On 15th April 2023, fighting broke out between rival factions of the military government of Sudan, the RSF (Rapid Support Forces) and SAF (Sudanese Armed Forces). I spoke to Aboud and Nunu to find out how their family in Sudan are coping and how we can be praying for them and for the nation of Sudan.
“We just put our hope in the Lord.”
Was their response when I asked them how they were doing. Nunu had four brothers living in Sudan but one of her brothers was killed towards the beginning of the conflict and her widowed sister-in-law is still living in Khartoum with her four children.
In Khartoum, the RSF are scattered all around houses where civilians live and are dressed like civilians so the SAF does not differentiate between the RSF and civilians and are killing both. The government has warned civilians not to leave their homes, but if they don’t go out, they won’t find food. Nunu’s brother was killed when he went out to look for food for the family. Another of Nunu’s brothers in Khartoum has a phone but when I spoke to Aboud and Nunu, they had been unable to contact him for the past two days. The day before we spoke, there had been heavy fighting in Khartoum that left 22 people dead and more than 30 injured.
Sudan has been in an economic crisis for a long time so families do not have savings, people have to go out each day to earn money for the food they need, they can’t just grab something from the shop. Right now, Aboud and Nunu’s sister-in-law doesn’t have any water. Last week she tried to find a day job to earn some money to feed the children but now it’s difficult for her to go out again because the fighting is all around her home. When the war broke out Aboud and Nunu were able to send small amounts of money but that is now all gone. One of Nunu’s brothers who is a full-time evangelist has fled with his family to a village near Khartoum, they now need to start a business to earn some money in order to feed their family and survive.
Hospitals are all out of service because the military and rebel militia have used the hospital facilities as their bases. There is no oxygen or kidney dialysis and people are dying from illnesses such as diarrhoea, malaria or any sickness that would require medical treatment. Children and older people are especially vulnerable and many are dying at home.
There is no humanitarian access, no food, no protection.
There is no way for aid to get into Khartoum, instead people have to try to get out by any means and get aid at refugee camps. Some who have family in the diaspora have managed to get out but to get to Port Sudan, South Sudan or Egypt you need a huge amount of money to pay people traffickers, at least $100 per person.
What about the church?
When I asked about the church in Sudan, Aboud said that many church leaders have fled to Ethiopia, Port Sudan and South Sudan so there is no clear leadership of the church at this time. In the second week of the war the army burned an evangelical church in Khartoum and the market around it. Aboud knows of a small group from YWAM who are still on the ground in Khartoum but there is no way of contacting them to find out how they are doing.
How can we pray?
I asked Aboud how we can pray and he responded
“Our only prayer is for God to touch the hearts of the leaders to stop the war.”
Chad, Congo, south Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt are all full of Sudanese. Even those who have escaped to Egypt are still suffering and sleeping on the streets. If there is peace, people want to return to their homes. The only way for people’s lives to be restored is for peace.”
Please pray especially for Nunu and Aboud’s sister-in-law and her children, that God will provide for them and take care of them.
You can read more about Anoud and Nunu, their heart for Sudan and how they came to the UK here.