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Missions 101

God Speaks in a Genocide

Nov. 12, 2012By: Michael Littell

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.”[1] 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.

[1] Alan Boswell, “Inside Sudan’s Nuba Mountains: Tales of Terror Bleed Out,” Time, June 20, 2011,,8599,2078615,00.html.


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