Standing With the People of South Sudan

September 21, 2016 • South Sudan
South Sudan Yida Refugee Camp
A woman in Yida Refugee Camp divides food rations

God continues to use Samaritan’s Purse across this troubled nation.

Stand in South Sudan

As the huge plane circles the hard-packed drop zone preparing to unload its food cargo in midair, the people on the ground in this remote area of South Sudan exclaim with gusto: “Our grandmother is coming, our grandmother is coming!”

“Grandmothers are revered in the African culture,” said a Samaritan’s Purse staff member. “She has the caretaker role, especially for young children in the community. So when the people see the airplane with their food rations, they know someone values and supports them.”

A fierce armed conflict erupted last year and forced people in southern Unity State to flee to the swamps. To evade detection and escape the violence, they were always on the run, shuttling from one small island to the other. For food, they scavenged water lily roots. When hostilities quieted down last September, most returned, only to find their homes looted and their livestock stolen. Since they missed their planting season, they’ve become dependent upon these monthly food distributions.

Mammoth planes are needed to airdrop the 32 metric tons of food because fighting has made the roads inaccessible. Our teams organize the bags—filled with sorghum, split peas, and vegetable oil—then distribute the food to the 69,000 people arriving for their 30-day allotment.

These distributions are a vital part of our outreach to these hurting people. But we don’t stop there. We’re drilling new wells and fixing existing boreholes to ensure clean, safe drinking water. We’re providing sanitation and nutrition services to safeguard the health of the most vulnerable.
We’re teaching agricultural skills.

And our work goes even deeper—to provide spiritual food. We’re teaming with local churches to teach members to read the Bible, to lead peace-building workshops, and to train trauma counselors who help people overcome the atrocities they’ve suffered. As we work, we thank God for opening doors to present the Good News and to disciple new believers.

“The people strongly appreciate Samaritan’s Purse,” said our staff member. “We’ve stood behind them, and they know we’re here to stay.”

That’s true across South Sudan. Samaritan’s Purse has been dedicated to serving the people there in Jesus’ Name for decades.

We helped rebuild 512 churches across the country that had been destroyed by the Government of Sudan and expanded a hospital in Maban County, the only healthcare facility that remains open in the midst of the fighting there.

We’re also ministering to people who bolted for their lives as bombs rained down on their homes in the Nuba Mountains in neighboring Sudan. Nearly 70,000 now live in the Yida Refugee Camp and an additional 30,000 at the nearby Ajuong Thok Refugee Camp. One young man who escaped with his family thanks the Lord for the ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. “They are like a grace or like a blessing from God,” the refugee said. “They really understand exactly the needs of the Nuba people.”

And many people are becoming faithful followers of Jesus, including Muslims. Juma is one of them. Noticing Juma’s hard work and desire to develop new skills, a Samaritan’s Purse staff member at Yida Camp spent Saturday mornings teaching the young man different computer programs. He peppered her with questions about Christianity. Then he began attending our showings of the Jesus Film. Convinced of the truth of John 14:6—“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”—the 20-year-old committed his life to Christ.

He was so excited, he went home saying, “I have to tell my family and friends who need to hear about Christ.”

Praise God “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20, ESV).

Stand with South Sudan Samaritan's Purse
South Sudan Relief Samaritan’s Purse is providing emergency food and clean water for people in South Sudan who have been internally displaced by an ongoing conflict within the country, and we continue to provide emergency aid to refugees who have fled violence in the Nuba Mountains and other parts of Sudan. Additional projects include drilling wells to provide clean water, distributing food to fight hunger and malnutrition, providing medical care for the sick and suffering, and working through the local church to build up communities through education and biblical literacy.

South Sudan Relief 013954