Our anti-trafficking network updates continue today with exciting news from New Life Ministry (along the border of Darfur). Over the past two weeks, we shared important news from Our Father’s Cleft in the Nuba Mountains [click here if you missed that report] and new growth at Hope For South Sudan [click here].
These location specific e-newsletters are designed to help you feel more connected to the children you help us protect and empower in Sudan and South Sudan.
News from NLM | September 2020
New Life Ministry began in 2005 and is the oldest and founding member of LUV’s indigenously directed anti-trafficking network.
I can still remember the intense heat that met me as I stepped out of the small charter plane onto the dirt airstrip near NLM. It was 2006, and I was full of excitement as I stood in the shade created by the airplane’s wings and shook hands with James Lual Atak and his team for the first time. All around was the “surround sound” of NLM children singing and drumming to welcome us—the first short-term international team to visit their village.
In the immensity of that moment the children sang, “In the name of God there is a victory. In the name there is a victory. In the name there is a victory. New Life. New Life is coming up, oh yes!”
Even then, the children were full of hopeful anticipation for what God was up to in their midst as a local and global initiative began to protect, educate, and empower transformation in their community. Fifteen years later, New Life has indeed come up as God ushered in a seemingly impossible movement of His Love for the most vulnerable.
This year, NLM celebrates 15 years of preventing trafficking and empowering changemakers in South Sudan. They also celebrate the first graduation of university students!
Since 2005, hundreds of children have come through the NLM gates to receive protection, education, and a place to belong. New Life is the site of the first safe home in the anti-trafficking network, first elementary school, and class-by-class eventually led the way to the first high school graduation in 2016. This education component has always been tremendously important for a nation where only 27% of the adult population are literate and where a thirteen-year-old girl is more likely to die in childbirth than learn to read and write.
Fourteen of those NLM high school graduates were enrolled in the first university cohort and are studying in South Sudan, Morocco, and Sudan. This year, three of those university students—Beatrice, Cecilia, and Willis—will graduate with degrees in nursing! The others will follow with university degrees over the next three years.
LUV envisions a world where vulnerable children and women are empowered and, through them, war-torn communities are transformed. Beatrice is one such changemaker.
“I began at NLM since 2006. During the war time, my family were killed by the Janjaweed militia during a raid on their village while I were in Khartoum with my aunt. When we heard that my family had been killed in South Sudan I cried and told my aunt to go South Sudan to confirm if it is true or not. We waited for some months and made the hard journey. When we came to South Sudan, we heard the same explanation that my parents were already killed. I cried again but I was advised by some people that New Life Ministry was a place orphans could go and receive protection and an education. I accepted their advice but kept quiet. My aunt heard about the orphanage school and she took me to NLM, met James, and agreed that it would be a safe place for me to grow and be protected. I thank God for what he made to me to get to be a part of NLM school.”
James Lual Atak (founder and director) and Martin Mathok (deputy director) have both been interceding on behalf of the most vulnerable in their community to protect hundreds of boys and girls from trafficking and exploitation.
Both men shared with me recently how important this graduation was to them personally—as very proud fathers—and to their community.
“Having university students come from NLM means a lot to me and to the community. It is hope. It is community hope. These students will come back to serve and help serve in different sectors. It is really great and we really appreciate it a lot.” – Martin
“There is no nothing more important like seeing them succeed. The children we struggled with from when they were studying on the dusty ground under a tree. These orphans that were seeing no hope and no future for their lives, now have hope for the future. NLM’s struggle—and our partners struggle with us—has become the reality and the change we have been looking for. Transformation is here. Transformation of orphans, the vulnerable, and neglected ones has become the way forward for others. Hope restored them and they have become the hope for the country. They are—and you are—keeping hope alive. It is a blessing to the glory of God.” – James
Two ways you can help protect, educate, and empower the most vulnerable:
1. University Tuition: We have raised $5,640 and require just $19,050 more to help all 14 students through the 2020 school year. These funds cover tuition, school materials, and living expenses. Make a donation of any size today in honor of these changemakers!
2. “Over 1,500 teenage girls impregnated, married off in five months.” With your help, we are putting an end to devastating statistics like this recent news article as we lift up young women like Beatrice and Cecilia. LUV is launching ambitious plans to rescue more children than ever before, ensure they receive expanded educational supports to succeed academically and spiritually, and have access to opportunities for higher education, entrepreneurship, and agribusiness that will secure their economic futures. Become a monthly partner today!
Hope is here. Transformation is taking place. New Life is coming up! Coming up, oh yes!
With gratitude and LUV,
Chief Executive Officer