Jump to content
[[Template core/front/custom/_customHeader is throwing an error. This theme may be out of date. Run the support tool in the AdminCP to restore the default theme.]]

Live from The Sudan


Recommended Posts

Here are the last couple of emails from my friend who went to be a missionary in The Sudan:


The Beauty of Birth


Many of you have had newsletters of e-mails from us regarding the darker side of life i.e. death. But we wanted to share some exciting wonderful moments we have recently had here in Kurmuk. Beverly has waited for about 1 year to get to witness a cesarean section here in Kurmuk. Only 8 women a month actually deliver here at the hospital, the remainder delivers at home with either their friend’s assistance or a midwife. So the attending physician leaves for his R&R to go to Nairobi and a new physician from Kenya is holding his spot for the next two weeks. This physician has never been to Sudan.


The first night of his arrival he was quickly initiated with his very first emergency. A first time mother (the wife of one of the hospital employees) had been in labor for 14 hours. She had actually come to the hospital from the beginning of her labor that morning. The hospital midwives had seen the head of the baby come out and go back in many times. The shoulders were too wide and the mother’s pelvis too small. With the mother exhausted and the baby also they called for the physician at 1am. The physician calls Bev to round the theater (surgery staff). Chris is nominated to go with the hospital guard on a quadbike ( ATV) and pick up the three surgical staff members. Beverly gets to the hospital to show the physician where the surgical theater is and round up the nurses to prepare the patient. The first stop for Bev was to go to the maternity ward and pray with our Muslim co-workers and the mother that God would protect the baby and the mother and would give the mother strength to continue. Then the nurses must carry the mother on a stretcher from the maternity ward down the steps, and up the steps of the surgical theater.



The patient arrives at the theater and preparation for the cesarean section begins. The IV is started and the surgical staff arrive. Clothes are changed, shoes are removed, and surgical boots are donned. The mother is even more exhausted. The cesarean section begins and the baby is out. But the baby is very white, no breath is coming, no movement is made, but the heart is beating. The midwife and Bev start with the process of suctioning, aggravating the child, and hanging the child upside-down to get more fluid out of its lungs. This process is repeated again and again for several minutes with Bev praying the whole time. Finally after several attempts at suctioning and aggravating and hanging the child by its feet, the Lord breathed life into this child’s lungs, and she whimpered for the first time. The child finally gave a small cry and was breathing from then on. Less than ten minutes later the child opened her eyes and was just quietly looking around at her father and her mother and all who were breathing sighs of relief. The mother’s name is Hannah, and she was so pleased to see her daughter’s face and to see her breathing on her own. This reminded us that the breath of life does not come from us but from God.



Beverly and Chris Crowder here in Kurmuk Sudan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Friends,


We're leaving Kurmuk on an SP flight to Nairobi. We are reading goodbye notes now from all our friends and are feeling the pangs of separation already. They are very sweet, and Bev can't read them now or she will cry. Thankfully, some are in Arabic which temporarily spares us from sadness. May God watch over us all as we are apart.


Chris had a good trip to Yabus and Chali the other day. We went by ATV and battled mud and breakdowns but ultimately had a great trip. We encouraged the church at Chali by delivering zinc to repair the church roof as well as

a load of blankets. Chris was able to meet with the SIC church leaders in Yabus to get their opinion on a possible school project. Also, a colleague and Christian brother named Michael Odhiambo was able to go along and survey the old school property for renovation. He has graciously offered to produce a set of blueprints on his computer drafting system!


As if it were not enough to leave Kurmuk, the authorities finally gave us our eviction order. We must move from the old compound to our partly-finished new one by Tuesday the 20th. So, everyone is scrambling to pack and move. The good news is that 3 tukuls are finished, and we will have a temporary kitchen and an office to use. God is gracious in all ways.


A prayer request: please pray for God's Spirit to open the eyes of Hissein. While walking home in the darkness, Chris asked him, "If becoming a follower of Jesus is a journey, where are you? Have you reached the destination?" He responded, "I'm almost there." A bit surprised, Chris clarified and he again said, "Yes, I told you, I'm almost there." Then he changed the subject, and we didn't talk about it any more.


Lastly, we'll sign off with a bit of humor. After driving more than 60km on an ATV, Chris was dozing off for a much-needed nap. Suddenly, one of the big brown dogs that wanders the streets of Kurmuk snuck into the tukul and jumped up on the bed! Chris leaped up in astonishment and yelled at the dog, which reluctantly climbed off the bed and sauntered out of the hut in a hail of flying objects which Chris was hurling at him: books, gumboots, etc. I wonder what would have happened if I had retained my composure and just laid there. Would he have relaxed and gone to sleep beside me? Of all the nerve!


We love you guys and miss you,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

And this one Chris sent out a couple weeks ago:


Report on Marriage Conference 2006-06-02

Chris and Beverly Crowder, SIM-Sudan



Overall - A Big Success

Thanks Lord, for a successful conference. Our friend, Pastor Harold Bryer was able to come and contribute in a big way. His grey hair and years of marriage counseling experience made him instantly respectable. His help was immeasurable.


Harold did a great illustration on the first day. He wanted to answer the question, "Why are we here?" He drew on the upper right corner of the board an old man and woman with a big happy family. On the lower left, he drew two girls. One good road led from the girls to the happy family. Other roads led out in different directions and stopped. He made the point that we are looking for the right road and that the Bible would take us there.



Kurmuk Community Center (old Girls School) classroom

We borrowed two white boards from the SP office and used the 2-man desks. This was convenient to have the husbands and wives sit together. Although many events were going on at the center, none were really a distraction.



We agreed to serve lunch as well as tea at breaks. I had asked for 2 ladies, one from each church to cook and serve. No one came the first day, so no lunch was served. I was pressured a bit to take them to the market for food, but I refused saying there was no budget. The next day, someone

came to cook. It was quite a hassle arranging water to be delivered, spices, more sugar, oops we're out of charcoal, etc. Luckily, I was able to jump in and out of the training to take care of things.



10 couples were invited but we got only 5. Santino Samuel and Rahab, Stephen Kalo and Orpha, David Peter and Lydia, Joshua and Samat, Gabriel Majok and Rebecca. All but the last were from the SIC church.



People just did not talk very much. We expected it so were not surprised. Many times, I or the translator had to keep querying until we got a response. On the 3rd day, people began to open up and talk more. Anne and Ray Lee were right in advising us to do at least 3 days, if not a week.



We used notes and outlines from Ray and Ann Lee, our SIM colleagues. It is based loosely on "I Married You" by Walter Trobisch, a counselor working with African churches. It focuses on an example of 3 stones representing leave, cleave, and one flesh with a cooking pot in the middle. Guest teachers added their own material on communication and also on Genesis 2:24.



There were four: Chris, Harold, pastor Paul Malual, and pastor Peter Manygel. It was vital to have these Sudanese pastors teaching. More than just load sharing for us, but they brought authenticity and cultural insight that we will never achieve.


Doctrinal Difficulties - Unequally Yoked

I (Chris) was teaching that a good spouse should be a committed Christian. I asked a hypothetical question: if a young man in the church said to you "I have met a girl and I love her. I think I want to marry her but she is a member of another religion", how would you respond to him. There was more silence than I would have suspected. It went on for some time. I began to think, wow I did not think this was hard. One of the older ladies spoke up and said, "Let them stay for two years without marrying then if they still like each other, let them marry." Ooof. I rolled my eyes slightly at

Pastor Matthew who had come in to visit the class for a while. He rolled his eyes back at me, although in a subtle way.


I led them through a study of 2 Corinthians chapter 6 which says pointedly "what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?" Slowly, I sensed people were seeing the point, but I am still confused about whether many people thought it would be ok to marry a non-Christian or not. Obviously, the average person in the church here has a long way to go doctrinally. One of our colleagues here suggested that people have not arrived at a place where they see the sacrifice of Jesus as being sufficient for all our needs.



This was my first attempt at using drama in Sudanese ministry. I was incredibly happy with the results. We assigned two skits the day before so that people could read them and get familiar with them. About half the class was comfortable reading English so they had translated the skits into

their mother tongue. One skit was on a good husband, one was about a bad husband.


The way we assigned the actors reflected the culture. I stood and asked, "How shall we assign people to do the drama?" Everyone looked at each other, then the oldest man in the room said, "I will decide."


Santino and a young wife named Rebecca were assigned to the 'bad husband' skit. Santino was brilliant, evoking a menacing expression and even mimicking slapping the wife around as the skit ended. Rebecca was a little quiet.


Next Stephen and Santino's wife Rahab did the 'good husband' skit in the Uduk language. It was interesting that husbands and wives did not want to do the skit together. I have no idea what to think of that.


We talked afterward about what the husbands did right or wrong.



Rebecca: "It is good for men to stay with their wives. Also it is good to learn about marriage before Satan comes and takes us on a different road."


Harun: "I was married in 1989 in the church. All the people came. We had some teaching then and now I am hearing the same teaching again. It is good. Also, I am glad to talk we have talked about hitting. Sometimes when I get my wife in the house she is beating our children. I think this is not



Stephen: "Love is very important. Without love we cannot respect. Without love we cannot share. Without love we cannot agree on anything in our house."


Santino: "From these five couples, each couple should spread this information to fifty couples. . . establish Christian families. . . call all our neighbors and preach the name of Jesus. We can introduce the Christian life in Kurmuk."


A husband: "I want to tell a story about how I hit my wife one time. . .[tells the circumstances]. . . after I hit here one time, I waited five minutes and my anger went away. Then I heard God saying to me, "you are acting like a man who does not know me." I went back to my wife and I apologized and we talked. She told me what had happened. That night she slept very close to me like a small child. Then before I went away the next morning, she made me my favorite tea." [all the ladies were smiling when he said this, then the class clapped loudly for his testimony]


Lessons Learned

1. If doing this conference again, I would probably use a different schedule. The timetable of six hours a day separated by lunch was a little much for everyone. Having five days of meetings but only three hours a day might be more effective. The reasons are that wives vanished to pick up

children and people were falling asleep in class. We served lunch, which worked well as a time of fellowship. However, we could not escape the feeling that some of the church elders were trying to manipulate the schedule to get us to pay for lunch. That did not feel nice.

2. It so happened that there were at least two conflicting meetings going on during this time. People in our meeting would escape to the HIV/AIDS meeting next door to see the video, for example. Also, we had to go and get one teacher who had committed to teach but was then invited to a more

"prestigious" meeting across town. Again, not much we could do about conflicting meetings.

3. We failed at getting couples face to face. The afternoon we planned to have a conversation activity, Satan intervened. Two of the wives and one of the husbands vanished right before the meeting. We had just told them it was very important they be in the room in five minutes! As a result only two of the couples completed this important activity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

no time to read this mornin but thanks for passin them on, will get to later tonight ...:D


No problem. This is my buddy the engineer and his wife, the hot redhead RN, that sold all of their belongings and moved to The Sudan to be missionaries. I have never in my life seen such a selfless act. I have known AlOT of Christians, but these are the only people I have ever known who would really "take up their cross"...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information