YWAM Middle East

 

Blessings from the beautiful nation of Sudan (called Cush in the Bible!) Though at the moment it may not be easy for you to visit us, please pray for our nation and us.

PEOPLE:

Population: 35.4 million.
5 million live in the capital city of Khartoum. The population is made up of Sudanese Arab (70%), Fur, Beja, Nuba, Fallata.
The languages used are Arabic (official), English (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, Fur.

Most Sudanese are Sunni Muslim, with a small Christian minority.

Sudan is ranked 9th in the world for maternal deaths (730 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)) and has a fairly high infant mortality rate.

260 000 people are living with aids – ranked 22 in the world, with 12 000 deaths related to HIV AIDS per year.

Sudan is one of the least obese places in the world and in our region of the Middle East. However, on the other end of the scale, 31% of children are underweight – 12th in the world.

Most children only attend 4 years of school but literacy over 15 years is around 70%.

Sudan

Sudan is a nation that has been torn apart by internal conflict, often as a result of the ethnically Arab central government in Khartoum trying to impose itself harshly on the various non-Arab tribes.

This led to 30 years of civil war between North and South, resulting in South Sudan becoming an independent nation in 2011. Ongoing conflict in Darfur and other areas leave the country in a permanent state of instability, with many living as refugees.

Most Sudanese are Muslim and the country is controlled by Sharia law. About 5% of the population is Christian. However many Muslims and Christians also hold to tribal religious beliefs and witchcraft.

In 2013 Sudan expelled all foreign missionaries, including many YWAMers. However, the local Christian community hasn’t collapsed but are standing firm in their faith and finding new and creative ways to reach out to their neighbors and the unreached tribes of Sudan.

PLACE:

Sudan has a very hot and dry climate, arid desert and a rainy season that varies by region (April to November).  It is generally flat, with featureless plains and desert in the north. The country suffers from dust storms and periodic persistent droughts.  Sudan has limited natural resources.

The White and Blue Nile Rivers flow and merge in Khartoum, which is quite a spectacle to see.  

Since independence from Britain in 1956, a north-south war has dominated Sudan's history, pitting Arab Muslims in the northern desert against black Christians and Animists in the southern wetlands. Muslim Arabs control the government in Khartoum, but are only about 39 percent of the population. Blacks, or Africans, make up 52 percent of Sudanese, and are most numerous in southern and western Sudan. The country is further divided with hundreds of Black, Arab, and non-Arab ethnicities, tribes, and languages.

Sudan's political history has been unstable. Gen. Muhammad Nimeiri, who seized control in the 1970s, was deposed in 1985. In 1989 another military coup, led by then -Col. Omar al-Bashir, toppled the elected government. The military dictatorship, so far, has been incapable of stopping the civil war. Its intensity rose with the discovery and exploitation of oil fields in the south. In 2004 a rebel uprising by blacks in western Sudan's Darfur region brought army reprisals, creating 100,000 refugees. Pro-government Arab militias carried out systematic killings of Darfur's blacks—which are mostly Muslim.

Sudan is an extremely poor country that has experienced protracted social conflict, civil war, and, in July 2011, the loss of three-quarters of its oil production due to the secession of South Sudan.

Ongoing conflicts in Southern Kordofan, Darfur, and the Blue Nile states, lack of basic infrastructure in large areas, and reliance by much of the population on subsistence agriculture keep close to half of the population at, or below, the poverty line.

Long Term Opportunities

YWAM has been in Sudan for almost 15 years with many Sudanese attending DTSs or further training.  

The situation is difficult now and it would not be helpful for foreigners to re-enter Sudan to engage with the Sudanese YWAMers there (it would be dangerous for the Sudanese YWAMers).

There are however numerous possibilities to work with communities of Sudanese in neighbouring countries like Egypt and South Sudan and Uganda.

Though it seems difficult now, we trust God that the doors will be open again for:
  • Reaching out
  • Making Disciples
  • Training
  • Kings Kids
  • Mercy ministry
  • Ministering to refugees
  • Community development
  • Preschools and children’s' ministry
  • Prayer and worship
  • Business

RANDOM FACTS:

Sudan is about a quarter of the size of the United States, making it Africa's largest country and the 10th largest country in the world.

The official languages spoken in the country are English and Arabic though the locals speak over a hundred different languages.

The ox-driven water wheel that has been in operation since 400 BC still plays a vital role in the economy of the country.

Language Learning


Arabic is the main language used here.
There may be opportunities for studying Arabic in universities or institutes in Khartoum.
However it is probably better to study Arabic outside Sudan (in Egypt) to prepare for ministry in Sudan.

 

Visas


It is possible to apply for a tourist visa for Sudan but the process can be difficult, expensive and slow. Tourists without an invitation will need to book in to a hotel for some days, increasing the cost.

Due to security concerns YWAM Sudan and church leaders would be unlikely to send an invitation for foreigners to visit.

 

Cost of Living

Food is comparable in cost to the USA or Europe (which is extremely expensive for a Sudanese person).

 

Travel

A number of airlines fly in to Khartoum. There are internal flights though some local airlines have poor safety records. Overland travel is usually very slow and only for the adventurous. For travel to Darfur an extra permit is required.

 

Short Term

The government in Sudan would watch closely any foreigners entering the country. Therefore prayer trips or outreach trips that are not connected to local ministries would be appropriate. Connecting to local Christians inside the country could endanger them.

 

Security Situation

Khartoum is relatively safe and stable. Other areas are generally OK but up to date information should be sought before travel.

 

Who to talk to

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