A young girl praying for peace in South Sudan
Faith Evangelical Baptist Church, Kakuma Refugee Kamp, Kenya
Earlier this week, the United Nations declared a national wide famine in South Sudan. After year's of civil war and drought, 4.9 million people are now in need of food, one hundred thousand of whom are in imminent threat of starvation. It is anticipated that this number will continue to grow unless something is done quickly.
As Canadian Baptists, we have been assisting in relief efforts with our local partner the Faith Evangelical Baptist Church. Together we have been providing food and assistance to internally displaced people that are camping in Narus, Upper Nile, and around FEBAC churches North of Juba.
Resources are being stretched thin as new people arrive each day in search of help.
Rev. Saphano Riak Chol, Secretary General FEBAC
While we have been working with leaders from FEBAC this week, Rev. Saphano's wife, Josephine Riak, has returned to the Kakuma refugee camp in Northern Kenya to help their four churches that have been receiving new arrivals from South Sudan every day.
"The people are coming very traumatized," shared Rev. Saphano. "They have been walking so far to find help. Our members are receiving them, and they need to be cared for and comforted. Everyone has witnessed so much death and terrible things."
Meanwhile, the churches within South Sudan are assisting people that have fled areas of fighting. FEBAC is doing its best to minister to orphans, widows, the injured, and disabled whom are turning to them for help, but the current priority is food which is in short supply.
Young mother Nyaakalany Kiir
FEBAC member Nyaakalany Kiir was injured in the fighting in her home village of Malakal. Kiir recently received a prosthetic limb through the ministry of the church. Kiir and her pastor share thanks for the ongoing support that their Church has received during the crisis of the past three years.
As follower's of Christ, we believe that the way we respond to the needs of the most vulnerable is a reflection of our faithfulness to God. It is humbling to serve with local churches that are sacrificially pouring their lives out for others. We thank God for the courageous faith and compassionate love that we are witnessing among our friends here in South Sudan.
Rev. Jeremiah Deng baptizing soldiers in Aweil, South Sudan
FEBAC does not discriminate in its relief and outreach projects that provide assistance to people across ethnic and religious boundaries. This example of inclusion and compassion for all has been widely noticed by government and community officials in the areas where they work. Saphano has been sharing with us letters of recognition and gratitude for the support that Canadian Baptists and our partners have been giving through FEBAC.
It has been incredible to see that during this time of such great upheaval that the church has been growing. As FEBAC cares for the vulnerable, they have also seen soldiers and community leaders coming to faith.
"One of our pastors, Rev. Jeremiah, has led many soldiers to faith," shared Rev. Saphano. "These men are often being moved around and they do not know what tomorrow holds, so Jeremiah will often offer to baptize them right away. Even if there is water next to the road."In Prayer
Please join us in praying for the people of South Sudan and for the humanitarian relief that the country so desperately needs.
Please consider making a donation to CBM's relief efforts.