South Sudan: hope is rising

South Sudan President Salva Kiir

Yesterday, South Sudan’s president said he would consider allowing UN peacekeeping troops to enter his country. A recent flare-up of fighting in Juba, the capital city, has raised concerns that the world’s youngest nation will once again be consumed with violence.

“There are people who are accusing the transitional government of refusing and fighting the U.N. … this is not accurate,” President Salva Kiir stated at a recent ceremony. “The transitional government has not met to declare its final position.”

The UNHCR also released a report yesterday detailing the dire situation faced by nearly 1 million South Sudanese refugees.

“People in South Sudan are not just fleeing their homes because they need food, shelter or medical care and school for their children. They are fleeing [because they] fear for their lives,” said the UN’s top humanitarian official, Stephen O’Brien.

According to the UN, nearly 90% of new refugee arrivals were women and children.

“A byproduct of the war in South Sudan is an innumerable amount of displaced people,” signs Abraham Majak Mayom, a Deaf video editor working with DOOR’s South Sudan Sign Language translation team.

“This is truly a difficult situation, not only for the hearing but also for the Deaf.”

Bringing hope to South Sudan

Together with his Deaf teammates, Abraham is working hard to bring God’s Word to his people in a language and format they understand best. The team hopes to have a complete 110-story Study Bible finished by 2019. “We, the South Sudan Sign Language translation team, are very grateful to DOOR for their desire to provide our people with the Bible in their heart language,” Abraham signs.

“Last November, our team traveled back to South Sudan to conduct community testing in Juba; over 50 Deaf participated and gave their feedback. The Deaf were very eager to ‘see’ the Bible in their language, no matter how little sign language they knew.

“They are ready for God’s Word! From community testing alone, we saw hearts changed.”

The translation team is preparing Scripture segments for another community testing session in Juba this November. “We have our work cut out for us, but God is able,” Abraham shares.

Nigerian, South Sudanese, and Mozambican translators and 2-by-2 teams pause for a photo.
Nigerian, South Sudanese, and Mozambican translators and 2-by-2 teams pause for a group photo with U.S. team members.

Here’s how you can pray for the translation team:

  • Pray for God’s grace upon the team so they can finish up the work ahead of them.
  • Pray for the review and editing of the community tested passages.
  • Pray for two new translation team members; ask God to give them speed in understanding translation work.
  • Abraham and Mayak’s families are living as refugees in countries bordering South Sudan. Please pray for their safety, and pray for peace for Abraham and Mayak. Pray also for Caesar, whose parents and siblings live in different parts of South Sudan.

Make sure you don’t miss next week’s blog. One of the new Deaf 2-by-2 team members from South Sudan will share his heart for the mission, and how you can pray for their work.

For each Deaf 2-by-2 team, DOOR provides housing and a living stipend, and we also cover costs associated with training, ministry, and transportation. You can help us provide some of these vital resources by clicking here. At the bottom of the Donate page, just select “2-by-2 Teams” from the drop-down list and type “South Sudan” in the Comments section.