Dear friends and fellow supporters of St. John the Evangelist School in Pukuka, Yei, South Sudan:
First, a sincere “thank you!” to all of you. We, the board members of Seeds of Wisdom, feel so blessed to see the beauty of Jesus Christ in the eyes of the local families and the children who are so proud and excited to be in school, and also to experience the outpouring of support from all of you.
We want to make you aware of the current situation related to the school. As many of you are aware, South Sudan has been dealing with controversy and violence for many years. When it became the newest country on the planet (July 2011), there was much anticipation that the hopes of the many would outweigh the selfish ambitions of a few. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Throughout this time the turmoil has primarily been located near oil fields (far north from Yei) and in Juba, the capital city. However, violence has spread further throughout the country and for the first time in over a decade, Yei has been impacted. This news hits especially close to home considering the hundreds of families in the village of Pukuka (just outside Yei) who have been positively influenced by the opening of Saint John the Evangelist school in June 2015.
The difficult and sad news to share is that St. John the Evangelist School in Pukuka has had to temporarily close. Because of fear and confusion caused by soldiers coming to the area and memories of fifty years of unrest prior to seceding from Sudan, many local families have chosen to stay out of sight or evacuate. We know many have crossed the border into Ugandan refugee camps. Our current administrator, a Ugandan, is working to locate our students and teachers there.
Just for your awareness – all funds for the project are accounted for. Our primary savings are maintained in our U.S. bank – very little is kept in the bank in Yei. The board continues to meet and consider where we go from here. It is too early to pursue alternative plans, although we will continue to consider ideas and remain hopeful now.
There has been no damage to the physical school site; we would be ready to open our doors again if kids were there. It is difficult to predict how long this situation will continue, but we know our staff and students long to return to normalcy. Bless them all! Please keep them in your prayers. It is hard for us to imagine how their lives are impacted in this time of uncertainty.
Sincerely, The Board Members of Seeds of Wisdom in South Sudan