South Sudan war refugees find peace

By August 20, 2015
(Photo courtesy of Steve Evans via Flickr)

(Photo courtesy of Steve Evans via Flickr)

South Sudan (MNN) — There seems to be no end in sight to South Sudan’s civil war.  At least 7 ceasefires have been broken during the 20-month-old conflict, and a peace deal deadline set on Aug. 17 has passed without resolution. More than 10,000 citizens have been killed, and more than two million have been displaced.

“There have been some terrible atrocities over the past year-and-a-half: attacks on hospitals, the slaughter of innocent children, the use of rape as a weapon of war,” says Matt Parker, president of Kids Alive International, a Christian organization that works in South Sudan. “It’s a really disastrous situation.”

The good news? There is hope. Despite the violence, Kids Alive is showing war victims God’s love by giving them the tools they need to thrive.

“We currently have 16 street children that we’re working with,” Parker says. “We’ve rescued these kids from the streets: caring for them in one of our children’s homes, providing them with a quality care education, then of course [with] the spiritual nurture that every child needs. We’re also working with families in the community to provide an education support.”

(Photo courtesy of Kids Alive International)

(Photo courtesy of Kids Alive International)

Parker says that though Kids Alive works in one of the safer areas of the country, danger is always a possibility. But despite threats of violence, Kids Alive continues to serve the needy.

“We’ve continued with our work meanwhile over the past couple of years through this instability, and in fact, we’re looking to expand our work,” Parker says.

“We’ve just finished the construction of a second building that will allow us to rescue a further 16 children from the streets.”

Present needs aren’t the main focus of Kids Alive’s work, however. Through all of its programs, its goal is to invest in the future.

(Photo courtesy of Kids Alive International)

(Photo courtesy of Kids Alive International)

“We’re excited to see the spiritual growth in the lives of our kids as they recognize the love and care of the heavenly Father despite the instability in the community around them,” Parker says.

“We want to see the kids that we work with become leaders in their community and godly leaders in their churches, in their families, in their workplaces in the future.”

Can you keep South Sudan in your prayers during this time of turmoil? Parker asks that you pray for peace for the country. Pray that its leaders would put the needs of the people first. Pray also that Kids Alive would stand as a beacon of light in the midst of spiritual darkness.

You also can make a difference through financial support. Click here see how you can sponsor a child, or consider taking a short-term mission trip with Kids Alive.

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