Serving one’s neighbor

Published 10:37 am Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A pastor and resident from Sudan, community members in the Heart of Virginia and state and congressional leaders have demonstrated boundless generosity and humanity, even sacrificing their lives and safety to help their neighbors.

This was first demonstrated by the sacrifices and compassion shown by Pastor Hassan Abduraheem and Abdulmonem Abdumawla, who were imprisoned in Sudan on charges of aiding an organization considered a security threat to the Sudanese government after pursuing humanitarian efforts.

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Continents away in the U.S., a Twitter post about the pastor prompted Congressman Tom Garrett to pursue his release from prison, speaking with the Sudanese Consulate in Washington, D.C., and the government in the Czech Republic, even traveling to Sudan to speak with the Sudanese government.

“The wild part about this is that Mr. Garrett sprung right into action,” Missen said. “Having a seat on the foreign affairs committee was certainly helpful, but Mr. Garrett, not being in federal politics ever before, he drafted a letter and he got in his vehicle and went from Capitol Hill to the Sudanese Consulate in Washington, D.C., and when he arrived and knocked on the door, the Sudanese were obviously … dumbfounded because Congressman Garrett, was, according to them, the first member of Congress or member of an administration to come to the Sudanese Consulate in D.C. in over a decade.”

Upon Abduraheem and his family’s entry into the U.S., they have been shown enormous generosity by members of the Heart of Virginia, who have provided support, assistance with forms and papers, preparations for a refurbished home, groceries, everything needed for a house and home in more ways than one, Farmville resident and sponsor Diana Shores said.

“We believe in God because what happened to us was really a miracle,” Abduraheem said. “I believe it was God’s purpose, it was not just something without any meaning, that God did this because He wanted to show the world what is happening in Sudan.”

This opportunity to offer support and refuge for those who first extended that support to their neighbors in Sudan comes very rarely.