‘I know I am not on my own’
– Lynn Treneary
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I am going back to South Sudan as a mission partner for Church Mission Society. My work will be with the Chaima Christian Institute in Maridi, in the south of the country. The civil war has destroyed so much there; and the Chaima Institute is absolutely what is needed now. I am desperate to get back; I know how much people are struggling and how much work and encouragement is needed.
“It is support like yours which has made my calling possible.”
Chaima Institute is a training college, a place of development and hope. When, during the fighting last year, everything in Maridi closed down, we at Chaima kept our doors open as a refuge. When everything had gone haywire, when the schools had closed and people were escaping into the bush, we at Chaima were still there, still working.
I was part of the leadership team of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan – and we were meeting every morning, every evening, trying to find ways to help people burnt out of their houses, with no food or shelter. With the health clinic closed, with everything looted, mothers were bringing babies with malaria to me, asking; what are we going to do?
At the time I didn’t know what I could do! But at Chaima we prayed for answers and found ways to help – I was able to contact aid workers who brought in medicines and supplies.
And then, when the fighting stopped, we kept going, trying to build peace, trying to reconcile communities around Maridi that had been killing each other.
“I know I am not on my own, I know that God is with me and that I have Church Mission Society to support me.”
As I go back to the Chaima Institute I will teach English. English is needed for everything now so I will be teaching mothers, pastors, students and police officers; nurturing and encouraging Christians whose faith and lives can help bring the peace and development that South Sudan so needs.
I know I will also be working again with the Mothers' Union organising sessions where we will teach about maternal health and HIV – and every day there will be new things asked of me, new needs that I will help to meet, that I will fundraise for and publicise and encourage. I will help build peace, leadership, compassion and forgiveness; I know this too!
I don’t know what the future will bring but I know I need to be in Maridi, to be at Chaima and, thanks to Church Mission Society, I am going back.