It is rare to find an American in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan.
But there is one who chooses to stay. As a Christian, he cannot ignore years of indiscriminate bombing and genocide. In the context of the most extreme poverty in the world, this believer puts his faith into action every day.
Ryan Boyette has been featured in the media and befriended by celebrities and world leaders who care about Sudan. New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Nicholas Kristof has met with him several times to learn about his work and has written about Ryan since 2011.
Ryan, a Florida native, speaks Otoro and Sudanese Arabic and has served for 13 years alongside his Nuban neighbors in the bush of Sudan. As a first-hand witness to the atrocities there, Ryan has testified before Congress, met with White House officials and documented mass graves.
I met with Ryan in Sudan recently to hear first-hand about how God is at work in the midst of these tragedies.
In this video, Ryan shares that the Sudanese government has destroyed churches and villages. The people have been displaced, many of them hiding in the mountains and inside caves, but they are strong in their faith.
Despite the fact that their buildings have been destroyed and their lives have been “swept out from under them,” he continues, “They are still praying inside the caves, they are still holding church under trees, they are still praying with each other and trying to encourage one another.”
Ryan’s conclusion? “They still have their faith. When you meet with people and you talk to them, they still know God is watching over them. There is no doubt in their mind that God is with them.”
The New York Times recently produced a video entitled, “The Worst Atrocity You’ve Never Heard Of” highlighting Ryan Boyette and Dr. Tom Catena, two incredibly brave workers who refuse to leave the Nubans behind. You can see my recent interview with Dr. Tom Catena here.
VOM, in partnership with Persecution Project Foundation, is standing with Christians in Sudan, providing medicine, humanitarian aid, and much-needed spiritual encouragement and equipping.
We will pray.
We will give.
We will not leave our Nuban sisters and brothers behind!
Dr. Jason Peters oversees Global Partnerships and travels frequently to meet with our persecuted sisters and brothers. He has ministered in 39 countries, as diverse as Cuba, India, Sudan, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Burma, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia and Nigeria. Jason ministered as a military chaplain for more than 18 years, with assignments at the Pentagon, the US Air Force Academy and as a faculty member of the Air Force Chaplain Corps College, where he directed Crisis and Trauma training. Jason and his wife Kimberly lived overseas for several years, where two of their five children were born.