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Daniel of the year

"Daniel of the year" Continued...

Issue: "Mad Dash," Dec. 16, 2000

Relief workers believed many of his problems could be eased with fresh supplies. In August, Safe Harbor chartered a private cargo plane to fly in more than a ton of medicine and other supplies in a maiden landing on the reclaimed airstrip. It outmaneuvered Sudanese radar and the bomber but succumbed to Blue Nile mud. The airstrip's wet soil sucked both wheels and propellers deep into the ground upon landing. Crew and supplies survived but the crippled plane clogged the airstrip and-more importantly-gave the Antonov an on-the-ground target. Locals camouflaged the plane with mud for a time. It was repaired and flown out only recently.

Michael and other residents say fighting for the area has been more intense this year than in recent memory. That is no surprise. Sudan's state-owned National Petroleum Company plans to lay pipelines across the region if it can strike an oil deal with Ethiopia-and subdue this region. Michael has been a Christian in Muslim territory too long to put his faith in short-term political changes. But he is desperate to pass on what he knows-both in practical learning and spiritual knowledge-to a younger generation. "We have no teachers to teach," he said.

"Because Michael received most of his education before the civil war erupted, he is better equipped than the average fellow," said Glenn Penner of Voice of the Martyrs, teacher at the January conference. "Some of the pastors cannot even read. Most have less knowledge than a first-year Bible college student." So walking a hundred miles or more to hear Bible teaching is no problem because-in Michael's simple summation and a smile-"Christianity in Blue Nile is very difficult."

Mindy Belz
Mindy Belz

Mindy travels to the far corners of the globe as the editor of WORLD and lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.

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