Lainya Emergency and news from Sudan

Img_4014 Posted by David Gough on Sun, 17 Jan 2010 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Greetings from Yei Southern Sudan…I departed on Tuesday 12th January for a 3 week visit to 5 Dioceses in Sudan. On the day I arrived in Yei I addressed the opening of Yei Diocesan Synod speakinmg from Joshua 1:1-9 Get Ready… I have also visited Lainya Diocese on Friday and met the Bishop Alapayo of Rumbek. I also will be visiting Rokon, KajoKeji and Maridi Dioceses. On the 19th a team from Connor Diocese, including Archdeacon Stephen Forde, will arrive to visit Yei Diocese for one week while I fly to Maridi for 7 days with a team from Movilla Abbey and Dromore Cathedral including Dean Stephen Lowry. I return home on 3rd February and Bishop Kamani of Ibba Diocese, Sudan arrives in Belfast on 4th February – so it’s a hectic few weeks.

The day after speaking at Yei Synod, we left to visit Lainya Diocese for SRF, BSF and Irish Aid meetings.

I also met the Chief, Archdeacon Samuel and about 50 of the displaced men, women and children for an update on the Emergency situation. They were really appreciative of the help that CMS Ireland and the Church in Ireland had already provided with mosquito nets, health care and opening the borehole to provide clean water. It was particularly difficult when I was asked to speak to some of the displaced people gathered. They have now moved out of the Cathedral and most are staying with their relations in Lainya although 163 families (1,000 people) are still homeless.

It transpired their homes had been attacked by some rebel group (not the LRA) trying to destabilise the area prior to the elections. They fled for their lives with whatever they could carry and do not feel safe to return until the Government secures their homeland and deals with the rebel break away group. When I asked the people what their 3 priorities/needs were the chief didn’t hesitate and said food, building materials to rebuild their home and water…it brings home the irrelevance of many of our minor problems. I also then asked the women their priorities and they agreed with the chief but also said that women were the most vulnerable and therefore needed additional assistance for their children.

The Bishop’s Commissary, Joseph Alex Lemi, also reported about the recent positive developments in the Lainya Emergency Relief effort. They had formed a Relief Committee and worked hard to raise 70 bags of sorghum locally with no sauce (vegetables) with the help of the Church and people from Juba. The Sudanese Red Crescent provided non-food items and distributed to each household:- two saucepans, five plates, five cups, one bucket for water, two blankets and one polythene sheet for roofing their shelter.

They also recently discovered some additional families are displaced 10 miles north west of Lainya. The Diocesan Relief Committee will meet and taking the 3 priorities expressed by the people, will decide how best to spend the money we’ve raised. It is very likely they will decide to provide the people with food, their number one priority.

It was quite hard to keep my emotions intact when I was invited to pray for them at the end of our meeting. I assured the people that people in Ireland would continue to pray for them and especially for the right circumstance for their safe return home. They expressed that they appreciated the prayers of their brothers and sisters in Ireland. Thank you for all those who have responded to my earlier appeals for help, it will be well used.

Please pray for the Connor team arriving on 19th for a visit to Yei and also as I depart Yei to lead the team visiting Maridi, pray especially for our safe travel and security during our visits.

Comments

Mark Gill said Mon, 18 Jan 2010 08:05PM
Hiya David, with you in prayer as you tour around and fight with the emotions and actions of injustice and oppression. The Spirit of the Lord is upon you, to preach and demonstrate good news to the poor...