Children in South Sudan
1 September 2020

Together Amen

Praying for children

Usually there is a natural rhythm to the year.

The seasons come and go, and for families with school-age children, life is often dominated by school terms. And usually at this time of year children and parents are looking forward to the rhythm of school life returning. New uniforms and school supplies bought, and harvest, Halloween and Christmas activities to look forward to.

But even as coronavirus cases remain low across the UK, you likely still feel the disruption. How, and will, children return to school? And what about the effects of local lockdowns?

Yet seasons help us to enjoy creation and experience changes throughout the year, at the same time showing us that God remains constant. While seasons change, God our Heavenly Father remains the same.

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to count as lost, a time to keep and a time to discard, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

Ecclesiastes 3

The importance of school dinners

For Sunday who lives in South Sudan, school is more than a place to learn and meet her friends. School children here understand how beneficial and life-changing education can be for their future. Without it, they know that the endless cycle of poverty will continue.

School is often the only place where vulnerable children like Sunday get the chance to have a nutritious daily meal. The years of conflict, displacement, and economic collapse has deprived children of proper education and is putting the generation’s future at risk. Chores before school leave children with little time or opportunity to eat the meagre food that families provide at home. And with COVID-19 closing schools, 2.4m out-of-school children in South Sudan, are now at even greater risk of malnutrition, stunted growth and weakened health systems that increase their chance of succumbing to diseases and infection.

Take Away Food is making the difference

Which is why the Take Home Food scheme is so important for vulnerable children and their families. With schools closed, World Vision together with the World Food Programme, has distributed 149.079 metric tons of food rations across South Sudan helping 19,980 children.

“Before Covid-19, I used to eat lunch from the school feeding program, then it stopped when the school closed. My family can only afford one meal per day. I am excited that because of the take-home ration, we can eat a full meal every day. I pray that schools open soon so we can resume our disrupted learning.” Sunday, primary school student.

So, in this season of continuing change, in your family and church please continue to pray with us. Because God is our constant and together, our prayers are needed to empower vulnerable children in the most dangerous places to overcome poverty and experience fullness of life.

 

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

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Lifestyle actions

  • Are you a church leader looking to grow your church and build connections with children and families?

    Look no further. This year has felt a little different for all of us and many children have missed school and their friends. Which is why we have been determined to support your church, group or school, so you can continue to engage children aged 4-10 at church or with a virtual event online and keep shining God’s light this Halloween.

    The pack includes a new story, film, crafts, activities, and games for you to do Pumpkin Heroes your way – you decide! 
  • Living to Christ’s rhythm

    Jesus calls us to a rhythm of life that, while not easy is simple in its approach. ‘That they might be with him.’ ‘That he might send them.’ (Mark 3:13-15). Being with him in prayer and devotion and, being sent from him into the world as His hands and feet. What would it take for you to implement the being with, being sent Rhythm of life?

    • Into your day - What moment can you put aside for unhurried time with God in prayer and reflection on Scripture?
    • Into your week - On top of a church service, what else can you do? Maybe walk to a historic church?
    • Into each season - A retreat? Time to see where God has led you in the previous season.
    • Into your year - An annual conference? Sponsor a child?
    • Into significant milestones - Mark the occasion with something that will help you discern how best to invest the rest of your life.

  • Are you a church leader, wondering what church life will look like after the pandemic?

    Be encouraged and watch our film Life in church after the pandemic with a panel of New Zealand church leaders who have opened their churches.

We really value your prayers as these uncertain times continue, so please send your prayer requests to us so we can pray for you too prayer@worldvision.org.uk