Finding joy in a war zone: South Sudan

By July 20, 2015
(Photo courtesy SAT 7)

(Photo courtesy SAT 7)

South Sudan (SAT7) — In war-ravaged and poverty-stricken South Sudan, a SAT-7 KIDS film crew was surprised to find joy and thankfulness among orphans who have lost their families to conflict.

A team from With Jesus, a popular live music and talk show for children, traveled to the village of Rokon to film a 3-part series featuring kids from the True Light Ministry Orphanage.

“They were so happy to see us and received us with singing and dancing,” said Milad Awad, a member of the With Jesus crew. The team brought gifts for the children and led them in sessions of lively worship and prayer.

Many of the orphans have been through horrendous, violent ordeals. What’s more, the only source of water in the village is one well, and what comes from it isn’t fit for drinking. To their dismay, the team soon learned that local traders do not sell bottled water either, simply because the locals cannot afford to buy it. The village also had many malaria-carrying mosquitoes and a shortage of food and medical supplies.

But when the With Jesus team began asking about their lives, they were inspired by the children’s faith and thankfulness.

(Photo courtesy SAT 7)

(Photo courtesy SAT 7)

One of the orphans, Emmanuel (10), lost his mother 3 years after his father died. He was taken in by a couple, but they beat him and treated him like a slave. One day, after the wife accused Emmanuel of misbehaving, the husband deliberately set fire to the hut where he slept, nearly killing him.

True Light Ministry Orphanage was able to rescue Emmanuel from the couple and he is now happy and safe. He said:

“When I went to the orphanage, I found them singing. They gave me new clothes, new slippers, a new toothbrush, and they taught me how to have a quiet time in the morning. Now I know how to spend time with God and read the Bible alone.”

(Image courtesy SAT 7)

(Image courtesy SAT 7)

(Watch a video here)

The aim of With Jesus is to help young viewers build a real relationship with God through prayer, worship, and Bible reading. A discussion segment of the program addresses various problems that children across the Middle East and North Africa face in their lives.

Please remember these children in your prayers. Give thanks for their faith, and pray that God will watch over them and provide for them.

Some Sudanese families have fled to Egypt but do not feel entirely welcome in their host country. The women’s program Thread & Needle on SAT-7 ARABIC recently interviewed Sudanese women living in Egypt about their experiences with racism, ranging from verbal abuse to physical assault.

Producer Maggie Morgan says this episode helped uncover undercurrent issues in Egyptian society, and she regards this as a step toward healing and enjoying a healthy society.

On the positive side, during an interview, Natalie from South Sudan pointed out that for every Egyptian who abuses her, there is always another Egyptian who defends and helps her when she is in need.

A man named Michael called the live episode to apologize on behalf of all Egyptians for the offenses that Sudanese refugees have faced.

The episode allowed both Sudanese and Egyptians to express their feelings about the issue, moving toward a more harmonious society. Pray that God will use SAT-7 both to convict those who are prejudiced and to comfort and show hope to those who experience discrimination.

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