Posts Tagged ‘united nations’

Militiaman

Militiaman

El Genina: In the first century AD John wrote what he saw in his Apocalypse, which is also translated Revelation. He writes, in the 6th chapter and 8th verse, “And I looked, and behold, a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death; and Hell followed with him.” Last week in Darfur in one of the hundreds of dusty IDP camps a man in a plastic tent stated this to us, “The Devils on Horseback came and burned our village, raped our women, and killed us all.” These horsemen he was speaking about are the Janjaweed, which translated means, “Devils on Horseback”. Since 2003 the Janjaweed, who are apart of and supported by the Khartoum government, have carried out a campaign of terror on the people of Darfur. For the last two years all official numbers, according to the UN has stayed at 70,000 dead with 2,000,000 displaced from their homes; but in a recent statement a UN official said there were as many as 180,000 dead and even more likely the number was five times as high as the initial 70,000 figure making it over 350,000 dead (*In 2008 estimates place this figure at over 400,000 dead and counting.)

Tim

Tim

When we arrived in Darfur the Janjaweed were attacking NGO workers in the region, which forced, two days earlier, an evacuation of all Aid workers out of the region except El Genina. The situation was tense and the motivation of the Janjaweed was obvious—get rid of the aid workers, AU (African Union) and UN, and then the genocide can continue without restrictions. We use the word “genocide”, but the UN official position is that the Darfur crisis is only “Crimes against humanity” and not “genocide”. If they were to call it genocide they would be forced to act militarily, something neither they nor the AU is willing to due. So, in a haunting similarity Darfur is becoming like Rwanda ’94. Thousands of people continue to die and we will read about it in Time and Newsweek and we will wonder, “Why didn’t anyone help?”

In the IDP camps the Darfurans told us their stories and when asked why they thought this was happening to them they replied, “Because we are black. The Arabs who are all Janjaweed said they will kill all blacks in Darfur and rape our women to get ride of the black.” We then asked, “But you are Muslim and they are Muslim doesn’t that make you brothers?”
“No!” came the response with convicted anger, “They say because we are not Arab we are not truly Muslim.”

Days later we traveled on helicopter missions with the AU to the border regions and to villages that had been a recent flash point of Janjaweed attacks. On one such mission we came face to face with a Janjaweed member. He dawned a green military uniform of North Sudan and brandished a whip in his hand. When asked about the insecurity in the area he pointed to the crowd in a harsh motion and said to the crowd of Darfurans around him, “Let anyone raise his hand if there is insecurity in this village.” Out of fear everyone ducked his or her heads. There are many more things to speak about the Darfur crisis, but what is the conclusion for us who believe in Christ Jesus?

Rider

Rider

Well again in Revelation 19:11 it speaks of another horseman: “And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True: and in righteousness He judges and wages war.” This horseman is Christ Jesus at His second coming. The Darfurans have been slaughtered by an evil upon a horse, and may they now know that they have a vindicator that will come upon a horse; one that is Faithful and True and who will fight the enemy—the Devil.

But how will they know about the one who is called Faithful and True without a preacher? Blessed are the feet of him who brings the Good News. May you read this and realize the Lord has use of you to speak to all mankind, especially those who have never heard the message of he who is named Faithful and True.  Amen.

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The invisible north/south border of Sudan was a wasteland. Heat, drought, echoes of war; it had every look of what the end of the world might be like.  We were based in a small village called Mariel Bai and we’d been here for two weeks.  The airstrip and shortwave radio were the only contact to the outside.  Things like plastic, straight wood, and meat were prized commodities.  The people here were the generation who’d survived the war.  Most were of the Dinka tribe and they had little knowledge of the outside world.  The knowledge they did have, was of things like Land Cruisers, AK-47 rifles, Anatov bombers, the UN world food program, and cotton shirts. They were wise survivalists who learned to live amidst the face of war.

UN Food Drop Plane in Sudan

So far ministry had been good and we were able to pray for the sick and see many receive Jesus.  Things were so good in fact on the ministry side we seemed to forget we were loosing weight by the double digits. From the look of things, Will was weighing in at a gaunt 120-130 lbs., I seemed to be doing a little better.  You burn through body fat like a torch through ice cream when you are consisting on only one small plate of beans and rice a day.  The source of life for everyone in this area came from the WFP (world food program) airdrops.  Farming was nil, the threat of famine was high, and so whenever we heard that sound of the Hercules cargo plane we’d grin and rush out to the airfield.

One evening, as the sun was getting lower on the horizon, we heard a deep rumble in the distance. Everyone knew what it was and it was quite a phenomenon to watch the village freeze in place, look blankly to the sky, and wait for the noise to get louder.  If it got louder it meant the load was coming our way, if it faded it meant it was headed elsewhere.  Each person cocked their ear to the sky as if they were in trance.  No one made a peep.  The rumble grew into a roar and we all leapt to our feet and ran to the trucks.  The Cargo plane screamed overhead out pacing us to the drop zone and we drove hard and fast.  The Hercules aircraft stalled almost to a stop, pointed its nose to the sky and rained down food.  It did this routine for a couple of passes.  Our group hustled for the falling wooden pallets that support the food in the aircraft because it was good wood for construction.  The sacks of grain were guarded by the SPLA for later distribution and everyone went away happy because the food had come.

Woman & Child Awaiting Food Aid

On our way home Will rides in the back of a pick-up cruising along at a fast pace.  The driver notices a dip in the dirt road and swerves to avoid it, Will lurched back and falls out of the truck like a scuba diver going backwards into the water.  Dirt plumes fly up from his impact and the driver slams on the brakes when he notices what has happened.  Will lays on the ground for a few seconds and then miraculously stands to his feet.  Dazed, confused, his head hit hard.  “Sorry, sorry…are you okay?”  Are the first words he hears from the driver as they rush to him.  He has trouble speaking and asks if his head is bleeding.  We get him back to the compound at dusk and he starts to loose his memory.  It’s getting concerning.  How do you deal with head trauma in the middle of nowhere?  Better believe in healing.  We prayed for William and patch up his wounds.  He was confused for the night and we kept him awake and talking.

The next morning we set out for ministry and within days William is completely healed!

On our journeys around the world we have been in dangerous, desperate, and hostile situation, but God has brought us through the all.  Even when a life could have been taken the Lord sustained us and kept us going.  Our safety and survival is also credited to you!  Your prayers and intercession have protected us and helped us in everyway and we ask that you would continue as we prepare for another major gospel expedition.