Church Prayer Guide: The Massive Hunger Crisis in South Sudan

by Church Resource Team on August 13, 2015

Fighting in the world's newest nation has killed or injured thousands; displaced thousands of children from their homes; and forced tens of thousands to flee as refugees. As the conflict continues in South Sudan, many now face massive food shortages as well.

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Pray for child health

It is somewhat of a miracle that Aluet’s story has a happy ending. Even before the recent fighting, South Sudan had the world’s highest maternal and child mortality rates. Because of the conflict, there is little hope for a woman to receive prenatal care or for her children to be vaccinated after birth. Water and sanitation services in many places have been destroyed, increasing a child’s chance of contracting diarrhea — which in poor living conditions can be fatal. Lack of food has left 235,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. In Warrap state, World Vision has treated nearly 9,000 malnourished children with therapeutic food in the form of peanut paste. Staff provide amoxicillin, deworming medicine, and vitamin A for treating diseases inhibiting children from gaining weight. Last year, nearly 450,000 children were served through health, nutrition, and protection programming.

Great Healer, we thank You for the work that is being done to help so many chil- dren. Provide the resources to help even more little ones. Heal and strengthen their tiny bodies so they may one day experience fullness of life.

Pray for orphans seperated from their families

Deng Maleuth, 15, spent three months walking from conflict-ridden Unity state to a camp in Warrap state. “I have no mother or father,” he says. He lost all his siblings as well. Deng joined the 1.2 million people on the run within South Sudan’s borders. Conflict has forced another 500,000 people to flee to surrounding countries such as Ethiopia. World Vision serves internally displaced people with food, household items such as pots and pans, and clean drinking water and sanitation. Children can play and learn at World Vision’s Child-Friendly Spaces. Last year 439,534 people like Deng benefited from this emergency relief. Staff also work like detectives to reunite separated family mem- bers. In the past few months in Warrap state, World Vision has recon- nected 65 children with their families.

Father God, our hearts break for these precious children who have lost parents or have become separated from family. Be with them and bring people around them to show them Your love and goodness in spite of their grief and fear.

Pray for children's education, especially for girls

In South Sudan, a girl’s worth is measured in the number of cows she can bring her family when she is married. Moureen Ayak, 19, is the oldest girl in a family of 26 children. She craved education, but her father refused and abandoned her. World Vision became an advocate for Moureen, helping her navigate through the school system. Now third among 76 students in her college senior class, she hopes to become a doctor so she can help others in her village. More power- fully, she forgives her father. In addition to championing girls, last year World Vision rehabilitated 10 classrooms, trained teachers, formed Parent Teacher Associations, provided furniture for schools, and cre- ated temporary learning spaces for displaced children.

Lord, we know You have created children with curiosity to learn about their world. Give them opportunities to fulfill that desire. Pro- vide resources and remove roadblocks that keep them from receiving an education. Change people’s attitudes toward girls so they, too, may benefit from academic success.

Pray for aid workers

The conflict has made life difficult for aid workers and their families. Helping people amid insecurity presents daunting physical, mental, and spiritual challenges. Some aid workers and their families are inside U.N. compounds, and some are not. In some situations, there aren’t enough supplies to help everyone adequately.

Lord, we lift up aid workers in South Sudan to You. Give them strength and courage for each day’s tasks. We ask You to sustain staff, and encourage them during difficult challenges. In Your mercy, guide aid workers with wisdom. 

How Your Church Can Help

HELP NOW: Despite ongoing conflict in fragile places like South Sudan, your church can take on the greatest needs of our day by providing emergency food and interventions for malnourished children in South Sudan.

LEARN MORE: The Christian Broducast Network recently traveled to South Sudan with World Vision's President Rich Stearns and capture this video to help Christians understand the current crises there and how fragile lives are being helped in this vulnerable young country. Watch here. 

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