Marc Nikkel, diocesan missionary to Sudan for the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, has reported that there is cause for optimism in Sudan, even though the country has been torn apart by civil war for many years.
"God is doing his redemptive work, even among the horrors of these past years," said Marc, who found that Sudanese youths in displacement camps are optimistic about the chances of peace.
Thousands of people have been killed in tribal infighting and over half the population of Sudan has fled to displacement camps. The camp at Kakuma, Marc's latest base, is currently home to over 60,000 people. Many of the 20,000-30,000 displaced youths are Anglicans, and they believe that they have survived so that they can return home and begin a Christian community again.
Marc Nikkel himself has had a difficult time over recent months. What he thought was a parasitic infection turned out to be advanced cancer, and in August 1998 doctors gave him two weeks to live. His continuing recovery has amazed the medical community.
"Facing death has deepened my faith," Marc said. "Death is a part of my journey and the power of the resurrection is the biggest part of my life." Since his diagnosis, Marc has made three trips to Africa, and he is hopeful that his health will permit him to return to Sudan for peace talks in February.
Item from: Southwestern Episcopalian