“I’m willing to do anything to ensure my children don’t have to go through what I’ve been through for the last 20 years. Enough is enough! This has to stop.” Those words came from a Christian member of the state parliament in Torit, South Sudan a few years ago, during a DAI workshop. Now, they echo in our ears as we listen to the news. Once again, the people of South Sudan are wrestling with uncertainty and violence.
DAI has been working in South Sudan for the last six years, providing leadership training, and mentoring. DAI staff from Uganda began with one week workshops in Torit, Yei, Juba and Rumbek in 2006, just as soon as the peace accord was signed which made it possible to travel in and out of the country. In spite of desperately difficult conditions, the Ugandan staff persevered. They made the journey by whatever means necessary – even standing for hours in the back of a truck – to reach these leaders. The local leaders reciprocated by walking for days to attend.
These workshops began through the invitation of an African Inland Church (AIC) pastor who knew DAI through his studies in Uganda. But soon DAI’s relationships spread to Episcopal bishops, government leaders and directors of key NGOs.
All of these Christian leaders want the same things for their people and country, to bring back education, discipleship, health care, stability and local businesses. War had destroyed every vestige of infrastructure and building had to start over. But these very brave and committed leaders have all expressed the same desire. In one way or another they have said to DAI, “Help us to rebuild our nation, and make it godly, strong and safe for our children.”