There is so much to pray for that it is difficult to know what to leave out. Below are some of the things that are exercising us from our perspective at New Bishop Gwynne College in Juba. Thanks so much for your prayers.
Trevor and Tina
1. The College
Praise God for the rising interest in the project internationally. Pray that this interest will lead to a financial commitment from groups, churches and individuals as we move into the first phase of developing the new site. Pray that God will smooth the way for us to get established there.
Praise God for Simon Lual Bang and Daniela Lucia Rapisarda as they have joined us with great enthusiasm and commitment. Please pray for them as they prepare themselves for their first term of teaching - Simon on the Old Testament, Sudanese Church History and Arabic, and Daniela on New Testament and Systematic Theology. Please pray for Trevor and Tina as they continue their role in development and prepare to teach homiletics, Anglicanism, conflict resolution and English. Pray also for Robin Denney who will join us towards the end of the Lent term in teaching sustainable agricultural methods and practice from a Christian perspective.
Give thanks to God for the transformation of the existing building from a very sad, dull place without water and light, into something that is usable although limited. We thank God that the intermittent town water supply and some solar powered electricity has made the place more habitable. Praise God that sufficient income is now available to install water tanks to ensure constant water supplies are available, and a new septic tank.
Pray for the fifteen second year students returning to continue their studies and that new students, by God's grace, will be found for a first year to begin in August 2010.
Pray for the communities from which the students come as they begin to learn their responsibilities in supporting them in prayer, encouragement and finance.
Pray that those people who continue to owe the college a lot of money will come forward with it so that we can pay off the remnants of the historic debt (mostly to those who left the college's employ before 1987!)
Praise God for the wonderful way the library is now coming together and the new books arriving through the gracious generosity of people coming from Britain and America. Thank God for the volunteers that are helping Tina to catalogue, paste the stickers and draw up the card indexes. Praise God for the support of Good Books, Bridport and others in obtaining the books we require, and the funds that have been made available for this purpose.
2. The School Links
We give thanks for the developing links of Church primary schools in Juba with schools in the Diocese of Salisbury. Praise God for the now active link between Beaminster St Mary's and Ephatha Basic School with the beginning of the sharing of letters and Christmas cards. We rejoice that the headteacher at Ephatha is computer literate - even though he has no computer and the school has no power supply(!) - which will help in future communication.
Western Star Basic School, Western Juba
Pray for the development of potential links between schools in Tisbury, Salwayash, Bridport and Wool with schools in the Juba suburbs of Munuki and Gudele. Give thanks that Tina has managed to pay further visits - hampered by the lack of transport and streams impassable in wet weather (even within Juba itself).
3. The Nation
Give thanks for those who have recently registered to vote and the intensity of the Churches' commitment to this process.
Give thanks for the enthusiasm of the many politicians to the development of democracy and their willingness to contest elections.
Pray for the Government of National Unity as the date of the elections in April draws nearer and the political posturing increases.
Pray for President Al Bashir of the GNU, and the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir.
4. The Church
Give thanks for a very hard working and encouraging Provincial Standing Committee involving representatives of all three houses (bishops, clergy and lay) recently held in Rumbek.
Archbishop Daniel Deng addresses the ECS Sybod Standing Committee
Praise God for the visit of partners from Britain and America and their commitment to the continuing development of the ECS and the education and health in the Sudan. Pray that they may have patience with the situation here where development is patchy and people with vision, enterprise and energy to make the most of the gifts they bear, are too few and not evenly spread.
Praise God for the central role the Churches play in growing a new Sudan in the face of so many problems.
Thank God for his continued blessing of pastors and laity with love, patience, endurance and self-sacrifice. Pray for these people who have turned their backs on material gain, sometimes receiving less than a living wage when they could command good salaries working for foreign aid agencies and the government etc.
Pray for the development of an effective Theological Education by Extension programme and the diocesan Bible colleges to help bring education to the many untrained pastors in all parts of the country.
Pray for the the Theological Commission and the four other provincial colleges - Bishop Allison in Arua moving to Yei, Bishop Ngalamu in Mundri, Bishop Shokai in Khartoum and Renk Theological College.
Pray that they province may quickly find a new experienced accountant/administrator to be found to work the provincial office. The person may well have to be an expatriate. Pray that the right person may hear and respond to the call of God.
Continue to pray for Archbishop Daniel Deng, giving thanks for his passionate dedication to the development of the ECS in every direction. Thank God for his defiant stance towards all those who disrupt progress or undermine the security of the people. Praise God that he refuses to be deflected by the issues that are dividing the Anglican Communion at present, and continues to concentrate on what Anglicanism can contribute to the proclamation of the Kingdom of God amidst poverty, division and uncertainty in his province.