Political and tribal factions have been in combat since late 2013, with extraordinary cruelty against civilians. Atrocities performed by government forces (largely of the Dinka tribes) against the Nuer people lead to reprisal killings by the Nuer against the Dinka. Civilians have been killed in their homes, churches, and hospitals. Tens of thousands have been killed, and around 100,000 people are in UN compounds in appalling conditions. Others are hiding in the bush.
A famine is looming because of drought and because farmers have not been able to tend to crops. The UN warns that 50,000 children could die and more than one third of South Sudan's population is threatened by lack of food.
Church leaders in South Sudan say that the world has turned its back on the war-torn nation and little is being done to help the millions in desperate need of humanitarian aid. Pastors have been killed and churches burned in this country where the majority of people are Christian.
The Church in South Sudan could act to bring reconciliation across the fractured country. Already leaders of different denominations have joined together to seek aid from the outside world and provide for its distribution in areas of need.
Desperate people often become more open to the message of Christ. Included are both Christians and those not yet Christians. Christians may be driven to live more obediently to Christ, and non-Christians may make first time commitments to Christ.
The government of South Sudan may be threatened such that fair treatment of all tribes and political factions will become commonplace. Oil wealth may be effectively used to benefit all people. Much prayer will be needed to achieve these unlikely outcomes.
The Lord could be exalted in South Sudan if Christians lead the way in reaching across political and tribal barriers to forgive. This is the Church's opportunity to demonstrate Christ-like behavior.
* Pray that peace talks underway between different factions will bear fruit.
* Pray that schools will not be closed down by the conflict, and that children will be able to attend classes.
* Pray for the national government to become unified and effective. Pray for competent leadership on all levels of government.
* Pray for rainfall for crops and that farmers will be able to tend their crops.
* Pray for humanitarian aid to become widely available.
* Pray the large Church in the country will become more united behind the common purpose of exalting Christ in the land.
"No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise." Isaiah 60: 18