Dear Prayer Partners,
I am writing this in Addis Ababa airport transit lounge on our way back to the UK. We have just spent a wonderful afternoon in Nairobi with Joseph Taban and Esparanza. He is far better than we had hoped. He is full of his former energy, talking of everything in the way he always did. His recovery from an illness that had rendered him unable to walk and talk, in some pain, and which at one time left him in a coma has been remarkable. The operation is a resounding success and he seems to be taking the radiotherapy with fewer side effects than most. Joseph and Esparanza are deeply grateful for all your prayers. On the day of his operation he was aware of a cushion of prayer for him from around the world. We are so pleased to report that God has answered our prayer for him, his family and the college in such a powerful way. We thank God for this!
There are just two weeks of treatment left and he will be free to return to Juba possibly at the end of the month. His doctors are recommending that he does not return to work just yet – we would be amazed if their guidance was otherwise. Please pray for the future, asking God for patience for Joseph.
We thank God, too, for the great generosity of those people who have funded Joseph's treatment and other costs in Nairobi with whom he could not have such care. It has all been very worthwhile.
So now we pray that the radiotherapy will do its job of eliminating all possibility of this disease returning.
Tina, Esparanza, Trevor and Joseph (28/2/2013)
The college is progressing very well. I attach an update. Please continue to pray for Samuel Galuak who is doing so well as acting principal. Pray also for Simon Lual, another member of staff, at a time of change in his ministry. He was hoping to be studying in Nairobi this semester but his admission to Africa International University has been delayed until September. We pray that his future will be now be made clear for him.
The building work next to the college is very noisy, and this, combined with the heat and dust of the dry season, makes for a difficult learning environment. But it is amazing just how resilient and purposeful our students are. We praise God for them.
We pray that potential new students will emerge for the Special Entrance Exam in July (Sat. 17th). This will require a great effort from the dioceses to fund them because there are not enough sponsorships available from abroad. We are encouraging the dioceses and parishes to plant and farm some of their land and use the income for the payment of fees and transport. We are detecting a new determination to use local resources now that we are getting used to the freedom of independence. This is a healthy development. Please pray for our dioceses and their bishops as they seek to secure the fees and transport costs for their students.
Sudan (as opposed to South Sudan) is still suffering from the ravages of civil war. Despite bombing and other forms of attack in the Nuba mountains and Blue Nile, it is clear that the rebels control a lot of territory outside the towns (in a similar way to how it was in the south before the CPA). Civilians are in constant danger and deprived of food and medical help. Please pray that the government of Sudan abandons its policy of repression and ethnic cleansing.
There has also been an increase in persecution of Christians and other opponents of the regime in Khartoum. We need to pray for our churches and their leaders there.
There also many ordinary people who are finding life extremely hard. The Sudanese Pound is now trading at 7 to the dollar (in 2008 it was just 2) and food is very expensive. Oil revenues have plummeted of course, but it is the north that is suffering the most. Please pray for all there that this situation is soon resolved with freedoms for all the people from these privations.
I apologise to those of you who have missed out over the past few weeks when I was in Juba. I did not have the computer with me that contains the latest contacts and contact addresses. You have not been forgotten!! Now we are back I hope your direct contact will be restored!
I will post all the prayer partner information on our blog (address below).
Accessing the Internet is a challenge when we are in Juba. There is no city power and in any case the college is not online. It means a fifteen minute's walk to the Provincial Office (open only in office hours) but I am enormously grateful to them for accommodating me there.
Please keep up the prayer. It makes such a difference!