The American Friends of the Episcopal Church of the Sudans, founded in 2005, is a network of individuals, churches, dioceses, and other organizations that seeks to focus attention on the needs and priorities of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan (ECSS&S) and enable American friends to assist the ECSS&S in meeting the needs of the Sudanese people.
AFRECS works to advance peace and stability in South Sudan and Sudan, seeking to amplify the voices of Sudanese Christians and, through prayer, to catch the movement of the Holy Spirit in the churches in both of our countries.
AFRECS works to enhance communication and synergy among Episcopal dioceses, parishes, and other organizations working in relationship with dioceses in South Sudan and Sudan or seeking to do so. AFRECS also promotes and facilitates the development of new relationships between U.S. and Sudanese partners.
AFRECS advocates for public and private assistance to South Sudan and Sudan.
Become a member or make a donation to support the ECSS&S online today!
Please see this week's E-Blast for these and other
AN ILLUSIVE PEACE: A Message
from AFRECS Executive Director, Richard Parkins
From another perspective, Hon. Wol Deng Atak, a former national legislator questioned the neutrality of the West in the current crisis. The East African news outlet, Gurtong, posted an article from Juba on 22 February, entitled 'A senior South Sudanese Politician has accused western countries of working for "Juba regime downfall."' In it, he said the West had "failed to pressurize the rebels to work for peace in South Sudan and cooperate with the government for development."
Wol asked, "Is the (W)est truly concerned of the suffering of poor people in South Sudan? If they were concerned, their governments would be talking of justice like they call for it in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Angola, and Sierra Leone among others." The senior member of SPLM (South Sudan's ruling party) now turned a political analyst said, "Thousands have died in South Sudan's violence and all (the West) could say is release, release and release detainees without regard to justice." See full article here.
Yet another perspective comes from this first-hand account of the situation in South Sudan. Nancy McGaughey, a missionary with the Presbyterian Church USA, is currently there on the ground and writes a compelling story in words and pictures for her February Mission Newsletter. It reads in part:
"Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have sought refuge in the United Nations compounds in Juba, each with over 20,000 people cramped into small places. I visited one of those earlier this month to help with a training for traditional birth attendants. After the training, I talked with some of the people living there. I asked one of them how long he thought it would take before he could return to his home in Juba. He looked at me with sadness in his eyes and said, "I fear this is my home now. If we try to return to our homes, we will be killed. I must plan on living here."
In closing, Nancy makes the following request:
"Please remember the South Sudanese in your prayers. As leaders of the country compete for power, the people struggle to survive. Pray for: an end to hostilities; for justice, forgiveness, reconciliation amongst the tribes; for unity of spirit; for strong leaders, leaders with integrity and compassion; for people to be able to return home and start rebuilding their lives. If ever there was a time for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on this nation," now is that time.
See the full newsletter here as posted on the Links page of the AFRECS website. It is the first article in the first section entitled 'Information on the Current Crisis & Humanitarian Response' with a brief bio about the author, supplied by AFRECS Office Manager, Susan Jones.
As always, Susan's thoughtful and technical contributions to this E-Blast effort are much appreciated.
Ellen J. Hanckel
PRAY FOR PEACE AND DEEP HEALING OF THE CONFLICTS AND RIVALRIES IN SOUTH SUDAN.
PARTNER, URGE, GIVE
If you'd like to be doing more to help address the crisis in South Sudan, please consider the following:
* If you have contacts in South Sudan and are able to get news of various parts of the country and the church from them, keep AFRECS in the loop by replying to this email or using our main contact email address: email@example.com.
* Pay attention to the evolving events and be prepared to advocate for peacemaking with the US (or other) government, especially if attention to conflict resolution wanes.
* Give to provide relief for internally displaced persons and others whose resources are compromised by the fighting and instability. One hundred percent of donations to AFRECS go to ECSS&S entities that can provide direct help to the people most in need.