Word was received by the traveler, Maya Dinga, on the evening of December 16, 2020, that South Sudanese Opposition Rebels had attacked Mabaan Defend Forces/civilians in Upper Nile State which includes Mabaan County. According to the report, there were many casualties, with people losing and fleeing their homes, crops being burned, and general unrest. The advice from Security Personnel was to cancel the trip for Dinga and Pastor Aaron Limmo, who planned to travel to South Sudan on Saturday, December 19, 2020.
The funds for the Mabaan Flood Relief will be held with the Iowa Conference Treasurer until it is deemed safe for Iowa Mabaans to travel to their homeland to aid in the humanitarian effort following the Indian Ocean Dipole in late 2019.
Prayers are needed for the Sudanese community in Iowa, the two families affected by the trip cancellation, and the Mabaans in the affected area of turmoil in South Sudan.
We did it!
Yes, the Iowa Conference has risen to the occasion and contributed $25,750 for the Mabaan Flood Relief! Individuals and local churches heard the plea for help after the Indian Ocean Dipole flooded the Upper Nile State and especially Mabaan County in South Sudan. The Mabaan people that live in Des Moines, Storm Lake, and Omaha areas asked for assistance to address humanitarian aid.
The original goal was $200,000 but with the COVID-19 pandemic, which wreaked havoc with our ability to hold church services and activities, plus the Derecho, that blew across farm areas in Central Iowa, we are grateful for this generous donation by Iowans.
Plans are for Aaron Limmo (Mabaan South Sudanese UMC pastor) and Maya Dinga (secretary of the Greater Mabaan Community) to travel to Khartoum, Sudan on 12/19. There they will receive the funds being sent by Central District Superintendent Heecheon Jeon through Dahabshiil, an East Africa Transfer Company. Upon reaching South Sudan they will be met by Mayor Mansur, a government official. Then the purchase of priority items and their distribution will begin and continue as long as the funds are available!
The Mabaan community is extremely grateful to their Iowa United Methodist friends for the response to the needs of their kinfolk in South Sudan. We ask prayers that Limmo and Dinga remain healthy, are able to get a negative COVID-19 test that allows them to fly halfway around the world to bring hope to their families at this Christmas time.