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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

South Sudanese Refugee Camps in Uganda

Hi Friends,

Just back from an amazing trip to minister to the South Sudanese refugees in the refugee camps in northern Uganda. For all who prayed and those who supported me, THANK YOU!! When God first invited me to join him and the rest of His team on this trip, I didn't know what a privilege it would be to be a small part of the breath-taking work he is doing in the camps and in that part of the world.

The people of South Sudan have been ravaged by horrific violence. They've fled to refugee camps scattered over the northern part of Uganda. Some are so close to their homeland that they can still see it over the border. But it's not yet safe for them to go home.

Our team was able to join them in their suffering and encourage them in their hope. We ministered to around 1,000 women, over 400 children, and also a few hundred men. My ministry focus was on the women and children. What a beautiful thing it was to connect with hurting women and be able to be with them and bring a word of hope from God. And the children. The children! Oh, they were such a joy! We shared the gospel with them as well as fun stickers and some beach balls. They have nothing and work hard just to survive, many toting around their little siblings on their backs, and yet they were so open to hearing more about Jesus. And their smiles could light the world. Just see the pictures below!

Throughout the trip (despite no hot showers, the water and electricity going out frequently and for days, food that my stomach often didn't do well with, heat, mosquitos, long drives, and bathroom facilities that were often just some tarps around a square of hard ground), I was reminded that God is near and at work among his people all over the world. I was reminded that we all are one people in Him, and that His love is enough for all of us, no matter our circumstances. God is a God of wonder and beauty, even in refugee camps halfway across the world!

Below are some pictures:

These are the tucals that many families live in (in the camps, the tents are starting to be converted over to these more permanent tucals)

Here's a kid hanging through the window in a church while he listens to the teaching for the women.

This group of kids was so attentive and awesome. The group doubled (or more) while we were working with them. 

Love this girl's smile. The kids love to have their picture taken on the phone and then be able to see themselves. They don't often (if ever) get to see themselves except in water reflections.

Lots of kids have the responsibility of taking care of their younger siblings.

This is a youth choir who prepared a song for all of us. This church is one of the fancier ones - with mud walls and a tin roof.  

Here I am with some of the kids at one of the camps. It was so wonder-FULL to work with the kids!

And here's me with yet more kids. Yay!