Most pre-teens think about school and spending time with friends, but Joyce’s life was shattered when her father was killed during the civil war in South Sudan that erupted in December 2013. She, along her mother and two siblings, felt helpless with nowhere to go and no one to help. She doesn’t understand why tribesmen from her own country would kill someone just because they are from a different tribe.

Now 13 years old, Joyce is in Grade 5 and attends a primary school outside Juba. Joyce is grateful to her Christian teachers who disciple her in worship and how to read the Bible. They also teach her to memorize Scripture. Despite her many challenges, the Bible reminds Joyce that God will triumph over evil. One of her favourite verses is Psalm 9:1-2 (MEV)

“I will give thanks to You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will declare all your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.”

Training through a Bible League Canada children’s ministry partner was instrumental in helping Joyce to heal and overcome her fears. Despite her young age, Joyce is a choir director who leads a group of 56 children every Friday and Saturday. Joyce teaches the other children hymns and Bible stories. She thanks God for his protection and provision upon her life during this time of suffering for her country.

With the recent violence in South Sudan many more have been forced to flee the country. Ministry to these refugees is now taking place in Uganda and there is a need for continued support so that more children like Joyce can find the hope that comes through Jesus.