November 28, 2013 (SSNA) — Despite the season in South Sudan, the paradox of floods and drought continue. Nation fights nation over quibbles that go back hundreds of years. Hunger abounds. People emigrate to the cities where there are no jobs, and the political turmoil is unabated.
In the United States, and other countries, the diaspora worries constantly over the safety of family, and homeland as depressing news repeats with little that is good being reported from home.
So why should the diaspora, and the 71 great nations of South Sudan celebrate in Thanksgiving? Because of one four letter english word: HOPE!
Hope was about all that the American pilgrims had during that time of a mini-ice age. Crops had failed for years, but the world as it existed for them came to help. The native Americans shared their crops to augment the pilgrims meager harvest, much as the world has come to aid South Sudan. Hope!
Hope! The population was beginning to grow as babies being born didn’t face the high risk of death before they were five years old, and would likely live long enough to become free parents themselves. Hope!
HOPE! That as the rainy seasons abates that the great soil of South Sudan will produce record crops. Hope!
Hope! Hundreds of people are not being killed daily in a war that seemed to be without end. A war for freedom that saw every family devastated over and over again by death that the struggle for freedom thrust upon them. Peace and Hope!
So, while there is much that needs to change before South Sudan achieves the goals of freedom for which it fought, South Sudan is now determining its own future, and for that reason alone, there is Hope!
May God bless all of the children of South Sudan, both in their nation, and in the diaspora on this special day of Thanksgiving.
“Papa” Maury Clark is a former advisor to the government of South Sudan, retired investment banker/broker, as well as a Called and Commissioned Deacon in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Northwest Washington Synod. He served under Bishops Appointment as pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Maple Valley, Washington in 1990 and 1991, and also served four years on the Synod Council and he has been deeply involved with the people of South Sudan since 1996.