South Sudan: windows of prayer
The peace deal signed by warring parties went unheeded. Hoping for harmony can feel naïve. But BMS World Mission’s supporters are armed with the power to pray
Annet gave birth on the road. She was heavily pregnant when she was forced to flee from her home in South Sudan. “Our health facilities were closed. I didn’t have any tests,” she explained. Her mother boiled some water for her in a jug – that was all the help she had. With a newborn baby, she then faced the impossible task of finding enough food. “If the war had not broken out, I would not have gone through this,” said Annet. “Giving birth on the way. Not being able to feed my baby.”
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the world’s youngest nation, and the conflict rages on. South Sudan celebrated independence just seven years ago, but a political dispute between the country’s President and his former deputy quickly developed into a broader conflict between ethnic groups. Since war broke out at the end of 2013, over one third of the population has been displaced.
South Sudanese people are having to rebuild their lives in refugee camps, like this one in Uganda.
Scrolling through the figures in endless news cycles is dispiriting. It seems impossible to help when thousands of miles separate you from those in need. And when the news seems oblivious to the suffering, it can even be hard to know how to pray. Thankfully, BMS local workers are in the refugee camps. They’re sharing stories of the individuals behind the overwhelming statistics, so that we can pray for people by name.
We can pray for mothers like Annet. Annet doesn’t want any mother to experience the trauma she did. Let’s pray that BMS workers can get healthy, sustaining food to babies at risk of malnourishment. These workers are providing health checks to pregnant women – the kind of prenatal tests that Annet desperately needed. We need to pray that these checks can reach every woman who needs them.
Annet gave birth to her baby on the road. BMS-funded projects will mean that pregnant women can access vital health checks.
We can pray for people with disabilities, like Abbe Rose. She escaped, along with her husband and children, after some of their family members were killed. The journey they made is unimaginable: Abbe Rose wasn’t even able to bring her wheelchair. But, Abbe was given a wheelchair by her new church – South Sudanese Christians living in the camps and helping themselves – as well as each other. Abbe Rose can now get to church meetings and medical appointments and meet with friends – things that were previously impossible. “If I’m sick or my child is sick, she can push me,” Abbe explains. “We can go together.” Please pray for more people like Abbe to be given the mobility they have been denied.
Abbe Rose’s wheelchair means she can get to medical appointments and church meetings.
These stories are windows into a conflict that is overwhelming in its severity and scope. We can be overwhelmed by them, or we can use them both to pray for the challenges ahead and to thank God for the blessings BMS workers have seen. “I had no choice but to leave it to God,” says Annet of her struggles. It is a privilege to bring her situation, and that of others too, to God in prayer. Please pray right now with us:
Please pray that malnourished babies get the nourishing food they desperately need.
Please pray for people with disabilities, that their needs would not be overlooked. Pray for wheelchairs and other liberating blessings for those who need them.
Many South Sudanese parents are concerned for their children’s education – the key to a secure future. Pray that families would be able to continue their children’s schooling.
Pray for our BMS workers, that they are encouraged as they continue to deliver projects and interventions for those in need.
Pray for peace between warring factions in South Sudan, that all fighting would come to an end.
This story was originally published on the BMS World Mission website and is used with permission