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.
For more information, click here to contact us.
Please see this week's E-Blast for these and other
Message from AFRECS Executive Director, Richard Parkins
A Modest Gesture - Great Results
As the ongoing crisis in South Sudan continues to engage our thoughts and
prayers, the dangerously unsettled situation in the Nuba Mountains continues
with much of the area besieged by Khartoum's relentless bombing.
Nevertheless, in the DIocese of Kadugli where our brother in Christ, Andudu
Adam Elnail, courageously leads his people, the church endures and
grows. Recently, we received an update from the Reverend Yusef Ali, the
Korkel Theological School, informing us of the results of a grant of
$7000 made by AFRECS to the DIocese of Kadugli. The purpose of the grant was
to sustain and expand the training of ministers to serve those remaining in
this dangerous area. The principal's message was a testimony to the
resilience of the church and the faithfulness of its people.
The report was a reminder of the difficulties faced by those who choose to
be God's faithful servants in this desperate part of the world. The grant
from AFRECS meant that all of the teachers received their salaries -
something that does not always happen. The faculty was enlarged to allow
for an increase in student enrollment and for the wives of pastors to be
trained in basic hygiene and pastoral care giving. Students and faculty had
sufficient food to participate in school for the full term, not having
to interrupt their education to return home mid term for food. There are
now funds to allow one of the students to have occasional internet access
at a site requiring a four hour journey. The ability of this school to
operate keeps the presence of Christ alive in a place where His presence is
so sorely needed.
This reflection is not so much to laud the work of AFRECS but rather to
remind us all of the commitment of God's servants at a time and in a place
where God's presence is sorely needed and where modest gifts can restore
hope and sustain faith. It is so easy to be overwhelmed by the horrors of
war and the daunting statistics of suffering that we may feel despair and
hopelessness about how we can be agents of recovery. The account from
Pastor Yousef Ali tells us that there are ways to respond that make a
difference and where our far away friends can embrace us as partners in
mission with thanksgiving.
This AFRECS E-Blast happens to coincide with the third anniversary of
Independence for the new nation of South Sudan, the 193rd member of the
United Nations. Today, July 9th, still marks that occasion, but on a much
more somber note than in the past. The hostilities that have taken place
over more than six months have taken their toll on the lives of the people.
An estimated ten thousand have been killed and an estimated one and a half
million have been displaced, either internally or externally. Whether
they live in the country - perhaps in a UN camp - or in a refugee camp in
a neighboring country, their living conditions are overcrowded and their
lives are interrupted in ways that are difficult for many of us to imagine.
As it now stands, the country is at risk for wide-spread famine.
On this third Independence Day, may we continue to hold the people of South
Sudan in our prayers. May we continue to hold out hope for their future and
take appropriate action where we can.
Follow this link, Enough
Project Email, to see the complete cover letter that is
now posted on the AFRECS website. Written by Akshaya Kumar, it offers, in
part, a new report entitled 'Janjaweed Reincarnate.' A brief excerpt of the
"... (M)y colleague Omer Ismail and I just finished an in-depth
report on Sudan's Rapid Support Forces, who we've dubbed the Janjaweed
Reincarnate. We're committed to raising the profile of their resurgent
campaign against Sudan's civilians. Already, the New York Times' Jeffrey
Gettleman carried an
exclusive preview of our research earlier this week and highlighted our
unique use of satellite imagery and photos from RSF's own Facebook page to
tell the story of this new force's atrocity crimes. Additionally, last week
my colleague John Prendergast joined George Clooney in writing about the
appalling scale of violence in Sudan in an
oped for VICE."
A Bloomberg article posted today details a multi-million dollar sale of
arms to South Sudan by China.
In a joint press release from Juba dated yesterday, UNICEF
and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are stepping up joint
missions to reach desperate people in remote areas of South Sudan where the
number of children at risk of death from malnutrition-related causes has
increased dramatically and a hunger catastrophe is looming.
A comprehensive article about the US foreign policy towards Africa was
printed in the New York Times on June 15th.
Follow this link to read 'Can General Linder's Special Operations Forces
Stop the Next Terrorist Threat'. The author is Eliza Griswold.
Thank you to our readers for your interest, your prayers, and your support.
Ellen J. Hanckel
PRAY FOR PEACE AND DEEP HEALING OF THE CONFLICTS AND RIVALRIES IN SOUTH
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
donations to AFRECS go to ECSS&S entities that can provide direct help
to the people most in need.
Sign up here to
subscribe to our E-Blasts.