The Republic of Uganda welcomes 4,000 refugees across the northern border daily. Since 2013, more than 1.5 million individuals have fled into the country to escape extreme political unrest and violence plaguing the Republic of South Sudan.
To date, 320,000 people from 43 different Sudanese tribes have settled into the Adjumani refugee camp in northwestern Uganda, where the Office of the Prime Minister has established parcels of land for the people to live. However, the Adjumani camp, like many others throughout northern Uganda, struggles to accommodate the massive influx in what the U.N. deems as the third largest refugee crisis worldwide.
In an effort to avoid unrest in the camp’s 18 settlements, Ugandan officials requested international assistance in meeting the refugee community’s needs and to encourage unity among the numerous tribes represented. In response, High Adventure Gospel Communications Ministries established Usalama FM, a radio station set within the camp that broadcasts the message of peace and hope the refugees are desperate to hear. Listeners eagerly call into the station for prayer as they work towards rebuilding their lives and settling into their straw-thatched huts and canvas-roof shelters.
According to Don McLaughlin of High Adventure, “Refugees are in love with their station. They call it their station.” He added, “They rely on the station for local updates,” explaining that they air in four different languages and were able to avoid a meningitis outbreak because of immediate communication through the station. McLaughlin noted that the U.N. uses the station as well to help maintain peace and order in the camp at large.
Most recently, SonSet Solutions stepped in to assist in the expansion of Usalama FM in the Adjumani area, as they seek to keep pace with the growing number of refugees following a resurgence of violence in South Sudan. SonSet’s broadcast services consultant, Bob Springer, who has worked with High Adventure on several projects, shares, “It is a joy to provide technical assistance which has enabled High Adventure to expand their ministry of sharing the Gospel message by radio.” Previously 130 feet tall, their new tower now reaches 200 feet into the sky, symbolizing the beacon of hope that Usalama FM has become.
High Adventure finds their ministry in a unique time of opportunity for even more growth, “a wide open door,” as McLaughlin calls it. “The Prime Minister’s Office has invited us to reach all the refugees, which now numbers in excess of 850,000 South Sudanese.” But the needs to do so are great and the ministry would require a repeater station or two and many more radios and Bibles. “This is one of this generation’s truly open doors for the Gospel,” McLaughlin notes. “There is an outbreak of the Gospel there now.”
Written by Joy Lightcap