Bombs rain down on villagers in the Nuba Mountains each week as the Sudanese government continues its campaign to kill or expel the Nuba people. While many of the region’s residents are Muslim, a faithful remnant of Christians remains, unwilling to leave their homes and determined to maintain their Christian presence in the southern part of Sudan.
VOM has assisted Christians affected by the conflict in Sudan since the 1990s, and in recent years our work has focused specifically on supporting Christians in the Nuba Mountains, where they have been under intense attack since mid-2011. This area contains the largest population of Christians remaining in Sudan and VOM is one of the few Christian organisations still working in the area. Over the years we have been able to provide medicine, blankets and life packs as well as Christian literature and support for evangelists.
Bibles have been a great encouragement
The distribution of Bibles in the Nuba Mountains began several years ago, after field workers assessed the needs of the churches in the area and recognised the huge need for Bibles in every church they visited. Sudanese Christians have reported that the Bibles have been a great encouragement to pastors, church leaders and congregations. The gift of God’s Word has helped them realise they are not alone and that believers around the world are standing with them. As a result of reading God’s Word, they reported they have changed the way they think about God and even some Muslims have accepted Christ.
Last year, VOM distributed 23,105 Bibles and New Testaments in Sudan translated into the tribal languages. One of the Bibles went to Lufti, an 18-year-old who had converted from Islam to Christianity. Growing up, he never understood Islam or the Koran and he considered it a waste of time.
Lufti was introduced to Christ in primary school and secretly became a believer. He knew that his family would be extremely upset when they discovered he was a Christian, but he was not deterred. “My father was very tough when it came to matters of faith,” he said.
Remain in Islam or face the consequences
Lufti’s father soon learned of his son’s new faith and called a family meeting, even inviting several Muslim religious leaders. They confronted Lufti with a difficult ultimatum. “You must choose between serving the so-called Christ and dropping out of school, or remaining in Islam and we will continue to pay for your school fees,” his father threatened.
Lufti made the decision that he would not exchange serving Christ merely for the promise of an education. When his family learned that he would not change his faith, they declared he was no longer part of the family and that he should leave their home immediately. But Lufti stood firm. “Whether or not you abandon me, whether you pay my school fees or not, I am for Christ and I will not go back to Islam,” he told them.
Just as they had warned, his family turned him out of the house and stopped paying his school fees. For a young boy in Sudan, this could have been devastating. But Lufti was steadfast in his faith in Christ and continues to attend school as much as he is able, aided by donations to pay for his education. “It is better this way than going back to Muslim teachings,” Lufti said.
Lufti expressed his gratitude to the VOM partners who gave him his Bible. “This will turn my faith and love for Christ around,” he shared, “as I believe in every word written in the Bible. I pray that the Lord will help me to practise what is written here in my Bible, and I trust that one day my family will come to know the Christ that I serve.”
Please join with us in prayer for young men and women like Lufti who have come to know the fullness of salvation through Christ Jesus. Pray that their faith will remain strong and that God will supply their everyday needs.
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