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.
Become a member or make a donation to support the ECSSS online today!
Message from Executive Director, Richard Parkins
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)
a recent trip to Juba,
which included a visit to a nearby
camp where thousands of displaced
had been living marginally for the
past two and a half years, we
sense of acute abandonment
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.
the Good News: If you
are following the Olympics you have
heard that 5 members of the “Refugee
come from the Kakuma Refugee Camp in
Kenya. Kakuma was opened in 1991
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.
Stay tuned and keep praying.
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To save South Sudan, put it on life support -a recent article by Princeton Lyman and Kate Almquist Knopf.
Communique' released after IGAD Plus Summit held on August 5th in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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
PRAY. TEACH. PARTNER. URGE. GIVE. LEARN.
you'd like to be doing more to help address
the crisis in South Sudan, please
consider the following:
peace and deep healing of the conflicts
and rivalries in South Sudan.
*Join AFRECS or renew your annual membership online.
Be prepared to advocate for
peacemaking with the US (or other)
government, especially if attention to
conflict resolution wanes.
support the Episcopal Church in South Sudan
and Sudan’s efforts to provide solace and
*Urge others to support AFRECS as well.