Working together to bring healing in South Sudan
In September 2015, BBC News reported that at least 170 people had been killed after an oil tanker exploded in South Sudan. The fuel tanker overturned on the extremely hazardous mud roads, caused by the rainy season. In minutes a crowd had gathered, the tank split, fuel poured out and hundreds were hurriedly helping themselves to free fuel.
When South Sudan troops were summoned to disperse the crowd, it was reported that they fired over them. This resulted in a catastrophic explosion causing, in the end, nearly 200 deaths and hundreds of people injured.
After visiting Maridi in January 2016, and meeting some of the victims, Jane Corbett, took up the challenge to help these people. Jane passionately relayed the story, recently, when she met with Fields of Life International Development Manager, David Gough; but she was still very concerned, “due to the unrest, when the explosion happened, the hospital was closed, so the situation at the time of the explosion was horrific for the victims. The only help available was one nurse at the Don Bosco clinic, on the Yambio Road out of Maridi. She, with the help of the priests and the teacher, looked after over 70 patients for the first 24 hours before the Red Cross flew in (by then she had run out of painkillers and IV fluids). They opened the hospital, but had to bring everything to stock the hospital. Even the mattresses were gone! Once the Red Cross dealt with the situation they left and that was why the victims had no Vaseline!”
When on holiday in Africa, Jane was able to buy hundreds of containers of Vaseline, in Kampala, and arrange their delivery to South Sudan. The Vaseline helped bring some comfort to the victims.
While speaking to David, Jane was still very distressed; “if only we could get these poor people some gloves, they would be able to work and tend their crops” she said. On returning to the office, David had a God prompted idea which he immediately shared with Jane. One of Fields of Life’s Trustees, Dolway Johnston, runs a garden machinery business, and he could possibly get some gloves which he could bring to Uganda.
Within four days of a simple idea, the gloves were delivered and being worn by the victims in Maridi, South Sudan; thanks to the generous donation of 100 pairs of work gloves by Denis Wilson. Dolway gladly carried an extra bag full of gloves to our Kampala offices and Jane arranged for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) to pick them up and fly them to Maridi.
Jane concluded, “This was a truly amazing example of the Body of Christ working together to bring solace to those less fortunate than us.”