“The same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5).
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Christians face internal conflicts in South Sudan
Sudanese refugees recently celebrated Christmas in Egypt. (Photo courtesy of e3 Partners/8thirty8)
South Sudan (MNN) — Africa’s newest country and the world’s newest state is the site of extreme violence brought on by internal conflicts.
According to BBC News, at least 1000 people have been killed since mid-December. Many of these are civilians. More than 200,000 people have left their homes due to the fighting and mass killings.
e3 Partners shares on their Facebook page the reactions of two pastors in the midst of the violence. One pastor plans to get his family to a safe place along with the thousands of other South Sudanese fleeing the region. Then he wants to return to minister in South Sudan.
The other pastor says, “I am fully convinced that this is the best time for evangelism, missions, and discipleship here in South Sudan, regardless of the risks. God has already taken care of them. Now is the time to preach about the Sovereignty of God in suffering, God’s grace in our sufferings, and why God appoints suffering for His saints. HOPE…the best of things! Waiting for the morning, during the long night of weeping.”
Many Christians see the darkness of trials as the place where God’s light shines the brightest. They do not falter because they know the importance of God’s work, and they rely on His strength.
According to The Christian Post, Roman Catholic Priests and Protestant pastors in S. Sudan are doing their best to protect both the Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups. Some are opening their homes and risking their lives to save these people, ignoring the danger they are in. The division between the Dinka and Nuer is often credited with the heightened violence, including mass killings.
e3’s Facebook page, 8thirty8, is founded on Roman’s 8:38-39 — “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The hope is that Christians will pray at 8:38 pm each day before they go to bed. Many Christians are just getting ready to face a new day of trial and persecution while we in the West are preparing to lie down for a peaceful sleep.
As you watch other believers step up and do Kingdom work despite the risks, consider how you can be involved in a big way. e3′s mission for this region is to plant as many healthy churches in Sudan as they can, so that the discipleship can occur right in the country.
e3 encourages Christians to pray for their fellow believers in South Sudan, who on top of persecution by Muslims must now face this deadly war. Pray also for those remaining in South Sudan to reach many ears with the Gospel truths.
e3 recognizes that at this moment, Muslims around the world are more open to the Gospel than they ever have been. Don’t waste that opportunity. If you’d like to support e3 in a tangible way, check out their “Get Involved” page.