Submitted by Rev. Phil Webb
Pastor at Storm Lake United Methodist Church
Member, Iowa Conference Mabaan Flood Relief Fund Raiser Committee
On the beautiful shores of Storm Lake, there is a community by the same name, rich in cultural and racial diversity. More recent arrivals that add to this wonderful city are people who have come here from the country of South Sudan. Many work at the two meat processing plants in town. Most of the 300+ South Sudanese in Storm Lake are from the Mabaan tribe, located in the Mabaan County of South Sudan. They speak the Mabaan language, and around 65-75 Mabaan people worship together speaking that language in a church building given to them by a congregation no longer using that building. There are also Mabaan people from Denison and Sioux City, (and even from Utah at Christmas time), who drive to Storm Lake to worship in their native tongue.
The South Sudanese people are fully aware of the need in their country of origin due to the severe flooding. They have raised well over $3,000 from their own resources to send home to help their families and friends in Mabaan. They are concerned by the diseases that can arise in a flood and from unclean water. They are concerned by the crops that have been flooded out and know that food is getting so scarce it is beyond the reach of most people to afford. Employment opportunities have been taken out by the floodwaters, and it isn't getting any easier.
It is an emotional thing for the Storm Lake South Sudanese to realize how much their loved ones are suffering back in Mabaan. They are praying and working as a congregation for God to motivate people's hearts to do what they can to help the situation back in South Sudan.
Iowa United Methodists are welcome to help make a contribution to flood relief for the Mabaans in South Sudan. Financial gifts may be sent to the Iowa Conference Treasurer, 2301 Rittenhouse St., Des Moines 50321. Be sure to note: 53321 MF on the memo line. Or you can donate online here.
Mercy to the needy is a loan from God and God pays back those loans in full. Proverbs 19:17