May 22, 2013 |
Inside Out 61: God at Work in Sudan
In July 2011, the world will welcome a new nation. That's because in January 2011, the African nation of Sudan voted---peacefully---to divide into two countries. The southern portion of the country will become an independent nation, the final result of the historic 2005 accord that ended the war between the north and the south. It was that peace accord that established the referendum that made secession an option for the south.
The map of Africa has changed more times than I can count since I was compelled to memorize its political boundaries in middle school, so I don't pretend to know much about Sudan. The country's long-lasting civil war, however, and its ongoing conflict in Darfur, has brought my attention back time and again to this country in northeast African that had been at war with itself for three quarters of its history. Between 1983 and 2005 over 2 million people died in the south and over 4 million others were displaced. The conflict that still rages in the western region of Darfur breaks my heart.
I wanted us to learn more about Sudan than I could read on the internet. I wanted to hear from someone "on the ground" in Sudan, to learn how God's church has been at work and how people outside of Sudan can pray for both the peace and the people of this country. Darren Hercyk agreed to join me for a discussion from Sudan's capital, Khartoum, where he serves with Catholic Relief Services as its country representative. Darren has served in international relief and development since 2001. He lived in a number of counties with great need---countries like Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and Pakistan---before moving to Sudan in 2009. When he and his family travel to the United States, they spend their time in Bath, NY. That's where he and I went to school together. Though I am older than he, I can only imagine that it was the same outdated map of Africa that we were both assigned to memorize back then. How things change---and continue to change. As of July, even today's maps will be pieces of history.
Learn more about some of the peace making in Sudan.