Letter from Rev. Heeheon Jeon: Mabaan Flood Relief

March 02, 2020

The South Sudan is the newest nation in the world but has struggled as a fledgling country due to fighting among their leadership. The Mabaan speaking ethnic group occupies Mabaan County of the Northern Upper Nile State. In July 2019, heavy rainfall from a weather phenomenon called the Indian Ocean Dipole flooded the war-torn county and an estimated 420,000 people have been displaced.

Dear sisters and brothers in the Central District,
Our South Sudanese friends who worship in the Mabaan language at First United Methodist Church in Des Moines have family and friends who experienced heavy rain over four months that started last July. Continuous rain brought havoc to their villages, homes, livestock and infrastructure.
The Iowa Mabaans have asked the Iowa Conference United Methodist Church to help with efforts to address the flood relief in their homeland, especially, the Upper Nile State of the South Sudan.  So, an Iowa Committee has gathered, media publications are available, Bishop Laurie has written a blog highlighting support of this venture and we District Superintendents are on board as together we reach out to offer hope.
Plans are to send Pastor Limmo and Maya Legal to South Sudan to work out a working agreement with Humanitarian Development Consortium for distribution of funds and needed supplies (tarps, tents, solar lights, food items, medications and water). Farming tools and seeds will be needed as Sudanese restart their farming activities.
We Iowans have experienced floods over the past decade with assistance coming from neighbors, early response and work groups as well as state and government organizations whose role is to help with disaster recovery. South Sudan and Mabaan area have no governmental agencies or infrastructure to give such aid.
Our goal for this humanitarian fund raiser is $200,000 which we hope to raise by June 30.  Funds may be sent to the Iowa Conference Treasurer, 2301 Rittenhouse St., Des Moines 50321. On the Memo line put: 53321-MF which is the line item for Mabaan Flood Relief funds. An offering will be taken at the opening Worship Service on June 5 at Annual Conference. 
What can we do to offer financial and practical assistance?
  1. Learn about this natural disaster through the internet and YouTube
  2. Plan a fund raiser event in your local church with the children, youth, UMW, Bible Study and prayer groups
  3. Set a Sunday to take a special offering for the Mabaan Flood Relief
  4. Pray for the relief program(s) to take place in Upper Nile State 
Our Central District has an opportunity to assist our South Sudanese friends so during this time of Lent and the Easter season opportunities for fund raising could take place. My goal for our Central District is to raise $10,000. If you have any questions, please contact either Beverly Nolte or me.
Heecheon Jeon
Central District Superintendent of Iowa Annual Conference

Internet/YouTube:  UNHCR flood relief in South Sudan, 2019 Flooding in South Sudan
Iowa Conference Website: iaumc.org, click top of page www.iaumc.org/MFR or click MINISTRIES, Scroll to South Sudanese Mabaan UMC, on left side click MABAAN FLOOD