They lived not only in ages past (South Sudan news)
Ohio Anglican stands faithfully at prayer each day, and reminds us that May 16 commemorates The Martyrs of Sudan. Sudanese Christians live out a journey every bit as dramatic as that of the early church. James Kiefer writes,
The Christian bishops, chiefs, commanders, clergy and people of Sudan declared, on May 16, 1983, that they would not abandon God as God had revealed himself to them under threat of Shariah Law imposed by the fundamentalist Islamic government in Khartoum.
Until a peace treaty was signed on January 9, 2005, the Episcopal Church of the Province of the Sudan suffered from persecution and devastation through twenty-two years of civil war. Two and a half million people were killed, half of whom were members of this church. Many clergy and lay leaders were singled out because of their religious leadership in their communities. No buildings, including churches and schools, are left standing in an area the size of Alaska. Four million people are internally displaced, and a million are scattered around Africa and beyond in the Sudanese Diaspora. Twenty-two of the twenty-four dioceses exist in exile in Uganda or Kenya, and the majority of the clergy are unpaid.
Only 5% of the population of Southern Sudan was Christian in 1983. Today over 85% of that region of six million is now mostly Anglican or Roman Catholic. A faith rooted deeply in the mercy of God has renewed their spirits through out the years of strife and sorrow.
On July 9, 2011, South Sudan became the world’s newest nation, separating from the Islamist state in the north. Development remains slow, with spotty infrastructure, primitive to non-existent health care, tribal tensions in some regions and other challenges common to the developing world.
One member of the Sudanese diaspora, Moses Joknhial II, spent several years with us here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and inspired Rebuilding South Sudan Through Education. I am honored to serve on its Board of Directors.
The project is focused on Moses’ home village, Pajut, in Panyang Province, South Sudan. The provincial school is built and serving 900 students. Fresh water wells and power grinding mills free girls from hours of labor so they can receive education.
Our current effort is the completion of the village Medical Clinic, Women’s Center and sustainable electricity and light. All gifts are appreciated and go directly to the construction work. You can give at the website or via a PayPal option at the Rebuilding South Sudan Through Education Facebook page.
Moses, a U.S. citizen and licensed pilot, just graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in Aviation Engineering. He’s been hired by a company in Duluth, MN. Sadly, on the day of his commencement, word came that his father died in Pajut. Please pray for Moses in this time of loss, but also for God’s continued blessing on his labors, his upcoming marriage, and for all God’s people of South Sudan.
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