Easter Blessings to You!
I am so thankful that Easter has finally come! Yet I write to you with sadness as I think about our brothers and sisters in South Sudan who celebrated Christ’s resurrection this past Sunday amidst incredible suffering…
More than 1,093,000 people have been displaced by fighting in South Sudan since December, 2013. Over 250,000 refugees have fled to neighboring countries–including over 92,000 displaced people in Ethiopia alone.
They desperately need water, food, clothing, education, and hope.
The number of fleeing people has continued to rise steeply, and with the onset of the rainy season, flooding has made the humanitarian crisis even worse.
The UN predicts that 7 million people will soon be at risk of famine due to the conflict.
It is hard for us to honestly face this kind of suffering, but it is very real, and it affects people who are just like you and me:
“My sister died on the way. Her children were suffering from dehydration so they were brought [to this refugee camp] for medical care without being registered,” one refugee said. “Now they are with me, but they are not registered, so I cannot get food ration cards for them. Pray that I can get rations to feed them.”
Another told the local Anglican Bishop, Grant LeMarquand, “My husband Jacob has been missing since December 15th. I can get no news. I pray to know if he is alive or dead.”
Yet, these brothers and sisters are holding onto their faith in the risen Christ: “We should not be surprised at the calamity which has fallen upon us. It says in the Bible that these things can happen. But be encouraged, for nothing, not even this, can separate us from the love of God.”
Bishop Grant gave the following sermon to a group of refugees:
Jesus hates suffering and death. He wept at the tomb of his friend, Lazarus. A couple of weeks later, he gave himself to die on the cross and to rise again, defeating suffering and death.
Because Jesus rose from the dead we know that one day there will be no death, there will be no suffering. God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. And on that day people from every tribe will be together around the throne—white people and Chinese and Arab and Nuer and Anuak and Dinka and Murle—so we should get used to being together now!
As you and I continue to celebrate Christ’s total victory over death, will you join me in supporting our brothers and sisters from South Sudan who still feel the weight of death so tragically?
I am reminded of Jesus’ words in Luke 6:20-21: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.”
In His Service,
Canon Nancy Norton
ARDF Executive Director
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