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Snapshot: Valuing Relationship and Teamwork « International Aid Services America

Last month, Hillary and I had the privilege of spending a week with a wonderful and inspiring group of people. The group consisted of over two dozen directors and program managers representing the ten IAS program countries in Africa. As with most IAS gatherings, there were plenty of songs, worship, and stories of God’s grace at work in each unique corner of the world.

The capstone of the meeting was a session on “Living out IAS’ Core Values of Relational Leadership and Teamwork.”  Juliet Namukasa, IAS Country Director for Uganda, shared how she intentionally lives out the core value of relational leadership and teamwork in the midst of the current humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, where over two million people have been displaced due to violence and famine.

At present, an average of 2,000 refugees per day cross the border from South Sudan to Northern Uganda, most settling in an area outside Arua called “Rhino Camp.” Juliet shared how, for the past year, IAS has responded to the crisis on-the-ground. She outlined how relationship and teamwork are critical in a crisis of this magnitude. Cross-organization collaboration is taking place in the camps, where IAS is helping to provide clean water and sanitation infrastructure, even as others provide food rations and shelter. Having led community development programs in Uganda now for decades, IAS is leveraging local partnerships too.

Juliet and the IAS team have engaged pastors and local churches to help live out the Christian call to welcome and care for the stranger and for the least of these.

“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in.” (Matthew 25:35)

These activities are exactly how one would want to see a humanitarian response conducted – with local resources being brought to the table, even as outside actors coordinate the larger infrastructure of the refugee camp.

With this account from Juliet still fresh in our minds, a dear friend from South Sudan asked me, personally, to consider this question:

“In what ways are our brothers and sisters with IAS in America living out the two values of relationship and teamwork?”

In the past year, IAS became a member of the Accord Network, an association of Christian humanitarian aid and development organizations. This partnership has been a step forward in joining the larger community of like-minded individuals with similar goals and values to IAS.  Through teaming up with other organizations, we can join minds, hearts, and resources towards one goal.

You are also helping us live out our values of relationship and teamwork.

We value our relationship with our supporters in America, and are so blessed, not only through your financial contributions, but also through your cards, prayers, letters, and words encouraging us and strengthening us to continue the work of IAS.  You are an essential part of the IAS team, and we love hearing from you, spending time with you, and building relationship with you and your families!

Through our relationship with you and our relationships with people like Juliet Namukasa, we are able to engage in relationships with thousands of people worldwide.  Will you join us and Juliet in helping the people fleeing South Sudan?

  1. Pray.  Please pray for the thousands of people fleeing South Sudan every day.
  2. Give. Your donations help provide needed resources such as water, sanitation infrastructure, and training in Uganda and South Sudan.
  3. Share. Help raise awareness of the need for assistance in areas like South Sudan by sharing this post with others.

Jonathan Wildt, President IAS-America