More Work to Be DoneThe Ministry of Pastor Morris and Cabina in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains
Pastor Morris and his wife, Cabina, live in a four-room home with no indoor plumbing, no electricity and no cell service. In addition, the area where they live has been bombed repeatedly, but they still find ways to serve Christ right where they are.
Morris pastors a church in the Nuba Mountains, a majority Christian region that the Sudanese government has bombed heavily in its efforts to expel Christians so it can completely Arabize and Islamize the country. In addition to his church responsibilities, Morris coordinates VOM help for Christians in the area, distributing Bibles and Christian materials; receiving medicines for distant clinics; and organizing blankets, clothing and food for displaced believers.
Morris and Cabina host an average of at least two dozen people in their simple home every day. Cabina not only cooks and cleans for their daily house guests but also helps many orphans who have lost their parents in the conflict. She enlists the help of women in her community to feed and make clothing for them. “Many orphans are naked,” she said. “[There is no one to] care for them.” She also teaches the women to make baskets, mattresses and floor mats for their own families.
While Cabina helps meet the needs of guests, orphans and local women, Morris visits Muslim prisoners of war who are held in his village. Many have asked him why he visits them, as some served the same government that bombed his village. “Because Jesus says we have to love our enemies,” Morris replies. “Even if they are killing us, we have to love them.”
It was that same love of Christ that appealed to him when he was a Muslim teenager attending a madrassa, a Muslim school. After a friend invited him to church to watch the JESUS Film, Morris was so amazed at what he saw that he returned the following week to see it a second time. “I saw that it was really talking about love,” he said. “I saw the difference between what Jesus said and what the Quran claimed Muhammad had said. That made me think, ‘Oh, this is a better way.’” Soon he placed his trust in Jesus Christ and began helping others.
Cabina has had a heart to serve the Lord in her community since she was young, and she refused to consider marrying anyone who didn’t share that same desire. Although she received offers of marriage from other men before meeting Morris, she refused them all. “I was … praying to God that He can give me someone who will love God and we can walk together to help the communities and to bring many people to God,” she explained.
When she met Morris, she saw that he was faithful to God and that he, too, had a heart to help other people. “This is the same thing I have in my heart,” she said. “That is what attracted me to marry this man.”
Cabina sometimes worries about Morris as he coordinates relief and visits Muslim prisoners of war. “When I think about what could happen,” she said, “I become worried about my husband.” But she knows he is carrying out Jesus’ command to share the gospel with everyone – even their enemies – and she trusts God’s promise that He will be with us to the ends of the earth. “Then my worry goes away and I know that God is in control,” she said. “Then my heart will have peace again.”
Morris has seen the hearts of some Muslim prisoners change over time, but loving his enemies is not easy, especially when he considers the effects of their violence on his community. “Sometimes when you find a young one who died, the infant ones, the ones who don’t have any reason to participate in this war or even know what is happening, they die and you really feel sorrow,” he said. “I am very troubled.”
Morris and Cabina know that life is easier and safer in other parts of the world, but they are committed to serving Christ where He placed them – in the conflict area. During a trip to the U.S., a fellow traveler asked Morris why he intended to return to Sudan, a country at war. “Why don’t you stay in America?” the man asked. “How can I stay in a comfortable place while my people are dying?” Morris replied. “I will go back to my people.”
Determined to continue their work in the Nuba Mountains, Morris and Cabina ask for prayer. “It is not by power and might but by the Spirit of God through your prayers” that the work is done, Morris said. And Cabina asks for prayer that God will help her love everyone who comes to her home, as some visitors can be difficult.
Living in a place where many have been killed in bombings is a special calling, and Morris and Cabina embrace it together. “To be a Christian doesn’t mean just to have a good and easy life,” Morris said. “It means maybe you live in the hard times. We as Christians can do it by the power of God and by the grace of God.”
Morris and Cabina have chosen to continue the work before them with all their might, to the glory of God, as long as they live on this earth. “There is a lot still to be done,” Morris said.