Sudan has fared even worse than its African neighbours. Average life expectancy is only 41 years; one in ten women die during pregnancy or in childbirth; and one in five children die before their fifth birthday. Infectious diseases endemic in Africa, such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV are common in South Sudan. Other diseases, such as African sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis), river blindness (onchocerciasis), guinea worm disease (dracunculiasis) and kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis), cause millions to suffer and die in southern Sudan every year.
Perhaps more critical to a nation than the loss of life, is the loss of hope. The impact of decades of civil war cuts at the social fabric and identity of a people. War interrupts the natural transfer of wisdom from generation to generation. This is illustrated most acutely and tragically in the plight of the orphans of southern Sudan but it impacts the whole community at many levels.
With peace, a glimmer of hope has returned and rebuilding can begin. It can be expected that the health of South Sudan will improve as crops are planted, children are educated, the economy develops, infrastructure is established and a health workforce is trained. Though it will take time for this to have an effect on national health indicators, small changes at a community level can encourage the momentum of hope. Harvesters, a Christian mission located in Yei, South Sudan, is one example of this momentum.
“Sell everything you have and give it to the poor” was the response they heard from Him. God gave His answer, they gave their obedience and, helped by the generosity of many like-minded people, Harvesters Reaching the Nations began its work of discipling, educating and caring for the orphans of South Sudan.
Since then, God has faithfully provided for and directed the work of Harvesters, and the people of South Sudan have been blessed as a result. Ten years into the journey, an orphanage provides homes for 150 children, a primary school is educating more than 500 students, and a health clinic and church are serving the broader needs of the local community.
Would you like to hear more of of the Harvester’s story? Follow this link – the photos and DVD’s will inspire you!
His House of Hope is a Christian hospital, clinic, and health education center located at the Harvesters compound near Yei, South Sudan. Its mission is “to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through a ministry of health care to women and children of South Sudan.”
Medically, the aim is to improve the health and lives of women and children and to decrease paediatric and maternal mortality. This will be achieved by providing antenatal care; increasing the number of attended births (either in the field or in hospital); providing a safe birthing facility (with the capacity for instrumental and operative deliveries); providing paediatric outpatient, inpatient and rehabilitation services; training African birth attendants, nurses, clinical officers, and other staff; and facilitating health education programs at His House of Hope and in the community. An overview of the mission of His House of Hope is available here.
The more comprehensive mission of His House of Hope is inspired by the earthly life of Jesus of Nazareth. On a daily basis, he was surrounded by the sick and suffering – “he welcomed them, spoke to them about the Kingdom of God and healed those who needed healing” (Luke 9:11). His hope for them (and for all people) was that they experience true and lasting healing by making peace with their Creator and entering the Kingdom of God. Healing of their physical illness was evidence of his love for them, and of his power to do what he promised to do! As they began to follow Jesus, and learned to walk in His Ways, they began to experience the peace and joy of that life that God intended for us all.
This is our hope for the patients and community that His House of Hope serves – that they will come to know Jesus Christ personally and experience the blessing of life in the Kingdom of God.close