Sudan is a country that has seen large amounts of war and trauma. It is currently going through another time of unrest and upheaval. After mass demonstrations in April this year, President Omar Al-Bashir was removed from office by the military. Since then the military have run the country which is something the citizens have been peacefully protesting about, asking for a citizen run administration with elections. During peaceful protests the military opened fire and it is estimated more than 100 were killed with bodies being pulled out of the Nile with concrete blocks tied to their legs. These are not acts of protection, but of suppression. Not to be bowed by fear and oppression, peaceful protesters across the country are out again but now in greater numbers. Sudan is going through a time of change and it needs our prayers.
In March 2019, our North Africa office was contacted by an evangelical church group from Sudan who asked whether they would be able to come and do the 3-day Future Leaders training course at our offices. Our Future Leaders training course is designed to equip young, committed Christians with advanced leadership and media skills.
They had heard of our Future Leaders training as we are well known within the region for our training programmes and high-quality video media. In fact, the first four students from Sudan came to train with us two years ago. And they were so poor, that they chose to travel on a bus for few days to be able to attend the training. This time the group of 11 were attending a Christian conference in the area, and we were able to provide media and leadership training to them after the conference. The group was a mix of men and women, aged between 19-25.
They wished to be trained in media which would enhance their skills and enable them to connect to their own communities better. They also wanted to receive leadership training so that, one day, they could help lead their churches to grow and prosper. They were trained in script writing, directing, shooting, editing and the basics of media techniques. At the end of the training each group was able to produce a short film which expressed a biblical concept.
The leadership training started with a series of questions such as, As a leader should you prioritise your own interests or those of whom you lead? Do you allow others to make their own decisions? How do you encourage and grow team members? This led on to a talk about what the Bible says about leadership and the characteristics of an influential leader. This was followed by discussions and group activities around these topics.
“After the Future Leaders camp I returned to Sudan and immediately started creating short films.” Omer, Sudan
“The skill of the trainers and their availability with the availability of equipment helped us to quickly absorb and learn.” Aamira, Sudan
“Most of the people in Sudan are open to watching media and films – these are the things that reach the majority of young people. Media is the tool to use to send messages of hope to my generation. I believe that this should start in the church and then go outside of the church to reach my country. Media can change a community, it can change a country.” Jaden, Sudan
All of the trainees are now back in Sudan and are witnessing the atrocities that are happening to their country. Join us in our prayers for our Sudanese sisters and brothers, the emerging leaders in their communities, who are keen to spread the Gospel message of hope through media.
Lord, we turn to You in prayer this week for Sudan. We Pray that -
All those who are mourning lost ones or injured at the recent events would find healing and solace in you Lord.
Those who are taking up arms to harm others would stop. We pray they would look to find peaceful resolutions and help to build a stronger Sudan.
Leaders in the country would be leading selflessly; they would seek justice, peace, and prosperity for the people of Sudan.
Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim, a well-known human rights activist, who has just been nominated for the post of Prime Minister in the transitional government, will know the peace of God and will lead the nation with fear of the Lord and not fear of man.
All 15 trainees would be using their new media and leadership skills to help provide for their communities. During this time of turmoil, they would be a beacon of hope and comfort.
People searching for truth and looking for answers would find them in media productions that these trainees will be producing, and that they would be thirsty for more.