Violence between the Dinka and Nuer tribes in South Sudan has resulted in numerous deaths across the region. The newest Bible Society in the World’s newest country needs your help now more than ever.
Updates from Edward Kajivora
8 July 2014
As the situation in South Sudan remains in a state of limbo, Edward has sent us the following update:
"Thank you for keeping us in your prayers. The talks in Addis Ababa have been postponed indefinitely and this has caused panic in the whole country. In Juba this week there have been killings during the night. It is suspected this is done by government security organisations. There is more tension in Equatoria region, as they want a federal type of government, but the government says no one should talk about federalism. As you know it is the Nuer and Dinka tribes engaged in this fighting and I am afraid if Equatoria joins, it will be very devastating. We are following the situation closely...
"Your gift today will help us raise a further £12,000 for Edward’s work with the displaced and afraid in South Sudan. He will provide clothes, food and Bibles to those that have lost their homes and, in some cases, family members. Thank you."
5 February 2014
“Thank you very much for your mail which is very encouraging. We are fine as staff but only at night there is fear. Gunshots are still heard throughout the night and so people in Juba feel scared… but by daytime it looks as there is nothing bad. I understand the destruction in Bor, Bentiu and Malakal (other towns in South Sudan) is just too much and so many people have been killed. Even today the government offices in these three towns are not operating. Although ceasefire was signed last month, still fighting continues. Moreover the peace talks scheduled on 7 Feb is yet to kick-off and no one knows what will be the outcome. The truth is that the ones fighting are Dinka and Nuer… they are the ones doing the havoc. The way I am looking at this situation, it will go for sometime unless the international community intervenes in a more forceful way. Ugandan soldiers in the country is another problem and makes matters worse, over 500 Ugandan soldiers were killed in Bor and this is very painful to Museveni (President of Uganda). Today you can see Ugandan soldiers in military vehicles in Juba. It is really sad. One member (Nuer) of the board of Bible Society South Sudan is said to have gone to Kakuma, Kenya… He was in UNIMISS camp here in Juba. Since he left I have not been in touch with him but I think he is heading for resettlement. He went with the whole family. There are many displaced camps around Juba. Those in UN camps in Juba are mostly Nuer. Unfortunately when I asked to distribute Bibles to them, UN refused to let any religious literature in the camp. But camps not under UN have no problem. We have started distributing them food items and Bibles. I will send the pictures when this is ready.
Thank you again for all your prayers for our staff in South Sudan.”
17 January 2014
‘In malakal (the North of the country) things are not in good shape. The other faction seems to be in control of Malakal. The town is said to be empty apart from UN soldiers and rebels roaming the town. Phone lines have been disconnected so communication between families that have been separated is not possible. One of our staff is missing his wife and 3 of his Children who are in Malakal – he is very worried for their safety. Nothing is coming from the talks in Addis Ababa.’
15 January 2014
‘Thank you for your response to the situation we are in. This morning we started scripture distribution in the camps where the displaced are in Juba. The Nuer tribes are under the protection of the UN and we are waiting to see if we can get Bibles to them also.’
Edward Kajivora is the head of Bible Society in South Sudan. This is his story.
- Edward works in the corner of a warehouse, which has holes in it where it was hit by missiles during the civil war.
- His neighbours were murdered during the outbreaks of violence.
- Edward now sleeps under his bed to avoid being shot in the night.
- His country has virtually no roads, schools or hospitals.
- A generation of young people have never been to school.
- Only two in every 10 can read and many live on less than 60p a day.
Two decades of civil war still scar this new country and Edward hopes to address this with scripture-based trauma healing, literacy classes and a new easy-to-understand Bible translation.
‘Trouble brings people closer to God, we want to give people the scriptures to remind them that, whatever happens, Christ is among them and God is always with them.’
Edward Kajivora, head of Bible Society South Sudan
But there is a more urgent need now. People who’ve fled their homes need food, water and clothing. Edward also has Bibles and Scripture portions that he wants to offer to the refugees.
He needs our help to fulfill this mission.
Other charities have begun pulling their people out of South Sudan but Edward, a priest and former Bible translator, has vowed to stay. In an email he sent on Christmas Eve, Edward wrote; ‘I am still in Juba and decided to remain for two reasons. First, death is everywhere and when your time comes, you cannot escape. Second, as a priest I have been assigned to help a small congregation not far from my house. I felt I should be among them to encourage them with the comforting word of God. I tell then that nothing can separate us from Christ.’
Edward needs our support right now.