What we must learn from South Sudan

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

Internally displaced people gather by a water collection point in a United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Protection of Civilian site (PoC), outside the capital Juba, South Sudan, January 25, 2017. Picture taken January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

Caelin Briggs|Published 02 Jun 2017. Link to full article here.

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.

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Announcement: S4J at 2018 Comrades Marathon

The Comrades Marathon is one of the premier ultra-marathons in the world. The date for the 2018 Comrades Marathon has been announced as 10 June 2018.

The S4J has been part of the action at Comrades since 2010. The 2018 Comrades will be our 9th year of participation at the race as a team. The team of about 100 S4J athletes are members of more than 40 running clubs.

Photo: Jan and Benita Coetzee raising the banner high for the S4J teams’ participation at the 2018 Comrades. This was taken of them, during the 2017 Comrades marathon, at the S4J Support Point at Hillcrest. Jan is the vice-captain of the S4J men’s athletes. Jan and Benita took part of the S4J fundraising campaign for Bibles for South Sudan. To have a look at how that went, click here.

To SIGN UP as part of the S4J at the 2018 Comrades, here are your options:

  1. JOIN as an ATHLETE, running the 2018 Comrades Marathon.
  2. SUPPORT  a a BUDDY to an athlete, or group of athletes, through prayer, encouragement, giving and fundraising.
  3. DONATE to the S4J FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGNS through the S4J page on BackaBuddy.
  4. SUPPORT S4J athletes at one of the S4J SUPPORT POINTS at the 2018 Comrades Marathon.

To stay connected and updated, please check at the S4J at 2018 Comrades Marathon page on Facebook.

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About the S4J

The S4J is a fundraising initiative. The key focus for our fundraising year is the Comrades Marathon. Yet, S4J athletes and supporters are also using other opportunities to fundraise in support of peoples in the Sudan.

To have a look at the ABOUT page on the the S4J blog, click here.

The S4J has a monthly presence road races through a combination of athletes participating, a water-point or photo shoot at the race. The S4J was birthed out of two athletes running the Comrades Marathon in 2010. The Comrades is one of the premier ultra-marathons in the world ad is still the key point of participation annually for the S4J.

Through the WEBSITE www.sudansupport.org , BLOG  www.sudan4jesus.org , newsletters and other social media platforms we share news and stories about the S4J. We thank God for making us a community of friends working towards achieving the goal of blessing the people of Sudan and South Sudan in practical ways.

During the 2017 S4J year that runs from 1 August 2016 to 31 July 2017, our fundraising campaign consisted of TWO projects. The one was WATER for SUDAN and the other was BIBLES for SOUTH SUDAN. To read more about these projects, click on the links for the Sudan project and for the South Sudan project. The S4J team will again communicate when we launch the 2018 fundraising campaign.

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Extraordinary commitment

3 May 2011

It does not really make sense how a blind woman would run willingly AND joyfully in soaking rain for more than 5 hours. Yet, recently with the Forever Resorts Loskop 50 km / 31 mile ultra marathon, Louise Jacobs did. Amazing testimony that is part of an ever increasing fascinating journey, all for God’s glory.

This run for Louise was part of the build-up to the 2011 Comrades Marathon taking place on 29 May. She was supported by our very dear running friend Roald le Roux.

Roald and Louise has just completed the Lopskop ultra marathon – soaking wet, yet with great joy in their heart. They are running for a great cause: to raise funds for the spread of the Gospel in Sudan.

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Extraordinary camaraderie

2 May 2011

Deeply moving! No other way to describe what happened today in an amazing display of team spirit and camaraderie when one of the Sudan4Jesus runners qualified for this year’s Comrades Marathon.

Today was the LAST chance for Willie van Staden to qualify for this year’s Comrades Marathon at today’s Wally Hayward marathon. The Sudan4Jesus run is about a group of ordinary men and women used by God in amazing ways to run the Comrades Marathon AND raise funds for the spread of the Gospel message in Sudan.

In the picture, from left to right: Louise Jacobs, Roald le Roux and Willie van Staden.

Willie’s team members were well aware he HAD to qualify today. They RAN with him, ENCOURAGED him, MESSAGED him when cramps got hold of him. Even more amazing: wait for it…on the LONG last uphill, his blind team mate, Louise Jacobs, pushed him from behind, on his back, while he was slogging that uphill. A blind woman, pushing her friend from behind to conquer that hill… what phenomenal testimony.

Thinking of Louise… a while ago during another race, she and another team member Roald le Roux ran together. During this race Louise and Roald each held onto a rubber cord, for Roald to help Louise with the run. Because Louise is a STRONG runner, she often was slightly ahead of Roald. So, while running, the two overheard someone saying: “Look how that woman is helping the blind man!”” The two nearly screamed with laughter. Although a blind runner, Louise has an amazing sense of humor and so does Roald.

We thank God for the privilege to be part of such an amazing story…His story!

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