Freeing the Black Jihad Slaves in Sudan

Lord, please have mercy on those enslaved in Sudan. Please use Reaching Africa’s Unreached and others to help free those physically enslaved in Sudan. Help us pray as you instruct us in Hebrews 13:3, “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those mistreated, since you are also in the body.”
 
Lord, help us to passionately proclaim the liberating message of the gospel of Lord Jesus Christ…the gospel which has the power to break the chains of sin and Satan! You Lord are the one who gives liberty to the captives and sets free those who are oppressed. (Luke 4:18-19).
 
Help Reaching Africa’s Unreached testify to the power of the gospel both through our actions and our words. Help us to bear witness to Jesus Christ who changes the world! Help us spread the fame of His Name that He would be worshiped and adored where He is not known!
 
In Jesus Name!
 
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Freeing the Black Jihad Slaves in Sudan

Posted by Charles Jacobs and Sasha Giller Dec 22nd 2010 at 5:49 am

Abuk Ngor Anyuon and Akuc Kiir Deng

If you think that enslaving blacks ended in the 19th century, you are dead wrong. Last week 603 black women and children were freed from the horrors of chattel slavery that to this day exists in Sudan, Africa’s largest country. Christian Solidarity International USA, a Christian human rights organization, frees slaves in Sudan. The stories the freed slaves tell them are simply horrific.

Abuk Ngor Anyuon was forcibly converted to Islam; her genitalia mutilated. Two of her sons were sold off to another master and her finger was cut off. Akuc Kiir Deng also accepted Islam under the threat of death. Akuc was blinded and ritually circumcised, and two of her children were taken from her. Akuot Anei Wol, freed last September, recollects: “I lost my sight in my eye soon after I was captured. I was still just a girl then. My master’s wife was called Howah. She made me grind grain and clean the house. One day, she was angry and accused me of failing to wash the dishes and sweep the floor properly. Howah grabbed a horse whip and struck me in the face. It hit me in the eye. I lost sight immediately. Howah said: “I’ll blind your other eye if you don’t work.”

Slavery in Sudan, a centuries-old phenomenon, gained widespread publicity in the United States in the 90’s. At that time an Arab regime in the Northern Sudan declared a “holy war” (jihad) against the African population of the South, which is largely Christian and animist. Arab militias, sponsored by the government and often joined by the Sudanese army, raided hundreds of villages, executing the men and taking women and children into slavery in the North. Unlike in the American South, slave owners in Sudan do not need the muscles of men to work plantations: they use boys as goat herds, and women for sex and for their wombs, to produce children who will be Muslims.

When confronted with facts of modern-day enslavement of blacks in the 1990’s, many Americans joined the neo-abolitionist movement spearheaded by groups like CSI in Europe and our own American Anti-Slavery Group. Some donated and raised funds to free Sudanese slaves; others participated in demonstrations and lobbied politicians. CSI’s emancipation operations were extensively covered by the media. The movement’s efforts bore fruit when the US-brokered Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) forced the suspension of the slave raids in 2005.

As a consequence, Americans’ interest in Sudanese slaves decreased. Today, when up to 35,000 of blacks are still enslaved by the Arabs in the North, the media has fallen silent on the issue. Human rights giants like Human Rights Watch, which were never particularly helpful, also abandoned these slaves: a simple search of HRW’s website for “Sudan slavery” reveals that its most recent related report dates back to 2003.

As Sudan approaches January 9, 2011 – the day the Southerners are scheduled to vote to remain with the North or to secede – the chances to emancipate those still in bondage become increasingly smaller. Most experts believe the South will vote for independence. No one can predict the Muslim reaction in the North to the South’s choice of freedom. There is the possibility of revenge attacks and acts of violence against the slaves and other Southerners living in the North. Some even think the North-South war might be rekindled.

Yesterday The New York Times reported on a speech given by Sudan’s President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, an indicted war criminal, who promised to impose Islamic Law (Shariah) in the North in case separation. “Shariah and Islam will be the main source for the Constitution, Islam the official religion and Arabic the official language,” he said. Al-Bashir also indicated that in his future state there will be no protection for non-Arab, non-Muslim minorities: “If South Sudan secedes, we will change the Constitution, and at that time there will be no time to speak of diversity of culture and ethnicity.” Interestingly, The New York Times “forgot” to report on his recent statement reflective of the state he envisions. Commenting on the popular YouTube video that shows a woman being flogged in public by the police, Al Bashir said: “If she is lashed according to Shariah law, there is no investigation. Why are some people ashamed? This is Shariah.”

CSI and the AASG are determined to liberate as many slaves as possible before the referendum takes place.

To learn how you can help visit www.iabolish.org.

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See also:
 

Genocide in Sudan

and

THE SCOURGE OF MUSLIM SLAVERY

 

THE REST OF THE STORY

The Crying Need of Modern Missions

This a good follow up article to How Lack of Theological Training in the Developing World Weakens World Missions which was posted on June 8th!
 
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The Crying Need of Modern Missions by Stephen Witmer

Our family has prayed together through the remarkable book Operation World over the last several years. When you engage seriously with that book, you see that the training of indigenous Christian leaders in the nations of the world is one of the crying needs of modern missions. Page after page, country after country, theological education emerges as a critical need.

Without the work of theological education, there won’t be a lasting, effective Christian witness. Thankfully, many fantastic ministries are devoted to this task, including newer ones like Training Leaders International, whose website says for every 450,000 people outside the United States there is only one formally trained church leader.

I’ve never heard a more powerful expression of the importance of international theological education than the one recently shared with me by Jerry Bingham, a passionate, energetic, 72-year-old missionary who serves with Action International in Uganda. Jerry’s story comes from his decade-plus of missionary work in Mexico many years ago. He was involved in film evangelism in southern Mexico and had traveled with two Mayan pastors to a new area so they could show the Jesus film. As was their custom, upon coming to a new village they requested permission to show the film from the village chief.

The chief agreed to let Jerry show the film but commented that there was already a church in the village. Jerry and his companions were surprised and looked around to see the church. They couldn’t see one. The chief ducked into his hut, brought out four machetes, handed them around, and said, “Follow me.” With a number of other tribesmen now following along, Jerry and his team walked about 100 yards into the dense jungle and arrived in an area where they saw a huge mountain of vines growing over something. The reason for the machetes became clear.

After 40 minutes of hacking at the vines, the group uncovered a small building (about 8 feet by 8 feet) with a washed-out white cross on the roof line. Above the chapel door was an inscription: “Iglesia Presbiteriana—1847.” Jerry began to weep aloud. His immediate thoughts were (in his own words): “Do you mean to tell me that the Presbyterians were here in the 1800s with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and these people are now steeped into animism and witchcraft practices?” The work hadn’t borne any lasting fruit.

That day became pivotal for Jerry’s life and ministry. He realized that the crucial piece missing from his ministry was training leaders and so began working in pastoral leadership development, with 2 Timothy 2:2 as an encouragement and guide. His commitment to the long-term health of the church through training leaders continues today through his work in northern Uganda with the largest East African tribe, the Acholi. Jerry explains:

The real need is to train leadership for the church of Jesus Christ. Pastors, youth leaders, children workers. This is what we do in Africa. May we all catch the vision of the need to train our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we follow the teachings in the New Testament of training leadership [who] will in turn train others, who will in turn train others, we will see a great advancement for the gospel of our Lord.

Stephen Witmer is the pastor of Pepperell Christian Fellowship in Pepperell, Massachusetts. He serves on the editorial board of Themelios and is author of the forthcoming Good Book Guide to Jonah.

From the Gospel Coalition blog.

Amy Carmichael’s Dream

Oh that more of us in the church would have such dreams…dreams which spur us on to reach the lost!

Amy Carmichael’s Dream

“The tom-toms thumped straight on all night and the darkness shuddered round me like a living, feeling thing. I could not go to sleep, so I lay awake and looked; and I saw, as it seemed, this:

That I stood on a grassy sward, and at my feet a precipice broke sheer down into infinite space. I looked, but saw no bottom; only cloud shapes, black and furiously coiled, and great shadow-shrouded hollows, and unfathomable depths. Back I drew, dizzy at the depth.

Then I saw forms of people moving single file along the grass. They were making for the edge. There was a woman with a baby in her arms and another little child holding on to her dress. She was on the very verge. Then I saw that she was blind. She lifted her foot for the next step . . . it trod air. She was over, and the children over with her. Oh, the cry as they went over!

Then I saw more streams of people flowing from all quarters. All were blind, stone blind; all made straight for the precipice edge. There were shrieks, as they suddenly knew themselves falling, and a tossing up of helpless arms, catching, clutching at empty air. But some went over quietly, and fell without a sound.

Then I wondered, with a wonder that was simply agony, why no one stopped them at the edge. I could not. I was glued to the ground, and I could only call; though I strained and tried, only whisper would come.

Then I saw that along the edge there were sentries set at intervals. But the intervals were too great; there were wide, unguarded gaps between. And over these gaps the people fell in their blindness, quite unwarned; and the green grass seemed blood-red to me, and the gulf yawned like the mouth of hell.

Then I saw, like a little picture of peace, a group of people under some trees with their backs turned toward the gulf. They were making daisy chains. Sometimes when a piercing shriek cut the quiet air and reached them, it disturbed them and they thought it a rather vulgar noise. And if one of their number started up and wanted to go and do something to help, then all the others would pull that one down. “Why should you get so excited about it? You must wait for a definite call to go! You haven’t finished your daisy chain yet. It would be really selfish,” they said, “to leave us to finish the work alone.”

There was another group. It was made up of people whose great desire was to get more sentries out; but they found that very few wanted to go, and sometimes there were no sentries set for miles and miles of the edge.

Once a girl stood alone in her place, waving the people back; but her mother and other relations called and reminded her that her furlough was due; she must not break the rules. And being tired and needing a change, she had to go and rest for awhile; but no one was sent to guard her gap, and over and over the people fell, like a waterfall of souls.

Once a child caught at a tuft of grass that grew at the very brink of the gulf; it clung convulsively, and it called-but nobody seemed to hear. Then the roots of the grass gave way, and with a cry the child went over, its two little hands still holding tight to the torn-off bunch of grass. And the girl who longed to be back in her gap thought she heard the little one cry, and she sprang up and wanted to go; at which they reproved her, reminding her that no one is necessary anywhere; the gap would be well taken care of, they knew. And then they sang a hymn.

Then through the hymn came another sound like the pain of a million broken hearts wrung out in one full drop, one sob. And a horror of great darkness was upon me, for I knew what it was-the Cry of the Blood.

Then thundered a voice, the voice of the Lord. “And He said, ‘What hast thou done, The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.'”

The tom-toms still beat heavily, the darkness still shuddered and shivered about me; I heard the yells of the devil-dancers and weird, wild shriek of the devil-possessed just outside the gate.

What does it matter, after all? It has gone on for years; it will go on for years. Why make such a fuss about it?

God forgive us! God arouse us! Shame us out of our callousness! Shame us out of our sin!”

Amy Carmichael (December 16, 1867 – January 18, 1951)

Short bibliography of Amy Carmichael

JOY is the heart of missions!

Amen!

 

“The glory of God — and our joy in him— is the heart of mission.

John Piper writes,

The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God. “The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!” (Psalm 97:1). “Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! (Psalm 67:3-4). . . Missions begins and ends in worship.

(Let the Nations Be Glad, 3rd ed. [Grand Rapids: Baker, 2010], 36)

Lesslie Newbigin writes,

There has been a long tradition which sees the mission of the Church primarily as obedience to a command. It has been customary to speak of “the missionary mandate.” This way of putting the matter is certainly not without justification, and yet it seems to me that it misses the point. It tends to make mission a burden rather than a joy, to make it part of the law rather than part of the gospel.

If one looks at the New Testament evidence one gets another impression. Mission begins with a kind of explosion of joy. The news that the rejected and crucified Jesus is alive is something that cannot possibly be suppressed. It must be told. Who could be silent about such a fact?

The mission of the Church in the pages of the New Testament is more like a fallout which is not lethal but life-giving. One searches in vain through the letters of St. Paul to find any suggestion that he anywhere lays it on the conscience of his reader that they ought to be active in mission. For himself it is inconceivable that he should keep silent. “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16). But nowhere do we find him telling his readers that they have a duty to do so. . . .

At the heart of mission is thanksgiving and praise. . . . When it is true to its nature, it is so to the end. Mission is an acted out doxology. That is its deepest secret. Its purpose is that God may be glorified.

(The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society, [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989], 116, 127, emphasis and paragraphing mine)”

From: Joy in God Is the Heart of Mission by Jonathan Parnell (Desiring God )

How Lack of Theological Training in the Developing World Weakens World Missions

In South Sudan...these men are in training to be church planters,pastors, and evangelists in their native land of Darfur (2 Timothy 2:2).
In South Sudan…these men are in training to be church planters,pastors, and evangelists in their native land of Darfur (2 Timothy 2:2).

R.A.U.’s primary goal is to strengthen local churches and pastors so that they can plant churches in the many unreached villages in their geographical region. R.A.U. hopes to do this by bringing pastors, church leaders and planters for retreats and conferences for Biblical encouragement. Most pastors can only get away for short periods time. The R.A.U. compound will also serve as a base of operations to have such conferences throughout North Uganda, South Sudan, Northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, and Lord willing (North) Sudan as well as the surrounding nations. We believe this to be the most effective way for us to help plant churches in the many unreached villages (See 2 Timothy 2:2).

We believe sound Biblical training is paramount for the advancement of the gospel among the unreached. Please pray that we will remain faithful to  follow Jesus words in Matthew 28:18-20,  “And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Emphasis mine)

Matt Perman’s amplifies this point in his blog piece “How Lack of Theological Training in the Developing World Weakens World Missions”:

“Here are two examples from JP Moreland’s excellent book Love Your God with All Your Mind: The

I once attended a meeting of missionaries from around the world, at which a national Christian leader from Central America stood up and passionately exhorted North American mission agencies to stop sending evangelists to his country because their efforts were producing Marxists bent on overthrowing the government.

You could have heard a pin drop in that meeting, and confusion was written on everyone’s face. This leader went on to explain that the leading “Christian” thinkers in his country held to liberation theology, a form of Marxism draped in religious garb. Evangelical missionaries would lead people to Christ, but the liberals were attracting the thinking leaders among the converts and training them in Marxist ideology, which these liberals identified as the true center of biblical theology.

The leader pleaded with North Americans to send more theologians and Bible teachers and to help set up more seminaries and training centers in his country because the need for intellectual leadership was so great.

Here’s the second example:

Recently, I met a man from Fiji who was won to Christ by an evangelical missionary and who, subsequent to conversion, wanted to come to the United States for seminary training.

Unfortunately, there was no money for this sort of “intellectual” development in the evangelical missions strategy there, but theological liberals gave him a scholarship to study at a liberal seminary in Texas.

By the time I met him, he had given up his faith and was going back to Fiji with an extremely secular view of Christianity. His mission: to pastor a church!

Moreland concludes:

If evangelicals placed more value on the mind, we would give more to developing intellectual leadership around the world. Happily, some good things are now being done in this area, but we need to intensify our efforts in this regard, and this will happen only if we evangelicals come to value more fully Christ’s admonitions to be good stewards of the intellectual life”