Jun 15, 2023

Serving in Uncertainty: The War in Sudan

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Show Notes

Kristy Graham, host of On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse, speaks with Ryan Boyette, former Samaritan’s Purse staff member and founder of To Move Mountains. Ryan shares how God completely changed the trajectory of his life when he read a news article about the war in Sudan. His heart was burdened for the people there, and he began looking for opportunities to serve in this remote area of the world. He gave up his dream of working with the government in pursuit of God’s call on his life.

Ryan started working with Samaritan’s Purse in 2003—leaving for Sudan just days after being hired. He shares how God used this experience to deepen his faith.

Many churches were bombed and pastors were martyred during the war. Samaritan’s Purse committed to rebuilding every church that was destroyed and training pastors to continue the work of those who were killed.

“It really became the unification of the believers—seeing the people come together and collecting rock and gravel and sand and putting their hands together with us and rebuilding the church building. It really unified the body.” – Ryan Boyette

He shares the story of one church elder that he will never forget. The man was tortured for his faith and crippled, but he still had joy in the Lord. He couldn’t walk, but he forgave those who nearly killed him. Samaritan’s Purse rebuilt his church, and it became a pillar in the community.

Eventually, Ryan met his wife in Sudan. When the war started again in 2011, Samaritan’s Purse evacuated its staff. Newly married to a Sudanese woman, Ryan and his wife felt compelled to stay behind. He resigned from Samaritan’s Purse and continued to serve in the midst of the war. Kristy asks him to share his experiences in this time of turmoil and uncertainty.

“There wasn't a good choice, you know— there's a God choice. I feel like God made it very clear in your heart. You stayed with your people, but as you mentioned, it's not easy. I can’t imagine living through bombs, and I’m sure food got more scarce. Everything got more scarce in that remote area.” – Kristy Graham

Ryan recounts how God saved his family’s life and protected them in the face of danger. Now, they are continuing to serve in the Nuba Mountains. They founded an organization called To Move Mountains with the goal of building a new education system, which the community identified as their greatest need after the war.

Samaritan’s Purse is partnering with them in this project and building schools in the area. Kristy and Ryan discuss how God desires for the body of Christ to work together.

This life-giving interview will challenge you in your faith as you hear stories of how God is at work in Sudan.