After two weeks of being alone in Malakal it was a blessing and encouragement to have a number of visitors, one of whom was my younger brother!
They had quite a few adventures; hiking through swamps, getting their boat stuck in 10 foot tall reeds along the Nile and visiting many different ministry locations. I was privileged to drive them on their trip to Baliet, where we visited the Sudan Interior Church (SIC) in town and met with the pastor. We also checked out the War Widows Sewing project that SIM in cooperation with SIA (Sudan Interior Aid), the aid branch of SIC, started.
Most of the women are in their late 20s or 30s and come from various denominations. They have lost their husbands to a war that has raged for decades in Sudan. They are husbandless in a culture that tends to value men above women. Their children are fatherless.
These widows struggle to make ends meet for their families. Yet they exude hope, hospitality and a deep-seated faith.
The goal of the project is to train women how to sew thus providing them with a source of income for their families. The main teacher and director of the project is a Southern Sudanese lady living in Nairobi who has a heart for her people. Unfortunately, because of the distance and cost of travel her visits and trainings are infrequent; only once or twice a year for 3 weeks at a time. This impedes the learning process so leadership is trying to work out a better arrangement with knowledgeable local teachers.
It is such an encouragement to partner with our local Sudanese church contacts in order to empower Southern Sudanese like these women.