Monday, 11 April 2016

Prayer Partners Update

Dear Bishop Gwynne College Prayer Partners

Thank you all for your continued prayers. I hope you have had a good Easter and are looking forward to the changing of the season, whether that be the spring and summer in the northern hemisphere, the autumn to be followed by winter for our southern supporters, or those in the tropical zones anticipating new rains and a wet season.
In South Sudan, there is a great longing for a good wet season this year. Last year was poor. Added to the huge hike in food prices in the market, in addition to the terrible security situation, many people have been suffering from malnutrition and worse.
Please continue to pray.
God bless you all,
Trevor

Please pray for:
  • The rains.
  • New security in the countryside to allow for crops to be sown and harvested.
  • The speedy establishment of the Government of National Unity promised in the peace agreement to enable people to pick up their lives once more.
  • An end to the galloping inflation – especially concerning the price of food – that is affecting everyone.
  • Those suffering from the traumas and horrors of war.

At BGC we pray for:
  • For the students as they await the results of the December exams.
  • The staff and administration as they continue to teach and provide for the students, especially as the food prices rise.
  • Those students who live off-site and need to pay for daily bus fares.


We give thanks for:
  • The new solar installation taking place at the old building that is helping to provide the electricity to enable the running of the college – administration, printing and photocopying of materials, and light. Special thanks to our friends at the Slavanka Trust in the UK for the funding of this.
  • The energy, dedication and determination of the students to apply themselves to study as well as engage in work in the community.

The new proposed Episcopal University (TEU)
  • We give thanks for the development of this proposal that has been expertly put together by a number of people over the years, in particular Dr Joseph Bilal.
  • Please pray for the consultation taking place on 15th and 16th of this month in Juba between all the stakeholders.
  • In the UK this venture is supported by the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan University Project. The website is here: http://www.ecsssup.org/
  • Dr Eeva John from the ECSSSUP board is attending the consultation. She and Hanna John, a management consultant, need our prayers. They hope to visit Yei and Kajo Keji, if funds allow. If anyone can help with funding them, this would be a very much appreciated gift. http://www.ecsssup.org/#!support-us/in7f2

Friday, 22 January 2016

THE BGC Peace Institute

From the principal.

THE BGC Peace Institute


The status of Peace Institute at Bishop Gwynne College is extremely held in a high esteem. We know that Peace studies alongside theological studies are both compatible in the context of South Sudan. Based on the plans and thoughts we embarked on, there are two programs in focus; a short term and long term plans for peace institutes:

  1. For short term program, we have already begun two separate trainings of which we started in August 2014 and the last one lately last year. We give skills to these theological students for a purpose of giving them rare tools for peacebuilding in the ministries countrywide. The fruit of these effort are vividly seen when a number of the first participants took it upon themselves to do further trainings on their own based on what they have learned at BGC in August 2014. The Revd. Abraham Chol Alaak, who serves among the Dinka Congregations in the area of Kapeota and the Revd James Yout Chol, who serves among the Nuer speaking congregations currently in the UNMISS camps in Juba. The Revd. Yuot's method of reaching out on Peacebuilding has been through his preaching, and pastoral counselling on individuals in the camp. These are few examples I can clearly share what they are doing but I still believe that all the pastors who had attended the training are making used of skills they have learned in various places of their ministries. You remember, some of the members came from Renk (Upper Nile State), Malakal, Diocese of Torit (Eastern Equatoria State), Diocese of Bor (Jonglei State), Refugees and from internally displaced camps in South Sudan. By virtue of their access to the ministry, they are obviously practicing their skills.
  2. Long term plan: in the last meeting we had with AFRECS and Bishop Samuel Peni, we agreed that the curricullum would be designed which is now underway. I am working something (curriculum) out with some experts in the areas of peace and reconciliation. As soon as we made something tangible, I will consult with with Bishop Samuel Peni, to have his opinion added before it is tabled before the college council.
  3. As you know Bishop Gwynne College is academically affiliated to St. Paul's University all along. At the moment, we are almost done with the registration process with the Government of South Sudan. This registration is part of Episcopal University project. Once we attained such legal status, we shall launch Peace Institute as one of the departments of its own along with other programs in the college. With the way thing look at the moment, it is a matter of 2 to 3 months to gain full registration.
  4. We thank AFRECS very much for always supporting the Peace Institute program.

Rev. Samuel G. Marial, BA, MAR, STM.
Principal,
Bishop Gwynne College
P. O. Box 110,
Juba, South Sudan
Mob. +211955984646

samuelgaluak@yahoo.com

BGC Prayer Partners Update 22/01/2016

Dear BGC Prayer Partners,
Thank you for all your prayers over the Christmas season. The college re-opens at the end of this month.

I am delighted to report that our principal, Samuel Galuak, despite going down with a bad attack of Malaria, has had a good break after a challenging semester (August-December 2015) with the large number of students we now have. The staffing levels at the college have always been inadequate, but last semester they fell to a new low through the death of our dear brother Benjamin Disi. His greatest contribution, over and above all his skills and experience, was his dogged faithfulness. This cannot easily be replaced. Nevertheless, we can rejoice in the strength and skills of Samuel and our administrator, Esparansa and the many part-time lecturers that have ensured another successful term, both academically and spiritually.

The things we ask your prayers for this coming semester are:

  • The staffing challenges. Please continue to pray that a skilled, qualified and dedicated person can be found for the post of academic dean. Pray that the principal may get the support he needs in all areas of his task. Our hoped for UK volunteer has sadly fallen though. Pray that qualified overseas volunteers may be found. The college has benefited greatly in the past from such volunteers.
  • The financial challenges. The majority of the income on which the college depends comes from within South Sudan. The disturbingly high inflation of the South Sudan pound has seen the price of food rocket. Food is a major expense when you have 70+ people on a daily basis to feed. This poses a real threat.
  • Give thanks for the continued successful outcomes of the students' studies. Give thanks for their patience and dedication in trying circumstances.
  • Give thanks for the role the college has in Peace and Reconciliation - both in its ethos, and its curriculum. See separate post for a statement from the principal.
  • Rejoice in the continued foreign support the college has from friends chiefly in the UK and USA. Our foreign income is especially valuable at this time.
  • Give thanks for the progress of the new Episcopal University of which BGC will become a part (along with other ECSSS tertiary institutions including theological colleges). The government have accepted the registration. Pray for Dr Joseph Bilal, the EU Project Manager.
Thank you for your prayers for which we are extremely grateful.

Yours in Christ
Trevor Stubbs
BGC International Consultant

22/01/2016

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Prayer Partners Update

Dear BGC Prayer Partners,
Thanks to your prayers, donations and the wonderful good management of the college by Samuel Galuak and his staff there is much good to report from BGC this month.

1. The college is in recess at present but Samuel reports on the laying of a foundation stone for a new chapel on the NEW Site.

On Saturday, 4th July, the foundation stone for BGC Chapel, was laid by His Grace Daniel Deng Bul...
It was attended  by a few number of people because our students are now on their vacation. We did not build a pillar for the stone. During the ceremony, we symbolically placed the foundation stone on a table in the site of the chapel so that when the chapel construction is done, we shall fix it on the wall like the dedication stone for the library.
As I mentioned to you last time, the monies (76, 000 SSP)  we got from the Old Dormitory site near the Blue Diamond Hotel plus another 24, 000 SSP to be generated from BGC income would be put together (100,000SSP) to start the foundation of the chapel. We are hoping to put 132,000 SSP on the chapel project from the plot near the cemetery* which will be paid in November this year...

We need to have our faith challenged again for this Chapel project. It will be another journey of faith.
*a small parcel of land owned by the college which was originally bought by Canon Benaiah back in the early 1990s which is now being developed by the same developer as the Blue Diamond Hotel project next to the college.
2. There have been a total of twenty seven new applicants for the new first year to begin in September. The numbers accepted will depend on their entrance tests at the end of this month (July).

3. The results of the exams of the present students, including the finals, will be announced at the beginning of October. The 34th graduation is fixed for 24th October 2015.

4. Two weeks special "justice, peace and reconciliation training" for the students took place at the beginning of June. We are indebted to AFRECS for sponsoring this with a generous donation.

5. I am sorry to have to report that Benjamin Disi, the BGC logistic officer, who has been so instrumental in seeing the college continue through its good times and bad ever since 1984, has been taken seriously ill and is being treated in the Mater Hospital in Nairobi. He has a kidney problem and has spent some time in ICU - although he appears now to be back on the ward. He is supported in Nairobi by a niece who lives there. The college is helping him with transport money and maintenance while he is in Nairobi. Please keep Benjamin and his family in your prayers.

6. The political situation in South Sudan and Sudan does not improve. The churches, however, are making an impact that is not going unnoticed in the international community. You might like to read the following.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/12/the-guardian-view-on-the-south-sudan-crisis-give-the-people-a-chance-to-craft-a-peace
http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/magazine/South-Sudan-s-poetry-of-hope--/-/434746/2782826/-/d5h2saz/-/index.html
In Khartoum two pastors, Rev Yat Michael and Rev Peter Yen, have been arrested and face flogging and the death penalty. Amnesty international regards them as prisoners of conscience because their charges stem from their actions as pastors. https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/afr54/2051/2015/en/ and email:

Blessings,
Trevor

Thursday, 27 November 2014

BGC Prayer Partners' Update

Dear BGC Prayer Partners,

Best wishes and prayers to our American partners and friends on this Thanksgiving Day!
We do indeed thank God for the harvest and the rich resources he has given us. We pray that we can use them wisely and carefully. We pray that South Sudan can have the stability to use and conserve the land that have been entrusted with.

Three things to give thanks or pray for as we approach the end of the semester at BGC.

1. We give thanks that Elisama Mangu, a very able former student from BGC, who transferred to Africa International University in Nairobi has graduated with a Bachelor in Theology. John Marineau Turpin who used to tutor him at BGC in 2012 has forwarded us the details and pictures:


Dear Friends,
Elisama Mangu was my best student academically and a wonderful servant leader at Bishop Gwynne College for a semester in Juba. While at BGC, he was accepted into the higher level Bachelor's in Theology program at Africa International University (formerly NEGST/Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology).  
Two and a half years ago, some of you helped to give him a "push" financially during the first year of his studies at AIU. Praise God! He finished his studies and graduated from AIU in August. He worked extra hard to be able to finish early, save money, and rejoin his family in Yambio, South Sudan. He earn A's and B's--mostly A's--along the way, and though he had a little extra help, he was able to fund most of his studies through academic scholarships. 
I invite you to rejoice with him at this great accomplishment, give thanks to God for his help and faithfulness and pray for him and his family in whatever future roles God has in store. To be certain, the church in South Sudan will benefit from his thoughtfulness and humility in whatever capacity he serves. 
Amen!
John