Preparing for the Referendum & A Prayer Request

Img_4014 Posted by David Gough on Wed, 29 Dec 2010 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

On their return from a CMS Ireland META to Yei Diocese in Sudan in July Archdeacon Stephen Forde and Canon Cecil Wilson shared with me their concerns over the future of Sudan following the January Referendum. Many locals they spoke to at the time in Yei feared that the North would block succession and that another war would be the outcome.

This conversation resulted in the 3 of us forming what we call the Sudan Partnership Group, the primary focus of the group is to lobby on behalf of the Episcopal Church of Sudan. David Maganda, a Ugandan who is also a Sudanese citizen and represents the Sudanese community in Ireland and Karen Bushy, Connor Diocese’s Communication Officer then joined our small group.

Once we had received the blessing of Archbishop Daniel Deng of the Episcopal Church of Sudan we set about trying to sign up the support of the Church of Ireland. To date we have managed to recruit the support of Archbishop Alan Harper, the Bishop Alan Abernathy, Bishop Harold Miller and Bishop Michael Jackson, We have circulated a number of Press Releases resulting in articles in the Church of Ireland Gazette and coverage on many Diocesan websites as well as CMS Ireland’s website.

The group has also had a 2-hour meeting with 3 top Civil Servants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dublin. We met with Kevin Dowling, Director of the Irish Government’s Africa Section on December 9, exactly a month to the day before a Referendum in Sudan. The group also has an appointment with the First Minister, Peter Robinson, but unfortunately it will be after the vote.

Please pray for us as we continue to represent CMS Ireland’s 7 Global partners giving them a voice here as they prepare for what could be the birth of the new country Southern Sudan or could as easily escalate into conflict especially around Abyei on the fault line of the north and south.

CMS Ireland will be hosting a special prayer event at its Belfast Office on Friday 7th January 2011 from 11.30am to focus on this crucial moment in Sudan’s history. You are invited to join with our 7 partner Dioceses in Sudan to pray for a peaceful and fair Referendum in Southern Sudan on 9th January.

My good friend Rev Atovura Martin has just emailed me with some disturbing news just weeks before the critical Referendum.

Martin takes up the story, “The Lord’s Resistance Army attacked part of our Deanery church area at Nzumara in the morning of 22nd December. Two men were killed, two wounded and they abducted a pregnant woman and a baby. Nothing is yet heard about them.“

During this time of peace and goodwill to all men please pray for Bishop Justin and our partners and many friends in Maridi Diocese at this time and especially for the safe return of the mother and baby.

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