Hope of a Better Life

At least in South Sudan my children could go to school.

Donny and Sarah Grice-Fitzgerald recently traveled to Uganda and were able to see the needs of refugees there and share some of their stories. Over the next three weeks on the blog, we’ll get to see the realities of life within refugee camps and how many people are working to provide for physical needs as well as bring the hope of the Gospel.

Uganda is home to over 1.3 million refugees in a country the size of Michigan, with a population of 44.7 million. Most of these are South Sudanese. The United Nations have reported about how Uganda “stands out in refugee hospitality,” largely due to their open-door policy. This said, the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of refugees in Uganda are still great, and many refugees go uncared for, as we were able to witness firsthand upon visiting one of Uganda’s many refugee camps.

Alice’s husband disappeared one night while the family still lived in South Sudan. She left South Sudan when war broke out, and headed for the refugee camps in northern Uganda. But, she discovered the life in the camp to be very difficult, so she left the camp to live in a more urban area of Uganda in hopes of a better life. But life has not been easy. Alice does not have any money. This means she cannot afford to send her children to school. Since she has to spend all day every day caring for her children by herself, she cannot work.

We asked Alice if she would like to return to South Sudan one day if peace returns; she said, “At least in South Sudan my children could go to school. Here we must stay at home all day.”

Families like Alice’s are the ones Andy’s (a fellow missionary with New International) ministry partners are serving. Christian refugees living in the camps have been stepping up to improve the lives of refugees living in the camps and throughout Uganda and to introduce them to the Gospel. They do this with immense faith and respect for God. In spite of the horrors they and other refugees have experienced, they see ways God can work and is working now to bring refugees in Uganda into a relationship with Him.

Donny and Sarah have begun a nonprofit ministry called 838 Coffee to raise funds for the completion of projects in Ugandan refugee camps through the sale of specialty Ugandan coffee. Each 6 oz. bag of coffee from a farm in viewing distance from the refugee camp will be sold at $8.38 (the amount a refugee receives for one month of living expenses). Email dfitzgerald@newinternational.org to preorder coffee for you or a friend! All money raised from this project goes directly to Christian leaders in South Sudanese refugee camps, so they can empower their community by putting kids in school. 

You may also donate directly to these Christian leaders serving their fellow refugees here.

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