At the S4J it is an important reminder that, as wonderful it is to BE the S4J community of athletes and supporters, we’re called by God to make a difference in the lives of Sudanese and South Sudanese.
This week we experienced the JOY of TWO new BLOGS birthed:
1. Sudan and South Sudan News Updates. Click here to have a look: www.sudansnewsupdates.org
2. S4J [Sudan4Jesus] Blog. Click here to have a look: www.sudan4Jesus.org
This was birthed out of the frustration and pain of the “old” S4J blog that just couldn’t be re-opened. People tell me the domain name does not exist anymore. In other words, the old blog is history…gone forever. Yet, there is a way I can “walk through the building…having access to the more than 6,200 articles on that blog. You just won’t get in via the front door. That seems closed for good.
In walking through the “old blog”, I came across this article, that is a great reminder that the S4J is NOT just about being a loving and caring group of people. We’re also called to make a difference to the lives of the people of Sudan and South Sudan. This we do as part of the SSNet. Here is the link to the website, where you’ll find both SSNet AND the S4J prominently featured.
What we must learn from South Sudan
Today the United Nations shelters 200,000 people inside its bases across South Sudan. Never before in history have tens of thousands of people sought refuge for such a long period in UN compounds. Never before have aid workers been forced to work in close proximity with armed peacekeepers under such conditions. South Sudan has reset the rules of aid operations forever.
When South Sudan celebrated its first Independence Day in the capital Juba on 9 July 2011, the 30 attending heads of state, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and western diplomats considered it an end to decades of brutal conflict. The new nation was internationally held up as a beacon of hope.
In this optimistic environment, it was easy to ignore the warning signs of conflict brewing beneath the surface. Occasional outbreaks of violence over the two years that followed were dismissed as growing pains, and as ethnic clashes without wider consequences.
Negative talk about the world’s newest nation was decidedly out of fashion. The UN and non-governmental organisations spoke of development programmes and long-term peacebuilding. Emergency aid took a back seat as South Sudan was pushed towards transition and recovery.
How catastrophically wrong we were.
When violence erupted on 15 December 2013, aid workers and UN peacekeepers found themselves woefully unprepared for the magnitude of the crisis that would follow.
Few people imagined in the following days that 30,000 South Sudanese would flee for their lives to the gates of UN peacekeeping bases across the country. Women and children arrived with only the bare essentials they could manage to carry, many of their homes destroyed in the fighting.