Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Prayer Partners' Update
BGC is poised to begin its fourth complete academic year since its reopening in 2010. The first intake of new students that have embarked on the St Paul's, Limuru diploma have now completed their course and await their results. It is amazing how time has passed. In some ways we still see these as “new students”; it doesn't seem possible that we are now awaiting their graduation in October!
South Sudan has now entered its third year of independence and it is two years since the attack on the people of Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile States that has led to the death, displacement and suffering of so many of the people who lived there. The horrors of Darfur drag on and on.
I thank you all who pray for the college and the Sudans (north and south) around the world. Your faithfulness is so encouraging as we move forward.
May God bless you as you keep the Sudans, the ECS and BGC in your prayers.

National Issues
We give thanks to the continued commitment of the UN and African Union to facilitating negotiations and risking their lives to be on the ground to monitor the efforts for peace. We thank God for the many NGOs who so frequently find themselves in dangerous situations. We pray for World Vision and the UN who have recently lost personnel in Darfur, Jonglei and elsewhere. We pray for those working with the Archbishop and his team to bring about peace and reconciliation in South Sudan. We pray for the governments of Salva Kiir in Juba and Al Bashir in Khartoum that each will listen to the voice of God for love, peace and co-operation to allow both nations to develop and care for their most vulnerable citizens. We pray that the agreements already made will be implemented faithfully by both governments.

The College
Since the end of the last semester in June the college has been used for a short-term course for women theological students.
Our acting Principal writes:
The best way to address the issues of gender imbalance and violence in South Sudan is through child (boy/girl) education. The government of Sudan and institutions (such as faith based) are taking that to account. There is no other way to empower women in this country unless they are educated like their fellow brothers.
The government of South Sudan has allocated 25% of public leadership in top positions to women. Of late the government of South Sudan is also considering another 25% to make 50% which is an equal percentage in equation in the process. In ECS women are being ordained as well. Some have been made Dean of Cathedrals, for example in the Diocese of Renk, His Grace Daniel Deng Bul, had managed to develop a competent woman to become a Dean of a Cathedral.
BGC at least has so far managed to get two able ladies to study theology.
Over the break, we are now training at least 10 women BGC for refreshing courses and these women are potential candidates for ordained ministry and that's was His Grace's initiative and he is supporting it.
We give thanks for this initiative and the efforts of the ECS and government to address this issue. We pray for the women involved in this course as they return to their homes. May God bless them as they tell others of their experience. We pray that more female students can be found for the college as we give thanks and pray for God's blessing on our two current women students, Martha and Catherine.
We thank God that the Special Entrance Exams for the new intake have recently taken place. We look forward to hearing the results and the make up of the student body for September. We pray for all those who have sat the exam and those who are engaged at Limuru in marking the papers. We pray for our existing students who are due to continue their studies at the beginning of September. We pray for those who took their final exams in June and are awaiting results.

We pray for Simon Lual, a member of staff since 2010, now working for the college in Theological Education by Extension in Malakal. We thank God that he has procured a grant of up to $5000 to help him study for a one year advanced degree in Biblical Studies at Africa International University in Nairobi. This will enhance the value of the work that he is so ably gifted for in Malakal on the front-line of need close to the border with the north. We thank God for the gift of faith he is anxious to share and his valuable language skills in English, Arabic and the tribal languages of the region. We rejoice in the growing ability of BGC to share learning with other parts of the country.
We continue to pray for Samuel Galuak who continues as acting Principal of BGC now knowing that Joseph is not coming back. We thank God for his hard work and dedication and pray that he will manage to get a little rest time before the new semester starts up. We pray for his wife studying in the Netherlands.

We pray for the Board of Governors as they come together to review the progress of the college and make the decisions necessary for its continued growth. We thank God for our chairman, Bishop Justin Badi and all the members. We also pray and give thanks for the very effective College Council who meets on a regular basis to support the work of the principal and provide for the on-going practical needs of the college.

We thank God for the wonderful response of our international partners who have ensured that our cash-flow crisis, following the unexpected expenses necessary because of principal's illness and death, has been overcome. We rejoice that grants and donations have ensured we can continue to pay our way until the new semester brings in new income. We thank God that we have so many wonderful people who help us. (We have received contributions from four continents but chiefly from the UK through the Diocese of Salisbury and the USA through AFRECS (American Friends of the ECS)). We also give thanks for the various contributions that are being made to Joseph Taban's family.
We pray that the bishops of our new students and those who continue at the college will find the necessary funds to pay their fees and help them with transport. We thank God for those who have sponsored and continue to sponsor our students.

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