Full of Hope, Faithfully Serve
At YWAM Perth, we have a ministry that is engaging with the South Sudanese community living here in the city, as well as internationally. This year we had the opportunity to go into South Sudan and be with the YWAM base in it’s capital city, Juba. This trip was truly a miracle considering the wars the country has been through, and continues to go through.
South Sudan is the newest country in the world and it’s been six years since they gained their independence, yet they are still waiting for peace to come. During our trip, we were able to talk with Aboud and Soroba who, full of hope, faithfully serve people from their country.
“In 1955 the war started. Then it stopped a little bit. It started again in 1965 then stopped in 1972 because of the Addis Ababa agreement. At that time we were small kids. It started again in 1983 then stopped in 2005. That was a long war with another agreement. We had a break of 6 years, then we had the South Sudan independence in 2011. But then in 2013 the war broke out again. That’s the war that we are currently in. I stopped bringing teams when the war broke out because of safety. Thank God this year is better. Now, your team is the first team that has come after 2 years,” said Aboud, leader of YWAM Juba, explaining the war in South Sudan.
“My heart is for mobilising young people to carry on the mission. They have passion, and they are full of energy. But we are facing challenges. Firstly, the young people are not well educated. Secondly, youth are traumatised because of the long war. Even when we talk with them in the city, they will say, ‘Where is God? You see our situation now.’ I am blessed when Loren Cunningham came for a visit in 2012. He encouraged me a lot. He has a vision and I captured it. The vision is to start the University of the Nations in South Sudan that can teach agriculture, help education, and help mobilise youth,” said Aboud. He continued to share that the YWAM base has already been given land by the community. He also shared that the commissioner of the area had called him that morning and expressed the need for change, and how that could come through with the type of development that YWAM brings.
Soroba is another YWAMer that is running a home for street boys called Children of Light Ministry. “We started the process in 2016, and then we got this house in 2017. When we see how the children are suffering from living on the street, we thought if we can get them off the street and disciple them, they can become people that will transform communities. Right now we have 14 children with us. We taught them how to live in a home and we do counselling. Through this God is moving. These kids didn’t know how to pray and worship, but now, as you see, they are changing. Even churches invited them to lead in worship and praise. Before, they would fight because of food, but now, no more fighting. We also run a primary school here for most of them. There are many things taking place in their lives. There is no comparison with the life they are living now. Our being here, we are not wasting time. God is doing something in their lives.”
We were deeply impacted by the need and hunger to know Jesus. Over the two weeks in Juba, we read out the whole New Testament in the streets. We were able to visit some of the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps and saw their cry to God. The churches are hungry to hear God’s word, and there were multiple questions about forgiveness. When we visited the hospital, we prayed and saw a lot of kids healed and noticed that some of the rooms were a bit emptier when we returned the next day! It was such a privilege to work alongside the YWAMers there. Both Aboud and Soroba expressed that they want to see more teams coming into South Sudan.