As I was praying for some of my South Sudanese friends recently, I was overwhelmed with God's heart for them. These women are married and have many children, yet I sensed that, in many ways, God could see them as widows.

Many women in South Sudan do not live with their husbands. There are many reasons for this. Sometimes their men have to go where there is work. Sometimes they are estranged because of some conflict. Sometimes it’s because their marriage is more of a contract of utility than a relationship. There is too much to unpack here about the cultural norms, so I can’t explain as much as I would like--but just know this is not a cultural critique but rather me sharing the struggles of some of my friends and women like them.

God is passionate about caring for widows and orphans. He is passionate about caring for those who are disadvantaged and downtrodden. The Bible mentions widows and orphans as examples of people that should be cared for. So children that are without the love and care of parents or women that are without the provision and protection of husbands are very near to God’s heart.

I hope you will join me in praying for these women and their families. Please pray the blinders of cultural norms would be removed and that the truth of God’s Word would penetrate hearts. Please pray God would raise up some pictures within the culture of what God wants family to look like in South Sudan.

I have been blown away at the privilege of knowing these women and getting to see how everything from water wells to Bible storying can positively affect the families of South Sudan. Sometimes it still takes my breath away that God has made me one of His ambassadors, and I am overjoyed that I get to go and love on his behalf.

"All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.”

2 Corinthians 5:18-20