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“I Never Heard Anything Like This”

South Sudan
This family, along with thousands of others, lives among the rocks of the Nuba Mountains to escape daily bombings by the military.

After years of fighting in Sudan, the southern part of the country became a new nation in 2011. The new country was called South Sudan, and it was independent from Sudan.

But the fighting has not stopped.

Christians are driven from their homes in the Nuba Mountain region. They flee with little more than the clothes on their backs. Many families walk for days to reach refugee camps in South Sudan.

Readers of the website and The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter have sponsored Action Packs to help the Christians. VOM received a message from one of the women who received a pack. You can read her message below.

“I am 27 years old, a widow with five children: three boys and two girls. The oldest is 10 years old, and the youngest is 18 months old. I am a Christian believer.

“When bombing started in our area, I had a newborn baby who was 7 days old. I was sitting in our house with my kids and my mother. I came out of the house. I wanted to run and hide, but I was shot in my leg and fell down.

“After the bombing stopped, I was taken to the hospital where I spent more than two months. I lost my leg because it was badly injured.

“When I went home, I found my mother and children suffering from hunger and daily bombings. They could not do farming like we used to do when there was peace. We decided to go to a refugee camp.

“[My family found help at the camp]. Then a Christian gave us a home in the camp. But life became difficult to me. I was not the same as when I had two legs. I couldn’t walk to my neighbor’s or do any activities like other people.

“With all that has happened, I still trust God. Last month I was sitting in my house, and someone brought me an Action Pack from the church. He said, “It is a gift from our Christian brothers and sisters in the U.S. who are praying for us.

“This really touched my heart. I never heard anything like this in my life. In the pack I found shoes, clothes for the kids, towels, soap, a bed sheet, and many other items. I used the towels and the sheet to cover my children because they had nothing. I gave one slipper to my mother and the other one to myself. Although I have one leg, I am using it.

“I thank God for the gift that He provided us through VOM. I pray that God be with you and provide to you more abundantly as you continue the good work of supporting the needy in the camp.”


Witnessing on a Tractor

Tractor

How can a tractor help persecuted Christians?

In South Sudan, some of the people worship false gods. Farmers believe they must make the gods happy, or crops will not grow. So the people hold big festivals to honor the false gods.

When the harvest is small, Christians who do not participate in the festivals get blamed. The farmers say that the crops did not go well because the Christians did not honor the false gods.

Christian workers help Christian farmers tend to their crops with a tractor. They hope that the non-believers will understand that the false gods do not make crops grow or fail. They pray that those who worship the gods will come to know the one true god.


Cornmeal Mush and a Toy Fast

 

Many Christians in South Sudan are very poor. One of their foods is somewhat like cornmeal mush. If you want to make something like their mush, mix ¾ cup of flour (or cornmeal) with 1 cup of milk. Boil 1 cup of water, and slowly add the flour mixture to it, stirring constantly as you reduce the heat to low.

Continue stirring, and add an additional ½ cup of flour or cornmeal. Stir until smooth and until the thick dough begins to stick together. Cool the dough. Pull off a lump of the dough, make a dent in it with your thumb, and use it to scoop up stews or sauces, then eat it.


Poor South Sudanese children have few toys. Visitors have seen children playing with a ball made from old, rolled-up socks, and a kite made from string and a piece of a trash bag.

For one day, try not playing with any toy or game that was bought at a store. Do not watch TV or use a computer for entertainment. Pray for poor children in South Sudan.


Cord Holder Prayer Reminder

Cord

You can make a cord holder prayer reminder to remind you to pray for South Sudanese pastors and other persecuted Christians.

Cut contact paper, colored duct tape, or cloth scraps to fit around an empty toilet paper roll. Decorate the roll with the contact paper or duct tape, or attach a cloth scrap to the roll with duct tape trim or decoupage medium.

Glue or tape a Bible verse or prayer reminder note and other decorations to the roll. Or put a verse or reminder on sticker paper or a mailing label to stick on the roll.


Another Bold South Sudanese Believer

Shoes

Pastor Wani was baptized by Pastor Matak. He became an evangelist in a village near where he lived.

Early one Sunday morning, soldiers captured Pastor Wani and threw him in their truck. Then they caught two other pastors and tied them up with Pastor Wani. They hit one of the pastors over the head with his own Bible.

The soldiers put the pastors in prison, where the three Christians decided to make a lot of noise for the Lord. They sang and prayed. Pastor Wani believed that the soldiers were going to kill him. What would you do, say, and think if you thought you had a short time to live? Pastor Wani thought, “They will surely kill me, so I need to share the gospel with everyone in the prison before I die!”

Some of the prisoners who heard the pastors singing later asked to be baptized!

The soldiers did not kill Pastor Wani. Later, they accidentally set him free after they confused him with another prisoner. He returned to the area where the soldiers captured him.

“God has been with me all along,” Pastor Wani told workers from The Voice of the Martyrs. “I continue to preach the word of God to this day.”

(Source: The July The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)