Friday, 30 November 2012

An Invitation to Pray

Dear Prayer Partners
I have recently been much encouraged by the increasing interest and concern I have gathered from people in regard to Sudan/South Sudan. The Christian community especially appears to be much more knowledgeable about the needs there, than Europeans and Americans could learn from the news coverage they seem to get on mainstream television.
Large parts the Church of England, for example, are much more clued up and outward looking than the recent General Synod would suggest. If the report World-shaped Mission that is on the agenda at all levels, and the quality of the Partners in World Mission conference at beginning of November are anything to go by, then there is an increasing awareness of the real meaning of partnership and an understanding of how rich we can become when we listen to Christians in what has become known as the Majority World (Africa, Asia, South America, the Pacific etc.)
As prayer partners with Bishop Gwynne College, we know that we can benefit as much from the Episcopal Church of Sudan as they can from the West. The prayer and concern is two-way, even if the distribution of wealth not.
Below are extracts from the principal's latest emails.
"We have had a group of wonderful students these last two years."
" The students are doing well. The exam results were very remarkable. Most students got very good grades and we praise God that no single student failed last semester and no resits are required. They just need more motivational messages which I am trying to do always despite their living conditions."
"We have two wonderful female students with us. They have brought a lot of life to the college..."
"... we are triumphing well and our work is going ahead. The second staff house is done and about 12 students and the 2 females are accommodated in it.*
We are finished with the fencing and it is beautiful. The result is that the workshop has began to move out. We are taking over completely by the end of November praise God
The students are so happy the school is becoming cleaner and more beautiful. Our new sign post will be up soon - maybe next week.
No secretary yet and no new watchman but we are working on that. The part time teachers are doing wonderful work and it seems the students are happy with them. Chris and Lydia (Mitton) are a wonderful gift to us we thank God for them as they have fitted in very well. "
   * We still need to raise the funds to build a second dormitory. In the meantime staff are still living out.

Bishop Gwynne College
The college is in good heart. We give thanks that the students are all doing so well and working even above expectations. We thank God that all the students have passed their coursework as they approach the end of semester exams. We pray that they will be in good health as they face this challenging two weeks. We pray that they will use all they have learned and do as well as they able.
We give thanks for an improved relationship between students of different tribal backgrounds. (Leaving their homes and entering into a multi-cultural college in a multi-cultural city is a major challenge.)
We thank God for the good team of staff members that have come together.
We give thanks that Chris and Lydia Mitton have managed to contribute so much this last semester and we pray for them as they return to Bristol for Chris to complete his MA prior to ordination in Leeds in July 2013.
We ask God to bless Simon Lual and his family as he goes to Nairobi to for further studies.
We praise God for the continued donations to the college that have enabled more development work to take place. We give thanks that the college is at last coming into possession of the whole area allocated to it on the New Site and we pray that the wherewithal to develop it will continue to come in.
In the meantime we thank God for the patience and resilience of staff and students working in conditions that would be unacceptable in other parts of the world.
We give thanks for those who support the college in anyway. We thank God that our supporters now include people in the Netherlands. We especially pray for our academic partners – Trinity College Bristol; Duke University North Carolina; Berkeley Divinity School, Yale, Connecticut; and possible developments in Canada and Australia. We pray that the connections with BGC will be as a rich blessing for them as they are for BGC.

The Political Situation
Sadly there has been a set-back to the resumption of the flow of oil from South Sudan through Sudan. Khartoum have just reneged on the original agreement but insisting that South Sudan 'disarm' the rebels in the north. As they are not under the control of Juba and South Sudan has no practical way of doing this, it is impossible for Juba comply with this new condition. Therefore it doesn't look as if oil production will resumeany time soon.
Pray for a change in the stance of the Khartoum government. For the sake of both nations pray for that Khartoum will honour its original agreement facilitated by the UN.
We pray for the government of South Sudan that it will have the expertise, patience, honesty and resilience to improve the conditions for the people of the country as well as they can.
We ask God's blessing on the thousands of civilians in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile after renewed attacks by the Sudan Armed Forces on their homes and fields intended to destroy their crops or prevent them being harvested. Pray for those who have no food or medicine.
We pray for the situation in Abyei where poverty is intense. We pray for the UN and AU troops in the area that they may be effective in offering protection.

The Episcopal Church of Sudan
We give thanks for a successful Bishops' Conference in November. We pray in particular for the five northern dioceses – Khartoum, Port Sudan, El Obeid (includes Dafur), Wed Medani (includes Blue Nile) and Kadugli (includes Nuba Mountains).
We praise God for the resilience and hard work of Archbishop Daniel Deng.

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