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I was waiting in an airport departure lounge to board a plane when the email landed in my inbox.
It was from my good friend, Francis Tombe, Kids Alive’s field director in South Sudan.
The first words my eyes caught were “I don’t know what to do!” and my blood ran cold. The hubbub of noise created by airplane passengers around me faded into the background as I read, and re-read, Francis’ email. It was devastating.
A famine has been declared in South Sudan. Men, women, children, babies, are dying of hunger. With the shortages of food, the prices of even basic supplies have skyrocketed. People simply cannot afford to buy food. Despite being weak with hunger, some are wandering from one community to the next, looking for something to eat. Many are resorting to eating grass to survive. Yes, grass.
Meanwhile, the sickening violence in the country continues. Young men are being killed daily, simply because of the tribe they come from. Young girls are being raped by armed gangs. Children are being recruited as soldiers and forced to fight. Because of the violence, people simply cannot leave their homes to farm the land…and grow the food that they so urgently need to survive.
And, incredibly, the worst is yet to come.
As Francis explains: “After the rainy season, at the end of April, the roads will be impassable. That is when things will be most dangerous in Wau. If people cannot farm their land and grow food now, there will be nothing – absolutely nothing – to eat at that time. A lot of prayer is needed.”
At Kids Alive, we remain committed to doing all we can for the children of South Sudan. We have seen amazing changes in the lives of the young men that we care for, and we believe that God has a wonderful plan for each of their lives. And we desperately want to see more children in South Sudan rescued, restored, and come into the fullness of a life in Christ.
As South Sudan faces this latest crisis, please join me in praying for:
- An end to the ongoing violence in the country – that South Sudan’s political leaders would seek a positive way forward through dialogue and negotiation rather than through violent means.
- International aid organizations in South Sudan as they seek to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. Pray that, despite the violence and poor infrastructure in the country, essential supplies – particularly food and medicines – would get to where they are most required.
- Local Christian leaders, pastors, and churches as they seek to minister to and care for those that are afraid, the poor, and the vulnerable.
- Kids Alive’s work in Wau – for the protection of our children and staff at the Good Shepherd Home. Pray that our kids would grow up to become change-makers in their community and country, and that our ministry would be an incredible witness for Christ in the midst of the darkness.
Let’s keep this country, with its beautiful people, in our prayers. Thank you.