The health situation in South Sudan is dismal-one of the worst in the world. One in five babies die by age 1, one in four die by age 5, and one in seven women die in or around the time of childbirth. Average life expectancy is around 41 years. Harvesters Reaching the Nations operates an orphanage with 150 children, a Christian school with 450 children, and a church with multiple small groups in the surrounding area. In March 2012, they established a hospital (Bet Eman - His House of Hope) , and in 2015, a vocational training center. The ministry of Harvesters witnesses the shocking health statistics up close as babies are brought to them after the mother dies, and the babies struggle to survive. Harvesters was compelled to be the hands and feet of Jesus in that community and begin to provide effective medical care to women and children.
The Christian church in South Sudan is growing, but has experienced much persecution from Sudan which is predominately Muslim. There are few active, reproducing church bodies with trained leadership. Many church attendees blend their tribal, animistic beliefs and lifestyles with the Christian truths they are learning. There is a great need for discipleship and training of indigenous church leaders to move the process of church planting to completion.
Years of civil war have left many orphans in South Sudan. At Harvesters, many of these orphans are receiving love, training in God's Word, and high quality education. However, most have never seen an intact, Christ-centered family-an integral part of rebuilding a stable society.