Saturday, 4 February 2012

Dear Prayer Partners,
Thank you for all your continued prayers for Bishop Gwynne College and the Episcopal Church of the Sudan. We hope 2012 finds you well and happy.
Bishop Gwynne College starts up again on Monday 6th.Feb. The exams at the end the last semester seem to have gone well, but of course the reults will not be out until the end of March as they have to marked at Limuru and ratified by the senate.

The students are working well. We have a new American member of staff called Dr Ellen Hankel. Daniela Rapisarda will be giving a couple of weeks in late February. I shall be there for a month from 20th Feb. Tina will remain the UK to complete her recovery from a broken ankle. Sadly for family reasons we can no longer work permanently in South Sudan.
We give thanks for the tremendous work of the principal, Joseph Taban, and the staff at BGC and the commitment and hard work of the students. Please pray for the staff as they seek to provide quality education in very basic and primitive circumstances.

We are very keen to get more investment in infrastructure for BGC. We have plans for a new multi-purpose chapel. This is a big project but it will provide much needed teaching as well as worship and admin facilities for the college. We also need another student dormitory and toilet/shower block. A generator in a small generator house would be a real blessing. If you can help us with any suggestions for money raising, possible charitable trusts or other sources of funding we would be very grateful. Visitors to the college are all aware of the shortcomings in the facilities we have for the work we undertake. We lag behind the standards of the local secondary schools and have a fraction of the facilities offered by other tertiary institutions. The quality of the work is high, but the facilities are pitiful. We desperately need to address this situation.

Please pray for the continued funding of the college expansion. Pray for an increase in the support to enable the college to fulfil its crucial role in the life of the new nation, both now and in the years to come.

National Concerns
2012 has not begun well for South Sudan or Sudan. There are the continued military struggles going on in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, as well as Darfur and the refusal of the Khartoum government to allow in any humanitarian aid. The most recent news is that they have cut the road to South Sudan from the Nuba mountains to prevent refugees crossing into the south.

There is an alarming development in the dispute over the transportation of oil from South Sudan through Sudan. No agreement has been reached in the talks on the fees to Sudan for the service. Sudan has appropriated oil. In response Government of South Sudan has shut down production entirely. Both south and north are almost entirely dependent on oil (over 90% of their budgets). This means that two of the poorest countries in the world now has no prospect of development other than what comes in through investment from elsewhere.

Please pray for the governments of both Sudan and South Sudan and international efforts to bring both countries to work for peace and mutual prosperity. Pray for the UN and African Union negotiators. Pray that the agreements made may be implemented on the ground (such as in Abyei). Please pray for the oil companies and the countries from which they come (mainly China) that they will be provide avenues for future peace and co-operation.

Tribal Conflict
In Jonglei State and elsewhere in South Sudan there are very severe tribal conflicts that are resulting in many killings and much displacement.

Please pray for the Murle and Nuer Lou communities and all the other tribes drawn into this. Pray for the determination on the part of the tribal chiefs to make traditional tribal rivalry a thing of the past. We give thanks for the enormous work of the church in this field, especially Archbishop Daniel Deng and the RC Bishop Taban. Pray for the continued efforts of the Sudan Council of Churches and the continued flow of resources for this work. Pray that Bishop Gwynne College and other church training institutions and schemes will receive the needed funds to equip people for work on the ground.

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