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Missions 101

Crossing the Sea in the Footsteps of Paul

Nov. 16, 2012By: Michael Littell

The Story of Amsula*, the Man of God from Sudan (Part 5)

*Pseudonym due to the sensivity of his situation.

“I come to Athens in 2009 with a miracle,” says Amsula. “When I cross the sea I come with people from different nationalities—the sea from Turkey to Greece.” I do not know how he came to Turkey, but I was not willing to interrupt.

“When we crossed the sea,” he said, “I lead the boat, I drive it. Why did I drive it? When I come to want to drive it, many people they say, ‘No,’ because I say I am a Christian, and because they have different religion, Muslim. They don’t agree to let me drive, but Jesus leads me to drive.

“I don’t know before how to drive. I never do it,” he says, and I chuckle. “So this guy teaches me in five minutes. And the group I bring over, many times they have been caught when they cross this sea, many times, two times, four times. Every time, they bring them back to Turkey. I tell them, ‘You guys, we cross this water in the name of Jesus. Everyone who agree with this you can cross with me, if you not agree and you want to live here, I can let you stay.’ So I pray with them, so I pray with them and I drive the boat.

“When I was in the middle of the sea I was praying with God, and I saw a ship—a border patrol ship—cross before me. I have with me twenty-five people and that ship, if they catch you, they give everyone else back and they put you in prison.

“So I prayed very hard. I stand up, and I pray for help. And the people became very afraid and said, ‘Go to it and give us up. Go quickly to this ship before it comes to us!’ But I said no. I stayed, and I stood, and I pray, and the ship passed us. And no one see us—no one come out to see us. And the people become very happy.” Amsula smiled wide. “They become very happy when they cross the sea, and they are safe.”

The refugee boat landed on one of the two thousand islands owned by Greece. The next step was to find the mainland, arrive in Athens, and begin the long process of applying for refugee status. The journey was nowhere near over.

The squabbles started as soon as they landed on the island, “Everyone have many problems,” he said. “They fight with each other, and everyone who fight with another one come to me with their problems.”

“When I tell them we still had to come from the island into Greece, the people say we should stay one month, two months, or three months and then go on.” As the arguments erupted, so Amsula made a decision. “I tell them that we take three days only. I don’t want to stay. Three days only we take here on the island, no more than this.”

“Some people they say, ‘This guy is crazy. Most people they take at least one month, not three days.’”

Then Amsula made an prediction: “I said, ‘Anyone who does not believe we can make it, they will stay here. Anyone who say, “Yes,” will get out with me’— I prophesied that.”

Three days later, “the guys that don’t have faith, they were left there. They become sick, so they stay there. But everyone who can say ‘Amen’ with me, they get out after three days. So these people become very happy.” 

Later that night, after class, I asked Amsula if he was still in contact with the people who came over with him. He was, he said, and now they all believe in Jesus, “Every one of them in the end.”

We hope you have enjoyed this series about one of the pastors we work with in Athens. We will feature more stories about our pastors in the future. If you would like to help train Amsula and others like him in theological education, click here to sponsor a pastor.


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