Where does hope for South Sudan lie in 2013?

briggs_cross

James Briggs/SIM Sudan

Just days into 2013, South Sudan is on my heart and mind.

What will this year hold for the world’s youngest country? What does the future look like for the South Sudanese? How will they build and re-build the foundations needed to be successful?

My photog colleague, James Briggs, posted about the photo above on his blog. The cross, planted in this patch of ground, was recovered from the ruins of the Upper Nile State’s Gulween Sudan Interior Church, which collapsed during a violent storm.

The Cross endures.

And I remembered the words of Dau, a South Sudanese man who helps manage the Doro Safe Drinking Water Project.

You don’t rebuild because you want to make roads or bridges. You need to build the people first. If you don’t build the people and you do the bridge, the person will come and say ‘This bridge, knock it down. I want to put my house there.’ Because he doesn’t understand.

Start with the people.

But it doesn’t end there. Give them a foundation that will not be shaken: the Cross.

Because that picture isn’t the whole story. Take a look at one below. Despite the destruction of the storm, the people still rejoice – because their Hope isn’t in a few pieces of woods or beams.

briggs_cross2

James Briggs/SIM Sudan

In this new year, I’m reminded of just how important the work is that SIM Sudan team members – and those with SIM worldwide – do every day. They walk alongside the people, share the gospel with them and support the work of the church.

What a beautiful calling.

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