Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Independence for South Sudan - 9th July 2011

What a privilege to be around at the birth of a new nation! South Sudan became the world's 193rd independent country on 9th July 2011 – six months after the referendum in which a 95% turnout voted almost 99% in favour of independence.
Sadly we were not able to be there in person, but we celebrated with the diaspora in London NW6. It was a moving occasion at which we were made very welcome. It began with prayers led by Mark, an ECS pastor who works in London, and the meeting was addressed by a representative of the Government of South Sudan's mission in London.
Trevor has spent most of the past month spreading the good news of BGC in the USA. The welcome was fantastic. The Episcopal Church has some very gracious, generous, kind and compassionate people. Although you don't get much information on the ordinary US news about Sudan, many of those Trevor met were pretty well informed and were anxious to hear more. States visited were Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan as well as the District of Columbia. This included visits to Virginia Theological Seminary, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and Duke University, Durham. The students and staff at BGC need not feel on their own but understood and on the hearts of so many.
Tina managed to get to see our old friends in Bridport from where two people were ordained priest on 2nd July – Ann Ayling and Margaret Preuss-Higham. It is good to see the Bridport Team going from strength to strength. The local newspaper, The Bridport News, also had a substantial article on the Sudan based on our call for prayer.
Yesterday we had a phone call from Simon Lual, a lecturer at the college. He seemed upbeat about things. This is good news. It is amazing how quickly you can feel cut off from the action! And things move so fast in Juba.
Our hearts now go out to the people in the north. Things are very bad indeed for the people of South Kordofan (the Nuba Mountains). Those associated with the southern states that are now part of South Sudan, have been told they have to obtain visas to remain and work in the north. Most of these are in Khartoum and have been there many years. The churches there are going to find it especially hard, but it is by no means only the Christians that are suffering. Please pray for all the Sudanese people wherever they are, in the new independent South Sudan, in the north or in the diaspora across the world cut off from their relatives and friends back home.

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