One quarter of a million people in one refugee camp in northern Uganda! These refugees have fled their war-torn South Sudan homes, many of them with only the clothes on their back. They have started life over by building mud-brick huts with thatched roofs, and surviving on rice and beans provided by the United Nations. Their meager circumstances did not stifle their worship, as they gathered in a pole building covered with tarp which was almost blown away by a whirlwind while the several hundred of us crammed together in the flimsy tabernacle.
The trip into South Sudan was heart-wrenching, stores empty and houses evacuated. The hospital had hardly anything less than fifty years old: a dust-covered antiquation which appeared more like a museum than a modern medical facility. One doctor, Joseph, and one patient were its only occupants. I laid my hand on Joseph to pray for him, but the destitution of the whole situation overwhelmed me, and I could only weep.
Maybe for the first time in my life, at last, I at least partially comprehended the emotions of Christ , recorded in Matthew 9:36: “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” Possibly the single greatest world crisis in 2017 is the trans-migration of persons fleeing such war-torn countries as Syria, Iraq, and South Sudan. The problem is overwhelming, even for organizations such as World Vision, The Red Cross, and the United Nations. I often reflect on the statement that, “Just because I cannot do everything, doesn’t mean I cannot do something.” Maybe a more substantial worship building for the refugee camp ($1,000.00) or a new stethoscope for the doctor ($200.00) would be a good place to start. And even a better place, would be at the throne of God, praying for the displaced people of the world.
Africa has been robbed, plundered, and ravaged more than any continent on the face of the world. King Leopold of Belgium and Cecil Rhodes of Britain are only two of thousands of robber barons who left Africans more impoverished than they found them. We will never be able to restore the ivory, gold, diamonds, oil, and slaves which were stolen from the continent. But possibly we can return a measure of dignity to a people that need both the bread of earth and the Bread of Life. God grant that we will be the people who advantage these impoverished people rather than take advantage of them.
As I write this reflection, my local newspaper, the Kansas City Star, published an article “Millions in South Sudan are in Urgent Need of Food.” A UNICEF official, Jeremy Hopkins, claims that “over a quarter of a million children are already severely malnourished in South Sudan.” The article further states, “African Union investigators have detailed accounts of massacres, mass rapes, and forced cannibalism.” Pray especially for humanitarian groups and churches who are attempting to provide food and other forms of relief to the victims of corruption and greed, which have traumatized, if not killed hundreds of thousands o f people.DONATE NOW
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South Sudanese refugees live in simple tents and rely on UNICEF for food. The ration isDONATE NOW
Most of the refugees in Uganda and the Maasai tribe in Kenya have no access to dental or medical services.DONATE NOW
The local churches often hold services under a tree. It is not ease to gather for worship in the rain season.DONATE NOW