Lection Connection - Spirit Sightings

May 5, 2019: Turning Point of Transformation

From Sandra Rooney


About three weeks ago, a smartphone video of a Sudanese protester went viral. It was the image of a young woman dressed in a white thoub (garb not popular with young women today), with gold disk earrings, standing on the roof of a car, one arm raised to the sky and a finger pointing upward. By the next morning, the video had 50,000 likes. Some have dubbed Alaa Salah, the 22-year-old student, as the Sudanese Statue of Liberty. Hind Makki, a Sudanese-American in Chicago, suggested the wearing of traditional wedding jewelry and the white thoub made a connection to mothers and grandmothers “who dressed like this while they marched in the streets demonstrating against previous military dictatorships.” That April day marked the end of 30 years of the brutal regime of Sudan’s president Omar Hassan al-Bashir.


Four months of protests, brought to a head by the worsening economic crisis in the country, evolved into a countrywide movement led by the Sudanese Professionals Association, many of whom were doctors, lawyers, engineers, and teachers. They appear to have created a sustained mass movement demanding a civilian government and the end to autocratic rule supported by the military.


Two days after the military coup placed al-Bashir under house arrest and Lt. Gen. Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf, al-Bashir’s defense minister, was named to lead an interim government, he, too, was forced to step down. General Abdel-Fattah Burhan was sworn in as head of the military council, which seemed to have met some of the protesters’ demands. The crowds, however, continued to demand that the generals hand over, or at least share power, with a civilian government.


Al-Bashir was transferred to the same prison where he once confined those who challenged his regime.  And the military council said they would hand over power to a civilian government, but that it might take as long as two years. Demonstrators, wary of being tricked and deceived, have said they will remain there, outside the defense ministry, until the military council turns over power to civilians. It’s an ever-changing situation with no certain outcome.


Explore …Acts 9:1-6 (7-20)

  • What reactions do you imagine those around Saul had — his soldier comrades, the Roman authorities, the disciples and Jesus’ other followers?
  • What kind of transformation have you experienced or witnessed?
  • What was the reaction of those around?
  • Discuss what enables or inhibits transformation, of individuals and societies.
  • What have you seen or read recently about the situation in Sudan?


Prayer links…

Author of Life, we pray that our desire to participate in the new life Jesus offers will strengthen our resolve to examine our own lives and the state of the world and accept the challenge of confronting evil wherever we can. Amen.


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