Demonstrating God's Love in Sudan
Humanitarian trip included meetings with top government officials
February 28, 2009 - March 4, 2009 — "My desire is to show God's love for people by helping them,” said Franklin Graham in an interview in Sudan.
Reports courtesy of Samaritan's Purse
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"We want to work for all of Sudan. We want to help Christians, Muslims, people of no faith—we want to help them all," he continued. "We want to show the love of God—the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—to each and every person in this country. We want to work toward peace.”
Graham, president and CEO of the BGEA and Samaritan's Purse, met last week with Charge d'Affaires Alberto Fernandez, the top American official in Sudan, as well as with key government officials. He also traveled into Darfur, where about 3 million people have been displaced from their homesteads and villages in what the United Nations has called the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
There Graham met mothers with malnourished children, medical personnel, government leaders, and the staff of the largest ongoing relief project of Samaritan’s Purse. He presented a Bible and shared the Gospel with the deputy wali (governor) of South Darfur, Dr. Frah.
This is a pivotal time for peace in Sudan, which has been embroiled in civil war and ethnic conflicts for 42 of the 53 years since it gained independence from Great Britain and Egypt.
"The humanitarian situation in Sudan has taken a disastrous turn following the indictment of President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes in Darfur," Graham said this week. "The government of Sudan has expelled over a dozen international aid organizations, risking the lives of over a million people."
Samaritan’s Purse has been allowed to stay in Darfur, where they have been feeding over 200,000 victims of the fighting.
Graham continued: "I met with President al-Bashir in Khartoum only a few hours before the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest. He listened attentively as I shared the Gospel with him and discussed my concerns about religious freedom and the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
"Two days before I met the president, I walked through a vast refugee camp on the edge of the Sahara desert in Darfur and met people who survived bloody raids, including young widows and children. It breaks your heart to think what could happen to people like these. They need food, water, medical care, and other emergency assistance."
Read Franklin Graham's March 4 statement on President al Bashir »
Alberto Fernandez, the top American official in Sudan, briefed Graham and key leaders of Samaritan's Purse and the BGEA with the latest information on the political and humanitarian situations, the complexities of the Darfur crisis, and the policies of the new U.S. administration regarding Darfur and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
While urging peace on this trip with government leaders, Graham and executives from the BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse traveled to Juba to meet with Salva Kiir, vice president of Sudan and president of the semi-autonomous southern Sudan.
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