Dear Friends of South Sudan,
As Christians we are all busy preparing for the celebration that bears the most significance to faith, the resurrection of our Lord. Easter is celebrated in South Sudan as well. Schools and businesses are closed for more than a week, beginning on Good Friday. Believers everywhere remember the suffering and shame of Good Friday, followed by the glorious empty tomb 3 days later, on Easter Sunday. However there will be a huge difference in how we celebrate in the US, and how our brothers and sisters in South Sudan celebrate Resurrection Sunday.
In the March newsletter I wrote about a clan fight that took place in Akot. Battles between cattle camp youth and their rivals are increasing all over South Sudan, since the attempted coup in December. As a result of the attack in Akot last month 500-600 families fled Akot to Paloc, an area approximately 16 miles away. They are living under trees in the bush with only the possessions they could hand carry. The rainy season has begun and they have no shelter, water clean water source, or food. The traditional mud hut with a grass roof (called a tukel) can not be constructed in the rainy season. The sacks of food they were able to hand carry are now rancid because of the rain.
However, because of your generosity, LWCT is able to provide a deep water well and 600 tarpaulins. The children of a church in Texas are putting together 500 fishing supplies kits to help the displaced men provide food for their families. The new well will be the site for a new church in Paloc. The fishing equipment will be distributed at the first men’s discipleship gathering. A new women’s group will begin where the well is installed. The women will be learning about disease prevention and Bible stories the first year.
In the process of assessing the needs of these displaced people from Akot, we discovered that there are approximately 60,000 displaced people living in the same area. This number is far beyond the ability of LWCT to assist. Please pray that LWCT will find a larger partner organization to help with this overwhelming task. Every organization we have contacted has stated that they are already maxed out on resources for South Sudan. The number of displaced in South Sudan has reached one million. There are predictions of a famine that will compare to the worse one in history, in 1980. Reports state that many refuges are eating grass and lily pads to survive.
Last Saturday there was another attack on the people of Akot, by the same people who attacked last month. The recent attack left 41 dead and many more injured. In a phone conversation with Rose Paul, our women’s ministry director, Rose stated, “Mama, it was terrible. There were men lying dead all over the market. Many were moaning in pain as they were dying. There was so much blood. There was nothing anyone could do, because the hospital is closed now. We could only put them under shade trees to die”. Rose went on to report that all of the men have fled the village, and the women and children are all in mourning.
In the same phone call Rose had a reason to rejoice, her son ranked first among graduates of secondary schools in South Sudan. She sang a hymn with which I was not familiar. It was about questioning why God has blessed her so much, when she is so undeserving. I was thankful that the video on our Skype connection was not working, as I could not hold back the tears.
As believers we have so much to rejoice over. Jesus is alive! And He has conquered death.
“Through the blood of his Son, we are set free from our sins. God forgives our failures because of his overflowing kindness.” Ephesians 1:7
Please remember to pray for the suffering part of the body of Christ, in South Sudan. The new Christians there are desperately trying to be a light in the darkness. Your prayers are extremely important for the success of this ministry.
If you would like to financially help us equip these new disciples make more disciples, you can make a donation by check, or online by going to our website. See below for addresses.
Yin ca leec (Dinka for thank you)
Nhialic abi thiei (Dinka for God bless you),