Peter Yen and Michael Yat are two South Sudanese pastors who became famous in 2015 for being arrested, kept incommunicado, forced to undergo months of flawed court proceedings, facing the death penalty for so-called crimes against the state, and enduring notoriously difficult prison conditions for eight months in Sudan.
Although one would not be surprised if Peter was angry and bitter afterwards, he says, “At the end of the ordeal we found that we had nothing to forgive because those who imprisoned us had blessed us mightily!” Open Doors worker, Hadassa*, learned that Peter could say those words because he had a humble surrender to the Providences of God and the belief that He had allowed their suffering for a reason.
“We made peace with the reality that God would either get us released or let us be killed. The outcome was fully in His hands and we placed our faith in His ultimate purpose…But when the judge declared us free, I could not believe my ears!”
“In everything God has a reason,” Peter said. During their time in prison, Peter and Michael had the opportunity to share the gospel with many who would otherwise never have heard the message. “Of those we led to Christ, two were hanged while we were still there. Another three were killed soon after we were released. It was comforting to know that they went to be with Christ.”
Also, the situation of the Church in the Sudan was highlighted. “The Church in Sudan (saw) God at work as we stayed healthy and happy and kept our testimony in Christ.” Muslims also saw that the Christian Church is united.
Personally, Peter experienced great spiritual growth. “The depth of fellowship I had with God was stronger than I ever had.”
Thank the Lord for His grace to the two pastors during their time in prison and for the powerful testimony the men were able to live out. Pray that the Lord would do the same for five Sudanese pastors, including Telal Nogosi and Hassan Kodi who are currently facing similar circumstances. Also pray for the Lord’s grace on the Church in Sudan which is facing increasing pressure to stop telling people about salvation in Christ.