The country of South Sudan achieved independence in 2011 but was plunged back into civil war soon after. Today, famine has been officially declared and over 100,000 people are at risk of starvation. Over 2 million people have been displaced, fleeing the violence that has taken the lives of close to 400,000. The country is facing a serious humanitarian crisis and is number 181 out of 188 on the Human Development Index. Just over the border in Uganda, 1.4 million South Sudanese refugees are living in tents—hoping to return to their country, but facing an unsure future. They have been through unspeakable trauma, and 84% are women and children; many households are child-headed, with no adults to protect them.
Currently, a cease-fire has been declared and there is hope that South Sudan may be able to welcome its people back one day soon. In the meantime, The Lulu Tree’s national team is working in the refugee camps providing support and encouragement to pastors, holding prayer clinics, and helping churches organize local crusades in preparation for returning home.
“Widespread ethnic cleansing, burning villages, looming starvation, and gang rape “so prevalent that it’s become ‘normal.’” This is what UN experts found when they took a 10-day trip to the African country of South Sudan … Since civil war broke out there in December 2013, as many as 50,000 people have been killed. More than 2.3 million people have been forced to flee their homes. Around 6 million people are currently at risk of going hungry, and 70 percent of schools have been closed due to the fighting.”
(see more HERE)
In spring of 2018 the Lord told Lulu Uganda National Director Esther Tendo and The Lulu Tree Founder Emily Wierenga to intercede for South Sudan for 40 days. Following that, He gave the call to plant a Lulu Tree seed in Adjumani, a South Sudanese refugee camp on the Ugandan border with over 1.8 million refugees including pastors, single mothers, and countless child-headed households. (go HERE to learn more of how God led us to Adjumani)
In June of 2018 The Lulu Tree hired three men (see below) who now comprise The Lulu Tree East Africa Vision Team. This team’s mission is to go where God is leading and help to nurture The Lulu Tree in new countries in East Africa, beginning in South Sudan, with the Adjumani refugee camps.
Enoch, Baptist and Emmy, are lawyers, pastors and human rights graduates who travel to the camps every month to intercede and connect with local pastors in the hopes of helping them to bring hope to God’s hurting people. In particular, The Lulu Tree feels led to help prepare these pastors and their flocks to return home, in light of the peace treaty struck by South Sudan in August of 2018.
The passion, as shared by Deacon Emmy in the video above, is to equip churches to host crusades throughout the camps which will bring widespread repentance and healing in preparation for return to their homeland.
The damage done by years of genocide has wreaked havoc on these precious children of God. Due to the violence in South Sudan, over 1.4 million refugees have crossed the border and are now living in Uganda. The situation is dire; those displaced have been through terrible trauma and are living in extreme poverty in overcrowded conditions.
Compounding the crisis is the fact that 84% of the refugees are women and children, with many child-headed households trying to make it on their own.
The Lulu Tree is currently partnering with dozens of churches in the camps to provide pastoral training and encouragement, prayer clinics, networking, resources such as Bibles, mama kits and reusable pads in order to assist the church to meet the needs of its congregation and community, and discipleship. But the greatest desire we have is to see souls saved, to see families reunited with their heavenly Father, to see love poured out on a war-ravaged nation and righteousness and peace sown in the once bloodied fields of their ancestors.
Our Lulu Family in Uganda is dedicated to reaching out in love to those from South Sudan, helping them to heal and to prepare to return home. Won’t you join us?