Companion Dioceses: Twic East & Dominican Republic
Our friends in Twic East – our South Sudanese companion diocese – have been faced with almost unimaginable violence and persecution over the past many weeks. These are excerpts from a letter written to Canon Yeates this week by Bishop Ezekiel Diing. If you wish to respond to his request for immediate financial help, please send a check marked for “Twic East Relief” to:
The Diocese of Nebraska
109 N 18th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
We will see that your cash donations get into the bishop’s hands as quickly and safely as possible.
Excerpts from Bishop Ezekiel’s Letter:
Dear Mama Judi –
Christian affectionate love and greeting to you all.
For your information our condition with our families and Congregations in this bad situation of war in our Country is very bad. We are not sure about our Congregations in Bor and Twic East because the war between Dr Riek Macar and Government of the Republic of South Sudan had killed many people both men, women, children old and young people in both Dioceses. The survivors might have crossed the River Nile to west of the Nile in Yirol County. Some of them had drowned in the Nile because they can’t swim. Most of the people are scatted in the bush.
Bor Town is now laying in ashes and the war is still going on. Many things are looted and many houses are burned down. Vultures are not able to continue feeding on the remains of the deceased people in Bor because they are satisfied.
Our hearts are broken when we hear our dear fathers, mothers and children are laying dead in Bor Town and all over the land of Bor in and around not burred, but what do we do. Only God is the answer.
Our Pastors in the two Dioceses are scattered with the people and we are not sure of their whereabouts or their survive. I have heard some of my pastors have reported into the Kakuma Refuge camp in Kenya. Also we are not getting support in cash to buy food for our families, to hire accommodation, to pay school fees for our children to go to school, to pay for medication, etc.
I think this is the time that Partners pay attention to one another with serious of concern at the time of devastation. What I mean is that I need help with my Pastors and their families. I will go to Juba on next Monday (Feb 10) to attend emergency meeting of the bishops’ call by the Archbishop. In this meeting I will declare Twic East Diocese a deserted area it is DISPLACED; all of us are scatted.
Keep on remembering us in your prayers. May God Almighty be with you.
Rt Rev Ezekiel Diing Ajang Malangdit.
Bishop of the Diocese of Twic East of Twic East County;
Jonglei State Republic of South
DR Adult and Youth Mission Teams are forming NOW for 2014!
Both teams will work in the beautiful mountains of central Dominican Republic. The Diocesan Camp near Jarabacoa will be the base of our ministry.
Join adults and youth from across our Diocese who will continue to build companion relationships with our brothers and sisters in the Dominican Republic!!
The Adult DR Mission is March 10-17, 2014. The deadline for registering is March 3. A wonderful core group led by Rev. Karen Watson wishes to welcome you for an experience that will change your life. The camp, church and school are part of a compound that provides unlimited opportunities to serve our Lord and the mountain community. Contact Rev. Karen today at 402-517-1326.
The Youth Mission will be June 23-30, 2014. Sr. High Youth entering their Junior Year of High School through summer following graduation from High School (ages 16-18) are eligible to participate.
The expected cost is $1500. A $100 non-refundable deposit will hold your reservation as space is limited, and quickly filling.
Fundraising will be left to the youth and their home parish. Very limited scholarship assistance may be available.
Fundraising ideas may be found at: http://youthoutreach.episcopalne.org/fundraiser-ideas.html
For more Information please contact Don and Melissa Peeler at email@example.com or 402-572-7556.
Melissa and Don are happy to come to your parish to meet with youth or adult groups.
Sunday December 15th 2013 , was a day of celebration of new ministry at All Saints Episcopal Church, Omaha. After an extended period of planning, we have now had our initial South Sudanese Worship Service at All Saints. The worship service is at 1:30 P.M. every Sunday afternoon in the main church nave. We will have worship with Eucharist once a month and noonday pray service on the remaining Sundays.
There were approximately 25 South Sudanese attending the initial Sunday Service. The service was celebrated in a combination of English and Dinka language. A traditional South Sudanese lunch was served following the service.
We wish to thank the All Saints Altar Guild, Welcoming and Evangelism Committee, All Saints Outreach/South Sudan Mission and All Saints staff for assisting in the planning and participation in this new ministry.
We are very excited about this new program and hope you can stop in and worship with us at 1:30 P.M. Sunday afternoons.
South Sudan Companion Diocese Mission Update
As we begin the season of Advent, we pause to reflect on the South Sudan Twic East Diocese , our brother and sisters there and those in diaspora placed in countries throughout the world.
First, let us remember in our prayers Paul Telar. He is the 5 year old son of Twic East Diocese Bishop Ezekiel and Rebecca. Paul and his parents have been residing in Sioux Falls, South Dakota the past 3 months as Paul had surgery for removal of a brain tumor. Paul has been recovering from the surgery the past month undergoing occupational and physical therapy. The family departed Sioux Falls on November 16th to return to their home in Africa. This has been a story of many miracles as they underwent this experience with many challenges. This was made possible by many giving people from different faiths for this to become the successful story it has become. I have included a picture of Paul taken on November 15th just prior to their return to Africa.
On Sunday morning October 27th, the villages of Maar and Paliau were attacked in Twic East Diocese. During the attack there were 80 village people killed including some women and children. There were also 4 Episcopal priests killed in the attack. Thousands of cattle were also taken from the local cattle herds. This attack was more than a tribal attack, but an attack led by rebel General Yau Yau and a militia group heavily armed. Please remember the people of our Companion Diocese of Twic East in your prayers. They face so many obstacles in their daily lives. Bishop Ezekiel has released a plea for additional food supplies, mosquito nets and funds since approximately 30 homes were destroyed in the raid.
An update on some Nebraska Diocese projects for Twic East include the shipment of 2 treadle sewing machines and a grain grinding mill funded by All Saints Omaha outreach mission. The sewing machines will be set up by the Mothers Union women in Maar. The machines will be used initially for making clothing as well as feminine hygiene pads. There is a demand for these pads in particular for the girls in middle school so that they don’t miss any school. The grinding mill will be used to grind grain for food use. This will replace the back breaking work of using stones to grind the grain by hand.
Other projects include Daughters of the King and Guild groups sewing feminine pads. On the next trip from Nebraska we will take with us to Twic East the pads produced.
St. Martha’s Papillion recently had their annual fund raiser for their sponsored South Sudanese students attending school in Lokichokio, Kenya.
Our Companion Diocese of Twic East has so many needs, so we need to continue to carry on with what we can accomplish to help them to have a better life.
– Jim Yeates
On a hot, humid day in mid-June 2013 a group of intrepid Episcopalian missioners from Michigan arrived in the Dominican Republic to continue the building of the San Simon church in San Marcos. An amazing discovery awaited one of the missioners….Full story here: http://dominicandevelopmentgroup.org/news/
Appeal for Assistance
Our companion Diocese of Twic East in South Sudan suffered another attack on their people on Sunday, October 20th. Thank you for the many emails and phone calls from across the diocese expressing concern and requesting news. There have been numerous and varying reports from a variety of news sources that we have been trying to verify and piece together in order to give you a better understanding of the situation and how we can best support our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Here is a link to a copy of a press release received from the Rev. Bol Deng, written by the Bishop’s and Pastors in the Dioceses of Twic East and Bor, which talks about the recent attack as well as the history since the Peace Agreement in Jonglei State was signed.
Also, below you will find a personal message from Bishop Ezekiel Diing on the attack and flooding in Twic East. As many of you know, Bishop Ezekiel is in the U.S. until the middle of November while his son, Paul Telar, recovers from brain surgery. If you would like to respond to his appeal for assistance, please make your checks payable to the Diocese of Nebraska and mark it for Twic East Mission and we will work directly with Bishop Ezekiel when he returns to Twic East to make sure that these emergency funds are used to help the people of Twic East recover and rebuild.
Please keep all of our brothers and sisters in Twic East in your prayers as they grieve the loss of so many loved ones and continue to work toward a lasting peace.
May the souls of the faithfully departed through the mercy of God
rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon them.
Letter from Bishop Ezekiel
On October 20, 2013, hundreds of men in green uniforms armed with all sort of guns including
heavy artillery launched a deadly attack on civilian populations in Twic East County killing about
80 people. Many others were wounded, children and women were abducted, close to 25,000
cattle were looted and many houses were burned down. The attackers were rebels led by the
Murle leader, David Yau Yau, who is supported by (Northern) Sudan and have been fighting the
government of South Sudan since 2010.
On the other front, the Twic East County is prone to flooding because of its proximity to the
largest swamp along the River Nile. As we speak thousands of people are displaced by the
flood after the area experienced heavy downpours and the mud-made dykes overflowed and
were destroyed by the water surge from the Nile.
As a result of the two mentioned calamities, the people of Twic East are not dealing only with
the aftermath of a deadly attack in the area but also are exposed to water born disease, lack of
shelter, food and clean water. As the Bishop of the affected area, I am appealing for prayers
and any kind of material support such as mosquito nets, blankets, clothes, water cans,
medicines or cash and of course, food items to relieve the situation in Twic East.
The people of Twic East Diocese and the whole area are kindly requesting your prayers for
those innocent people who lost their loved ones and those whose properties were destroyed or
looted during the attacks of the David Yau Yau rebels.
As followers of Jesus Christ, I ask you to remember the book of Matthew 25:34 where our Lord
said that those who render good services to the needy will inherit the kingdom of God. We are
a new diocese in a country which has just begun to recover from war and are overwhelmed by
these recent events.
Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Canon Ezekiel Diing Ajang Malangdit
Bishop of Twic East Diocese
This past year there have been several developments in the ongoing mission with our Companion Diocese of Twic East South Sudan. Significant planning and fundraising the past year resulted in several different projects put in to use in South Sudan.
One of the more significant projects was fundraising by All Saints Omaha and the Elkhorn “Nets for Nets” group for a fund for a water well in the village of Maar. Water is still carried long distances by the village women in 5 gallon jugs on their heads to their village tukuls for use for cooking and cleaning. The addition of a well will allow for local distribution of water for the village of Maar as well as for the Diocesan headquarters.
We have numerous other outreach groups providing education scholarships and supplies for South Sudan. St. Martha’s Papillion are providing scholarships for 4 Jonglei State students. The students are being educated in Lokichokio, Kenya. Upon their graduation from primary school, the Wangulei school in Twic East will become the focus for St. Martha’s. Another project gathering interest and growing is the Nebraska Daughters of the King constructing and sewing “Freedom Pads” for Twic East women.
We received and was granted by United Thank Offering an $11,000.00 grant for motorcycles and bicycles for the Twic East clergy. We were able to purchase 10 bicycles and 5 motorcycles for the clergy of Twic East. They were put to use immediately for travel to remote villages in the diocese
In January of 2013, a combined mission trip to Twic East between Nebraska and Mississippi Diocese was put together and completed. The trip personnel consisted of Jim Yeates and Curate Reverend Laura Shine from Nebraska Diocese. The Mississippi Diocese sent Bishop Duncan Gray, Pharmacist Peter Maluel, and medical physicians Dr. Frank Criddle and Dr. Addie Henderson. The medical team diagnosed and treated 300 patients for primary clinical care. Reverend Shine assisted Bishop Ezekiel and Bishop Gray and preached at worship services at Lual Ajuk Bil and Maar villages.
We are continuing to raise funds for various projects on parish levels, as well as look at ways to develop the completion of the girls school at Wangulei on a diocesan basis. The relationship with Twic East continues to develop as we investigate new ideas and new methods of interaction with the diocese of Twic East .
Please keep the South Sudanese people in your thoughts and prayers. This is a new nation only two years old and they are just beginning to rebuild their country after a 20 year war with North Sudan.
On a personal note, Bishop Ezekiel’s son Paul is now in post surgery therapy in Sioux Falls Sanford Clinic. He took his first steps since surgery this past week. They will be returning to Africa in early November. This has been witness to a miracle.
– Jim Yeates
The significant news the past few weeks from South Sudan is the sacking of the entire national cabinet of ministers and the vice-president. It appears President Salva Kiir wanted to downsize the central government cabinet posts. Having completed that task the president is now re-appointing ministers to some of the positions and also appointing new personnel to some of the positions.
One of the new appointments to the president’s cabinet is the appointment of Jonglei State Governor Kual Manyang Juuk to the position of Minister of Defense. Twic East Diocese is in Jonglei State.
The South Sudan petroleum pipeline which travels through North Sudan is now back in operation, however North Sudan is threatening to shut it down due to some border disagreements.
The county commissioner Mr. Dau Akoi from Twic East has been travelling in the U.S.A. to several cities the past 3 weeks. His base location was Omaha during his stay. He is assisting the U.S. South Sudan diaspora in fund raising for the proposed construction of a youth center in Panyagor the county seat of Twic East. If the fund raiser is successful this project will provide a much needed location for the youth in Twic East County to gather and participate in various activities.
At the Twic East Diocese headquarters village of Maar, we now have an operating mobile phone tower. The tower was actually constructed several years ago, however it was not completed and activated until this past spring.
This will be a real asset for communications directly to Maar and Twic East Diocese personnel.
We also have word that the Bol Deng Compound which is adjacent to the Diocese church compound in Maar is being renovated. This undertaking is due to the need for an adequate facility for the visiting medical teams working at the new primary health clinic in Maar.
The annual “Nets for Nets” fund raiser in Elkhorn, Ne. was recently completed. Their proceeds this year will be for medical supplies for the Twic East Diocese. This is an annual fund raiser organized by two students from Elkhorn, Abi Heller and Ashley Knight. Congratulations on your great work!
All Saints Omaha is preparing for their annual fund raiser on September 15th. The fund raiser “Pedal for Treadles” will be for the purchase of sewing machines and grinding mills for the Maar village community.
Agriculture training will begin with the fall semester at the Baraka Agriculture College in Molo, Kenya for a South Sudan priest in Nairobi. This will be a two year program of study. Upon completion he will relocate from Nairobi to Twic East. The purpose of the training is to teach and train the Twic East Diocese communities ways and methods of producing vegetable garden produce for use by the individual communities.
There is an ongoing study to investigate the best method to complete the Wanglei girls school. This school completion will be a primary focus for the Nebraska diocese Companion effort to Twic East in the coming year.