[ePrayer – Pray for those helpless and powerless in South Sudan]
Since the eruption of fighting between the government and the opposition forces in mid-December that span across nearly half of South Sudan, UN Refugee agency (UNHCR) has estimated that at least 923,000 South Sudanese are displaced within their own country and over 293,000 people have become refugees in neighbouring countries. Tens of thousands of the displaced civilians are seeking shelter at UN peacekeeping bases (UNMISS) throughout the country.
Meanwhile, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that one-third of the population of South Sudan is now experiencing food shortage. Some areas of the country will be even at high risk of famine in the coming months.
In the past 5 months, gross human rights abuses have been committed by both sides in the brutal conflict, including rapes, mass killings and torture. According to a recent United Nations report, civilians were not only caught up in the violence, but were directly targeted, often along ethnic lines.
The current militarised environment places women and girls at a heightened risk of sexual violence, as armed men are seen everywhere and civilian law enforcement is virtually absent,. Even those sheltered in UN bases are not safe. Women and girls are harassed at night. Many are even too fearful to bathe at night or go out to the toilet. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) estimated that 10,000 displaced women and girls reside in areas that are inaccessible to aid organisations and are at risk of sexual violence. [IRIN, UN News (1), UN News (2)]
Meditation on Scriptures:
He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
(Psalm 146: 6-9)
In the Old Testament, the foreigner, fatherless and widow are always mentioned together. These three groups of people are the most powerless among the marginalised. The foreigners live in places not of their own, the fatherless lost their parents and live alone without any provision from others, and the widows are often ignored in the community and live without dignity. God extends His powerful arm to protect and help the most powerless, and is pleased with those who act according to His will.
Come, let us raise our hands and pray for the refugees, orphans and widows affected by the current conflict in South Sudan; and for the God’s servants who are walking with the helpless and powerless in the frontline.
Pray for those helpless and powerless in South Sudan:
- Thanks God for the recent signing of an agreement between the government and the opposition forces to resolve the crisis in South Sudan, and pray for an immediate cessation of hostilities;
- Pray for God’s provision to the hungers, that the children and women are protected, and those suffered from diseases, violence, abuses and traumas are healed;
- Medair and Tearfund UK, also member agencies of Integral Alliance, are now serving the helpless and powerless in South Sudan. Pray for their works and safety.