Teachers in Juba and the House of Hope staff struggle with little support or resources
Andrawes* and Lily* were called to be missionaries in South Sudan at a young age. They began serving with Streams of Living Water’s House of Hope in 2013. God rescued them from a series of gang attacks before sending them back to Egypt for children’s ministry, equipping them to better meet the needs of the children back in South Sudan. Read the previous installments of their story here.
Andrawes and Lily’s three children now attend the Juba Christian Academy with about 30 other missionary kids, which Lily learned about in an airport 10 years ago.
“We used to pray, ‘God, we are going to care for your children, but you care for our own children,’” Lily says. Now, she tells their teachers, “You are how God provided for our children to have a secure, safe, proper, and good education for our children while we are doing our ministry.”
For the girls at the House of Hope, education is an entirely different story. The 48 girls attend four different schools. The oldest have been sent to boarding school in Uganda while the others attend private school in Juba.
Private schools are an expensive alternative to public school, but both private and public schools in South Sudan faces serious challenges.
That doesn’t even account for the immorality in the city, Andrawes says.
“The youth are forming gangs, and there are demonic religions, besides the drugs and alcohol, so it's really hard, especially for teenagers in the schools.”
Many of the girls struggle to read and write until they reach secondary school.
There is little time in the day for the House of Hope staff to supplement their education at home. Each day, the girls leave for school at 6 a.m., returning at 4:30 p.m. with just enough time to hand wash their clothes and make dinner before bed.
Two house mothers and one day-time administrator do their best to care for the 48 girls, and Andrawes and Lily must leave before it gets dark to arrive home safely. They are praying that other missionaries or national believers who have visited briefly in the past will be able to stay for a longer period of time to help.
Still, the community begs the House of Hope to do more.
“Each few weeks we have a mom at our door asking us to take her children because she cannot provide for their food and their education,” Lily says.
But Lily recently took a course about child care centers, where she learned that living in an institution is not usually best for a child.
The question arises: How can the House of Hope meet the needs of their community and their 48 daughters without causing further harm? The solution: open a school and redesign the House of Hope.
In the next part of the story, read about Andrawes and Lily's plan to open a school for vulnerable children and redesign the House of Hope into a family-based living center. Read part five: "The House of Hope: redesigned"
*Name changed for security