Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
—Mark 10:14

Today’s Gospel urges us to rely on God to help us honor our commitment to love and care for each other. Jesus teaches that we should be like children before God, trusting God’s promise to care for us and asking for his help to keep our commitments to love and care for others. Sadly, many of the children we serve have been forced to grow up too fast, and to face circumstances that even adults would find hard to bear. They have long forgotten what it’s like to be a child, even though they may still be very young.

Like Hipai, who was born in 2013, the year civil war broke out in South Sudan. She has never known a day of peace. In place of childhood, she has experienced conflict, uncertainty, and struggle in her five short years of life. Hipai, like so many other children that have been robbed of their innocence in this conflict-ridden zone, are in need of peace.

In South Sudan, thousands of children have been abducted and forced to join the merciless conflict fighting as child soldiers.

Former child soldiers at the release in Yambio, South Sudan

These young girls and boys are being recruited, kidnapped, and made to fight and do horrendous things. They have suffered from systemic mistreatment, have had their childhoods stolen, and missed out on education. While more than 800 children have been recently released from armed groups, there are still 19,000 who remain in captivity. We expect more children to be released soon who will need extensive physical and mental support.

Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.
—Mark 10:15

CMMB plays an active role in the overall reintegration process of former child soldiers in South Sudan, including disarmament, demobilization, and reunification with families. The process is slow and challenging. The horrors that so many of these children have faced require specialized care, patience, and time. Our team of child protection officers uses play therapy, psycho-social care, and education to help them rebuild their lives.

South Sudan child transit center finding childhood

Please join us in praying that every child is able to experience joy and peace, and that they are able to receive God’s blessings with an open heart, especially those like Hipai, who has lived through so much in her short life.

In grace and peace,
CMMB – Healthier Lives Worldwide

Stories of Children Living in Extreme Poverty

Technaida is a 6-month-old baby girl living in Haiti. She needs an Angel Investor to ensure that she gets the proper nutrition she needs to grow up healthy.

6-month old Technaida is starting to eat solid foods, but mom struggles to provide enough and worries about her baby.

CLICK HERE to read Technaida’s story

Etiene age 5

At only five years old, Etiene is in an important stage of his development but he often goes to sleep hungry.

CLICK HERE to read Etiene’s story

Dafkie is a girl in Haiti that needs an Angel Investor. Her twin, Dafka does as well.

Dafka (left) and twin sister Dafkie (right).

2-year old Dafka has a twin sister but is much smaller then her. Dafka in underweight. She often gets sick from diarrhea.

CLICK HERE to read Dafka’s story

This post was inspired by Loyola Press.