In any country, there’s always a big difference between the city and the country. In Africa, multiply that by ten, or maybe twenty. In some of the regions of South Sudan, according to Archbishop Deng, there are those who still live “as they did when God first made them”.
On Monday, we leave the capitol city Juba by a small missionary plane, and fly first to the state of Bor in eastern South Sudan, have a short visit, then fly again to Yambio in the western part of the country. Bor continues to be plagued by fighting and killing, while Yambio is more settled and peaceful. And it’s in Yambio that ARDF has made a significant grant to enable agricultural productivity that provides not only food for people, but also their ability to grow their own food. And it’s been working; we get to see how and meet the people who are making it happen.
There is no doubt that it is far better for people to grow their own food than have to rely on assistance. But there are things that make for the ability to farm, and not having your crops burned is one of them.
Peace matters, the ability for a people to be self-sustaining matters. God uses people to enable both, and we’re looking forward to meeting some of them in Yambio. In Bor (if this part of the trip works out), we’re grateful to be able to see some of the conditions that still linger in South Sudan, making peace difficult and self-sustenance even more challenging. This is still part of South Sudan’s story, though thanks be to God not in the same degree as it has been for years.