PRAYERS FOR THE HEALING OF SOUTH SUDAN (P.U.S.H.)

Arua, Uganda

 

Every month, a group of South Sudanese refugees gather at a crumbling, one-story church in Arua, Uganda for the Prayers for the Healing of South Sudan (P.U.S.H.) service.

Through prayer, sermons, music and healing ceremonies, members of the congregation pray to God for forgiveness in hopes that their holy calls will allow them to return to their homes in South Sudan someday.

Many in the congregation believe the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, which has displaced more than 3 million people, is God’s punishment for “disobeying” and “forgetting” him during during more prosperous times. 

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"Our brain cannot rest, our heart cannot rest, our mind cannot rest.

We have to sing so that God can hear us and forgive us."

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“Money and riches have taken us far away from our Lord. We have broken our relationship with our God."

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"There’s no peace. What we sowed is what we are reaping now.” 

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Members of PU.S.H. sing traditional South Sudanese songs of displacement over the beat of traditional, animal-skin drums. 

 Refugees from Western Equatoria beat animal-skin drums during a P.U.S.H. service in northern Uganda.

Refugees from Western Equatoria beat animal-skin drums during a P.U.S.H. service in northern Uganda.

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healing

Along with singing, prayer and music, P.U.S.H. ministers also perform healings on members of the congregation.

For many, these healings are a physical, mental and spiritual experience that brings a sense of peace to those facing the trauma of displacement and war.  

 A member of PUSH receives a blessing from her minister after finding a two-headed snake on her doorstep earlier that week.

A member of PUSH receives a blessing from her minister after finding a two-headed snake on her doorstep earlier that week.

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“I had a dream about my family in South Sudan and when I woke up, I saw a snake on the doorstep ... a two-headed snake, which, in our culture, means bad things."

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