# 1 – It is the Newest Country in the World. South Sudan celebrated its independence from Sudan July 9, 2011. Before this time the country had been at war for over 20 years and many Sudanese people have been involved or effected by the war.
# 2 – It is slightly smaller than Texas
# 3 – Lucky for us English is one of the official languages, the other is Arabic which includes Juba and Sudanese variants.
# 4 – South Sudan has a very Tropical Climate and we will be arriving towards the end of the rainy season.
# 5 – The capital is Juba. Juba is only an hour drive from Terekeka.
# 6 – While the country has 84 Airports only 3 have paved runways. Hopefully we will have no need to land on any of those runways while we are there.
# 7 – A South Sudanese refugee competed in the Olympics this past week. He was unable to run under the flag of South Sudan because they are not yet established with the Olympic committee, instead he ran under the Olympic flag for his country because he refused to run for the country that he had ran away from.
# 8 – South Sudan and Sudan are still in negotiations over the exact border line. There has been some violence due to the inability for the countries to agree, but there is hope that they will come to a decision soon.
# 9 – Zechariah Manyok Biar is a 2009 graduate from Abilene Christian University. At 12 years old he signed up to join the army. He saw many people die, but was given an education. And the people around him saw that he was special, he was able to obtain two Master’s degrees from ACU with assistance from Christian’s around the country. He has now returned to South Sudan and is a member of the new government.
# 10 – Harvesters Reaching the Nations has worked in South Sudan for over 11 years and is continuing to change lives and bring hope. They are continuing to grow and have been blessed with the opportunity to start a school in Terekeka and they are now in the process of opening a new orphanage in another region of South Sudan. God is using this organization to make change possible in South Sudan.
I hope that you have enjoyed these facts about South Sudan. Also, I hope that you will keep the country and its people in your prayers as they are transitioning to a place of peace instead of a country torn by war.