By Laura Krone
I have been reading the book of Nehemiah this month, and it has reminded me of God’s faithfulness in answering prayer. In 2011, after preaching on Nehemiah 1, my pastor challenged us to pray that God would give us a passion for a people or place similar to Nehemiah’s heart to restore the wall of Jerusalem. A news article on Ethiopia caught my attention, and for several months I prayed that God would use me to touch people in East Africa. A year later I had the opportunity to travel with Every Village to South Sudan for the first time, and almost four years later I’ve now lived in three different countries in East Africa!
In many ways, South Sudan reminds me of the state of Israel in Nehemiah’s time--both having experienced long periods of conflict with large numbers being displaced from their homes as exiles/refugees. It gives me hope, though, that like the wall of Jerusalem, God can restore this war-torn nation, only this time not through the rebuilding of physical walls, but through living stones--South Sudanese who love and follow Him.
“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4-5
Please join us in praying that God would bring a swift end to this conflict and a lasting peace to South Sudan. May He raise up men and women with hearts transformed by the gospel to lead their communities in reconciliation and hope.