Exhausted and heavy-laden

November 7, 2013

by John Clayton, Director of Projects

A Samaritan’s Purse staffer shares about the situation in Yida, a massive refugee camp in South Sudan, and how God equipped Samaritan’s Purse to help.

As I stood by the gate into the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan, I was struck by the exhaustion of the people. They’d journeyed from the faraway Nuba Mountains in Sudan. Many of them had brought all the possessions that they could possibly carry with them. Over 70,000 refugees live there. Why?

They’ve been driven out of Sudan by their own government. Threats of violence and aerial bombardment have sent these people fleeing for their lives. They have come to Yida—a place of safety and refuge.

But the problem is, a camp cannot house thousands of people without proper facilities. It’s overflowing.

From where I stood, a rank smell filled the air—a sign that hundreds of latrines needed to be constructed. Diarrhea rates were rising. We suspected contaminated water containers.

Have you ever sensed that God gave you gifts and abilities to help in the midst of a particular crisis?

As I was standing in the Yida refugee camp, I sense that God had placed Samaritan’s Purse there “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14, NIV).

You see, Samaritan’s Purse has provided clean water, and health and hygiene training programs around the world. From rural communities in Cambodia, to the drought-ravaged villages of Kenya—we’ve partnered with people struggling against disease-causing bacteria and a lack of proper hygiene practices.

At Yida, God equipped us to help.

It’s amazing how the simple knowledge of hand-washing can save people’s lives—especially children, who often succumb to diarrhea and the dehydration it causes. Again and again, I am amazed how latrines, safe water, and hygiene training can help heal hurting people.

The refugees at Yida need help—but they aren’t helpless. Instead, they are bearers of the image of God, who reflect His dignity, ability, and life. We at Samaritan’s Purse are honored to have partnered with them.

To help people struggling because of circumstances beyond their control this Christmas, click here: https://secure.samaritan.ca/Catalog/GiftCatalogPage.aspx?PageID=18.