Sudanese Man Speaks Out About Life as a Refugee

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Sudan is one of the seven countries named in the controversial order that suspends travelers from entering the U.S.

“I have family here that they have never seen them, “says Reverend Jenina Gatnoor, a Sudanese refugee.

Jenina Gatnoor is now a U.S. citizen, his journey to the U.S. started at the age of 12 when he left Sudan.  He’s a reverend at Zion Lutheran Church, but his family hasn’t been as lucky.

“They are living in a refugee’s life; that nothing is easy. It is a very sad situation, it’s not something that a person should live in that situation, but sometimes when a situation falls you. You don’t have no other choice,” says Gatnoor.

Jenina says he’s tried multiple times to apply for visas to bring his family to the U.S, but he’s been unsuccessful.

“I don’t understand also the reason sometimes. It doesn’t give a very good reason why they are not coming,” says Gatnoor.

With Sudan being on the travel ban, Jenina says he fears the opportunity he had might not be a reality for other refugees.

“If there is anyway even to make life difference for the people there. There may be no reason for them to come here,” says Gatnoor.

Jenina says he will continue to fight to bring his family, not for his sake, but also for his children’s sake.

They have grown up also. I want them to come and see them and meet them,” says Gatnoor.

Jenina has also started a mission program for the kids back home. It’s called Gaat (Kids)South Sudan Mission project. Since 2014, he’s been taking medical supplies, educational materials and spreading the teachings of the bible. He plans to fly back home next month to deliver the items.

For more information about the mission program visit


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