Time is running out for Ryan Boyette and the people of the Nuba Mountains. The thirty year old man from Florida was just twenty-two when he read a Christian magazine article about the humanitarian crisis occurring in Southern Sudan, where nearly two million people had been systematically slaughtered by their own government.
Ryan put his own education and career plans on hold to work in the remote Nuba Mountain region with Samaritan’s Purse. He fell in love with the Nuba people, learned their language, and lived among them, sharing the Gospel and helping to build a Christian school. He also fell in love with Jazira. Last year, he married the beautiful Nuba woman, also an aid worker.
After years of fighting for freedom, South Sudan voted last July to become its own nation, the Republic of South Sudan. But the largely Christian Nuba Mountain region, though it had fought along side the South for freedom, falls just over the border. It remains under the rule of the extremist Islamic government in Khartoum.
Ethnic cleansing, rape, torture, and now starvation—the very same war crimes committed against Darfur—are now crushing the Nuba people. President al-Bashir and the extremist regime in Khartoum are bombing civilian targets daily. They have cut off humanitarian aid from reaching the Nuba people. Unless the international community puts pressure on the extremist government, the people will soon face mass starvation.
Ryan made the courageous choice to stay behind to document the atrocities on film. Samaritan’s Purse’s Franklin Graham just returned from the Nuba Mountains where he visted with Ryan and the Nuba people. He shares this disturbing eyewitness account. http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/dire_conditions_in_the_nuba_mountains/
Graham’s group, which included Fox News reporter Greta Van Susteren, came face to face with men, women, and children struggling to survive. They live in caves, taking cover under the rocks when bombers pass overhead. “I am very concerned about what is happeninghere," Graham said. "There's nothing to eat. They're eating roots, bark, grub worms, insects. It just breaks your heart when you see what's happening to these people. Please, they need our help. They need our prayers."
What can one person do?It takes just a few minutes and a few dollars to stand with Ryan and the Nuba Mountain people:
1.PRAY: Become a MAD FAN (Pray a-minute-a-day-for-a-nation). Will you join me in praying a minute a day for Ryan Boyette and the Nuba Mountain people?
2. GIVE: Samaritan's Purse has responded by setting up two refugee camps across the border in the newly independent South Sudan. They assist by providing food, medical care, wells, sanitation, and shelters. Learn more: www.samaritanspurse.org.
3. GO: While you can’t actually go to the Nuba Mountains just now, you can speak out to your representative in congress. Two simple steps make a huge difference:
Call your Congressman/Congresswoman!
Click here http://www.house.gov/ to find your district representative and voice your concern. You can say something like: "I want to be among the many in this district that are deeply concerned that the Nuba Mountain Region of Sudan is fast becoming another Darfur. I would encourage you Mr. Congressman or Ms. Congresswoman to become a co-sponsor of HR4169. (They will know what this means).
- Go to your Congressman/Congresswoman’s website
Click here http://www.house.gov/ to find your district representative’s website and send a short email to that effect in the box provided.
Unless our government puts pressure on the Sudan for humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Nuba Mountains, we will see a shattering crisis of human suffering. Ryan Boyette has chosen to stay behind because of his love for Christ and the Nuba people.
Will you stand with them? It will only cost you a few minutes and a few dollars. For Ryan, this may cost him his life.
Note: This is the second in a three-part series on the crisis in Sudan.