A house in the hills of South Sudan was destroyed by fire in February.
But the next morning, a few hundred worshippers stood there, chanting “God is great” and holding up placards with the names of the two men who killed the first of their children and tried to kill Noah.
For the last several weeks, these families have been waiting to hear from the families of those killed, and now that they have, they’re holding out hope.
“We are praying for them, we are praying that God will open the door for us,” said Mohamed Kharab, a man who lives in the house that was destroyed and lives in a nearby village.
“When God opens that door, I hope we will have peace.”
On the morning of February 17, a small fire broke out in the roof of the house, which was built in 1871 and is owned by a Christian couple.
It was the first fire that the owner of the property had been asked to stop working on.
About four weeks before, a fire had destroyed the home of the family of the first child killed in the fire.
“A couple of weeks before the fire, the owner asked to be paid for the building of the building,” said Abdulla, a farmer who was at the fire when it started.
“They said he had enough to pay us, and then they asked to pay the money and they said they will give us the money,” he said.
The family of this man, Mohamed Khart, were among those who prayed before the blaze began, praying for God to open the fire and save them.
But on February 18, the fire continued and the family received their first payment, which came after a month of waiting.
They say that it was the second time they were asked to donate, but they didn’t have enough money to pay for the work.
The owners of the other home, which is owned and managed by a non-Christian family, also told the family that they would give them the money, and they received a payment in February, but the money wasn’t enough to cover the cost of rebuilding the house.
So when they received their money, Mohamed and Abdullah were relieved that it wasn’t the last time they would have to wait for the owners to deliver it.
“I don’t know how we are going to live without them,” Abduella said.
“But we want to stay here.
I know this is a big house, but we can’t live in a small house.
This is our home.”
The family says they are not prepared for a new fire, and have been searching for a way to make money.
“At this moment, we don’t have money to make a new house.
We need money to rebuild,” Mohamed said.
Abduala is waiting to see what the owners of this new house will do, but he hopes that if they do not give him the money in February and the next time they give him money, they will provide it for the rest of the year.
“Then we can start building again,” Abdul said.
But for many of these people, this time the new fire may be the last straw.
“If we don’ get the money we need, we will be stuck here for months.
If we don”t get the cash, the next fire will come and we won”t be able to go back to our village,” said Nana, a housewife who lives near the new home.
“This time we will get a new life.
We will be living in this village, and we will go to the markets.
We”ll start working again, and maybe the next year we can get a job.”