After a long absence, this blog was meant to come to you from Juba. However, we are in London. Last Monday, on the eve of our planned departure, we were blown backwards by a freak gust of wind down steps on London's Victoria Embankment. Tina fell to the bottom and fractured her ankle, collected a variety of other cuts and bruises and spent the night in hospital. There was no way we could travel. Our visit is therefore postponed to sometime yet to be fixed.
This is very frustrating as we are anxious to get to BGC to support Joseph and his team in the current semester. But it is just another time when we need patience. This is something we have had to learn many times over in the last three years.
We have also learned the importance of prayer. We are very grateful for those who are praying for us at this time. Tina is making the progress expected of her, and we appreciate all that people are doing for us. But we would ask that the main focus of prayer be for the college staff and students.
Principal Joseph Taban is under enormous pressure. He is quite capable of doing the job, but from experience we know that it is not an easy one. It means long hours in uncomfortable conditions with very basic facilities. We believe the water situation is a bit better than last semester. But in Juba this depends on fuel for power. We are told, owing to the shortage of fuel that traditionally came up the Nile from Khartoum and no longer does, the city has had no electricity for several weeks now. When it is a struggle to pay wages and buy food and water for the staff and students, teaching and learning become very hard.
Nevertheless, it is gratifying to note that all the first year second semester exams sat in June were passed. These are marked in Limuru, Kenya, so they have to be of a higher standard. We congratulate those young men. We pray for the new students in the first year.
As South Sudan gets established, conditions must improve, but it is not going to happen overnight.
The conflicts in the North all along the border are getting no better. Although the Khartoum government is denying it, report after report of civilians being attacked by Antanovs from the air and other atrocities keep coming out. No humanitarian aid is being allowed into South Kordofan or Blue Nile. People are displaced and starving and have access to little or no medical care. Reporting is not allowed either. Sadly this last is very effective because little is getting on the TV around the world. Please keep praying, and should occasion permit, give generously to relief aid.