By Stan Friedman
GAMBELLA, ETHIOPIA (July 24, 2014) — By combining efforts with other faith-based organizations, the Evangelical Covenant Church of South Sudan (ECCSS) was recently able to help 1,000 refugees, which was more than initially hoped.
Working together, the partners in the Grand Relief Project were able to combine expertise and leverage other resources, said Rev. Mathew Jock Moses, ECCSS projects and social development director. In addition to purchasing food and other supplies, the partners purchased two trucks and a water boat, which made transporting supplies much easier.
The partners delivered relief to three camps for internally displaced people located along the border of South Sudan and Ethiopia, Mathew said. The camps are located on the South Sudan side and are filled with thousands of people seeking asylum in Ethiopia.
Covenant World Relief (CWR) and World Mission, part of the newly organized Serve Globally mission priority, provide assistance to the ECCSS. Most of the relief assistance is provided by CWR, while World Mission focuses primarily on supporting the denomination, says Dave Husby, CWR executive director.
Mathew said the people who had received assistance were grateful for the generosity of the Covenant. “They said the relief items have rescued them from going to graves this year and made them continue their lives in this world.”
Husby said the ECC hopes to provide more funds to help the denomination as it engages in relief and future development of the church and their communities.
Tens of thousands have fled their homes in South Sudan since December, when violence erupted between troops loyal to ousted vice president Riek Machar and supporters of the government led by President Salva Kiir.
Peace talks are scheduled to resume next week, but a previous cease-fire was breached just hours after the agreement was signed.