Sudan (MNN) – After years of a brutal dictatorship under Omar al-Bashir, Sudan is struggling to find restoration. Greg Kelley with World Mission says constant war and famine combined with other atrocities mean healing is hard to come by. People distrust the government and each other.
Even in places like churches, spies used to infiltrate congregations and report other members. Children were taken from their homes and thrown on the front lines of a battle they didn’t understand. Displaced people and decimated minority groups are normal. Almost every individual has been touched by the atrocities of the past regime.
Kelley says, “You’ve got these young people who their minds have been warped. They’ve been brainwashed in some ways, and it’s only through the power of the Gospel that healing can really truly take place.”
A New Government
With Bashir out of power, there is mixed hope and fear over what a people’s government would bring. Members of the old regime still retain power alongside the people they persecuted. Citizens wonder what kind of deals can be reached — and if they can finally trust those in office.
Kelley says, “I think outside mediation is required. I think some of the neighboring countries like Ethiopia,… Egypt to the north, Chad, Central African Republic, Uganda — all of these are bordering countries of Sudan and they need to step into this situation. At the end of the day, when a civil war breaks out in Sudan, it spills over into Chad. Egypt is affected by it [and] Ethiopia – they all get affected by it.”
Surrounding governments need to step in and say they stand against practices of genocide and other war atrocities. Kelley emphasizes there must be a united front that proclaims these things will not be allowed to continue in the Horn of Africa.
Surrounding the Church
Politics will play out on the global stage, but the problem of Sudan goes much deeper. The fear of the people needs to be replaced with trust in Christ.
Kelley says the Western Church needs to help bolster Christians in Sudan and equip them with the peace and confidence of the Gospel.
There are very few opportunities for Gospel training in Sudan. The strength that comes through years of discipleship under mature leaders is difficult to come by. “It’s a mile-wide and an inch-deep,” Kelley states. “Under that situation, if that continues, genocide, ethnic cleansing will continue because the immature church is not strong enough to stand up against that.”
World Mission works alongside local believers in Sudan, equipping them with Bibles and other oral training tools to reach and disciple people for Christ.
But the call for help extends beyond that. Kelley continues, “In the West, our role is to come alongside of them. I think there’s a tremendous opportunity in leadership training. Most of these areas don’t have access to seminaries [or] to any kind of training and equipping. Most of the people leading the churches haven’t had any kind of … pastoral training.”
Please pray that God would raise up trustworthy and mature Christian leaders in Sudan. Ask the Lord of the harvest to heal broken families and communities with the power of the Gospel.
Learn more about how you can help World Mission bring audio Scriptures to Sudan here.
Header photo courtesy of World Mission.