Sudanese Refugees Face Hard Life in Arua

William's family

William’s family

When I was introduced to this family from South Sudan in January, they had no food to eat, no water to drink or bathe in, no charcoal to cook with, no medical care, no money, no amazing future to look to, no jobs and no real opportunity to ever have a job seeing they are refugees in a country where there are very few jobs for the native Ugandans. Their parents and most family members are dead, killed in the civil war in South Sudan. They number 21 people in all living in two small houses. The oldest is 19. The youngest is about 4. They are children! Children looking after children!

So how did they come to live in Arua? They were sent by an uncle who wanted to help them escape the civil war in South Sudan that has claimed over 50,000 lives and dispersed over 2.2 million people in the past two years. Their uncle pays for the rent on the compound that has two small houses within its walls. He also sends about 120 US dollars a month when he can for food, clothes, medical care and other needs. Thats about $6.31 per month per person! They really have nothing. And if something happens to their uncle, they are kicked out of the house with nowhere to go. As I spoke with them I was struck by one thing, their hope that somehow God will take care of them.

William is the oldest of the children at 19 and is the leader of the family. He has to make all the decisions, like how to spend the little money he receives from his uncle when it comes. Does he use it to buy food, clothes or water? If someone gets sick, he must decide who gets to go the doctor and who is taken out into the sunshine to lay in hopes it will help them get better. These are heavy decisions for a 19 year old young man to make for his family. William has had to grow up much quicker than I did!

William’s family is just one of the several South Sudan refugee families living in Arua. Currently, we are working with two families and two single moms with several children. All are in very needy conditions. I know we can help them in the short term, but how to actually help them in the long term move beyond their problems and challenges, I don’t know – yet.

Delivering food to the refugee family

Delivering food to the refugee family

For IMFC, this is a time to act and learn, and it is in that order. God has provided and we can offer some help to address their immediate needs. We have already provided food and charcoal for these two large refugee families and single moms and have promised to continue this help for the next six months. Additionally, we have covered the unpaid water bill for William’s family and have paid to have the water turned back on. This is a beginning. Pray that we can learn how to help beyond this.

Pray for one other item. Our team in Arua has been working with these South Sudanese refugees for sometime. They have been sharing the Gospel with them and many have come to faith in Jesus Christ. Many are enrolled in Bible Way and some have completed all five books. Some are meeting to studying the Bible and have church using the S.O.T. Bible study method. Some are being trained to disciple others. Here is what I want you to pray for: Pray that these young people grow in their faith and become disciple makers for Jesus Christ. Pray that when they return to South Sudan they go with the message of Jesus and the ability to train others to make disciples of Christ. IMFC has already committed to translate the Bible Way books into street Arabic. How wonderful would it be if in a very few years, these people carry the message of Christ and these discipleship books to South Sudan with them. This is my vision and prayer. It is not why we are helping them. We help because we can and it’s the nature of God’s people. But this is my vision beyond the help. Join with me in praying for this.

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