Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Difficult Year for South Sudan

     This has been a particularly difficult year for the people of South Sudan, and for those here in the U.S. that know and love them.  The ongoing internal struggles that have engulfed the country since November of 2013 has damaged the already tenuous existence of so many hoping for a life of peace and stability.  Instead of rebuilding their lives, hundreds of thousands of people have fled to refugee camps or into the bush (called internally displaced persons) to escape the ongoing conflicts.  We are told, thankfully, that the people of Malual and Bethlehem are out of the path of direct conflict since they are in such a remote location.
     As you can imagine, the situation is difficult even for those not directly in the path of conflict, and is hardest for the children and most vulnerable.  People still living in South Sudan are desperate for medicine and for basic survival provisions.  For this reason, we are focusing our fundraising effort to do as much as we can to provide basic survival necessities.  Martha P recently returned from South Sudan where she discussed their priorities with people living in Malual, and videotaped what she could to bring their story to us.  We will be including the information she brought back with her to set priorities and to plan our approach for KLC-SSCRP this fall.
    In order to avoid the additional cost of travel for a larger group, and in order to ensure we direct as much needed assistance as possible to those who so desperately need it, we will again be postponing the 2014 mission trip.  We will instead purchase and send supplies with a couple of our members who plan to travel to South Sudan in November.  When the situation has improved and we are able to continue our restoration efforts, we will again work with the people of Longechuk County to help build the future they are hoping for including establishing a clinic and a school.
    Please continue to pray for those impacted by the conflict, and for their leaders to open their hearts to ways of love and peace for the world's newest nation of South Sudan.