We have an update from WellSpring Missions this week. Church member and WellSpring Missions president Greg Brown shared the following:
South Sudan was born 11 years ago, and today it remains the youngest nation. However, it was born amidst pain and agony with its first 11 years filled with war, pestilence, and famine. After 50 years of fighting the Arab nation of Sudan for its freedom, South Sudan has continued to struggle to develop its economy and government. Although it is a strong Christian country, there has been little “brotherly love” as tribal conflict predominated after the country gained its independence.
As you may know, WellSpring Mission (WSM) initiated its well drilling efforts just after the country gained its independence. Although initially, the mission was to drill wells, it soon became apparent that WSM’s goal needed to be modified. That goal became: to train and develop entrepreneurial companies to do the drilling themselves rather than awaiting the support from WSM. This has finally been accomplished. Three teams are now able to technically handle drilling and are able to manage a business. It is an exciting blessing to see them smile as they complete a well. First Presbyterian Church as well as the North Central Iowa Presbytery were very active in bringing about this success.
Unfortunately, as these teams “graduated” to operate on their own, South Sudan was hammered with another devastation. Massive flooding hit the two main northern provinces of the country: Unity and Jonglei. This started in “the dry season” of 2020 and continues today. Over 800,000 people are displaced and needing support. If you recall, Jonglei is where all WSM’s drilling has been done. More specifically it has been done in and around Old Fangak. The Zaref River (a lesser channel of the White Nile) has turned this area into a large sea. Now the teams are not able to drill. Everyone is at a subsistence level, as they try to find a place to live away from water. Some of the wells that were drilled are safe; others are now under water.
At this point there is little that WSM can do directly to aid those in Jonglei Province. Although the level of need is massively beyond what WSM currently can provide, the organization is reviewing what it can do. WSM has lobbied in Washington DC for relief, either as part of the USAID program or through the UN. Some effort is being made by the UN (see: https://southsudan.un.org/en/173457-flooding-south-sudan-un-agencies-continue-respond-needs-affected-people), but unfortunately there is little attention from our government to this problem.
Please pray for our Brothers and Sisters in South Sudan. Pray that we are able to find ways to help them.
Once again, WSM sends its thanks to First Presbyterian Church for its strong support.
Sky News produced this short video about the problem [just click past the advertisements]: