South Sudan needs rebuilding on every level one can think of – education, roads, energy, health care, security, food, business, agriculture, policy, governance, employment…… – to name a few.
Personally, we feel drawn to this need. It shocks us, but it does not overwhelm us. We believe there are good reasons for hope. Here are a few that strengthen us personally and increase our optimism.
1. This nation began with an election. This cannot be said about every African nation, and it is no guarantee that the love of money and the love of power will be resisted by those tempted towards corruption. But the people have spoken, and their will and their freedom have been respected.
2. There is resilience amongst the people. Tragedy will always be tragic, but good can triumph over evil. All over South Sudan, there are examples of this. There are survivors working to make their nation worth their survival! There are returnees returning to make their nation worth returning to! There are orphans growing into adults with dreams of building their own family and living in freedom! We have met many Sudanese people who are shouldering the responsibility for the future of this nation – they inspire us!
3. There are many from outside this nation who have been moved to help the Sudanese people. A nation must be responsible for its destiny, but to rebuild on its own is a slow and lonely journey. Investment is happening, help is being given, and partnerships are being developed.
4. We know that God has not ignored the plight of the Sudanese people during the tragedies of its recent history. It grieves Him to see what we humans are capable of, at a personal and corporate level, when we follow our own ways. As we are exposed to the extremes of human tragedy and sin, His desire is that we would humbly return to Him, be healed from our broken-ness and then learn to walk in His Ways. He is the expert in peace and reconciliation. He gives life and hope when others see only death and despair. Ultimately, there is hope for South Sudan, because God is God and He is Good!