Companion Diocese Twic East South Sudan Update
Global Mission Update
Companion Diocese Twic East South Sudan
The present situation in Twic East Diocese South Sudan continues to be tenuous at best. The civil conflict between the two primary tribes, Dinka & Nuer is ongoing and very troublesome. The region of South Sudan where Twic East Diocese is located has been “ground zero” for much of the fighting between the two tribes. Hundreds of lives have been lost in the conflict, both civilian and military. The black army government soldiers and the white army rebel soldiers have been at war since last December 15.
While peace talks have been ongoing the past two months in Addis Abba, Ethopia, skirmishes continue to break out in the tribal regions, mainly in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity States. What began as a political conflict, quickly turned into disaccord and fighting between the two major tribes.
Travel and communication within South Sudan is presently difficult to nonexistent for the faith community, nongovernmental organizations and other humanitarian organizations. The clergy from Twic East have scattered to safe havens in other areas of South Sudan and into refugee camps in Kenya and Uganda. This movement of I.D.P.’s has placed a heavy burden on the World Food Programme (WFP) and UN to avoid extreme hunger in the camps.
Our position here at the Diocese of Nebraska at the present time is to continue to monitor the situation in South Sudan. We have recently sent funds to Bishop Ezekiel in Nairobi, Kenya for the purchase of Dinka prayer books and bibles. He will distribute about 600 books to the displaced clergy, who are in need. We also received an additional grant from VTS Missionary Society for prayer books.
We continue to focus here in Nebraska on the continuation of fund raising for the needs of the South Sudanese, both here locally and in Africa. Our attention is moving presently toward the local South Sudanese communities and how we can better assist them in their assimilation into various communities across our state.
The Sudanese worship service at All Saints is continuing and growing. We are looking into such assistance as sewing classes, English classes, transportation issues, Christian education and housing issues. We are also discussing ways to assist the South Sudanese in reuniting families who are separated due to the slow time consuming process of obtaining U.S. citizenship and visas for residence in the U.S.A. Many families are separated with one spouse here in the U.S. and the other spouse and family in Africa. This creates many problems and strains on the families.
The past few months have been a time of prayerful reflection for all of us as we observe and monitor the emergence and growing pains of a new nation in East Africa. Please keep the people of South Sudan in your thoughts and prayers as we discern the path of mission for the Diocese of Nebraska relative to our position and focus with our Companion Diocese of Twic East South Sudan.
– Jim Yeates