Sunday, September 2, 2012
Barnabas Launch Major Rescue Effort For Christian Women And Children Trapped in
By Peter Wooding
Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service
(ANS) -- Barnabas Fund is launching a major
rescue operation to airlift 2,000 of the neediest, most vulnerable Christians
stranded and endangered in Sudan to safety and a new life in South Sudan.
The neediest Christian women and children
have been identified for help
Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said: “This is a
major endeavour for Barnabas Fund and our partners in Sudan. When faced with
such tremendous need, it can be overwhelming, but we have a powerful God and
nothing is too difficult for Him. It is an honour for us to be able to help the
most vulnerable Christians get to safety in South Sudan, and I invite you to be
part of this rescue mission through your prayers and gifts.”
According to the UK-based charity the first of 12 chartered flights are due
to leave Khartoum for Juba on September 7th.
Approximately 800 women, around two-thirds of whom are widows, and 1,200
children will be transported from the outskirts of the Sudanese capital, where
they have been living in makeshift shelters and dire conditions for many months,
to the South. Recent heavy rain in Khartoum has caused flooding, making their
plight even worse.
They are among hundreds of thousands of people of Southern origin, who remain
trapped in Sudan, having been stripped of their citizenship after the South
voted to secede.
Christian families are living in makeshift shelters, which have been
flooded by heavy rain
Given a deadline to leave, many have now made their own way to South Sudan, but
the poorest and most vulnerable do not have the resources to transport
themselves and their families.
Reverend Lanny Arense, International Director of Inland Mission International
said: “In Christ we are all one. Part of our body is hurting and I believe it is
only right that we invest our resources to help those brothers and sisters in
need. I am happy to commend Barnabas Fund to you as they seek to act on our
behalf in this project.”
According to Barnabas Fund one such family being helped is Agnes, a widow,
and her three children, who have been living in a small tent at one of the camps
outside Khartoum. She cannot get work and the children cannot go to school,
leaving them helpless and without any prospects.
The charity says as well as being impoverished, Christians remaining in Sudan
are extremely vulnerable, as Islamist President Omar al-Bashir has made it clear
that they are not welcome in the country. He has repeatedly declared his
intention to make the next constitution 100% Islamic and strengthen sharia law.
Barnabas Fund was asked by Africa Inland Church – Sudan, through Friends of
Sudan, to help with the repatriation of 2,000 Christians; church and community
leaders have identified those most in need. The South Sudanese government has
set up temporary reception facilities in Juba, where the returnees can stay for
a time before making their way to extended family connections around the
country. The Church in South Sudan has also been making preparations to help
with the practical needs of the arrivals.
Africa Inland Church Bishop John Kongi explains: “The impact of our support
for this project will be that of goodwill done to people who have come to think
that they have been forgotten by the wider Christian community. They quote cases
where Muslim organisations come to the aid of their fellow Muslims in Sudan and
ask ‘Why can’t the Churches and Christians extend a helping hand?’ We are
grateful to Barnabas for making this project possible and commend them to you
for your generous giving.”
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|Peter Wooding is an award-winning TV, radio and print
journalist and media consultant under the name of Peter Wooding Productions (www.peterwoodingproductions.com).
Having previously spent 10 years as news editor with UCB Radio in the UK, he has
travelled extensively reporting from countries including Russia, Serbia,
Ukraine, Dubai, South Korea, Zambia, Gambia, Mozambique, Croatia, Israel and
India. He now reports regularly for CBN News, ASSIST News Service, GDOP London,
Russian Ministries, Whispering Word and Sorted Magazine. Peter and wife Sharon
live in North Wales, UK with their three children. Passionate to see God’s
Justice and Mercy impact lives, Peter is director of a new UK ministry Mercy
Projects International (www.mercyproject.org.uk)
to help at-risk young people in Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Kosovo, the Middle
East and beyond. Contact Peter for consultation at:
email@example.com or tel. +44 1244 549167/+44 7500 903067
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