Edward Kajivora, Executive Secretary of the Bible Society in South Sudan, explains:The project to make a new translation of the Bible into Zande, the language of around 350,000 people in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State, has come to an abrupt halt as members of the Zande community flee the city of Yambio, where the project is based.
“Members of the Dinka community have clashed with several ethic groups in the region in recent weeks. At the end of July, the Zande people living in Yambio were targeted. People have fled the town and are living in the bush, even though it’s now the rainy season.
“At first I couldn’t make contact with Paul Kambanyei, the translation team leader, but now I’ve spoken to him. He has moved around four miles out of Yambio. Nobody has been able to get to the translation office.
“The future for our whole country is uncertain. The economy is very fragile and disease is rife, especially malaria. But at the Bible Society in Juba we always encourage each other through God’s Word.”
Edward and his small team are committed to bringing the encouragement in God’s Word to as many people of this troubled country as possible. Although their work is restricted to the capital, Juba, and a few other provinces, they are distributing Bibles in churches and refugee camps. The demand is so high that this year they have distributed twice as many Bibles as last year.
The Society’s Scripture-based trauma healing projects are also in great demand and continue to take place in schools, churches and in partnership with NGOs in a number of locations, including in the city of Yambio. And literacy classes are still under way in conflict-torn Western Equatoria.
“We ask you to pray with us as we continue to face this uncertain situation,” adds Edward. “Only God knows whether some of us will reach the end of the year. But above all this uncertainty, our Living God continues to be with those who trust in him. We are confident that one day the Lord will hear the prayers of his people and that peace will come to our country.”