Amazing Testimony of a Pastor Who Got Caught in War in South Sudan

Great Commission Media Ministries is blessed to share testimonies of God’s salvation so that others may come to know Jesus as Savior. For 30 days, we blanket entire cities with Gospel-focused testimonies using street banners, TV, radio, social media, newspapers, text messages and more.

One of the testimonies that we are currently promoting in South Sudan is God’s transformation of Bishop Paride Taban.

My Questioned Mother

I was born in Torit, South Sudan in 1936. My father used to work with a Greek merchant in his shop, and one day he was accused of stealing money from the store. As a result, my father was imprisoned. This was before my father knew that my mother carried me in her womb. When my mother went to visit him in prison, my father thought she was pregnant with another man’s child and he kicked her in her stomach in attempts to cause an abortion.

My mother cried to God in prayer saying “Do not let this child abort so that I may prove that I didn’t do anything wrong. Help me, Lord.”

“My mother cried out to God in prayer saying: Do not let this child abort so that I may prove that I didn’t do anything wrong. Help me, Lord.”

Indeed, after my birth, I was completely like my father in appearance. From that time on, he began to respect my mother again, and he was sure that he was mistaken in his sinful thoughts about her.

After I finished primary school, I was transferred to Loui School of Missionaries. I was in the fourth term of the Theology Study, and I was assigned to be the manager of the Faculty of Minor Theology. In 1964, all the missionaries were dismissed, and It was one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced in my life.

Almost Killed in Prison

After the war began, I destroyed all these weapons, for I didn’t want them to be used by any Sudanese citizen to kill any other citizen.

One day I was with a priest. We were bringing food supplies from Lyria which is about 42 miles from Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

Some soldiers put ammunition in the priest’s vehicle and both of us were arrested. we were almost killed that day. When the ammunition was examined, they discovered that is was made in Russia. Additionally, the military uniforms were found belonging to the Sudanese army, and we were released from prison.

The war climaxed in 1965, and many religious leaders were assassinated in Juba. Others fled to Uganda and Kenya while we remained until the peace agreement  was signed in 1972. There were only three priests left in Juba.

The war broke out again in 1983, when I was the bishop of Torit. The government was fighting the rebels and they had no supplies. I established the Council of Churches of the New Sudan so that I could serve the people in the places where they were displaced. I lost many lives in this war.

Bombed While Helping Others

In 1988, I was on my way back from Rome. All the roads were closed and so many people were dying in Torit and being buried in mass graves.

I asked the government to send a convoy loaded with food, and they responded with about 100 vehicles. The People’s Army became angry and started bombing us.

Along the way, many vehicles were destroyed and many people died. I used to bury them on the sides of the road. The People’s Army broadcasted on the radio that I was among the murdered people, but thank God I arrived, and I was alive. God’s blessing was with us.

We managed to deliver a little amount of food. In just over a month of travel from Juba to Torit, half of our 100 vehicles were destroyed, more than 100 people on board were wounded, and 60 were killed.

In February 1989, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army took over Torit. They believed we were supporting the government. We were captured (three other priests and I), and we stayed in the wilderness for a hundred days.

We suffered a lot. We were only fed boiled beans and corn.  Our bodies were full of lice, but we always prayed: “O Lord, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Eventually, after hundred days of international pressure, we were released, and ready to serve the people once again.

“Our bodies were full of lice, but we always prayed: ‘O Lord, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.’”

We Need to Forgive Each Other

My final message to the people of Southern Sudan is we need to forgive each other. In this effort, I established “the village of Koron for Peace,” a place where people can live in harmony.

In the village there is a school with children descending from 24 different tribes. Most of them lived in bomb shelters under the ground. Many of these children are peacemakers now.

They don’t call themselves after their tribes, and they are either Southern Sudanese or Sudanese. Collectively, as sons and daughters of one Father in Heaven, we are all created in the image of God.

Help the People of South Sudan See this Testimony!

Great Commission Media Ministries continues to broadcast God-honoring testimonies throughout South Sudan.

After someone interacts with a story of God’s transformation, they are invited to call our ministry to receive a Power to Forgive book or a MegaVoice device. These contain more testimonies of South Sudanese people whose lives have been changed by God. Most importantly, they outline a clear path to salvation according to the Scriptures.

A local church member hand-delivers the gifts so that the recipients can continue to be instructed about Jesus Christ.

Our prayer is that we would have enough Power to Forgive books for the tens of thousands of people who are responding to this campaign. We will be in South Sudan for most of 2019, and we need thousands more books to hand out.

You can participate in this evangelistic outreach by donating to GCM Ministries. Each book can lead many to faith in Jesus Christ.

  • $30 provides 33 books
  • $100 provides 111 books
  • $500 provides 555 books
  • $1000 provides 1,111 books
  • $5,000 provides 5,555 books

Thank you for “going with us to South Sudan.”

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