Waiting for Love

By Ed Lyons

Waiting for Water

A few weeks ago, I was deep into the heart of Sudan’s war-torn Nuba mountains to see for myself the growing crisis of more than 700,000 displaced persons (so far!) flooding into an area already stretched very thin on resources.

Waiting for Surgery

In one community with 20,000 returnees, people waited in line to use the only working well pump. Long rows of plastic jerry cans stretched as far as the eye could see.

Later, I was invited to the Gigaiba Referral Hospital to observe one of several surgeries. As I arrived, people were waiting in long lines to be triaged and sent to the pharmacy, or to the lab to provide blood samples, or to labor and delivery, etc.

Triage Area at Gigaiba Referral Hospital
Preaching at a Delami Church

Later, I was invited to a church which showed all the signs of having been damaged by an earlier bombing. The roof was torn in several places and the walls had gaping holes and were pockmarked with shrapnel. But this did not stop a large number of people from coming to worship and receive the Word of God.

I also visited a school that had likewise been bombed years ago and whose borehole had recently broken. At the start of 2023, there were 250 to 300 students at that school. Now, with the influx of so many returnees, the number of students had grown to over 700 and all were dependent on that borehole for their water.

In all these instances, people waited. They waited for water. They waited for medical treatment. They waited for the Word. But all these lines had something in common: they were all waiting for love— the love of God working through your love in partnership with Persecution Project.

The working wells providing safe water were repaired and maintained… the medicine at Gigaiba Referral Hospital was supplied…. and the audio Bibles were distributed… all through God’s grace, your gifts, and the Persecution Project team.

School Students at Their Newly Repaired Borehole
Medicines Ready for Delivery

Right now, there are many needs faced by the persecuted in Sudan. They need emergency shelter. They need safe water. They need more medicine. But all need the Peace which passes understanding. They need the love of Christ living in their hearts. How do they receive this love? God, in His great love for us, has commissioned us to be His hands and feet. We are the body of Christ working in the world to minister to the parts of the body which have been hurt or damaged.

Waiting on the Lord sometimes requires patience, and the Nuba people have been waiting for a long, long time. But you have heard their cry. You have not turned away the widow and orphan in their distress.

Thanks to you, we can rescue the perishing, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, and feed the hungry. We provide a cup of cold water in Jesus’ Name because you partner with us in active compassion.

Waiting for the Word

I am getting close to the 20-year mark of my time working at Persecution Project. Over this time period, I’ve been able to see the incredible growth of the gospel in Sudan through the Nuba people. Most of the country’s churches and evangelistic outreaches are conducted by Nuba pastors and evangelists. It’s been slightly more than 100 years since the first recorded convert in the Nuba mountains, and there are easily more than three million Nuba now professing Christ.

While the situation in Sudan is currently the worst humanitarian disaster in the world, there is cause for much hope. The love of God, working through the hearts and minds of His followers, is providing physical relief and spiritual hope to literally millions. You are an important part of this work. Let us continue to walk together in service to those who are patiently waiting for love.

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