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In late June, Baroness Caroline Cox, Honorary Chair of ARDF and Founder of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, and Bishop Grant and Dr. Wendy LeMarquand asked to film an appeal on behalf of those suffering in South Sudan.
ARDF has committed a minimum of $30,000 towards the crisis. Click here to learn more about the situation in South Sudan. Visit this fact page to learn more about the ongoing conflict.
Baroness Cox had recently returned from visiting South Sudan. Bishop Grant and Dr. Wendy serve in Gambella, Ethiopia where the majority of external South Sudanese refugees have fled. In the video they share their first-hand experience of the conflict:
Baroness Cox: “The republic of South Sudan is one of the most devastated countries in the world today, with a degree of suffering that is completely unrecorded, off the radar screen.”
“That new nation, which got its independence in 2011, is desperately trying to rebuild itself, but fighting tragically broke out in December of last year, and that fighting has caused new suffering of huge proportions.”
“At least 1 million people have fled from the fighting and 20 thousand have been reported killed, probably many more that we don’t know about. The needs are enormous, and we desperately need your support for funds to save lives.“
Bishop Grant LeMarquand: “The media has completely—at least since the end of December—has been ignoring the situation in South Sudan. At this point, people in the West are basically unaware that there is a continuing problem.”
“Since mid-December we have had 100,000 or more refugees—at least those are the documented refugees—arrive in the Gambella region. More are arriving who are undocumented at this point. The UN estimates there could be 150,000 or 300,000 refugees in the Gambella region by the end of this year.”
“We had a conversation with some refugees very recently who were in Gambella town. They were describing some of the things that were happening as they were fleeing from this war. They basically could only flee with what they could carry. When we asked, ‘What could you carry?’ They said, ‘Mostly our children.’ And so they arrive with no food, with the clothes on their back—which are wearing off.”
“The other thing they wanted were Bibles and they wanted churches so they could worship and also start to educate their children while they are away from home, which may be for many years.”
“One of the first things that happened when this refugee crisis began was that I got an email from the head of ARDF in the US asking if we needed help. The fact that you are willing to continue and have this appeal, this is wonderful. This is amazing for us.
Dr. Wendy LeMarquand: “In many cases people come and say, ‘Thank you, you have fed us; it may take up to two months for us to get food ration cards, and we could be dead by that time.”
“To see people who don’t realize how much value they have until they see it in your eyes, it’s a gift for us, a privilege for us to see these folks face to face.”
“And I just want to say how they carry in their hearts this faith side by side with the suffering, and side by side with the joy of reaching out to one another. We truly see the beauty of these people, and it is a privilege to be able to say a word on their behalf.”
Baroness Cox: “And I would just like to add my thanks to ARDF. I know the money given by ARDF to Bishop Moses will have reached the people, already has saved lives, already has brought hope.”
“I am thrilled that ARDF has committed itself in faith to giving $30,000 more. I hope that is going to be matched. And I would just plead that please, we must remember as Christians St. Paul’s letter to the Church at Corinth, that when one part of the Body of Christ suffers, we all suffer.”
“We are not all required to go out there and suffer alongside physically, but we must be alongside spiritually, sharing their suffering and praying for them; and remember that prayer without deeds is dead. We have a gospel of love, but love without action is dead.”
“You can help ARDF put love into action and save lives and bring hope to our brothers and sisters now suffering and dying in South Sudan, and across the border in Ethiopia. They look to us; let us not fail them.“
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Bishop Grant LeMarquand is Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa and an ARDF Partner serving in Gambella, Ethiopia.
Dr. Wendy LeMarquand is a medical doctor serving with her husband in Gambella, Ethiopia.
Baroness Caroline Cox is the Honorary Chair of ARDF and Founder of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust.Help raise awareness: