Humans of South Sudan

Humans of South Sudan

The people you’ll meet in this story have survived the conflict in South Sudan. Now in refugee camps, they’re still in danger from disease and starvation. And there are thousands more like them.

Susan

A woman in a wheelchair outside a shack made out of straw.
Susan's joy is amazing. She lives an isolated life, yet her faith is unwavering.

After driving through shrubbery, we abandon the car and walk for almost an hour. We fight through the grass and branches as we head further away from civilisation. I am about a mile from the border with South Sudan. Surely no-one can be living here.

But I am amazed to find a hut, providing barely any protection from the rain. And inside, a solitary woman. Susan.

Susan has leprosy and her hands are beginning to curl in on themselves. I ask her how she ended up here. “I was chased by the government and the rebels,” she says. “I am not able to walk, so I started crawling. I never made it to the camps.”

Because Susan hasn’t made it to an official settlement to register as a refugee, she’s not eligible for UN food relief. You’ve been providing her with emergency food rations – support that has most likely saved her life.

Click here to watch South Sudan's Conflict Survivors

South Sudan's Conflict Survivors DVD featuring a group of boys high-fiving

You’ve also helped train the pastoral activists who found Susan. “I don’t get many visitors here. The team share the word of God with me, and they pray with me. That is how I get my strength.” As I walk away, I know we’re leaving her lonely, but never alone.

Joice

Family: Mother of four children, including five-month-old twins, Sarah and Sharon.

Location: Bidi Bidi, the world’s largest refugee camp with a quarter of a million South Sudanese refugees.

Condition: Suffered from edema and pre-eclampsia while pregnant with her twins. Untreated, these conditions can be fatal.

How you helped: Joice’s conditions were detected because you paid for a highly accurate blood pressure monitor to be given to a volunteer health worker in Joice’s community. The volunteer found out Joice had dangerously high blood pressure. He kept monitoring her throughout her pregnancy, and at eight months she was given a C-section which was vital for her survival.

What Joice says: “Without this device, I was going to face death. I am giving you thanks. I am now okay, and my children are okay.”

A South Sudanese mother hugs her twins in Uganda

Nancy

Fourteen-year-old Nancy hops up to us at impressive speed, her foot scuffing along ground. Her right foot is twisted and she can’t walk on it. The uneven ground is hard to move across. It’s clear Nancy can’t move far from the temporary home she is living in.

Because of her disability, Nancy couldn’t go to school. “Children would tease me because I’m not able to move,” Nancy says. You’ve helped BMS partner Hope Health Action transport wheelchairs to people like Nancy, and now Nancy can get to school.

“I am very happy with my wheelchair. It can take me anywhere,” says Nancy. “I want to be a nurse.” It’s the most confidently she’s spoken.

A South Sudanese girl in a blue wheel chair in front of a tree in Uganda.

We want the UK Church to be at the forefront of raising awareness of the conflict in South Sudan. You can help. Our 2019 appeal resource South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors is now available to share with friends and to run at your church’s harvest service this year. You can also download this story to share with others or subscribe to Engage to read more about the humans behind the South Sudan crisis. Together we can make sure these incredible conflict survivors are not forgotten.

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Original article featured in Issue 44 of Engage, the BMS World Mission Magazine. Edited for the website by Melanie Webb.

Do something wonderful: support Wonderfully Made

Do something wonderful:

support Wonderfully Made

We believe that every human being is fearfully and wonderfully made. And that includes children with disabilities, like Sam.

Sam is blind. He also has a brain condition that manifests a bit like cerebral palsy, which means he can’t really control his limbs. He is five years old.

Sometimes Sam wakes up in the middle of the night laughing. Happy. He has a beautiful little giggle and a lovely smile. He likes to be hugged very tightly – a big, strong cuddle calms him down when he’s upset.

Sam’s mum died when he was a baby, and his dad handed him over to the Thai state soon after. He’s been living under the care of BMS World Mission nurse Judy Cook since he was 18 months old. “He is absolutely gorgeous,” says Judy. “He has got this little giggle and this smile, and he is so cuddly.”

My hope is that he knows throughout his life that he is loved

Sam with Becca, one of the carers at the BMS-supported Hope Home
This is Sam. He is getting excellent care thanks to your gifts to BMS.

Without the BMS-supported Hope Home, run by Judy, Sam would most likely be living in an orphanage for children with disabilities in Bangkok, alongside hundreds of other children. And he wouldn’t be getting the one-on-one care and attention he needs.

While the team at Hope Home are doing as much as is possible, it’s unlikely that Sam will make huge progress in his physical development due to his condition. What we can give him, though, is love.

“My hope is that we give him as much love as we can,” says Judy, “and that he knows throughout his life that he is loved.”

Sam is fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Although he can’t articulate what he is thinking or feeling in words, every time he wakes up laughing, or smiles when Judy or one of her team gives him a hug, we know he knows what it is to be happy. And we are so glad.

Sam Hope Home Thailand 2017

Sam is just one of the wonderful children benefitting from your support in Thailand. We’d love to introduce you to Tada, Phil and Natalie, three of the other children you’re helping. You can meet them by watching our Wonderfully Made appeal video.

Andrew Dubock, former Editor for BMS, thinks these children are so important that he’s come back to BMS to tell you why you should get involved. Watch his video message now:

Wonderfully Made logo

If you are looking for an upbeat, positive, and important message to share with your church this harvest (or sooner, if you like!) please speak to your minister and encourage them to use Wonderfully Made. We would LOVE for churches in every village, town and city in the UK to get to know Tada, Phil and Natalie and to see how wonderful they truly are.

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And we would love to raise lots of money through the appeal to continue to support them and thousands of other wonderfully made people around the world.

As Andrew says in the video: “The important thing is that we, as Christians, help people.” Will you help us to help them by supporting Wonderfully Made?

If you are looking for an upbeat, positive, and important message to share with your church this harvest (or sooner, if you like!) please speak to your minister and encourage them to use Wonderfully Made. We would LOVE for churches in every village, town and city in the UK to get to know Tada, Phil and Natalie and to see how wonderful they truly are.

Super children - Wonderfully Made
Natalie is Captain Kindness, Phil is Mr Determined and Tada is Adventure Man in Wonderfully Made, this year's BMS harvest appeal.
Pray for Sam and the children and team at Hope Home
  • Pray for Sam to be happy and healthy
  • Pray for all seven children who live at Hope Home, that they would encounter the love of God as they are cared for by Judy and her team
  • Pray for the children who come to Hope Home for respite care. And pray for strength for their families, as they look after children with complex needs
  • Pray for energy, strength and patience for Judy and her team. Pray that they would be filled with the joy and love of the Lord as they serve the children at Hope Home, and that they would find time to rest
  • Pray for our Wonderfully Made appeal, that thousands of Christians would be encouraged by it, and that it will help us to transform even more lives
  • Pray for all the people, in Thailand and beyond, who will be helped by the money raised by Wonderfully Made. Pray that they might experience fullness of life