Thursday, 6 November 2014

BGC Prayer Partners Update

Dear Bishop Gwynne College Prayer Partners
We have been buoyed up by your prayers and we are very grateful to you all.
Tina and I returned from Juba yesterday restored by the sunshine and the amazing spirit of the people we have met. Despite all their problems (caused by the failure of people in key places) so many people are ready to make South Sudan work. Generations have been traumatized and damaged and it is this that leads to the outbreaks of violence by men with guns, often drunk and out of control.
The people we met are humble (but by no means powerless) Christians close to God. They, too, are traumatised, but they are open to the healing balm of God's presence. The Spirit flows freely like blood in their veins as they work for justice, peace, reconciliation, and healing in their torn world.
BGC is recognised as a key element in the task as young and dedicated students are trained to be in the forefront of the work of God in every corner of South Sudan and beyond (we have a student from the Nuba Mountains too.) These children of generations of civil war need more than humanitarian aid and resources to help them help themselves, they need our prayers and our love. Thank you for giving them that.

Find attached a fuller report of our visit.
Trevor Stubbs,
International Consultant

For your prayers in particular:

The College
  • Thank God for the wonderful work of principal and staff making a little go a very long way. Pray that God will bless this work and keep them strong.
  • Thank God for the ten graduates who have now mostly gone back to their dioceses and are engaged in the front line of the mission of God to "preach the word and share the love" (as is the motto of BGC).
  • Thank God for the new students and those who are continuing in their second and third years - altogether forty-two students (five women and thirty-seven men). They specifically ask for your prayers for the end of November and beginning of December as they come to sit their exams.
  • Thank God for some very able part-time tutors to complement the staff. Pray that they teach effectively and overcome the difficulties of transport etc..
  • We thank God for the new college library and the ten new computers donated by World Vision and the evening classes in their use. Pray for the librarian as he works through cataloguing the new book donations, and the students as try to keep the library in good order.
  • Thank God for keeping the college financially in the black for the past few months due to the gradual recovery of the local economy and the generosity of overseas donors.

I return with three specific prayer requests:
  • Please pray that the right person be found to become the Academic Dean of the college. We are looking for an ordained pastor (male or female) with at least a bachelors but preferably a masters in theology. This is definitely a vocational post for someone who has a heart for the students and the development of South Sudan who is willing to stay in post for several years. BGC not only deserves the best, but needs the best for the work it is called to do.
  • Please pray for significant overseas donations for:
a) funds to help increase the salaries of the staff. Inflation is high. Our levels of pay are very low compared to those offered by other institutions. (I was shocked to discover our principal earns about the same as a simple driver for an NGO aid charity based in Juba!). People who work for the college do so from a sense of vocation (this includes everyone – the watchmen, cooks, cleaners, logistic officers and tutors) but they all still need enough to feed their families and pay their children's school fees.
b) a grant to put solar panels on the roof of the new library to guarantee power for the computers during the day-time. We're looking for at least USD $10,000.
The Nation
  • Pray for the talks in Addis Ababa and the readiness of the political leaders of South Sudan to really desire to find a peaceful solution.
  • Pray that the official cease-fire is taken seriously by all sides in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei States as we enter the dry season. Pray that we do not get a repeat of the horrific atrocities earlier this year.
  • Pray for the hundreds of thousands in refugee camps in and around South Sudan and the UNHCR and IOM efforts to sustain them. Pray that the international community will honour its contributions to the World Food Programme funds.

No comments: