Sudan (MNN) — More than three million kids between the ages of five and 13-years old are out of school in Sudan, the UN reports. That’s one of the worst education rankings throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
Multiple factors keep kids out of the classroom, including ongoing conflict, a lack of infrastructure, and gender discrimination. Public school is free by law, but school-related costs like supplies and transportation present barriers for many poor families.
Jackson* hopes to change these realities for the Next Generation. “One of my visions [is] to establish schools or [a] college of theology, and serve among my people in Nuba Mountain,” the Sudanese pastor says.
“We have Muslim background (Islamic) education for our people, but imagine if we take Christian education to our kids. Our generation can know God in good way.”
Although it’s one of Sudan’s most isolated regions, the Nuba Mountains hold the largest Christian community. More about the Nuba Mountains here.
“I want to build some schools for kids because they struggle a lot to find a school near their homes,” Jackson adds.
Why does Christian education matter?
Believers faced severe persecution for decades under Islamic dictator Omar al-Bashir. Following Bashir’s ouster in April 2019, Sudan began moving away from militant Islam and toward civilian rule. See our full coverage of Sudan here.
Reform is coming slowly under a transitional government, but Christian leaders like Jackson have hope. “This is why I want to establish this ministry in our country. We have to develop all our situation: spiritually, economically; every [area of] life,” Jackson says.
“If we have God in our heart, we can do better for our country.”
Click here to come alongside a coalition of ministries helping believers in Sudan. Most importantly, pray. Use the prompts listed alongside this article, or this free Prayercast resource, to guide your intercession.
“Pray for my situation, especially in economic things. Pray God can help me and guide me to do His ministry in our country,” Jackson requests.
“Pray for my church because my church is divided. We have some problems among our leaders.”
*–Full name withheld for security purposes.
Header image depicts a 7th grade class in Sudan. (Photo credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch via Flickr/CC2.0)