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Hope for South Sudan

In July 2005, God spoke to the hearts of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church regarding the suffering of the people of Sudan.

During a staff meeting led by Bishop James Swanson, the children’s ministry director said she had been deeply moved after reading the book, “They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky,” over the Fourth of July weekend. Swanson then told of a photo e-mailed to him that morning showing a starving Sudanese child being watched by a vulture. The bishop was haunted by the image and challenged his staff to act.

Within months, a fundraising effort had begun, and people from Holston’s 900 churches in east Tennessee, southwest Virginia, and north Georgia asked to help. With guidance from their denomination’s Board of Global Ministries, Holston began sending teams to Yei, South Sudan, a growing city in southwest Sudan, near the borders of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In February 2008, Holston Conference signed a covenant with the United Methodist Church’s East Africa Conference, which includes Sudan. In the agreement, Holston promised to partner with the United Methodist community in Sudan to help provide clean water, improved health, education, church development and leadership, and care for the widows and orphans.

For more information contact:

Hope for the Children of South Sudan Team
Holston Conference of
The United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 850
Alcoa, TN 37701-0850

Toll-Free: 866-690-4080
E-Mail: [email protected]



Rising Up

Holston Conference found a new family in Sudan just as the country struggled to rise up from years of turmoil and develop a new nation.

Sudan and its people suffered from neglect, destruction and displacement during two civil wars between 1955 and 2005. More than 2.5 million were killed and many more became refugees. Civilian homes were burned to the ground, women and girls were forced into slavery, and young boys were enlisted as soldiers. Others fled their pillaged villages on foot, becoming known as the “lost boys of Sudan.”

In January 2011, people from the southern region of Sudan voted to break away from Sudan and declare independence. In July 2011, the Republic of South Sudan became an independent country.

For almost a decade, Holston Conference has walked with their United Methodist friends and government leaders in South Sudan as they recover from the destruction and poverty left by war and overcome the disease and disunity that continues to threaten. Under the past leadership of Bishop Swanson and current leadership of Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor, Holston Conference has joined with South Sudan to celebrate:

* Over $2.6 million raised through offerings and individual gifts
* 7 churches built or supported - Pakuka, Ligitolo, Logo, Giru, Gwira, Kenyi, Yei
* 23 pastors trained
* 9 school blocks built at three schools - Ligitolo, Giru, Salaam (Yei)
* Children educated through scholarships or school support
* 36 wells dug
* Two orphanages built with 36 children accommodated - GRACE Home 23; Greenland Home 13
* 42 mission teams sent from the U.S. - 157 people in total

Also in collaboration with Alfalit in adult literacy to help adults learn to read and write English and to learn

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