How in the world did a Lutheran pastor in Khartoum, Sudan, a man from Darfur and a Presbyterian woman from New Wilmington, Pennsylvania become coworkers in God’s mission?
God has a beautiful way of weaving together the most unlikely partnerships to share the Good News of Jesus. I live in a small town in western Pennsylvania, and I spend a lot of time working with a Lutheran pastor, Joe, (who is also an accountant) in Khartoum, Sudan. He, in turn, is spending a lot of time encouraging Bible school students and their families. Together we’re mobilizing our communities to raise funds for Darfur Outreach, providing these families with tuition and housing and giving them the opportunity for better education so they can return to Darfur and lead house churches. And only God could make these connections.
The Bible school where Joe works is comparable to a community college in the U.S. The school intentionally brings in students from unreached ethnic groups in more rural areas. Due to conflict and poverty, these students have had less access to a consistent or quality education, so the school has found ways to fill in their educational gaps. They also teach the students English, which makes them more marketable for a steady job—necessary to support their families since they don’t receive incomes as pastors.
In addition to keeping the school’s financial records, Joe also helps the students integrate into the community and workforce once they return to Darfur. He provides a great support system and helps new graduates figure out how to make a living and learn how to pastor.
Sam, a recent graduate, has a passion to teach orphans. There are over 700,000 orphans in Darfur, and education isn’t free. A family member gave land to Sam, and he wants to build a school on it for orphans. Joe advised him that building and maintaining a school would be very expensive in Darfur, especially since there wouldn’t be any income from student tuition. He advised Sam to continue pastoring and find a job that can give him experience to achieve his goal. They’re continuing to ask God for guidance, and we’re standing alongside them in prayer to see where God leads.
We don’t know what the future holds for this struggling region of the world, but partnerships like these keep me hopeful. I know if God can bring together people like Joe, Sam and me, He’ll continue to mobilize His Church to share the message of His Kingdom with those who haven’t yet heard.
—Denise Sciuto, Associate Director