Story submitted by Beverly Nolte. Photos and video by Pastor Aaron Limmo.
The Greater Mabaan Community led by Idris Kegi, reviewed the Flood Relief Report submitted by Pastor Aaron Limmo who returned from Juba, South Sudan on May 25, 2021. The Iowa Conference had raised $27,347 to assist villagers in Mabaan County, located in Upper Nile State which suffered from yearly flooding. An Iowa flood relief committee had started fund raising efforts in 2019 but were stymied by the COVID pandemic in 2020. Nevertheless, Iowa United Methodists were generous givers.
The purchase and distribution plan was to aid many displaced, elderly and disabled poor people living out in the open. Limmo found that in several villages people were living in water due to severe flooding. Their crops had been destroyed and huts burned by neighboring villagers. These homeless people were grateful for the tarps which would shelter them at night and dry off during the day for use again. Some family groups would sometimes find shelter under trees where they would string up their tarps.
For villagers who had huts they were able to hang their mosquito nets to avoid the mosquitoes due to standing, stagnant water. These nets help keep people free from malaria.
With a scant food supply available in the country, the purchase of sorghum, a staple of the Mabaan diet, was welcomed by the villagers who carried it home in sacks. Sorghum is a grain staple made into porridge and sometimes cooked with okra.
There is no financial help from the South Sudanese government to aid the people of this area of the country. The United Nations Non-Government Organizations, (NGO’s) offer some assistance but do not stay for the long haul.
Limmo said that the Mabaan community in Juba and in Mabaan County really stepped up to assist with the purchase/distribution plans. People offered use of their vehicles, housing, money, meals, physical assistance and translation for the teams. These acts of kindness coupled with the funds from unknown Iowans helped make an impact on recipients. The Biblical theme was “Mercy to the needy is a loan from God, and God pays back those loans in full.”
Thanks to all who helped show mercy to the Mabaans of South Sudan!