{awareness} sudan January 24 2011, 0 Comments

{This post was written over several weeks' time, so going back...}

As I write this, the people of Sudan are casting votes in a historic referendum that will change the nation forever. Sudan is very far away, yet it feels very close to home.  We at Re:new feel uniquely touched by this event because it affects the heart of one of our students.  She has been here scarcely two years, and lived in Canada before that, but her heart is firmly planted in her home country, which she left many years ago.   Her family is still in Sudan, where the air is thick with uncertainty and tension.  I ask her if they are safe.  Yes, right now they are safe.

A few days have passed and the referendum is winding down, votes have been cast in a relatively peaceful setting.  Now the world awaits the results.  It is almost certain that the southern third of Sudan will become its own nation, but this victory comes with many looming challenges, one of them called Abyei.

Abyei is a portion of land that both the north and the south claim as their own.  Over 70 people have been killed in Abyei in the last few weeks.  Oil rich and caught in an endless power struggle, this is the place our student calls home.  Her  dream is to teach Sudanese women how to sew, how to earn a living. She loves her people and desires for them to learn what she has been taught here in America. Why would a woman in southern Sudan need to learn how to sew?  Eighty-five percent of the people in the south cannot read or write.   You can only imagine how hard it must be for a woman to earn a living, surrounded by such conflict and lack of education.  Learning how to sew would enable a woman to feed her children and educate them too.

So do you see how one small project like Re:new can make a difference?  It touches one life.  This one life returns to her home country and touches many lives.  It is her dream.  We dream with her.  And on the flip side, her story has deeply changed our oblivious American hearts.  She has made a difference in how we view an event happening halfway across the world.  It’s become personal.   We think about Sudan and pray for peace.