The last 6 years he has been visiting the country many times a year, teaching, equipping and training many hundreds of preachers and Christian leaders both from this movement and from the whole range of evangelical churches in the country. After the cease-fire between the north and south took place, Gabrielsen travelled to the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, in order to meet some of the leaders of Sudan Pentecostal Churches. He met many that he had known from the time before the civil war started, and many who came there afterwards. The seed that had been planted had brought rich fruit!
The civil war in Darfur started more than 4 years ago, and this war was not a fight between Christians and Muslims. Here it was African Muslims who saw that the south of Sudan was negotiating with the regime in Khartoum about having partly a self-government, and they had experienced themselves being oppressed and exploited for many years. They rebelled and the authorities struck back in a cruel way. Together with militant groups from Arabian tribes - the so-called Janjaweed – one village after another got attacked, burned and destroyed. The inhabitants became exposed to cruel treatment with tortures, murder, rape and humiliation. The African tribes became exterminated from large areas, and today more than 2 million of these African Muslims live in refugee camps. They are kept alive by about 16,000 aid workers from numerous humanitarian organizations that work there together with the UN.
Traditionally Darfur has not had any Christians and has been very Muslim. In the meantime, during the civil war that lasted for more than 20 years, there came some refugees from the south of Sudan. Over 5 million people fled from the south during those years, and more than 4 million settled around the capital, Khartoum. Thousands of others fled to neighbouring countries and other parts of the world, but some also came to Darfur, which lies in the north. Many of these refugees came from the churches we had started in the south before the war! Some of them started smaller "refugee churches" in Darfur, as well as around Khartoum, but did not have any big breakthrough among local tribes in Darfur.
When the civil war began in Darfur and thousands from African tribes were killed and tortured in the most cruel ways by their Muslim brothers from the Arabic tribes, many began also to ask questions about their religion. Many came to the Christian refugees there and said, "We have made a big mistake that has placed us under the Arabic leaders and their religion! Now we would like to hear about Jesus from the Bible!" Even chiefs and Muslim leaders ask for help and want to hear about God from these Christian refugees.
First Christian leader seminars in Darfur
When Gabrielsen visited Khartoum 3 years ago, many Christians came from Darfur and asked for help with getting teaching and leader training there as well. It resulted in the first Christian leader seminar in the history of Darfur, and 80 leaders came from all the Christian denominations. It turned out that many of them did not even understand what salvation is, and only a few had Bibles. After that seminar the Gospel experienced a fantastic breakthrough there. Thousands of Bibles were distributed and many experienced, Spirit-filled Christians from other parts of Sudan have devoted 3 months each to help the new Christians
It is a historic occasion to bring the Gospel of peace to this war-struck province! There is great need for the humanitarian contribution in the province, but food does not remove the hate - those people need new hearts. Future will be built for Darfur, and we are absolutely convinced that the Gospel about Jesus is what can give the province hope and progress! It is absolutely an unbelievable experience to see those hundreds of born-again people singing and praising Jesus!
They are lifting the whole local community, hate is being replaced with love and forgiveness, even towards their enemies, just like Jesus said!
Now we have a possibility to create a future
for Darfur – do YOU want to help to send
messengers of peace to the war-struck Darfur?