About South Sudan

On Tuesday evening last week, our brother Rev. Ben Waigo shared with us some background on the situation in South Sudan. We have been traveling with 4 ministers from South Sudan for the trip and the voice they have added to the conversations is priceless. 

South Sudan is a pretty new country, having only gained independence from Sudan in 2011. It is a complicated country that is hard to sum up in a blog post. The broadest picture I can offer is this: The north is primarily Muslim and the south is primarily Christian. There has been massive conflict between the two for many years. Within South Sudan, there is conflict among the 64 tribes that live there. There is government instability and major infrastructure problems. 

The churches of South Sudan have formed a council for peacebuilding in communities and are working hard to overcome this tribal conflict. Pastors are respected there because they are pastors and they aren’t teaching killing and war like other community leaders. 

Because of the bickering dynamic of the international community, the internal problems are worsened. Instead of helping, the east and the west are busy arguing over South Sudan. 

According to our new friends, many South Sudanese are tired of war. Peace is beginning to creep in because they are just tired of fighting. The states in South Sudan are starting to work together better. Lydia said that one challenge is that “My people are a very stubborn people.” She also said that women peacemakers have a large roll in the effort and they are making a difference just like they are in Rwanda. 

Over all, our South Sudanese friends have great hope for their country. They see the beauty of it in the midst of the struggle. It has been a joy to travel with them and I pray these are friendships that span both time and space. Even though we come for very different places and live so far away, we laugh the same, hope the same, and belong to the same Creator. My life is so much richer for having them in it.