Crisis in South Sudan – Refugee Stories

19th June 2014

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In the Yida refugee camp, two of the smallest children at the Samaritan’s Purse nutrition clinic are sisters. Asia is 2 years, and Rabak is 3½. Ateb doesn’t know her age but she is barely more than a child herself.

Their uncle is loving and gentle, and he is constantly with the girls. He often carries Asia around or lies on the bed while letting the baby rest on his stomach.

Rabak was lifeless for the first couple of days. She never moved. Her eyes were lifeless. But on the third day, she began to smile. Lying on her side, she would reach out to slap my hand as I moved it back and forth. Sometimes she hit it and laughed at how I shook her hand. It was a miraculous change from my first visit.


Usif and Brem are two refugees who recently arrived in Yida. They came in a dump truck filled with people from the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan to escape the bombings.

Usif, 36, arrived in Yida with his wife and five children, who range from 2 to 11 years old. He had to leave his mother and sisters behind in Nuba.

Brem, 48, came with his two oldest children, ages 12 and 18. He left three children behind in Nuba with his wife because he wanted to see the camp before he brought his little children there. After he settles in Yida, he said he will go back to get the rest of his family.

Brem and Usif said that everyone is living in caves or building foxholes near their homes to protect themselves. Usif and Brem had dug foxholes near their houses in Nuba, and both of them said they have witnessed people killed by the bombs. “There is too much famine,” Usif said. “Inside Nuba, the war is still there. People are dying because of hunger.” He said he personally knows two people who died of starvation.


Toma Musa stood outside the clinic gate with her child, 1-year-old Gemma Mamut, waiting to go into the stabilisation centre. Gemma is suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea which only exacerbates the issues of malnutrition. Toma and Gemma arrived in Yida in April, and Toma says she will not go back to Nuba because of the bombings.

Toma is just one of many mothers waiting outside the clinic gate, desperate for their children to be healed. There were 31 children in the stabilisation centre in late May, a record high since opening in October.

Please pray for these children and families, and for our staff as they minister to them in the Name of Jesus Christ.

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