Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 1, 2011

Running for Their Lives

I had the opportunity to visit with Sarah Thompson yesterday. Sarah serves on the staff of Aid Sudan — an inter-denominational, non-profit organization working in two locations across the U.S. and in four targeted regions in Southern Sudan, with an an East Africa regional office in Kampala, Uganda. Sudan, Africa’s largest country, is steeped in suffering. For years, Sudan was listed as one of the top ten countries where Christians are persecuted. Christians and tribal peoples in the southern part of the country suffered unimaginable atrocities at the hands of their persecutors while the government and the Janjaweed contributed to genocide in Darfur. I visited two of the camps for displaced peoples in Darfur in 2005 and witnessed the suffering of the people there. I have never forgotten what I saw. It changed the way I pray for Sudan.

I asked Sarah Thompson a few questions about the work of Aid Sudan and their upcoming 5k run to raise awareness and funds to benefit the people of southern Sudan. Here are Sarah’s answers.

OG | Sarah, what is your role with Aid Sudan?

ST | I serve as the Director of Administration with Aid Sudan, and also work on some of our development projects. One of the most exciting projects we have going on is our hand-held radios project. Through our satellite based radio network, we broadcast the Bible in chronological stories in the heart languages of the people. Programming also includes health and hygiene training and the news, and it’s received by southern Sudanese via solar-powered, hand-held radios. In a region with a literacy rate estimated at less than 1%, radios are the perfect way to communicate the Good News of Jesus. We’re hearing awesome things about how the gospel is changing lives through the radios!

OG | What kind of initiatives is Aid Sudan involved in and how can we learn more about those initiatives?

ST | God is really at work among the Sudanese, and we’re seeing that in our work stateside as well as in southern Sudan. In our Houston and Dallas offices, we build relationships with local Sudanese churches and serve in the areas of discipleship and evangelism, as well as with life skills projects and meeting basic needs. In southern Sudan, our projects center around our four pillars of work, meeting needs in the areas of health, education, water, and church. Our vision is to see holistic transformation occur in southern Sudan with the spread of the gospel and community development, as both spiritual and physical needs are met. You can learn more about what we do by visiting our website.

OG| What can people do to get involved with or to support the work of Aid Sudan?

ST | There are various ways to get involved in Aid Sudan’s ministry, whether through local work or in Sudan. We take several short-term mission trips each year, and still have some with openings for 2011. Those interested can contact Andrew Brown, our Mission Trips Director at andrew@aidsudan.org or 713.414.5490. We also have several events each year, and are looking forward to our annual gala at the Hyatt Downtown on April 28, as well as a 5k run in April and a concert for hand-held radios later this year. We also greatly value both financial and prayer support, and all are welcome to visit our website and sign up to receive our prayer and newsletter emails, and for information on donating.

OG | Aid Sudan is hosting a 5k run in April. What is the purpose of the 5k run and how can people sign up to participate — to run for the lives of the Sudanese?

ST | The 5k Fun Run/Walk allows people from all over Houston to participate in a great event and learn more about the work that we do. Each year we’re joined by several members of the Sudanese community here in Houston, and there’s also a Kid’s 1k for the little ones. Houston’s First Baptist church sponsors the run, and all proceeds go directly to our ministry. It’s a really great day and fun event for walkers, runners, and even those who just want to enjoy a post-race party! For more information and to sign up, visit www.aidsudan.org/events.


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