When South Sudan declared its independence on July 9, 2011, hope soared and for once, the roughly 60 tribes that make up this country put forth a unified front in creating a new nation. And yet, despite the extraordinary milestone, it would prove impossible for the deep wounds and traumas of the past decades to be erased with the simple casting of votes. South Sudan endured a long fight for their independence and it soon became clear that another fight, one for unity, representation and justice this time, was just emerging. In late 2013, simmering tensions erupted and these have kept South Sudan in an extremely fragile state. For three of South Sudan’s five years of nationhood, the country has been embroiled in conflict, the cloud of suffering and discouragement hangs heavy across the land…and yet there is hope!
As Americans and more foundationally, as believers living in America, we have every reason to be hopeful for this young nation. Over two hundred years ago we declared our own independence and yet we had a long road to traverse in creating unity and establishing representation and justice for all. Through God’s gracious hand, we have come a long way and yet we recognize the need for continual progress. The South Sudanese can stand firm in their faith that the same God who has worked and continues to work in our country is also at work in theirs. A nation and its leaders are not our hope, He is. And this hope is rooted in the fact that He remains constant and unchanging (Hebrews 13:8).
Right now South Sudan needs ministers of reconciliation. Over 50% of their population is under the age of 18 and this means an entire generation is like fields ripe for harvest (John 4:35). South Sudan is a land of many people and yet we serve a God who through the sacrifice of His Son has provided the means to make one Body out of many. The throne room of the King of Kings will one day be filled with the praises of those from the various tribes of South Sudan and we believe that the young generation you have partnered with us to invest in is an integral part of God’s plan for the future of this nation. The misguided actions of the few cannot be allowed to drown out the voices of the many who long for peace, security and justice. Please stand with us in support of the South Sudanese and join with us in praying for God to continue raising up men and women as ministers of reconciliation.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Cor. 5:17-21