These words sum up the despair of tens of thousands of displaced refugees. Sadly, many of them have been forced to flee their homeland in South Sudan, as civil war erupted last December.
A few weeks ago, I traveled with a team of four disaster relief leaders and three field strategists from the International Mission Board to evaluate the needs of refugee camps in Uganda. Our team drove over 2500 kilometers, assessed 20 refugee camps, and witnessed the tragic deprivation of more than 100,000 displaced people. The vast majority of these driven from their homes and living in these hopeless camps were women and children. Every person we encountered had experienced unbelievable loss and trauma.
The images seared into my mind have left me a bit broken. The camps are overflowing and short on resources. People are drinking contaminated water because they do not have a decent well. The food never lasts long enough. Some water tanks have been dry for days. Families are living under USAID tarps. Orphaned children are trying to survive alone.
The media has moved on to the crisis in the Ukraine and other breaking stories. Fighting in Sudan is old news, and those in the camps feel forgotten and forsaken. Again and again, I was asked, “Are you here to take a few pictures or will you help us?”
I promised that I would not forget them. I gave my word that I would lift their needs to the God of glory, and share their story with followers of Christ. Please hear their cries and:
- Pray for the people of South Sudan. Pray for peace in this land of unrest. Pray for our missionaries living in this difficult place of service. Pray that God would use this time of brokenness to awaken people to the Good News of Christ.
- Give to help those who have so little and who need a Gospel with hands and feet. A gift through Baptist Global Response or Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief of $25 could provide a hoe and seed to a mother trying to feed her hungry children in a camp; a gift of $500 could provide blankets, care kits, and hope to the elderly living under tarps. A gift of $10,000 could drill a borehole providing clean water to an entire settlement. Your continued support of the Cooperative Program, through your local church, enables missionaries and ministries like Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief to offer help, healing, and hope to the hurting.
- Engage by leading your church to connect with an unreached people group. Tribes in South Sudan and across the globe continue to wait for someone to bring them the hope of Jesus Christ. God continues to ask, “Who will go for Me?”
My heart was broken over the need that I witnessed, and I was reminded of a word from Isaiah, “And if you offer yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted one, then your light will shine in the darkness, and your night will be like noonday.”