It Gets Worse in One of the World’s Worst Places (bringing hope to South Sudan)

South Sudan, noted in blue, in East Africa

South Sudan, noted in blue, in East Africa

South Sudan is the youngest nation in the world, gaining independence from Sudan (now North Sudan) in 2011. I will be running in the world’s largest relay race for the world’s youngest nation. Please give!

In the recent World Vision magazine, president Richard Stearns reminds us of the atrocities committed against the innocent ones in one of the worst places of human suffering in our day:

The civil war tearing through South Sudan has displaced millions of people, exposing many of them to horrific acts of violence.

South Sudan is badly in need of food assistance. Fleeing from the violence, farmers are not planting or harvesting their crops, so the country is running low on food. At the same time, emergency food relief can’t get through as transport routes to conflict affected areas have been cut-off by heavy rain and the conflict its self.

 Rich Stearns measures a child’s upper-arm circumference at a clinic in Kuajok, South Sudan, in May 2015. The arm band reads in the red zone, which indicates the child is severely malnourished. (Photo: ©2015 Melany Markham/World Vision)


Richard Stearns measures a child’s upper-arm circumference at a clinic in Kuajok, South Sudan, in May 2015. The arm band reads in the red zone, which indicates the child is severely malnourished.
(Photo: ©2015 Melany Markham/World Vision)

The result has been devastating. Parents are sending their children into towns to find work so that they can buy food to feed the rest of their family where they try to find work shining shoes or collecting rubbish. But work is scarce, and food is getting more and more expensive. South Sudan is hemorrhaging.The United Nations declared that 4.6 million people in South Sudan are still in severe need of food. That’s more than one of every three people in the country, including mothers who are so malnourished they cannot produce milk for their infants. Still, they do the best they can to raise their children on whatever food they can find.

Earlier in the article Stearns notes the multiplying of horrific situations:

I wouldn’t have thought after my visit to the country in June that things could have gotten worse, but UNICEF Director Anthony Lake confirms that indeed it has. In a July 2015 statement he reports boys have been castrated and left to bleed to death; girls as young as 8 have been raped and murdered; and children have been thrown into burning buildings. These horrors come on top of a food crisis that threatens to become a famine.

My heart breaks of this news.

Through a partnership with Team World Vision I am raising funds for South Sudan. As a runner on one of ten teams for Hood-to-Coast relay (200 miles on August 28-29), all donations given go to the ongoing good work of World Vision there in South Sudan and neighboring countries. A goal of $10,000 by next weekend seems like a lot. In reality, it’s more like a drop in the bucket. Make that a water bucket that women and children must haul many miles multiple times a day in hopes of finding water, even if unsanitary and unsafe. Yet, through this event and so many others, the impact of goodness, generosity and love in the name of Christ can change their lives.

Will you consider giving?

$50 = clean water for life for one person!

Collecting water in South Sudan

Indigenous workers in South Sudan bringing relief and food aid in South Sudan. (Photo: ©2015 World Vision)

Indigenous workers in South Sudan bringing relief and food aid in South Sudan. (Photo: ©2015 World Vision)

Most of us don’t want to be confronted by these kinds of stories. Children suffering in the world are out of our sight and out of our minds, and it is much easier to keep it that way.

But they aren’t out of God’s mind or heart. His heart is broken by the suffering of his children, and he wants our hearts to be broken too. He wants us to be his hands and feet, even when we would prefer to run away. This is what Jesus meant when he said “whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:21).

Team World Vision

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