Life is very challenging for refugees everywhere. They have suffered physical and psychological trauma from war. They have been forced from their homes and have traveled long distances to get to the refugee camps.
The struggle continues when they arrive. Life at the camp is very difficult. Most of their days are spent meeting basic needs: shelter, food, and water. In the camps, the majority of people live in tents provided by the United Nations, and those that are allowed to live in the town are often in dried mud-brick and thatch-roof homes. People in the camps receive a daily allotment of food that is just enough to survive. The grain must be ground by hand with a mortar and pestle and cooked over an open fire. There is typically no running water or electricity. Health services are minimal and usually fee-for-service.
For children who are registered, schooling is limited. The many children who are unregistered do not receive services. Refugees have few opportunities to find jobs in their host countries. In an effort to supplement their meager rations, many collect sticks to sell for firewood. There are few cars; most supplies are delivered by donkey carts. Despite the poverty, the refugees strive to have good hygiene and wear the best clothing they have available.
The Lutheran Church of South Sudan (LCSS) has brought the hope and love of Jesus to the refugees by providing spiritual, physical, and educational resources. Dignity is restored, as people experience God’s love, study His Word, sing His praises, and worship in a special building with vestments and music. God provides hope and they depend upon Him as their provider. A sense of community is found within the church. The schooling provided at Trinity Lutheran College and Seminary provides useful skills and a sense of purpose.