Sudan (MNN) — As warfare and genocide have run rampant in Sudan, it's become more and more difficult for any westerner to enter the country to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ. Building up native pastors and leaders is, therefore, critical.
Five students from Sudan left the country years ago to escape the violence. The students began new lives in the U.S. and they now attend Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Despite the turmoil in Sudan, these students are now dedicated to delivering the Gospel message back to their home country.
GRTS professor David Livermore says that the students are aware of the challenges ahead and are prepared to face them. "Sudan's needs are huge, but one of the key ways that the church has identified for them to address these needs is by having better-educated pastors and leaders," says Livermore. After receiving a great deal of training in seminary, these students seem like prime candidates to help build up these leaders.
The students will be joining hands with SIM International to accomplish this mission and to multiply their own ministry training to reach as many people as possible.
"Our long term vision is not only to give them an education but for them to return to Sudan," says Livermore. "So not only are we able to give an education to these five students, [but] when they return, they're going to be part of establishing a ministry training school in Sudan to offer ministry training to a number of other pastors and leaders there."
Full details on how the training will run have not been established, but the students will be leaving this fall for a semester in the country. By December 2010, the five will be in the country for at least two years each, sharing the skills and training they have received in the United States.
Livermore says that the key concern of GRTS for any student is: "How do we multiply through those students an opportunity to get to several other students that are there?" This exciting project in Sudan seems to be an answer.
Pray that the Gospel would indeed reach several hundred students, parents, children and anyone else listening to the teaching of the many Sudanese pastors and leaders that will now be trained in the Word of God. Pray for the safety and courage of these five students and for the success of their ministry in effectively spreading the gospel.
To learn more about Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, click here.