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It's been two weeks now since I returned from south Sudan and I've hardly had time to catch my breath. I was barely home for a week, when I had to jump on another plane bound for northern Vancouver Island (which, for those of you unfamiliar with Canada, is pretty much as far west as you can go in this country). I love that part of the world. The mountains, forests, clean air, and (most importantly in February) NO SNOW!

In a little town called Bowser on Vancouver Island, there lives one of the sweetest couples that I know. Jerry and Jeanette are probably one of VOM's most proactive supporters. Having heard Richard Wurmbrand, himself, a number of years ago, they have taken it upon themselves to be a voice for the voiceless in their region of British Columbia. They believe in the power of prayer. They regularly write to and on behalf of prisoners of faith, organize meetings for VOM speakers, attend our conferences and often send emails to our staff, asking questions and offering words of encouragement. It is rare that I come to an event in the Vancouver area and do not run across one or both of them.

It was a pleasure for me to stay with Jerry and Jeanette in their home again last weekend and to share with them how God has been working in my life, the life of the mission, and in the lives of our persecuted brothers and sisters in the Lord. They rejoiced when they heard of God bringing people to Himself in restricted and hostile nations of the world and they grieved when I told them of the suffering I witnessed in Sudan a week earlier. They are the type of people that remind me why I do what I do. They are those whom I remember when I am privileged to extend a hand of compassion to persecuted Christians in various nations and say, "This comes from your brothers and sisters in Canada."

Jerry and Jeanette's name were among those I gave to Dr. John Garang on January 20th, when I presented to the leader of the SPLA the signed apology forms collected by VOM. On behalf of many Canadians from across the country, I apologized to the leader of the people of south Sudan for having contributed to the suffering of the southern Sudanese people through our country's involvement in the oil industry in Sudan. I asked if he would forgive us for this wrong and accept our heartfelt apology. Visibly moved, Dr. Garang stood, took the apology forms from my hand and graciously shook my hand and expressed his gratitude for this gesture and his appreciate for our efforts on behalf of the people of south Sudan. He promised to share this apology with the people of southern Sudan, to let them know of our solidarity with them. We promised him that we would continue to pray for him and for a just and sustainable peace in Sudan.

It was only an apology, but it was the right thing to do. Did it feed the hungry? Did it stop another bomb from falling on a school, marketplace, church, or feeding centre and cutting down children with shards of shrapnel? Did it cause the government of Sudan to rewrite the constitution acknowledging the religious rights of all of Sudan's citizens to worship according to their own conscience? No on all accounts. But it was the right thing to do and that it is all of the justification that it needs. It was an apology given by ordinary, God-loving people like Jeanette and Jerry in Bowser, British Columbia. I praise God for every one of you who joined them in extending this act of repentance to our brothers and sisters in this war torn nation. It was an honour to be your representative.

(Note: the feature article in the April edition of The Voice of the Martyrs Newsletter will focus on VOM's latest ministry trip to south Sudan. Don't miss a single issue of this free one-of-a-kind publication. Subscribe today online at https://www.vomcanada.com/nlorder.htm).

Country Information

Population
43,120,843 (July 2018 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Sudanese Arab (70), Fur, Beja, Nuba and Fallata (30)

Religion
Sunni Muslim, small Christian minority

Leader
President (to be determined)
Transitional leadership in place

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system of Islamic law and English common law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Sudan

Pray that Christians throughout Sudan will continue to entrust themselves to Christ and preach the Gospel boldly, knowing Jesus is the ruler over the kings of the earth (2 Timothy 1:7-12, Revelation 1:5).

Pray also that peace, justice and religious freedom may be firmly established.

end

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Sudan News

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    Botrous Badawi - Photo: Morning Star News www.morningstarnews.org
    Botrous Badawi recovering in hospital.
    Photo: Facebook via Morning Star News

    Masked gunmen attacked a government religious affairs worker on the night of July 2nd, threatening to kill him for supporting the return of church properties to Christian communities. Botrous Badawi, a Christian and advisor

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  • Christian Leader Beaten for Protesting Church Burning
    Wood carver in Sudan - Photo: Flickr/Claudiovidri
    Wood carver in Sudan
    Photo: Flickr/Claudiovidri

    The ninth church building within the past two years was set ablaze in Sudan on January 3rd, 2021. In the weeks leading up to the recent arson attack, hate messages against the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) in the rural Tambul area of Al Jazirah stat

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  • Three Young Christians Assaulted
    Khartoum
    The city of Khartoum

    Three young Christians were assaulted in a suburb north of Khartoum on October 6th because of their faith in Christ. Levi Hakim, 17, had entered a shop when a Muslim man grabbed him and dragged him behind a mosque. There, two others joined in the attack, declaring their disdain f

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  • Apostasy Laws Abolished
    Sudanese people and flags
    Photo: Voice of America

    After more than 30 years of Islamist rule, Sudan has passed a series of legal reforms. Two major changes involved the abolishment of public flogging and the repeal of apostasy laws for those leaving Islam. Other regulations relate to the consumption of alcohol, female mutilati

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