Thank you very much for your continued prayers for our project. We have some new things to pray for and would very ask you to help. Prayer does make a difference. The project is still on track but there are a few places where we need to "oil the wheels" through prayer. Some of the answers to the prayers you have already made (see below) witness to the power of prayer.
April 2009Prayer Answers
1. Thank God for the wonderful new site in an excellent position that everyone here wants us to have. Something that might have been controversial but which has turned out to have universal approval.
2. Thank God for the people of Action Aid, an Christian organisation which seeks to help churches and church institutions in the developing world set up investment projects. We thank God that the Revd Vinay Samuel from Oxford (and Bangalore, India) who has been involved in setting up Bangalore Theological College to be self-financing, has shown special interest in us. We pray for him and his work and the working out of ideas of sustainable investment for BGC.
3. Thank God for the tremendous impact that our Archbishop is making on the work of the ECS and the great energy that is emerging in all areas to develop and grow. We thank God for the recent mission to Bor Diocese in which new areas were visited and the process of reconciling tribal conflict in the area took a great leap forward.
4. We thank God for the way in which we have settled here in very good health, and the way in which we have been welcomed.
5. Not least we do thank him for the tremendous patience people have here in the Sudan. There is an urgency about things and opportunities are taken without hesitation, but there are many obstacles that are beyond our control. The capital investment is never sufficient. The peace is susceptible to a criminal few who can get away with things because enforcing law in such a large area with remote wildernesses is very difficult. And, sadly, the nation is divided by a very few who wield power in Khartoum and are making things more difficult. Yet, in all the frustrations and the waiting and the setbacks, there is a tremendous patience in the Lord for which we give thanks.
1. Continue to pray for the smooth handing over of the college from the former administration. The "Handing Over Committee" still has a few things to work on. We need to secure all the deeds and documentation of the buildings the college owns in various parts of the town. Two of these properties are occupied by former members of staff who have notice to quit by the end of June.
2. Please pray for all the former members of staff that they may find a suitable place to move to, and suitable employment or satisfactory retirement as they choose. Pray for The Revd. David Bako, the principal, who is in a particularly difficult situation. The Ven Canon Francis Paul, the Dean of Studies and Vice Principal, has been a respected members of the college staff for many years. There are several others who have served more than a decade, and in some cases two.
3. We need prayers to help us pay these people the unpaid salaries from 2007. We have arranged with SUDRA (Sudan Development and Relief Agency of the ECS) to exchange a house belonging to BGC with them to enable us to pay the staff all they are owed. SUDRA has US$100,000 in the Nile Bank (donated by UTO in the US), but unfortunately the bank is in difficulties and cannot/will not release the money. The Southern Sudan government are trying to bail the bank out, but falling oil revenues mean that the government are finding times hard too. Government workers were not paid at the end of March. Pray that SUDRA and BGC see the money. If we cannot get this money it may mean we will have to sell the house on the open market, and lose the chance of the site currently occupied by SUDRA which will be bad for SUDRA and a disaster for us because the site is in a perfect position.
4. Continue to pray for the 15 students at home waiting to resume their studies in January 2010.
5. We give thanks for the news links promised by Limuru University in Kenya that will enable us to re-establish an accredited diploma programme from the time we re-open.
6. Pray for the work of the overseas partners of theological education in the Sudan and the plans for meetings in June (in Salisbury) and Juba (in July) with people from America, Britain and the heads of the theological institutions in the Sudan. Pray that a programme for the implementation of the development of the vision for a Bishop Gwynne University may emerge. Pray also for the financing of these meetings.
7. We also pray for the preparations of a major appeal later in the year. If we manage to get this new site we will need hundreds of thousands of dollars of capital funding. Pray for the detailed planning process that will have to precede the appeal.
8. We are fortunate to have an agriculturalist working with us , Robin Denney. Pray for her work across the Sudan, but especially for the work she is doing on developing an agricultural curriculum suitable for theology students, and later the landscaping of the new site.
9. We give thanks that there is very little division on the every day level between Muslims and Christians, and it is certainly not common in Juba. Pray for an increasing influence of people of faith on the peace and unity of this nation.