Our Sister Effect story is fairly simple though multidimensional. In different ways, we learned about what is now South Sudan – its history, its long-running war, its beautiful people. Some of us are southern Sudanese so we knew details of our story. Others of us traveled throughout this country. We became observers of what we’d heard and studied about, eyewitnesses to many things we had never seen. In particular, we were struck by the harsh differences between how we live and how women and girls there survive.
We were – and are – an expanding group of friends, of sisters. We’re also people of faith, women and girls who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. And in light of the stark need in South Sudan, we knew that what we believed about God and compassion, about justice and peace, had to translate into something tangible. We knew that our faith needed to be expressed in endeavors that might help heal and empower, in actions that could create and sustain genuine partnerships and global community.
we knew that what we believed about God and compassion, about justice and peace, had to translate into something tangible.
But we knew that such coming alongside might not be easy. We all have so much to learn from one another and we wanted our efforts to be inspired by our sisters in South Sudan – guided by their voices and input. We longed to help create opportunity, not short-circuit or usurp those important local processes that have been responsible for this nation’s survival.
So after considering the feedback of our sisters in South Sudan, we got to thinking that although we were busy with life and family and jobs and a zillion other things, there were still things that we can do here that could help lead to positive change.
So for starters, we began doing things that came natural to us, things like baking and shopping, writing and gardening and crafting music. Then we took earnings from our efforts and we started sharing it to help bring change in South Sudan.
But here’s the part that took us by surprise, the thing that still has us captivated: as we offered some of our lives to help bring about life change in Sudan, we were the ones who found ourselves most altered. It was like we planted tiny seeds at midnight and awoke at dawn to find a dazzling garden in full bloom.
This realization is changing how we live our lives. It’s redefining our understanding of worship and faith and God’s deep and abiding love for this world. It’s also helping us to understand the power of community, the bonds of global sisterhood and the responsibility that we have to our human family to be peacemakers and justice and reconciliation seekers.
So we guess that Sister Effect began when our understanding of South Sudan’s story compelled us to care and take action together. But we know that there’s so much more to come – and to become – as this sister effect takes hold in our communities and continues transforming our sisters here as we all work together for change in South Sudan.