We have officially passed what felt like an eternity away, Virginia’s opening date of June 10th. When COVID-19 and quarantine started, I don’t know if anyone could have predicted we would still be sort of locked in at this point. Even though Virginia’s end date has technically passed, it still appears that global travel is at a standstill, or at the very least, a massive slowdown.
In a lot of countries, they are requiring visitors to quarantine for two weeks. This obviously makes travel to areas around the world much more difficult. I think this news begins to become more and more heavy as cabin fever sets in and travel plans shift. So, while we continue to wait for the globe to re-open let me tell you a little bit about what is happening in some of the fields so you know how to join us in prayer for the areas we work in. For today, I’ll give you an update on two of our fields, starting with South Sudan/Darfur. While we have certainly been facing challenges with the COVID-19 crisis, they have experienced circumstances that are much more difficult. Borders around the world have shut down, meaning that global food shipments have been negatively affected. For our friends in South Sudan this has caused their food prices to increase by as much as 300%. This makes it very difficult for people to purchase the food that they need.
In addition to the pricing issue, many nonprofits have either pulled out of certain areas or are unable to get to remote locations to bring aid to people. We have been in constant communication with our contacts on the ground and, amidst the chaos and uncertainty, they give me hope and excitement. They are able to remain so positive and joyful in the midst of crisis. It is truly an inspiration.
I ask that you would pray for the people of South Sudan and that the Lord would continue to provide for them. We have been able to send money to provide extra medicine for the clinic and extra food for some of the children in a school we support there. Even so, there is still an amazing amount of need. Nuba, on the other hand, is facing an even more dire situation since we left there in March. Their government decided to shut down all their public markets in order to help avoid the spread of COVID-19. This, similar to the situation for our friends in South Sudan, has caused insane increases in food prices. I believe prices have at least tripled since March. Since markets are closed, it is also very difficult for people to find places to buy food. Our friend, who was with Addison and myself in March, has been stuck in Nuba, unable to leave for months now.
As an added concern, all the banks in Nuba have been running out of cash, so the ability to send money has become very complicated. As you can imagine, this has led to a bit of a chaotic situation. We are hearing of reports that all these issues with limited access, food and money, combined with the recent locust swarms, will cause high mortality rates. The projections are in the thousands and even tens of thousands due to the risk of starvation. It’s heartbreaking on a whole new level with Nuba, and it is even harder to watch a friend be stuck and stranded there.
I ask that you join us in prayer that the Lord would bless our friends with a massive crop yield, and that their government would not inhibit their efforts. We pray for both fields, that the Lord would ultimately look after them and enable us to help in any way that we can. We appreciate all of your prayers and support.
JAKE FULLER | FIELD COORDINATOR
Jake never thought he would follow in his father's footsteps, but after stepping in to lead an emergency relief trip to the Nuba Mountains in the fall of 2017, he knew God was leading him into missions. After graduating from Virginia Tech with a degree in Agricultural Science and a minor in Social Change and Leadership, Jake accepted a full-time position as ATC's Field Coordinator. When he's not leading trips or coordinating projects, you can find Jake working on the family farm or hanging out with his wife A.C.