Sunday, 29 December 2013

BGC Principal Reaches Kampala

Dear BGC Prayer Partners,

Our Principal
Our principal, Samuel Galuak, was reunited with his wife in Kampala just before Christmas. They have been apart for many months as Stella continues her studies in the Netherlands. It is very good that they are together and safe.  Samuel's intention is to take a well earned annual leave (he didn't manage any in June or July) and remain for some weeks in Uganda.

The Situation in Juba
The general situation in South Sudan has now commanded a slot in the main BBC news broadcasts in the UK, CNN in the USA, France 24 in France and Al Jazeera and their worldwide audiences. Although these reports are accurate they cannot fully describe what it must feel like to live in a place that at one moment was a great hive of development with millions of dollars of investments and thousands of expats from around the world, to one in which everything is quiet except the stories of death, sporadic sound of gunfire, the break down of law and order and the rumours and dread of what might yet be. Our reports from Juba are not good although apparently there is some food to be had in Konjakonja market and coordination between the aid agencies that remain to try and protect the most vulnerable.
The introduction of more UN troops to police the IDP camps around the UN bases creates some stability.

Books Delivery
We have heard that, remarkably, the delivery of books from the Theological Book Network which had reached the Uganda/South Sudan border is now being attempted. The BGC college site is not in the worst hit area. Please pray that the books and transport team arrive safely. Pray for those who will be called upon to unload and deal with the shipment on the BGC New Site.

The Future
The immediate future of the college is, of course, uncertain in the circumstances. It would not be easy, even if advisable, for students to travel unless things improve considerably. Those at home in the states of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile in particular will not be able to make the journey. However, the college is not due to reconvene until the beginning of February in any case. So there is time for things to change. Please pray that things change for the better between now and then.
The breakdown of security and commerce in Juba is bound to have an effect on the local income which has secured the colleges re-development since 2009. All that is also 'in the air'. We will depend on foreign gifts even more then we have done before.

What ever happens the impetus we all had from the new beginning of the CPA and the euphoria of the independence only two and a half years ago has now completely gone. BGC has indeed made hay while the sun shone - we now have to be patient as darkness has again covered the land. But this has happened so often that the traumatised South Sudanese know how to pick themselves up and knock off the dust and begin again. Nothing is secure or permanent in this world. Hope can only lie in the presence of God who lives in and among us. Even in the rejoicing of the birth of the Messiah is immediately followed by the slaughter of the children of Bethlehem by someone who was crazy to bolster his own political power. God does not abandon people who are killed, driven from their homes and subjected to unspeakable horrors but is born right in the middle of them. God comes to his people in love, and in peace. One day we will know that peace - even if we have to wait until we enter the next world. Sometimes, as in the case of South Sudan, all we are left with is the knowledge that God loves us and that “nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8.35). Our hope is in God that is present even when nothing or no-one else is. Please pray that those in the greatest sufferings will hear and know this.
Above all, pray that those who can stop this – those who have to power to rein in the terror - will do so without conditions. Nothing can justify another war – this time between peoples who have everything to lose and everything to gain if peace prevailed, as the vast majority of them know.


1 comment:

The Bakers said...

Thank you for the update. I am leading prayers at this evenings Communion Service at Trinity Theological College in Bristol, UK and so it is helpful to have news from on the ground to fuel our intercessions.