the “Better Together” blog

South Sudan ceasefire must hold to avert famine: U.N. – REUTERS

Posted by on Jun 6, 2014 in Featured, the "Better Together" blog | 0 comments

South Sudan ceasefire must hold to avert famine: U.N. – REUTERS

JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan can only avoid famine if a shaky ceasefire holds and people displaced by more than five months of fighting are able to return home in the next few weeks to plant crops before the rains, a senior U.N. official said. Donors pledged more than $600 million in May to help avert a crisis which aid agencies said could be the biggest since the 1984 Ethiopian famine, with 3.5 million people already suffering from acute or emergency-level food shortages, including a million unable to meet basic needs, the United Nations says. This already meant the situation was...

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Peace: South Sudan’s Way Forward and Hope for a Shared Future

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in the "Better Together" blog | 0 comments

Our Beloved Community, We’re so thankful for you and your shared comments and prayers for South Sudan these past weeks! What amazing and precious sisters and brothers we serve alongside of. Please know how grateful we are for you. Know, also, you can expect further updates and ways you can help via our website in the days ahead with regard to what’s transitioned from isolated clashing in parts of South Sudan to more widespread violence and renewed warfare throughout many regions in this new nation. The saying ‘it’s complicated’ reigns true in so many contexts, and it’s very much the case...

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A Birthday Wish for Water

Posted by on Jan 20, 2014 in the "Better Together" blog | 0 comments

Like most teenagers, 15 year-old Morgan loves her birthday. She loves the crazy fun of friends gathering, the mismatch of her favorite foods all in one place. She revels in the mystery of scavenger hunts planned by her mom – adventures that typically take Morgan and her friends all over town before they land back at her house and munch more treats and laugh until their sides ache. This year was different though. While she greatly anticipated her special day, Morgan had other ideas of how she wanted to celebrate – and give – for her birthday.   “It started when I went to the Give-a-Well...

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South Sudan: A Prayer for Peace

Posted by on Dec 23, 2013 in the "Better Together" blog | 0 comments

Our Beloved Community, First, thank you for the outpouring of concern you’ve shown regarding the current conflict in South Sudan. Your inquiring emails, calls and messages have been beautiful reminders that we really are a human family – and God’s love in us moves us to deeply care for the suffering of others. I’m so grateful for this. As I write, South Sudan is, in fact, conflicted and aspects of the clashings have escalated in some of the nation’s states. Unfortunately, shifts in this region have long-occurred, especially prior to the formal end of civil war in 2005...

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With a Grateful Heart…

Posted by on Nov 27, 2013 in the "Better Together" blog | 0 comments

With a Grateful Heart…

As this holiday season begins, I’m so grateful it does so with Thanksgiving. Not only is Thanksgiving my favorite holiday, it reminds me just how powerful is the heart overflowing with appreciation and gratitude. “In everything, give thanks…,” God prompts us. In all circumstances, all life seasons. In times of light and laughter and wonder. In stretches where the music of our worlds grinds to a halt and everything around us fades to black. And in those infinite moments in between. Being grateful matters. Choosing the way of thanksgiving sets us up to enjoy lives of...

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Jillian

Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 in the "Better Together" blog | 0 comments

Jillian

Meet Jillian. Still a couple inches shy of five feet, this eleven year-old dynamo is one of our greatest champions for female life change in South Sudan. The busy fifth grader totes around a notebook of ideas, which she regularly tries out. From saving up her allowance to advocating the story of women and girls at her school (and then in after-school group) to putting together weekend garage sales with her mom, Jilli has embraced “doing her thing” in ways that keep bringing change to South Sudan – and to the community of people who know and love her! More than five years ago,...

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Joy

Posted by on Oct 17, 2013 in the "Better Together" blog | 0 comments

Joy

Many times, I am asked the question of why I love the South Sudanese people. A related question is why Sister Effect works among the South Sudanese people. There are many reasons, but one jumps at me regularly. Joy. It’s joy… in the South Sudanese when they realize God loves them. It’s joy… in the South Sudanese when they realize you love them. It’s joy… in you when you realize they love you in return. It’s joy… in the people’s faces when they get their first gulp of clean drinking water… ever. It’s joy… in new friends when they get desperately-needed...

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What We Really Own

Posted by on Sep 19, 2013 in the "Better Together" blog | 0 comments

By: Elizabeth Hankins Sometimes I think about this, this idea of what’s really ours. Especially as a mom trying to filter and pass along lasting values to my kids. And as a disciple of Jesus trying best I can to wrap my brain around what’s in his heart. After all, how many times a day do I say things like “my this” or “my that”? And is it just me, or does it not seem like the more and bigger our “my” collections grow, the more impressive and important we seem to others? Like millions in our Western hemisphere, I’ve spent years rolling out of bed and pulling on clothes before docking in a...

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Suffering: Who Wants It?

Posted by on Sep 9, 2013 in the "Better Together" blog | 0 comments

Suffering: Who Wants It?

Suffering… none of us want it. In fact, we avoid it at all costs. Headaches get medicine, hunger gets food, and fatigue gets sleep. Whatever the symptom, we have a remedy. Few times are we unable to repair our issue. We have an aversion to suffering, and for the most part, an inability to meet it. The South Sudanese have no such mindset. For them it’s not if they’ll suffer, it’s how much. There is little medicine for headaches, not enough food for hunger, and sleep – that’s tough on hard ground. Some South Sudanese have more these days, with medicine or food or a bed. But they are the...

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I SEE You!!

Posted by on Aug 9, 2013 in the "Better Together" blog | 0 comments

Our girls used to love endless games of peek-a-boo when they were little. I’ve no idea how many hours we logged over the years chanting, “Where’s Leelee” or “Where’s Maddy,” only to inevitably end the mock quest with, “THERE you are! I see you!” To which they would squeal and squirm and demand another round of the same. The game never grew old until they got older and just outgrew it. Whether Dave and I played it with them five or forty times in sequence, being found and seen never lost its thrill, its appeal for yet another identical...

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Before it Gets Easy…

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in the "Better Together" blog | 0 comments

Before it Gets Easy…

I moved a couple of weeks ago. Moving is hard work! The packing alone feels like an endless task. I can remember after working for quite some time, looking around and thinking to myself with satisfaction, “I must be close to 90% done by now… just little odds and ends left…” Only then, the strangest thing started happening. I can’t prove it, but I would swear my stuff began to multiply. Like, magically. It’s like the story with Elijah and the widow, where she only has a handful of flour and a little oil in a jug,. But she does what Elijah asks her and the flour and the oil...

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