In November 2019 a team from the Bradford Deanery left for Sudan to deliver a Rooted in Jesus discipleship course. Andrew has a few words about their trip.
Well, we are back from Kadugli in the Republic of Sudan, and I am pleased to report that we are all home safely.
At the end of our visit, and over our final meal in Kadugli, the Catholic priest explained to us that over the years of war, the Christians were considered the targets by the Islamic soldiers. This had brought great unity between all the denominations, who were now as one. They were now traumatised by war, and the fact that six Christians from England had come all this way to encourage them and express solidarity with them was heart-warming for them.
None of us had considered ourselves in any particular danger, but many people in Kadugli expressed amazement that six white men had been given permission by the government to go to the city which is still classed as being in a war zone.
On arrival in Kadugli we were greeted with joyful singing in the cathedral (a building with a corrugated iron roof that we might describe as a large hut). Our conference began on the Tuesday and went through to the Friday. Jesus made disciples – people who were trained and equipped by him to do the things he did and to be like him. Our conference was about making disciples who go on themselves to make even more disciples. The irony that this is exactly what the Church of England finds so difficult, did not escape us!
The idea was that the conference delegates were to go home and form a group of 6-12 people who would meet weekly and who they would disciple using the books which we gave to them. Part of the challenge of the conference was to help them to work as groups – their usual model of teaching being one person speaks and everyone else listens. The other challenge was to teach them to rely on the Holy Spirit.
We taught them to stand and wait with their hands held expectantly in front of them, as we asked the Holy Spirit to come upon them. Some of them were healed, even without our asking, as the Holy Spirit came upon them. Somebody in St Katharine’s had sent me a Word of Knowledge (basically a message from God) that there would be a lady there who was dressed in a bright yellow and green dress and head-dress who had suffered from a snake bite. The lady didn’t seem to be in the meeting, but then she came in. She had been cooking for the delegates. We asked her whether she had recently been bitten by a snake, and she had. We prayed for her and the bite was healed.
There was a boy who was gripped with fear and would not let go of his mother’s skirt tails. He received prayer; the fear left him. He started playing with the other children and went home on his own for the first time ever. Many other healings happened in the week.
Christopher Fielden took our greetings to the Mother’s Union in Kadugli and in Dilling (the MU is very strong in Africa). The poverty of the people in Kadugli is very great. They really have nothing, and we are so privileged in comparison. Despite the fact that our circumstances are very different, it is good to know that we have friends in Kadugli and that they have friends here who pray for them and consider them brothers and sisters in Christ.