"Why Are You Here?"

Visiting the injured In God’s mysterious providence, a recent PPF outreach to the Nuba mountains of Sudan coincided with the biggest ground offensive by the Islamist government in about five years. The Nuba was attacked at six different points.

The road was not easy-1

But rather than turn around, our team pressed on, often having to take rough trails to bypass the fighting. We had no choice— there was a lot of work to do.

Our team successfully delivered the first skin graft mesher machine to Dr. Tom Catena of the Mother of Mercy Hospital. It was God’s timing, because Dr. Tom is receiving new burn patients every day due to all the fighting.

Brad Phillips (right) with Dr. Tom Catena

We successfully delivered a quad bike to Dr. Omar*, a physician trained by Dr. Tom to work in more remote areas of the Nuba where people can't always make it to the main hospital.

Dr. Omar gets a quadbike

We met with key church leaders to plan new Scripture translation projects for several local languages. This was a huge encouragement to the local church.

Our team also conducted a Dignity Kit distribution, which was unfortunately interrupted by an Antonov bombing very close to our position. Thankfully, no one was hurt. But it reminded us of what a “normal” life has become for the Nuba people.

Climbing out of a foxhole following a bombing

Yet, all these accomplishments were not what encouraged our Nuba brothers the most. It was our very presence during a difficult time which really lifted their spirits. People kept asking us everywhere we went, “Why are you here? Everyone else is leaving, but you show up.”

But think about it. Isn't that how God works in all of our lives? Anytime we face a major hardship, challenge, loss, or setback, God sends us something, or someone to encourage us and help us through. Sometimes it’s a “chance” meeting of an old friend. Sometimes, it’s a “random” call from someone saying they’re praying for us. Often, it’s that casual visit of a neighbor that gives us the push we need to make it through.

Sharing together

Proverbs 25:11 says, “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.”

Timing can be everything, and the Lord of all time knows what His people need when they need it most.

Of course, our joy is being that “word spoken in right circumstances” to our Nuba brethren.  We get to be that source of encouragement to remind them that their God—and their spiritual family—hasn’t forgotten their suffering.

matt makes a new friend in the nuba

We feel the same way about you, our ministry partners. Every time we face a challenge, you are there to walk beside us and fill our hands in active compassion towards the persecuted. On behalf of those who can’t tell you themselves, thank you! Thank you for caring. Thank you for giving. Thank you for being there at just the right time!

*Name changed for security.

Praying together