Sr. Leema writes from South Sudan
Friday, July 15, 2016 1:22 PM
Thanks for all your prayers. AII are praying for our people. God will not abandon our people though their own people have caused suffering.
It is unbelievable what we see in the IDP camps and hospital. When our people here begun to recover from the past, they were still taken 20 years backwards. Only Faith can help us not to get into depression but hold on to God. Yes there is still smile on people. When I hugged in tears my staff who escaped from the looting and killing, she consoled me saying, “thank God sister I am alive..” Their smiles have true trust…and hope.
Sisters, I am in a safe place. The students are 106 in number. We have 60 students who are Dinkas while others are from different tribes. Few of them are severely disturbing the staff and students. 15 helping staffs are returning from bush and IDP (internally displaced persons) camps. The few Dinka staff were untroubled and were working. The teaching staff from Kenya and Uganda are leaving for security. We are four Sisters, one Comboni Brother and one lay staff who can teach the students and take them to the clinical area. We cannot close the school; we may lose all the students.
Just to assure you, dear sisters, that I am happy and safe in the Solidarity community to serve the people of South Sudan. I have a strong committed community. We rely on your support and prayers. I am grateful to all our sisters for accompanying us with prayers in South Sudan.
Our SVD brothers are not safe. They are persistent to stay with the people. Only God can heal the outburst of anger in few persons that destroy the whole country. We are challenged as leaders to safe guard lives of people rather than seeking security.
I am thankful to our Congregation for being part of Solidarity with South Sudan. “Reaching out and joining hands with others to serve our Church.”
I remain united with all of you in the love of the Holy Spirit,
Sr. Leema Rose SSpS
UPDATE ON SOUTH SUDAN CRISIS
Juba woke up calm this Friday and the cease fire seems to be holding. No more gunfire heard in town and tensions are subsiding. People feel free to move around town, though the streets are not crowded. Communication systems are operating. President Salvar Kiir spoke to the press and called First Vice President Riek Machar back to Juba. Riek Machar also spoke to the press on the phone from an unknown location and fears to return to Juba now. The general situation is not yet fully back to normal. Schools remain closed, reduced bus services, many shops are still closed, some troops deployed in the areas where fighting has taken place, a huge number of IDPs being held in churches and POCS (protection of civilians sites) in different parts of the city, displaced persons begin to get some assistance, Red Cross has been collecting dead bodies, casualties figures not yet known.
“Come O Spirit of PEACE, we need you the most.”
NOTE: We need Volunteers to teach in the school of nursing and Midwifery, to guide students in the Hospitals, to teach in the School, to train the seminarians for Philosophy and Theology, to be a counselor for traumatized people , Clergy, Staff and Students.
You will be well taken care…. Welcome.
Read below an article on South Sudan’s crisis:
DOCTORS IN JUBA: “OUR PATIENTS ARE TELLING US TERRIBLE STORIES”
15 July 2016 – (www.radiotamazuj.org) JUBA – Medical workers in South Sudan’s capital Juba say that many of their patients are psychologically traumatized after their family members were killed or abused.
Doctors Without Borders, known also by its French name Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), is running mobile clinics among displaced people in Juba in the wake of four days of fighting in the City. The aid group says they received reports of “very terrible” events in the city, including killings, looting and humiliating acts, according to an article published on the MSF website yesterday. MSF field coordinator Ruben Pottier explained that their teams have done more than 500 consultations at St. Theresa’s Church, which is serving as a refuge for thousands of people who fled violence in their own neighborhoods.
“Our patients are telling us terrible stories – how armed men came into their houses and shot the people inside. While escaping from the violence, many people lost family members.”
Pottier recalled, “Today I met an eight-year-old boy whose mother and father were both shot and who now has no one to take care of him.” He added, “I saw a girl of 12, her three-year-old sister in her arms, come for consultation, saying she had lost both parents. My colleagues in the mobile clinic have seen at least three other children who came without any family, saying their mother and father had been shot.” During the killings, many people fled in panic, leading to injuries from climbing over wire fences, for example. Others were wounded by bullets in crossfire. Some patients have reported that soldiers deliberately humiliated them.
According to Pottier, “Two patients told us that armed men without uniforms came to their house, took away their children, and took away all their possessions, including their clothes. They said they had to flee naked out of the house. They received some clothes from people in the neighborhood, and those clothes are now all they have.”
MSF says many people are afraid to return home and are remaining at the St. Theresa’s Church compound, or elsewhere in the city. Others tried to go back but found that all their belongings were looted. The aid group pointed out that some of these incidents happened after the end of serious fighting on Monday.