“Uncle, if God loves me, why did He take away my father, my mother and brother from me?”
The twelve-year-old boy wasn’t even fighting the tears that spilled from his upturned, searching eyes.
“I was so disturbed emotionally about the child,” reflected ITMI’s Jahim Buli, who was on the receiving end of the tough question. (In Africa, “Uncle” is like “mister” but often for an adult male that is a little more familiar than a total stranger.)
Jahim took the boy in his arms and used his own handkerchief to wipe the tearstained, youthful face.
He and several others from his church were just wrapping up their visit at the government-run orphanage in Juba, South Sudan.
The South Sudanese government is unable to provide food for these orphans in their charge, due to the tribal violence, political unrest and financial strains that plague the young country.
“As a church it is part of our responsibility to take care of the helpless and to demonstrate the love of God to the mankind,” Jahim explained. “We are obedient to obey this command,
‘Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:27 NKJV)”
Jahim is the pastor of Word of Life church in Juba. He is leading them in caring for those around them. On New Year’s Day, he took three church leaders, two women and a youth from Word of Life to Juba Orphanage Center.
Their mission? Demonstrating to the 68 orphaned children at the home that God does indeed love them. The church contributed sacks of sugar, maize flour and other foodstuffs as a physical demonstration of the Lord’s care for these helpless ones.
The director of the center gathered all the orphans together and the two women shared stories from the Bible with them.
“We had a great time with them,” Jahim said, “I shared the love of God with these beautiful children.” Jahim also told them about God’s good plans for them.
Some were excited to hear that God loves them, but a others seemed so traumatized that they struggled to engage.
Some of the orphans seemed too traumatized to engage.
“Would any of you like to tell Jesus that you love Him?” Jahim asked. Many of them raised their hands in response to the message of the Lord’s care and affection for them. Jahim led them to Christ in prayer.
Jahim prays for the children, showing them how to begin a relationship with Jesus and asking for their protection and flourishing.
“By the grace of God we will be supporting these orphans with whatever God will give into our hands,” Jahim tells us.
About the Authors
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.