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One hundred years ago...
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October 1913:  

ONE HUNDRED years ago, the first SUM missionaries arrived in Sudan. Coming from Australia & New Zealand and heading for the Nuba mountains … however - due to the ‘lawlessness’ of the mountains, they were not allowed into Nuba.

Instead they settled in Melut and served there – on the White Nile where today, 100 years later – Gideon Theological College is situated.
 
1920 Finally an Australian SUM couple reached Nuba - others followed and the Sudanese Church of Christ – SCOC was born! As well as evangelism, education and medical work, a key focus was to translate the New Testament into different languages.
 
1962, all the missionaries were expelled – but the church had grown to around 200 members and the New Testament had been translated into 5 Nuba languages: a critical factor in the growth and maturity of the church since that time.
 
1970 - 90s – SCOC continued to grow; the Nuba Mountains in central Sudan, was deeply involved in the long war between North and South Sudan. Many Nubas migrated to Khartoum & further north starting churches - in the midst of war and discrimination. During these years, I became one of a few ‘tentmakers’ in Khartoum able to support the church in various ministries.
 
1989 –Church had grown to around 70,000 members
 
2002 a ceasefire between North & South Sudan, followed by the signing of peace in 2005 – which lasted until 2011. This was a window of peace in what has been a long history of war. During these few years the Nuba people could travel freely between Nuba and Khartoum – the road was tarred and a bus took just 12 hours! During this season the church took the opportunities for much visiting, leadership training, church construction. The communities opted for Education in English using the Kenya curriculum and many schools were started.
 
2011 – the war between the Northern government and Nuba started again – far more intensively than the previous long war. This has resulted in a huge movement of people into a refugee camp called Yida just across the border into S Sudan -see map.
 
2013: Many Churches have started in Yida among the refugees, while some pastors have remained inside the mountains, willing to stay and support their communities or to die in the daily bombardment.  God is at work!
 
God alone knows the size of SCOC today – but most importantly God’s church among the Nubas is growing – across denominational lines within Nuba and in the YIda camp. Many people from Islamic and traditional African beliefs are turning to Christ and as PI we are involved alongside others in training and equipping the Church to multiply and disciple the new believers.
 
The Nuba people have had a troubled history, so much suffering but they are resilient! Many are now strong believers and ready to suffer for Christ.
 
NB. SUM changed its name to become Action Partners in 1989 and then Action Partners merged with Pioneers International in 2009
 
Praise God & pray 
- for continued growth of the Church in the midst of huge suffering
- for a follow up training in Church planting: November 12 - 26
- for an end to the bombardments from the North and for PEACE in NUBA

I will write again soon with other news,


Christine 
Map to show location of Nuba Mountains
Training in Church Planting June 2013
Training June 2013
Nuba mountains in rainy season
2010 - Church in Nuba
I doubt it is still standing
Nuba village after bombing