There are a lot of individuals like Harvesters’ security guard Martin, doing what they can, day by day, to bring some sense of stability to themselves, their family, and their community. They do so by showing up for work and using their gifts to make a difference.
They teach students. They care for the young. They care for the sick. They comfort. They protect. They rally. They preach peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
It is not easy for them to make this choice to show up and work, especially considering the clear and present dangers of doing that. But for these individuals it’s a means of survival and a means to break the cycle. It takes one, two, three, and more who choose this path to help counter the many who take to fighting a senseless war. These internal conflicts after all see no victories.
While there are no statistics currently representing employment in South Sudan, there are examples of those who are currently employed and working today. The organization Harvesters Reaching the Nations, which has been operating in South Sudan for nearly 17 years, continues operating two orphanages, two Primary Schools and two churches collectively in Terekeka and Yei. As of this writing, they currently employ 116 South Sudanese staff including administrators, housemothers, nurses, laborers, teachers and pastors. This number has decreased slightly since the fall of 2016 because of the insecurity that’s been occurring in the Yei area, but nevertheless there are South Sudanese who chose to stay.
Each native South Sudanese who has chosen to stay and work is investing in their country’s future. And while the economy, or lack thereof, doesn’t currently reflect these efforts…it’s these same efforts that will play a pivotal role in healing a nation ravaged by war and rebuilding it into something that can flourish one day.
For now though, they teach students. They care for the young. They care for the sick. They comfort. They protect. They rally. They preach peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation. They survive.