FORT MILL, S.C. -- A family who works with a Fort Mill based ministry is trapped in the middle of the war in South Sudan, desperately trying to get to safety.
Pictures show happier times.
They show the difference Kim and Brad Campbell and their two daughters are making in South Sudan.
“They love Africa. They went one time, they said were living there the rest of our lives,” Freddie Powers told us. She runs the Fort Mill ministry Keeping Hope Alive that the Campbells work with, and has spoken with them daily.
They started an orphanage in South Sudan two years ago and have since been raising 10 kids orphaned in that country's war.
“They are just amazing people. When they walk down the street people follow them, all waving,” Powers said.
But Christmas Eve hope turned to desperation when rebels invaded their community.
“We tried to leave the compound once and then, whether they were firing to scare us or they were firing at other soldiers, there was gunfire going off as we headed in their direction. Missiles flew over our head as we ran back to the compound. So it took two attempts to get to the UN base,” Campbell told an NBC news crew in Africa.
The Campbells are trying to get all the orphans to safety, out of the country, but red tape has made it impossible. They can’t get the necessary paperwork because the office that handles that was bombed.
Powers is working the phones from her Fort Mill home, trying to help.
“We’re spending all day calling people with the Red Cross. We called the South Sudan representative of the UN…”
She says there is a pilot ready to fly the family to the safety out of Kenya but the orphans remain holed up at the UN where food is scarce as the unrest continues.
Powers talks to the family daily and says Kim Campbell is terrified. “They are. She's crying every time I talk to her.”
Campbell said, “We were put on an evacuation list, so they are doing what they can do. And I understand they have procedures but I would think in a time of war somebody could do something. If you’re trying to protect children then this isn’t the place to it.”
The family of four made it safely to the capitol city Friday but they are concerned rebels are heading that way and working on the next step.