Updated: Sep 16
Internally displaced people flee in communities. Identified by the number of family units, each community has a camp leader. These leaders are responsible to ensure the wellbeing and safety of the camp. Leaders like Som Song, tirelessly arranges aid through trusted contacts, keeps track of regional conflict, and mobilizes evacuation if attack is imminent. We shook hands with Leader Song only days before he gave a midnight warning cry to his camp of 300 family units. Drones had found them and planes carrying bombs were approaching.
Families scooped up little ones and any supplies they could carry, rushing along a path into the darkness, thankful for a few solar lights to guide their steps. Mosquitos buzzed around, carriers of malaria and dengue fever, as they moved through thick jungle until the sound of planes faded. Leader Song and his scouts went back while others waited the night out, terrified of a second attack. All the thatched leaf homes were smouldering and many supplies were destroyed.
But no life was lost this time and families slowly returned to rebuild the camp. Leader Song led a procession to the river bank when new supplies, mosquito nets, medicines and food aid arrived. Without Leader Song’s courage and resilience many lives would have been lost that night!
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
Mini-challenge: Would you be there for the vulnerable communities as this camp leader has been for those in his camp?