Local man home from captivity: 'I will do my best to see a better Sudan'

Local man home from captivity: 'I will do my best to see a better Sudan' »Play Video
The Sudanese activist said it was an experience so scary, that he did not have a whole lot of hope he'd make it back. "They were trying to charge me with the death penalty and at least 15 years," Dawod said. "So I never really expected that I would be back."

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - After a summer of uncertainty, Rudwan and Nancy Dawod are back together preparing for the birth of their daughter later this month.

Rudwan was held captive in Sudan, accused of spying. At one point, he faced prison or even death if convicted.

"I woke up this morning like 'Yeah! This is true! It's real!' " he told KVAL News on Thursday.

They had doubts during the crisis.

"Just knowing that he felt that, knowing that he might not come home, it's hard to hear him say that," Nancy said.

"I didn't lose the hope really," Rudwan said. "I was worried yes, but I didn't lose the hope because I knew that there were too many people standing behind me, praying for me, and I never even met them."

Rudwan was arrested during a missionary trip, imprisoned and beaten by sometimes 13 people at a time.

His eyes were covered, but his heart was clear.

"I'm not their enemy," he said of his captors, "and they are not my enemy.

"Even if I became free," he remembered thinking, "I won't really look at them as my enemy. I look at them just like innocent people."

Rudwan said his work isn't over yet.

"I will do my best to see a better Sudan so that my daughter can be proud of it," he said.

Proud of a country that held her father prisoner.

"It is our time as a new generation to correct all the mistakes," he said.

One good thing came out of the ordeal.

"I lost a lot of the weight," he said. "My friends call it the al-Bashiir's diet."