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ICC Note: Eighteen-year-old “Kuku” from Kordofan state, South Sudan knows the cost of following Christ. Trusting in Jesus meant that he was exiled from his Muslim family and threatened to be killed by his own father for forsaking Islam. Now in hiding, “Kuku” is afraid, but knows that he has found “the way, the truth, and the life” through salvation in Christ.

5/4/15 Juba, South Sudan (Morning Star News) – First an 18-year-old Sudanese Muslim became a refugee from Sudan’s war-torn South Kordofan state; then he received Christ and became a refugee from his family.

Kuku (full name withheld) and his family, ethnic Nuba from the Kauda area, arrived at Yida refugee camp in South Sudan in 2011, shortly after military conflict broke out in South Kordofan. The Sudanese Air Force has routinely bombed civilian targets in its battle with area rebels.

About seven miles from the Sudanese border at the Yida settlement, where tens of thousands of refugees have set up homes, an evangelist going door-to-door managed to gain an audience with Kuku’s family in December 2014. He obtained permission to speak of Jesus with the family in their home.

“What I heard was all new to me – I could feel the power of the words of the gospel I was hearing,” Kuku said. “It was as if a new thing had come into my life.”

He kept quiet. Shortly thereafter, however, he met with the evangelist’s church and put his trust in Christ. At home, he remained quiet.

In February, after two months of sneaking away to worship with the church, he revealed his faith to his family.

His father told him he would never forgive him for leaving Islam. Warning that he should leave before they did “something bad” to him, his father said, “You cannot stay with us anymore, because you have become an infidel.”

Kuku told his angry family that he was truly convinced he had found “the true way and true life,” he said.

“You should consider denouncing your Christian faith and come back to Islam so that you are not hurt,” his father told him. Kuku replied, “I am leaving this house totally convinced that I have become a Christian, and there is no turning back. But God will provide me with a place to stay.”

His resolute faith, however, did not mean he was without fear.

“When they asked me to leave the house, I was terribly afraid,” he said. “I did not expect my family to treat me in such a harsh way.”

Yida community leaders tried to persuade the family to allow Kuku to remain with them even though he had left Islam. The family rejected all such attempts, a church leader said.

“Kuku had faced growing threats from his family, who told him to come back to Islam if he wanted to spare his life,” the church leader said.

The evangelist who proclaimed Christ to Kuku and his family encouraged him in his new faith and helped arrange for him to go into hiding on Feb. 15.

Another evangelist told Morning Star News that Kuku’s faith remains strong.

“Kuku is stable in his new faith in Christ to the point that he witnesses to his Muslim friends about Jesus,” he said.

With refugee life cutting short his education – he studied only up to the eighth grade before his family fled Sudan – Kuku is uncertain about his future. A Christian family is giving him shelter and food. Amid uncertainty, his faith is steadfast.

“It is difficult to be abandoned by your family, especially parents, but God will one day bring my family to Christian faith,” he said.

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