Prayer Answers, Thanksgivings and Petitions
In Juba the students have been finishing their delayed exams and today (Friday, 14th June) is their last day. For the third year students it is the last day of the BGC they joined in September 2010. They must be congratulated and thanked for their tremendous contribution to the development of the college in its new phases after the depressing events leading up to its reopening just six month prior to their arrival. We give God thanks for them.
These students have seen the college grow and develop on the New Site. There have been many times without water, mostly without electricity and often sleeping in overcrowded dormitories. They have trudged from one site to the other, sometimes three times a day. They have seen us through times when we were unsure where the money to feed them was to come from, times when tutors failed to turn up for lectures and the teaching standards were below what we aimed at. They have endured a lot of sickness and the Interim Administrator being mean about doctors and medicines. (Juba is not an easy place in which to live if you come from places not so prone to disease and you aren't protected by all the vaccinations and prophylactics people from the first world come with.) They have seen in a dynamic new principal with all the hope for a bright future, and have also witnessed him taken from them so tragically. Their time at the college ended with them digging his grave and laying him to rest at the BGC New Site, the place that was supposed to be about beginnings not endings. Eschatology has become more than an academic subject to study in the second year systematic theology course. Please continue to pray for them as they return to their villages to work in their dioceses and wait for the results to come out at the end of August. The graduation will be on 26th October.
Please pray for Samuel Galuak. He is now bearing the burden of the college with the knowledge that his colleague, Joseph, is now not going to come back and help him. We pray for Bishop Justin Badi and Bishop Bernard Oringa and the rest of the governing body of the college as they come together to take stock of the situation and see what is necessary to secure the college for the future. We give thanks for the far-sightedness and purpose of the acting principal and the vision that he has so clearly set out in the attached document.
This week we have been in Salisbury, UK for a week to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Salisbury-Sudan Link. This has been a great time – especially for the people of Salisbury Diocese who have received so much encouragement in what in England can be a depressing earthly-minded world where the Spirit of God is shut out by the fears stemming from the insecurities that come with depending on material comforts – the fears of openness, the threat of change, the dread of decay etc. The Sudanese guests witnessed a living faith founded on the knowledge of the eternal presence of God, even as they are driven from their homes, refugees but not abandoned. As Bishop Francis Loyo put it, he longs to be in his own place – just somewhere to build his own pit latrine – so he can be together with his wife and family. We thank God for this witness and pray that the ECS and the people of Salisbury will grow in strength and encouragement.
Our hearts go out in prayer and compassion to the many people being displaced in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and Dafur. They are being killed, raped, starved and denied any humanitarian aid unless they flee across the borders to Ethiopia and South Sudan where the UNHCR struggles to provide for them. Their homes are being stolen from them in a clear attempt at ethnic cleansing. We pray for Christians in Khartoum belonging to a broken and persecuted church. We pray for ordinary Muslims struggling to worship God whilst people bent on earth centred
power politics are attempting to hijack their religion. Bishop Ezekiel gave the sermon in the main service on Sunday, 9th June in Salisbury Cathedral the text of which I attach.
In South Sudan, we pray for Archbishop Daniel in his role as chairman of the peace commission seeking peace and reconciliation between the warring factions in Jonglei State. We pray for the government and those seeking to bring the oil wealth back to benefit the ordinary people that struggle to live in both the urban and rural areas. We thank God for those who have continued to invest in South Sudan and we pray that they will not drain all their profits abroad.
We pray that the talks between to the governments of the two Sudan's will, as soon as possible, produce agreements on the issues of the border, the ownership and the transport of the oil, the status of Abyei, and the other difficult issues that have been addressed through the talks brokered by the African Union, The United Nations and the Troica of Britain, the United States and Norway.
We thank you all from around the world who keep BGC and the Sudans constantly in your prayers. The bishops I have met in the last few days have expressed their real gratitude to you for this. It is so easy to feel isolated and forgotten, but all your concern and all your prayer is so much appreciated. All of your many words of condolence and encouragement have been passed on and this means so much. We give thanks for your generosity too. Some of you have expressed a wish to help Esparanza and her children as there is no other source of income for them. If anyone else wishes to contribute financially, then just let me know and I will put you in touch with those organising things. The college also has a short-term need for funds to sustain it until the next batch of rents and fees come in because so much has had to be spent over the period of Joseph's illness and his funeral. This is tragic particularly as Joseph was extremely careful with the budget and would never have wanted to see himself as the cause of an overspend! Thank you to those who have given us significant sums in the past few days.
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