South Sudan's Conflict Survivors

Leader's guide

Planning to run a church service or event to raise money for South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors?  This page includes all the information and resources in our leader’s guide, which you can also download as a pdf file here:

Cover of the South Sudan's Conflict Survivors Leader's guide featuring a mother with two babies
South Sudan's Conflict Survivors - boy in wheelchair

We want to help more South Sudanese refugee children like Modi Emmanuel. Will you partner with us today?

Modi Emmanuel had to crawl away from South Sudan’s brutal civil war. His mother tried her best to carry him, but she couldn’t manage every step. And so this bright young South Sudanese boy, unable to walk through a disability, had to get on his hands and knees to find his way to safety in Uganda.

It breaks my heart to think of what Modi Emmanuel endured on his journey. The hardship and physical pain, and the terror of not knowing if he would survive. I give thanks to God that he did, and that he is now safe and has been given a wheelchair thanks to South Sudanese Christians and BMS World Mission’s partners working among the refugees.

But there are so many other disabled South Sudanese refugees in camps in Uganda who do not have a wheelchair. And there are children who need food. Pregnant women who require a basic, yet life-saving health check. And widows who need tools and seeds to grow food for their families.

You can change this by running a South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors service in your church, and by encouraging people to make a life-changing gift to our work in refugee camps in Uganda. 

I ask you to do this as a personal appeal. South Sudanese refugees may have been forgotten by others, but they are not forgotten by BMS. Right now, there are hundreds of thousands of vulnerable, displaced people, made in God’s image, who need help from every member of the BMS family.

I thank you for taking the first step to providing that help by opening this Leader’s guide. Please, read on and partner with us. Please help us show God’s love where it’s needed most.

Thank you.
Kang-San Tan signature
Kang-San Tan

 

General Director
BMS World Mission

Click on each link below to go straight to that part of the guide:

Useful stuff for small group and church: A PowerPoint quiz for services, posters, collection jar labels and gift envelopes – all free, all really easy to order! Check out the full list of resources here.

The cost of hope: Price points to help your fellowship understand what their giving can do to help South Sudanese refugees and to empower local people around the world to help themselves. Share with your church!

How to give: The simple, hassle-free ways that people can make a donation to help South Sudanese refugees and others around the world.

Church service ideas: Fun, simple ideas to get your church engaged with the issues – so that they will pray fervently and give generously.

Sermon outline: Rev Gareth Wilde has seen the refugee settlements first-hand, and knows the difference your giving can make. His sermon outline can help even inexperienced preachers share God’s heart for this situation.

Fundraising ideas: Creative and cool, energetic and chilled, all-age and niche – we’ve got all the ideas to help you help your church support this appeal.

Use these resources to build a service or event that works for you and your church.

All these resources are available here on the website and on the South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors DVD. To order resources by phone, call Pam on 01235 517617.

How to book a BMS speaker

Not confident you can run a South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors service in your church? Why not get a BMS speaker to come to your church? They could run your service or just do a talk, and if you let them take a special offering, you don’t even have to order gift envelopes!

Click here to request a BMS Speaker, or call our Speaker Team on 01235 517631.

The cost of hope:

What your giving can achieve

  • £18 can provide a solar battery bank to save mums and babies’ lives by powering a blood pressure monitor
  • £39 can support a community disability helper for a month, fighting stigma, providing support and pastoral care
  • £66 can provide the seeds and tools to give a family food for a year, by helping them grow crops.
South Sudan's Conflict Survivors - a woman in a field of maize using one of the tools you have helped provide

The South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors appeal supports BMS work in refugee settlements in Uganda, among some of the most vulnerable people on earth. But it could also support our work in other places of desperate need. In the event that gifts to South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors exceed the money budgeted to bring hope to refugees through ministries among pregnant mothers, people with disabilities and those at risk of malnourishment, all money raised will be used to transform the lives of some of the most marginalised and least evangelised people in the world. Mothers at risk in Afghanistan, church planters facing persecution in India and Roma people in Albania could benefit from your giving. You could support BMS doctors in remote hospitals in Chad and lawyers defending the weak in Uganda and Mozambique. Your gift will make a difference.

Hassle-free ways to give

Young girl wearing a worn print dress and necklace, sitting on the ground and looking up

Why not dedicate a Sunday morning offering to South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors by taking a special collection? Just show the video before taking up the offering and then send what you have collected to BMS World Mission, along with a remittance slip to let us know what it’s for. From small change to big notes – it all helps!

Cheques can also be sent to support South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors. Please ask your congregation to make any cheques out to “BMS World Mission” and to include a remittance slip, Gift Aid form or note indicating the gift is for South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors.

A great idea is to place gift envelopes (which you can order from us for free) on chairs before a service, along with pens. You collect the envelopes containing both cash and cheques and post to BMS at:
PO Box 49, 129 Broadway, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 8XA

Please do give your congregation plenty of time to fill in their details on the envelopes before taking up your offering. And remember, you don’t even have to open the envelopes. Just send them straight to BMS and let us do the hard work!

If they’ve forgotten their chequebooks or don’t have any cash, people can always give later at www.bmsworldmission.org/survivors.

Click here to give online right now.

Not everyone can afford to give. We understand that. So, while South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors is primarily about raising funds for the amazing work God is doing in a very hard situation, if someone cannot give, we don’t want them to feel that they cannot contribute. Praying for South Sudan and for our work amongst its refugees will make such a difference. And, in addition, many people who can’t afford to give can still give others the opportunity to! Our fundraising ideas on page 10 could provide great opportunities for anyone to contribute to the work by helping others support it!

We can’t thank you enough for your support in encouraging your church to give. We know it is going to make a huge difference.

Get your church involved:

Service ideas and ice-breakers

We’d love your congregation to be involved in your South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors service. Here are some easy (and fun) ways for people to participate.

How fast can you pump a tyre?

The terrain in the refugee camps in Uganda is unforgiving on wheelchair tyres. BMS local workers help when they can, pumping tyres on their visits. Our challenge to you is to invite two (or more, if people are keen) people during a service to compete to see who can pump up a wheelchair tyre the fastest. We’re sure this will not only be an exciting event for your service, it will also give people an important insight into our work in Uganda. And if no wheelchairs are available, use a bicycle tyre!

The race to escape

Tell your congregation about what refugees go through when they flee violence. Ask them to imagine having to run away at short notice, with only a few minutes to gather some essentials before escaping. Prepare beforehand by having some items in each corner of the church. Set a time limit of a few minutes and ask a volunteer to gather what they think the essentials are. A pair of comfortable shoes, some water and non-perishable food are essential. Give them an old kitbag and let them choose from appropriate and less essential items dotted around the church. This can be a good discussion-starter about what they might need and how stressful it is, even in a pretend situation, to try to make these decisions.

Two men discuss pumping the tyre on a wheelchair watched by three small boys.
You'll need:
  • some beans for growing
  • some South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors  prayer reminder labels
  • one small jar
  • some tissue paper or cotton wool.

Growing prayers

A great activity whether you run your South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors service in Springtime or around harvest – and particularly good for children! Give each person participating a runner bean (or broad bean or other seed you know to grow quickly). Show them how to fill a small jar with cotton wool or scrunched up tissue paper and pop the bean between the glass and the paper. Wet the paper and put in a sunny spot indoors and the bean will sprout and grow.

Explain that:

  • Refugees from South Sudan are often so hungry they don’t even have beans to eat but that when we give money to help them, they are able to grow their own food to eat.
  • The way a seed or bean grows is a little bit like our prayers for people less fortunate than us. We do a little (putting the seed in the jar and watering) but we cannot create life or make a plant grow. Only God can do that. In the same way, God can use even our small efforts to help people to grow and flourish.

Encourage everyone you’ve given a seed to, to also take a label for their jar, reminding them to pray for South Sudanese refugees and for BMS work among them. Through our small efforts and prayers, God can bring a harvest and great fruitfulness!

And if many people are keen, get them to take pictures of how their plants are doing and give a prize to the best grower!

Quiz-tians

Remember that PowerPoint quiz we told you about earlier? We thought we’d mention it again as it is a great way to encourage participation in a service. It won’t take long to get through (ten minutes or so) and people get the chance to choose from multiple answers. And even if no-one gets all the answers correct, everyone would have learnt something about the world’s youngest nation.

Survivors: a local worker shares high fives with a group of children

Sermon

by Rev Gareth Wilde

Baptist minister Rev Gareth Wilde has visited the South Sudanese refugee camps and seen first-hand the work your church can support. Here, he shares ideas for a short sermon based on South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors. We suggest it might work well to give your sermon after watching the video and taking up your BMS offering.

Faith that works for the least of these
Matthew 25: 31-46

Imagine Jesus on judgment day separating people, like a shepherd parting sheep from goats. I find this illustration in Matthew 25 very disturbing for two reasons: judgment and the emphasis on good works. As such, I confess I have rarely preached it.

Jesus’ words make me feel uncomfortable and cause me to ask, “So what am I Lord?” Am I a sheep or a goat? His response doesn’t help. In fact, it makes me feel worse. “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

That’s a tough response so I ask him humbly, Lord when did I see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison and did not help you? But his response continues to disturb me: “Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

I find myself thinking of the few donations I gave to this or that charity or community project, or moments when I have assisted someone in need. But is Jesus really suggesting I could earn my way into heaven and balance my bad deeds with my good deeds? If so, then I of all people find myself on scales that swing in an undesirable direction. No-one can erase their sins through their good deeds. Jesus who knew no sin became sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. I am comforted that I can only be judged by my faith in him (2 Cor 5: 21; Eph 2: 8; Rom 10: 9).

However, if all I had was this passage from Matthew 25 (and perhaps the book of James) then this parable is not about separating faith from works but about creating faith that works. And for the least of these! (James 2: 17-20) This is completely consistent with the Old Testament, which shows God’s heart for the widows and the orphans, the hungry and the poor, for the least of these.

My first visit to South Sudan was to a pastors’ conference for the Baptist Convention of South Sudan. They were introducing Jesus through solid Bible teaching. Then suddenly, one year later, these pastors had become refugees themselves.

My second visit watched their ministry take on a fresh dimension as they expressed their faith with practical love for the most vulnerable.

They were now contributing to the safer pregnancies of mums using blood pressure monitors donated by BMS World Mission. They were providing food for the hungry, shelter and sustainable crops for the internally displaced with a BMS funded agronomist from Uganda. They were giving out and repairing wheelchairs for those with disability and mobility issues. They were not doing it to provide incentives to proselytise. They were not making “rice Christians”. This was integral mission and making their faith work!

I came back with a new challenge to nurture a relationship with Jesus that could show itself in humble, loving and sacrificial service for others especially the physically and spiritually hungry, the physically and spiritually poor, the physically and spiritually unhealthy.

A story is told of Martin of Tours, a Roman Soldier who became a Christian as he came across a beggar. With no money to hand, Martin had removed his worn and frayed cloak and ripped it in two, giving half to the grateful beggar. That night he had a dream in which Jesus came to him wearing half of the Roman Soldier’s cloak. An angel asked Jesus “Where did you get that cloak, Jesus?” Jesus replied, “My servant Martin gave it to me!”

What can I expect to hear from Jesus when I face him on judgment day? I hope I will be one of the sheep that hears his voice with faith, but I ask more frequently the question: “Has my faith worked for others?” Has my life been mostly about ME or has my faith worked for others, especially for the “least of these”?

A smiling mother and her daughter sitting outside their home

Fundraising ideas

Children running away from camera on a dirt road

Sleeping under the stars

When people flee South Sudan, they have no choice but to sleep outside on the way to a refugee camp. Explain to those taking part that this activity is nowhere near as traumatic or harrowing as the life many refugees experience, but that it could give them an idea of what it is like.

Help create a sense of solidarity and empathy in youth and adults by organising a sponsored sleep out for those moved by the plight of South Sudanese refugees. Make prayer central to the event, perhaps encouraging participants to take it in turns to keep watch and pray for refugees and for BMS’ work throughout the night. You can also add to the empathy by challenging some to fast or eat only very simple food for the evening. Makeshift shelters could be constructed (or not, if it’s warm enough!) to make a full activity out of it.

Friends, family and fellowship could all be asked to sponsor those doing the sleep out, with money collected for South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors. Don’t forget to take pictures!

Sponsored walk/run

Heavily pregnant women, children and the elderly walk for days to escape the civil war in South Sudan. We’re not asking your congregation to match such an ordeal, but we think a sponsored walk over a manageable distance is possible. You could organise a church walk on a Saturday or after a service, or encourage people to organise a sponsored walk (or cycle or run) in their own time.

Inspiration: anything is possible! In 2018, three-year-old Isaac rode FIVE miles on his scooter to raise more than £300 for BMS.

Extreme walk/run

For a more challenging (and more authentic) sponsored walk or run, why not do it with a ‘go-bag’ on your back, filled with all the possessions you could not live without? Do a sponsored walk or trail run (be safe and don’t hurt yourself!) carrying a tent, some water, some food and some clothing in solidarity with refugees. You could even turn it into a hike to raise awareness as well as money.

Embrace the beautiful game

Children crowded round us when the subject of football came up during our latest visit to the refugee camps. Our challenge to you is to help those children by arranging a football match between members of your congregation. People make a donation to play (we suggest £5 per person) and those who prefer to watch might want to make a donation in a collection jar or bucket. And remember, please do let us know if you organise a game as we’d love to share the news and photos on our Facebook page.

A small baby wrapped in cloths and held in her mother's arms
Express service: a step-by-step guide

Short on time for your South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors service? Here’s how to make the service streamlined, yet still powerful and focused on helping refugees.

  1. Put out the gift envelopes on chairs (with pens). Click here to order envelopes.
  2. Show South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors feature video.
  3. Encourage people to fill out the gift envelopes and give them time to do so.
  4. Give your sermon using the outline in this guide.
  5. Use the reflection video on Matthew 25 for a time of prayer or while your offering is being taken.

And if you have time for one more item, then how about using the quiz?

Dube Evans standing in front of crops and holding a cob of corn

“I want to thank God for the heart he has given people in the UK for providing me with seeds and training.”

Dube Evens fled South Sudan with his three children. He had no way to feed his family until a friend allowed him to use some land to grow crops. BMS helped provide seeds and agricultural training, enabling Dube to provide the basics for his children.

  • £18 can provide a solar battery bank to save mums and babies’ lives by powering a blood pressure monitor.
  • £39 can support a community disability helper for a month.
  • £66 can provide the seeds and tools to give a family food for a year. You and your church family can help more people like Dube, and countless others like him around the world.