Thank you, Prayer Partners.
We continue to make progress here in Sudan, albeit not without its excitement. I can report that again everything we have prayed for has been given us. Economically in the college things are much better this month. We have a full compliment of staff, and the exams look to have gone better than we dared have hoped. In the political arena there has been a peaceful and successful referendum. If you want an anxiety free life, then the Sudan is not the place to be - but, similarly, if you want to see things coming together against all odds then this is just the place to be. It's tightrope walking, but, somehow, by the grace of God, we cross some dizzying chasms. From a purely philosophical point of view, you cannot absolutely prove the existence of a caring God - but the evidence from experience is beyond reasonable doubt.
Give thanks for the developments in the lettings of the college.
Give thanks that a new short -term let has been found for one of our houses. We have reinvested the six months rent received in advance into its complete renovation.
Praise God that we have now concluded a good arrangement whereby the piece of land on the main road area of the new site has been let for a period of 17 years to an investment company. This company will build luxury residential units in a protected compound that they will let to people involved in the development of the city. This has already brought in much needed rental income and will continue to do so. It will increase the integrity and the security of our site enormously. After the conclusion of the period, the land, and all that is built on it, will revert to the control of the college. Both of these lets will give future stability to the college.
First, however, will require the removal of containers that have been deposited on this land. The owner has promised that he will remove them within a month. But we still need him to come and do it! Please pray that he will come and fulfil his promises quickly so we can conclude everything amicably.
We give thanks for the grant awarded to the library. Work has begun on the shelves . We hope to be moving the books within a month. Pray for the workmen and for Tina and the students as they tackle this challenging task of moving the books.
Pray for out students, especially those preparing to take the Special Entrance Exam on 19th March that will see members of the foundation year continue on to the diploma. Again pray for Tina who is preparing them. Pray for Larry Duffee who has joined the staff and is teaching arithmetic and budgeting so that our pastors might be able to understand parish finances. Pray for John Turpin from Texas who has joined us on a voluntary basis to teach church history. Pray also for Joseph, Simon, Peter and Daniela our other staff members. We give thanks that the Lord has blessed us so much in so many ways with the staff we have.
University Feasibility Study
On a wider front, we pray for those who are planning to come to Juba and elsewhere to do a feasibility study for a new university. We give thanks that three wonderful academics from the UK are giving us their precious time free, as well as putting their own money into coming. Please pray for the success of this study and God's blessings on this party. While they are here we want them to be able to get everywhere they need to. Pray that we can find the money to transport them around locally. This is important for the effectiveness of the exercise.
A new university might seem very ambitious. It is certainly a huge vision and a tremendous challenge, but the opportunities, especially in the south post referendum, are enormous. The church here is always ambitious for the Lord, and it cannot be wrong to ask for the young people of the Sudan get a little of the advantages that are enjoyed elsewhere. They learn to be very patient when things don't happen quickly. They have also learned that if you don't ask, you don't get!
We give enormous thanks for the peaceful and well organised referendum on the future of the south. The latest news is that there has been a 95% turn out and a 98% vote in favour of separation. The people in Juba and the south are very happy.
Things are not so easy along the border with the north or in Khartoum. Please pray for the many refugees from the north heading south, and for those left behind who have not the money or opportunity to leave. Please pray for the Church in the north as many of their members have headed south and they are under pressure from the government. Pray especially for Bishop Ezekiel and the diocese of Khartoum and the other northern dioceses.
Pray for the voting taking place in Blue Nile State, and that planned for South Kordofan - northern provinces with a preponderance of people who identify more with the south. Pray for Abyei as the border there is still in dispute.