Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Learning About Sudan

So, it really hasn't quite sunk in for us yet that in about five months we will be standing on African soil.  It just doesn't seem real yet.  While we are working hard saving and raising money and while we are fervently praying for the success of the mission trip already, we are also trying to learn more about the country we are about to visit.
As a requirement for our trip, we will be given some assigned reading, but we have been searching for websites that we can read to help stay up-to-date on the current state of affairs in S. Sudan.  Here are some things we have learned so far about Sudan:

  • The Sudanese government seems to have had this history of resorting to violence to push its agenda onto its people.  There was a long-lasting war between the North and the South, a war in which about 2 million people died and 4 million people were displaced.  Many are still displaced and almost everyone has been directly affected by the war.
  • The North-South war ended in 2005 through negotiations, and the South officially declared independence on July 9, 2011 creating The Republic of South Sudan! (that's where we're going)
  • Cows are a big deal!  They are a status symbol and are used almost like currency...and used to pay bride price.  A lot of disputes happen over cows and grazing rights.  
  • The official language is English- - thank goodness, we can communicate!
  • Everyone has heard of the genocide in Darfur-- this region is north and west of where we will be in Southern Sudan.  We will be in and around Kajo Keji, which is very close to the capitol of S.Sudan, Juba.  These cities are in the state of Central Equatoria. Here's a good map.
  • I recently read an article in which a Sudanese man said to the interviewer about the country's recent independence:  “I wish there’s going to be peace, that’s just my wish, but if there’s no peace, well, I’ve always lived in the war. This is what I’ve always expected. I was born in it. I lived through it. If there’s no peace…it’s still the same. I don’t know what peace is.” How sad!  PRAY for long-lasting peace in this country.  I'm already praying...not just for political peace, but for the peace that surpasses understanding.  How awesome it will be to have the opportunity to share Jesus with the Sudanese people and give them the only true peace they may have ever known.   
PRAY for the safety of our group as we travel around this war-torn region.  I'd be lying if I said we weren't a smidge nervous about sticking out like a sore thumb in such a potentially volatile place.
Lastly, don't forget about our raffle for the Kindle Touch.  Just click the DONATE button (on the right side-bar) ------>>>> and for every 5 dollars you donate, you will have a raffle ticket added to the drawing.  The winner will be chosen on Saturday, February 11th.  All proceeds help fund our trip to S. Sudan!!

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