An African Moses in America!
Missionary to America, Moses Dangba, Sudan
Moses Dangba remembers a beautiful experience in his native South Sudan. His life was often clouded with unrest, famine, and war as a child in his small town of Maridi, near the border with Zaire. But when Christians in his town came to worship, people from different ethnic groups singing the same hymn in different languages, he was filled with transcendent joy. It reminded him of the worship of St. John described in Revelations 7:9. “I looked and saw a multitude too large to count, from every nation and tribe and people and tongue, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”
Moses was one of eleven children, a challenge to provide for in war-torn South Sudan. When he was nine years old his grandfather, a Christian pastor, took the boy under his wing and changed his African name to Moses. He often told Moses that it would be his calling to lead people to a different life.
Moses followed his grandfather everywhere and learned Bible stories and hymns. As he grew, he joined his grandfather on pastoral calls and was supervised to pray in public, to teach and to preach. As a teenager, his grandfather sent Moses to Khartoum, North Sudan, to a preparatory boarding school.
When he arrived in Khartoum, police confiscated his Bible. Upon entering the school, each student chose to study Islam or Christianity. There were books and teachers for the classes in Islam but no Bibles or teachers in the Christian classrooms. Moses led the 15 Christians who chose to study the Bible. Without books they shared what they remembered and sang hymns they learned as children.
Sudanese civil war and life in America
Civil war broke out in Sudan as Moses was preparing to start college. He was required to join the Army of North Sudan and fight the Christians of South Sudan. Moses and others refused and were jailed. Moses continued to teach the Bible and lead prayer in prison. The hymns and verses from the former boarding school were now a witness to those around him. By God’s grace, the jail doors were opened when the United Nations intervened and took custody of the young men.
Fearful the Christians might not remain free, Moses and the others were smuggled into Egypt and left there to fend for themselves. They had no protection, no funds, and no work. In 1998, a door opened in Lebanon. Moses found a job, attended a Christian college, and married a wonderful young woman he met in Khartoum. Moses and his bride were welcomed to America in 2000 when Lansing, Michigan accepted the refugees.
Moses soon found an opportunity to serve a Lutheran church under the direction of Rev. David Theile in East Lansing. Young men from Sudan had recently found refuge near the church after escaping the murderous civil war in South Sudan. Christ Lutheran welcomed the young men, many of whom did not speak English. Moses knew their language and culture. He led them to Jesus.
Moses became the church’s missionary to lead African immigrants from several countries to Jesus. When the Africans worship together, each using their own language to sing praises to God, it is the beautiful, transcendent experience Moses remembers from childhood.
"Against All Odds, Bible Study in Sudan"
Watch Moses Complete Testimony