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay.... it, is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather, it is a privilege!” David Livingstone
This challenge from Dr. Livingstone echoes in my ear and inspires me today.
Upon arriving in Abeche, Chad, we had a few meetings set up with local Pastors before heading to the border. One of the Pastors invited us to his congregation for a prayer meeting. Our evening with this Pastor and other leaders from the Chadian Church was exceptional (picture directly below). We spent 5 ½ hours praying together and listening to some of the challenges they were facing. We then opened up God’s Word and preached Christ.
A Strategy of Compromise and Cowardice
Prior to leaving the US for Africa, I had shipped 9 cartons of Arabic New Testaments and 5 boxes of tracts to a border town in Chad called Iriba. Through World Missionary Press, I had made contact with several of the local Pastors on the Chadian/Sudanese border working with Darfurian Refugees. These supplies were prepositioned so when our team left Sudan and arrived in Abeche, we wouldn’t have to worry about the logistics of transporting Bibles to a place we had never been. Our original plan was to hitch hike from Abeche to Iriba and then cross into Western Darfur. The missionaries that were supposed to host us though found out that we had shipped Bibles and tracts and told us not to come. We later found out that these “missionaries” who were supposed to host us were part of the “Insider Movement.” That would explain a lot. Are you aware that there are Christian missionaries who are telling the Muslims they work with they can become a follower of Jesus yet remain a Muslim? Absolute heresy if you ask me. Not only that, but they are producing idiomatic translations of the Bible by taking out things that would offend a Muslim and adding in words from the Quran to make the Gospel more palatable!
“Shame upon us missionaries if we are to be outdone by slave traders. Can the love of Christ not carry the missionary where the slave trade carries the trader?” Dr. David Livingstone
The effect this has had on the Chadian Church over the past few years has been devastating. Chad is a very large country, yet there are only 125 known Muslim Background Believers who have converted from Islam to Christianity. The devastating effects of the “Insider Movement” have been seen in other countries too. I am glad the Apostle Paul did not tell the Corinthians to go ahead and still sleep with the prostitutes of Aphrodite. Elisha didn’t tell the Baal worshippers they were worshipping the same God, just using a different name for him. And oh, how easy it would be for Daniel to bow his knee but turn his head from the idol.
Defeat and Retreat
Proponents of the “Insider Movement” are really propagating a defeat and retreat mentality amongst the local church in North Africa and the Middle East. We are losing ground in Central Africa due in large part to this strategy. When Christ is not exalted, and Muslims are not told they need to make a clean break with Islam, it’s not very hard to see why we are losing ground.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
After our meeting with leaders from the Chadian Church, we had to alter our plans to get to the border just slightly since we were no longer welcome in the town we had planned to cross the border from. Just the day before, we had made contact with one of the Pastors from our meeting who was leading a church on the border town of Adre (approximately 6.5 hours by vehicle). We hired a vehicle and off we went.
Upon arriving, we got our bearings and met with a group of Darfuri refugees literally within 50 yards of the Western Darfur border. We engaged them with some Bible storytelling and explained a little more about our work with the Nuba people on the other side of Sudan (see pictures above). As we spoke, the crowd gathered until there were almost 50 men around John (my partner) and I. The translator and I took turns sharing with them. Amidst the opposition we had faced, we came to realize that God’s timing is perfect and if He wants to honor prayers or have something happen, it will. After a while, the men we were speaking with motioned behind us, and though I was anticipating the worst, Praise God it was not the authorities but a group of women that had come to listen at a safe distance just behind us under some trees.
We shared many different Bible stories. The crowd favorites were without a doubt the Prodigal Son and the story of Daniel. We are extremely grateful to God’s Story for supplying us with Solar Powered Bibles in the Fur language, which we were able to distribute to the sheik and imam in this particular tribe.
"I am a missionary, heart and soul. God had an only Son, and He was a Missionary and a Physician. A poor, poor imitation of Him I am, or wish to be. In His service I hope to live; in it I wish to die." Dr. David Livingstone
Please continue to keep Sudan, the Nuba Mountains, South Sudan, Dafur and Chad in your prayers.
For the history and background of this colossal conflict, read Faith Under Fire in Sudan and view Sudan the Hidden Holocaust, Terrorism and Persecution DVD.
Abductions and Taxes Amongst Famine and Civil War in South Sudan
Civil War in South Sudan
Genocide in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa