Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hope in South Sudan

South Sudan has dropped out of the news a bit over the last week after the news of a ceasefire agreement. While I was happy to hear this news, I wanted to share some additional points to consider for those who are praying for the newest nation in the world.
  • As many as half a million people have been displaced within South Sudan and in neighboring nations
  • As many as 10,000 may have been killed in this recent conflict
  • The displaced are at tremendous risk for disease and severe malnutrition 
  • Infrastructure that was built up in the last decade in the areas where the active conflict has been taking place has been destroyed in the space of less than two months
  • Some of the aid including food and medicines being sent to refugee and IDP camps has been stolen, never reaching the most vulnerable
  • Many of those displaced in this recent conflict were previously displaced by the civil war in Sudan and had returned to South Sudan with hope for peace and development sometime after the peace agreement of 2005 or independence in 2011
  • It is unlikely that the displaced, who have endured long and expensive journeys to safety, will return to their homes anytime soon due to continued uncertainty and insecurity as well as the fact that many are unsure what still stands in their towns and villages
A ceasefire is a great step for the region, but it isn't that simple.  South Sudan has been a nation filled with hope following the end of decades of civil war, but in the face of these recent losses, hope isn't easy.  But the church in South Sudan is strong and filled with faithful men and women like Bishop and Rina! 

So continue to pray that this ceasefire would lead to lasting peace, and also pray boldly for a deeper reconciliation and unity that comes from the gospel.  Pray for hope in Christ who is victorious over death and brokenness.  

Also for those who have asked, Mundri is not one of the regions where there has been active fighting, but there has been an impact on the region with the disruption of services and supply chains, soldiers passing through, etc.

Disclaimer: This information is compiled from what I have read from various news outlets (including those based in East Africa) over the last weeks and filtered through my own experiences in South Sudan.  I love South Sudan, but I am not South Sudanese, so if you have a chance, talk and pray with someone from South Sudan.  

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