Inside Out 61: God at Work in Sudan

04.13.11 | Martha Manikas-Foster

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 Though I am older than he, I can only imagine that it was the same outdated map of Africa that we were both assigned to memorize back then.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.

Comments

Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 04.13.11 Dan Graber commented

You covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time. I liked the mix of history, peace, political situation, prayer, and some of Darren's personal history, church involvement and connections including family and living in Darfur. I would have liked to hear more about the actual work Catholic Charities is doing. I liked that both interviewer and interviewee were prepared and there was not a lot of pausing - better use of my time. Good questions and good answers. The pace may be too fast for some people to whom Sudan is an unfamiliar topic. Both persons were easily understood.

on 04.13.11 BEVERLY HERCYK commented

BEING THAT I AM DARREN'S MOTHER I HUNG ON HIS EVERY WORD.IT IS WONDERFUL WORK THAT CATHOLIC RELIEF DOES AND OF COURSE WE ARE SO PROUD OF DARREN AND HIS FAMILY WHO SUPPORT HIM. SUDAN IS A VERY COMPLICATED COUNTRY AND SO MANY ISSUES TO SORT OUT.GREAT INTERVIEW !!

on 04.14.11 Ray Timmermans commented

From a "programmatic" standpoint I found the information presented simply excellent. However, I was wondering throughout if this wouldn't be the type of thing to make into a presentation for use in individual churches for their respective missions considerations. The reason I say thia is because I the surrounding programming at WCIK is, well, "light-weight" when compared to this and I suspect for many would be a dial turner--that is Christians who are still drinking spiritual milk. Don't get me wrong. I believe it is ESSENTIAL programming and Darren's comments gave me information I had not heard before. I think the programming surrounding things like Inside Out could afford to be "meatier" --then listening to something like this would not be as shocking to the spiritual senses (as I suspect it is for many--albeit necessary!)It is always good to get the perspective of what's happening from a "man on the ground." Blessings to Darren and his work at Catholic relief services and to you, Martha, for making this necessary information known.

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Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.

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