Amid crises, next steps for Sudan’s Bible translators uncertain

By April 5, 2024

Sudan (MNN) — April 15 marks one year since conflict erupted between Sudan’s military and the RSF paramilitary group in Sudan. More than 8 million people have been displaced within and outside of the country, according to UN reports. 

Last Friday, the global authority on food security levels called for “immediate action” to prevent death and further crises in Sudan. They reported in December that 5 million Sudanese were facing catastrophic hunger levels. That number has surely gone up in the months since then, though war has prevented further updates to the report.

Wikimedia Commons, Sudanese refugees, South Sudan Jamam camp

Photo of Sudanese refugees in South Sudan, 2012 courtesy of DFID – UK Department for International Development/Wikimedia Commons.

Spoken Worldwide is one of many organizations whose team in Sudan has been impacted by the war. 

Ed Weaver, president of Spoken Worldwide, says their oral Bible translation team has largely been scattered to Egypt, South Sudan and Uganda. 

“It’s been crazy to try to figure out, ‘Okay, where is everybody? What are they doing? What’s their personal situation?’” Weaver says.

The field leader for all of Sudan, a man we’ll call Saeed, has himself been on the run from the war the past year. He and his family have hiked by foot or traveled by bus, lorry, and even boat to escape danger.

“He lived in Omdurman. He moved to Madani. The war followed him to Madani; he moved to another village. The war followed him there,” Weaver says.

After escaping to South Sudan, Saeed and his family finally made it to Uganda. They are trying to resettle and send their children to school again after a year’s interruption. 

Weaver asks us to pray for rest and healing for Saeed’s family from the trauma they have experienced. “He’s (going to) have his own story to tell, his own ability to relate to the (refugee) people that are already there.”

Then, pray for wisdom for next steps. Like other Bible translators, Saeed is deeply committed to the work of bringing God’s Word to his people, despite all challenges.

“We want him to certainly take care of first things first, so be praying for that. But then (pray for) creativity on his part of saying, ‘Okay, Lord, what do you want me to do now? How does this ministry get recreated?’” Weaver says. 

As Spoken Worldwide reformats some of their work in Sudan, Weaver says much of it will be among displaced people in refugee camps across Africa. Learn more about their oral Bible translation teams here. 




Header photo is a representative stock image of Sudan courtesy of combonianos_brasil/Pixabay.

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