In less than a year, one doctor in California has raised enough money via social media to free 1,125 slaves in Sudan. Dr. Mark Girguis is a member of the Coptic Orthodox Church (the Orthodox Church of Egypt) and an active lay member involved in Bible studies, men’s groups, and youth ministry. When he heard about Christian Solidarity International’s efforts to free Christians and non-Muslims in Sudan, he felt led to do something significant.
“I couldn’t believe that slavery still existed,” says Girguis. “I thought when we defeated the institution in the United States, it had disappeared. Being Coptic Orthodox, with a tremendous Church history of persecution since our existence in the first century, we have a number of churches in Sudan, a neighboring country to Egypt. I remember in our youth group, we had two brothers that had fled Sudan because of persecution. I have two daughters who are incredibly precious to me. In putting myself in the shoes of the Sudanese parents who suffered the loss and kidnapping of their children, my heart was broken. God then led me to start the Free 1,000 Campaign.”
In January 2020, Girguis began sharing his Free 1,000 Campaign on social media, through his church, utilizing presentations and videos, and raising awareness of the problem of slavery. Last month, Dr. Girguis achieved his personal goal of freeing 1,000 Sudanese slaves, raising over $250,000 for the effort. For a cost of about $250, Christian Solidarity International frees a slave in exchange for a much-needed cattle vaccine. Each liberated person is then given a survival kit of essential items, a dairy goat, and food as well as health care, plus safe passage back to their families and communities.
“As Christians, we are called to do acts of mercy and build the Kingdom of God,” says Girguis. “To release these Christians from the captivity of Muslims who force the slaves to adopt their religion was a great motivator for me. To allow these people to come back to Christ, released from Islam — well, there are very few opportunities where our actions can really change a life for eternity. From slavery to freedom, from Muslim control to Christian faith, restored to family, and heaven bound. I have prayed for the donors and the slaves and for lives being changed, and maybe one of the most profound changes, was in me.”
Find out more information, support and follow the Free 1000 campaign journey at https://www.facebook.com/mgirguis/.