AFRECS: American Friends of the Episcopal Church of

PO Box 12026
3737 Seminary Road Alexandria, VA 22304

Click here to
send us an email.


Pray for

PRAY — For your ministry and ours, for the Sudans and the World.

                              others about Sudan.

TEACH — others about South Sudan and Sudan, their importance and challenges.

                              with others to aid Sudan.

PARTNER — Work with others in your parish, online, and in South Sudan and Sudan.

                              others to help Sudan.

URGE — how to advocate for a U.S. policy supporting peace and stability in the Sudans

Give what
                              you've been given.

GIVE — What you can in terms of time, talent, and treasure.

                              about Sudan.

LEARN — Learn about South Sudan and Sudan and the role of the Episcopal Church.

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 (ECSSS) and enable American friends to assist the ECSSS in meeting the needs of the Sudanese people.

AFRECS works to advance peace and stability in 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.

For more information, click here to contact us.

Become a member or make a donation to support the ECSSS online today!




Read our latest E-Blast for details on these and many other items.


Message from  Executive Director, Richard Parkins


Dear Friends,


On a call with friends and partners who comprise the Anglican Alliance, a refrain that emerged repeatedly from our partners in South Sudan was the fear and confusion that is so prevalent, especially since the outbreak of violence that occurred in Juba on July 8th.  At the time of that call, a semblance of calm had returned to Juba; but it seemed that there was little confidence that this calm would last or that folks could resume a more peaceful, normal way of life any time soon.  In borrowing from a phrase from a statement from the South Sudan Council of Churches, "Trust has been broken again and again. When will our people be free to laugh and trust?"


As we know, fear is an emotion that tends to overwhelm us and often inhibits more positive thinking. It robs a person of the ability to be hopeful about one's future. Fear and the uncertainty that often comes with it make it difficult for victims of frequent violence and suffering to believe that a better life awaits them. Understandably, safety and survival become dominant concerns that frustrate those who try to introduce peace and reconciliation as responses to the unmitigated violence that surrounds so many in South Sudan. 


Recognizing this reality, individual churches and the Church, collectively through the work and messages of the South Sudan Council of Churches, continue to encourage hopefulness by lifting up the message of Jesus as found in John's gospel - Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me. (based on John 14:1).  And to underscore their understanding of the depth of despair and hopelessness that afflicts so much of South Sudanese society, the words of the Psalmist are offered as a reminder of the constancy of God's presence - Though an army encamp against me, my heart would not fear. Though war break out against me, even then would I trust." (Psalm 27:3-4) 


On a recent trip to Juba, which included a visit to a nearby camp where thousands of displaced persons had been living marginally for the past two and a half years, we experienced a sense of acute abandonment
through countless messages. Among the people, there was awareness of a peace agreement but several noted that nothing was happening to alleviate their current suffering or to give them a sense that there was a future before them that was not one of more pain.


What we also experienced was the commitment of Church leaders, pastors, priests, and faithful Christians - such as members of the Mothers' Union - to make peace a reality for their people.  As the violence continues, their task will become more formidable because of the fear that is unleashed when violence or the prospect of violence becomes the norm.  Therefore, let us pray that the messages of Scripture which speak to God's abiding presence in the lives of the faithful will take hold.  In turn, may they be emboldened as peacemakers. 




A Recent Message from AFRECS Board Member, Ray Gaebler


Dear Friends,


First the Good News: If you are following the Olympics you have heard that 5 members of the “Refugee Team” come from the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.  Kakuma was opened in 1991 to provide a safe harbor for civilians fleeing the second civil war in Southern Sudan.  Approximately 20,000 boys and girls were sheltered there in the 1990s, many under the age of ten who walked up to 1000 miles seeking safety.  The camp population had grown to about 185,000 by June of last year.  Approximately 3800 young men were welcomed into the United States in 2001 and were known as the “Lost Boys of Sudan.”  The good news is that the International Olympic committee and an organization called “Film Aid” were able to set up large screens in Kakuma were the residents are watching their friends compete. Read all about it here.

The Bad News: Tension in Juba continues to mount.  Recently, the UN voted to increase the number of peacekeepers in South Sudan and the South Sudan government has said they will not be allowed to come, citing this as an infringement of their sovereignty.  Further, the government has declared that South Sudanese advocating for the increase are traitors encouraging the overthrow of the sovereign government.  Five passports have been revoked and more are threatened.  Riek Machar has left Juba and said he will not return until an independent force can guarantee his safety.  


Stay tuned and keep praying.


Ray Gaebler




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Recent News from South Sudan

Episcopal Relief & Development Supports SUDRA's Response to Unrest in South Sudan


Financial Times

To save South Sudan, put it on life support -a recent article by Princeton Lyman and Kate Almquist Knopf.


Intergovernmental Authority on Development - IGAD Plus Communique' on the Situation in South Sudan

Communique' released after IGAD Plus Summit held on August 5th in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations at a UN Security Council Briefing on Peacebuilding in Africa, given on July 28th.


The New York Times: US Lawmakers Urge Obama on UN Arms Embargo for South Sudan. (Aug. 11th)


The New York Times: U.N. Bolsters Peacekeeping in South Sudan Despite Government's Objections. (Aug.12th)


The New York Times: Rampaging South Sudanese Troops Raped Foreigners, Killed Local. (Aug. 15th)



Thank you to our readers for your interest, your prayers, and your support.

We invite you to visit our website.

Ellen J. Hanckel




If you'd like to be doing more to help address the crisis in South Sudan, please consider the following:

*Pray for peace and deep healing of the conflicts and rivalries in South Sudan.

*Join AFRECS or renew your annual membership online.

* 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.

* Be prepared to advocate for peacemaking with the US (or other) government, especially if attention to conflict resolution wanes.

*Donate to support the Episcopal Church in South Sudan and Sudan’s efforts to provide solace and encourage reconciliation. 

*Urge others to support AFRECS as well. 

Read our latest E-Blast for details on these and many other items.