What If Violence Surrounded You?
by Rebecca Florence Miller
Imagine fleeing your home, with just the clothes on your back. Imagine being forced to cross the border into another country because that was the only place you could be safe. Imagine being a child trying to sleep in a refugee camp tent at night, desperately wondering where your parents are—or even if you would ever see them alive again.
Imagine the complete absence of hope and the desperate longing for consolation.
This is the situation that the Lutheran Church of South Sudan (LCSS) finds itself in.
In 2011, South Sudan became the world’s newest nation. People celebrated their hard-won freedom with great joy. The Lutheran Church of South Sudan envisioned being part of building up a new nation.
But just three years later, the country was in turmoil again. Vicious war and violence broke out, leaving 40,000 dead and displacing a million. Now refugees from the violence in South Sudan languish in camps over the Ethiopian border. A large percentage of them are women and children. Many of the children are unaccompanied minors.
The LCSS is having to adapt to the rapidly changing situation and has taken its ministry to where the people are: in the refugee camps. Its temporary hub of operations is currently located in Gambela, Ethiopia. The need for pastoral care and consolation is more pressing than ever, but basic resources to provide this support are scarcer than ever.
One pressing need for the LCSS is the building of a simple, multi-purpose facility to house a church, classrooms to use for training of pastors, a library, and an office. Other needs include the printing of Bibles, tuition for theological students who are currently in seminary in Ethiopia, and transportation between refugee camps.
You can help support our broken, hurting South Sudanese brothers and sisters in Christ. Through your financial support and prayers, God is working to bind up and heal broken hearts and bring new life. The LCSS is looking for regular, monthly giving partners to help ensure steady resources for God’s work in South Sudan.
To support the mission of the LCSS, please contact:
Rev. John Kline
Zion Lutheran Church
4300 Beaver Ave.
DesMoines, Iowa 50310
Phone: (515) 270.8142