The Bible was small and barely holding together, but it effectively
delivered God’s Word through the preaching of Abram Yac Deng.
With only minimal training, he faithfully shepherded his large
congregation near Turalei, Bahr El Ghazal Province in Sudan. He taught
the church of four hundred Sudanese with the only Bible of the entire
congregation. Although many of the people were illiterate, his desire was
to provide literary classes for men, women, and children. When a Christian ministry brought in hundreds of Bibles, Deng was thrilled that every
member of his congregation would have access to the Scriptures.
Four days after receiving the Bibles, radical Islamic raiders invaded
the village. Deng was shot in the head at close range, killing him instantly.
The church was torched and many people made it out just in time.
Almost one hundred villagers were killed that day, and many people were
kidnapped and forced into slavery. The newly delivered Bibles that
brought them such hope and joy were destroyed in the fire.
One of Deng’s favorite verses was Romans 6:23: “For the wages of
sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our
Lord.” Today, he is reaping that free gift in eternity.
By Western standards, the possessions of a Sudanese family would
be considered scant and primitive. The grass-roofed tukel they live in
contains almost nothing of value. But it is not for earthly possessions
that these brothers and sisters are willing to make such great sacrifices:
It is for what they will possess in Heaven. They will someday experience
the promise of Hebrews 10:34: “For you had compassion on those in
prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since
you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding
one.” The price that Sudanese Christians pay is very high, but their
reward will be great. It is this “better and lasting” possession that gives
them courage to withstand such brutal assaults on their faith.
This story is an excerpt from Foxe: Voices of the Martyrs. You can get your own copy free with any donation to The Voice of the Martyrs.