Perhaps some of you would like to join us in praying for some specific things. We are so grateful to all of you who are praying for us around the world. We have folk in Britain, France, America and Australia, as well as Africa, who have said they would keep us in their prayers. What it is to have so many wonderful friends! Do pass on our blog address or copies of our blog to anyone who is interested.
1. Bishop Gwynne College. This is our "project". Please pray for the smooth path for the redevelopment of the college. We are specially concerned at the moment with:
a) Settling the affairs of the institution that is being terminated. The war has taken its toll. The college has been poorly administered and the academic status has deteriorated. The library needs completely regenerating. The facilities are desperately inadequate (not even any toilets for example). The financial debts are considerable, but fortunately the college has enough assets to sell to balance the books. Pray for the staff losing their jobs, and the fifteen students being sent home for a year. Pray for the committee charged with the administration of the handing over of the college to a new regime.
b) Pray for the process of new affiliation with other theological faculties and institutions in order to get a validated course and certificate/diploma qualification. This is not proving easy.
c) Pray for the process of obtaining a new site for the college. The current single building is quite inadequate. We have the possibility of exchanging with SUDRA (Sudanese Relief Agency of the ECS) to get a large piece of land adjacent to a piece the college already owns. Our hope is to move onto, and develop this site as soon as possible.
d) Pray for the appointment, later this year, of a new, fully qualified, person to take up the mantle of building a new institution on the legacy of the old.
e) Pray for the ongoing financial security of the institution, and the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit as we launch a world-wide appeal for the capital investment in plant, buildings and learning materials. Pray that God will show us the right time and method for this.
f) Pray for all those who support us around the world, those who are our declared supporters and partners, those who are seeking to link with us, former students and staff of the college and those whose support is known only to them and God.
f) Pray for patience on the part of everyone (especially ourselves) as we face obstacles, opposition, apathy and simply the time it takes to get a big project like this off the ground when money, resources, experience and facilities are scarce. Pray for those who have too many things to do. Pray for the Government in the Sudan, including the Government of Southern Sudan, that they may further open the ways for the Spirit of God to flow with his peace, unity and direction. Thank God for the vision and enthusiasm of so many people here and across the planet.
2. The Episcopal Church of the Sudan. Please pray for our Archbishop Daniel as he leads the church in new and positive ways. Pray for the provincial office in Juba, for all the staff. We thank God for their patience and endurance when there was no money to pay them - and we pray that the future will be stronger. Pray for the Bishops across the province especially where the numbers of people and the ease of travel have meant the establishment of new dioceses this year. Pray for the pastors of congregations that over-fill most of the churches in southern Sudan, and the expanding churches of the north too, as they seek to feed them the Good News and lead them into personal faith. Pray for the many young people - teenagers and young marrieds - that pack into the churches, that they may grow in their new faith.
3. The Cathedral in Juba. This is the place where we worship. Pray for the Dean and PCC as they try to address the problem of overcrowding at all of the Sunday services. Pray that they may sort out their stewardship and giving so that they can support their work among the poorest in the city, and raise enough money to extend the building to seat more people beyond the 650 it can presently accommodate.
4. Learning the language. Pray that we may learn Juba Arabic so that we can communicate more effectively with people - especially the children.
Very many thanks for all of you who support us. The people of the Sudan know just how important praying is. Last Saturday we attended a meeting for prayer and fasting that began at 11 am and went through to 3.30 pm. We prayed for the country, the church and the city. We are grateful for joining your prayers to theirs.
Trevor and Tina