Sudan (MNN) — President el-Bashir of Sudan has finally
submitted the nominees for the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission for
approval–a huge step in the fulfillment of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace
Agreement, according to Atem Garang, leading member of the Sudan Peoples'
Liberation Movement (SPLM).
With this step and April's peaceful elections behind them,
Lee DeYoung of Words of Hope said Southern Sudanese are beginning to cautiously
hope that "the referendum scheduled to begin on January 9th,
2011 … will take place and that the outcome will be that the country will
DeYoung recently returned from Sudan and said this hope was
evident among the church leaders he visited.
Words of Hope broadcasts in Sudan in various languages
including Dinka, Nuer and Bari. The ministry is also anticipating this upcoming date, as it
will hopefully allow for more recording in country.
"After the referendum, we're moving all of our
broadcast production for Sudanese languages into the country. It's still a very
challenging environment with very limited infrastructure, but nevertheless,
many people have moved back into the country from refugee status in neighboring
countries over the past few years," DeYoung said.
No matter what the future holds, many Sudanese are reaching
out in faith and placing their trust in Christ. DeYoung saw the results of
these decisions: "The church is very well attended, and although it is certainly
lacking in material resources, there are many signs of a very vibrant
commitment to Christianity in South Sudan."
Pray for God's peace and sovereignty during this
transitional time. Pray also for Southern Sudan as they secede and face certain
issues, such as borders, oil, water, nationality, debts and assets, currency, international
agreements, and security, according to IRIN Africa.