The Story of Amsula*, the Man of God from Sudan (Part 1)
*Pseudonym due to the sensivity of his situation.
After a week of class, Amsula and I sat in the corner room
upstairs in a downtown refugee center in Athens, and he told me his story. We could hear
the sounds of the narrow street outside. It was calm now, but the teeming
voices of the Greek mobs shouting, “Aliens, go home!” still rang in our ears
from the night before. One immigrant was killed that evening.
“I accept Jesus
Christ in a very difficult situation,” he said in a thick accent. “My father is
from another religion, Muslim, and we lived in the place is called Nuba Mountains.
I left that place and went to Khartoum, the capital city, and I study there for
six years. After I complete my studies, I want to go to the university. The
situation is complicated because there is fighting and war in Southern Sudan
and I live in the place they call Nubian mountain, the place that is near
Darfur, the place of fighting.”
In the beautiful Nuba Mountains, says Time’s Alan Boswell,
“diverse tribes live in a rugged land of mud-hut villages.”
Their tribal ornamentation and primitive way of life bespeak their glorious
ancient roots, but recent times tell a different story. Boswell writes,
“Sudan's history is strewn with cases of mass atrocities against non-Arabs in
the south and north, with Darfur being only the latest.”
During our interview in June 2011, Amsula’s home was the
site of new “tales of terror.” Boswell reported from Nuba that “members of a
minority, opposition-aligned African ethnic group are being slaughtered ‘like
animals,’” as locals had put it. “The children and women pouring in from
Kadugli and other towns wear signs of deep trauma and hunger, say aid workers,
and tell stories of Arab militias killing anyone who is black.”
Amsula’s dark skin and scarred face told a similar story. A
“very difficult situation” looks different for a Sudanese refugee than it does
for me. It was becoming clear why he and the rest of the pastors in our class
were unfazed by the mobs.
 Alan Boswell,
“Inside Sudan’s Nuba Mountains: Tales of Terror Bleed Out,” Time, June
20, 2011, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2078615,00.html.