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From the Field3 min read


EXCLUSIVE: From the field inside a refugee camp

Vernon Brewer
Jul 18, 2017

This past week, I had the privilege to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus to thousands of South Sudanese refugees in a camp in northern Uganda.

I knew going in that this trip would be different from my previous trips to refugee camps around the world. The South Sudan refugee crisis is unique because more than 80 percent of those who have fled their homes are women and children. Most of the men have been killed by tribal warfare.

Still, knowing this, I was shocked at the number of children living alone, taking on responsibilities that no child should have to bear.

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Child-headed households are the norm rather than the exception.

I met many of these children as our team walked through the camps, but one brave little girl stood out in particular … Sylvia. At just 12 years old, Sylvia is responsible for making sure her siblings have enough food and clean water each day.

She takes her job very seriously and does everything she can to keep her family together and safe in a camp filled with 42,000 refugees. Sylvia has experienced much trauma in her young life. Both her father and mother were victims of war and religious persecution … losing one of her siblings would be simply devastating.

But that’s a very real threat that Sylvia faces every day.

Supplies at the camp are running dangerously low. Each month, Sylvia’s family receives a ration of just seven pounds of flour — not nearly enough food to live on.

It’s the same in refugee camps across northern Uganda. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have helped some of these refugees this past week. We were able to give Sylvia and her siblings bags of cornmeal and other essential supplies. But many more people are still waiting for a helping hand.

As Christians, we’re called to spread the light of God’s love in the darkest places on earth. And after seeing firsthand the situation in these refugee camps, I can confidently say there are few places as dark as northern Uganda — a place that is rarely in the news and is easily forgotten.

Please don’t forget these refugees. Please don’t forget children like Sylvia.

All it takes is $20 for you to provide one refugee with a month’s supply of essentials such as healthy food, clean water, blankets, and hygiene items.

A generous gift of $100 will provide one month of emergency aid for an entire family!

Your gift represents more than just a meal for a hungry refugee; it’s a demonstration of Christ’s love. And because local pastors will distribute the aid you provide, you are opening doors for the Gospel to spread.

Jesus commanded us to help widows and orphans … just like Sylvia. Will you give what you can today? The lives of these vulnerable children are at stake.

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