Maridi Team Blog: A tee-shirt from Albany

Picture_9 Posted by Maridi 2012 on Sat, 03 Nov 2012 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

On the final day of his first visit to Maridi Diocese, South Sudan, Bishop Bill Love of Albany Diocese shared his thoughts about the memorable experience…

As we near the end of our time in the Diocese of Maridi, South Sudan, I give thanks to God for Bishop Justin and all the people of his diocese. I have been deeply moved and humbled by the very joyful and loving welcome that we have received everywhere that we have gone. The children, members of the Mothers Union, Clergy and untold numbers of others have come out to greet and welcome us to their churches, schools, the medical clinic, and their wider communities.

A warm Maridi welcome

One morning as we went out to visit one of the poorest rural areas in the Diocese of Maridi (which is saying a lot), I was reminded of how small the world really is and how mighty and creative our Lord can be – in ways beyond our wildest imaginations. This particular community has no school building. The children meet for school under two large Mango trees where they sit on rocks and logs with an old piece of wood painted black leaning against the tree for their blackboard.

As we arrived, the kids came running over to meet us. Unlike many of the Diocesan schools where the students wear uniforms, these children wore what little they had. As I was visiting with the kids, one young lady walked up wearing a tee-shirt with advertising for Howe Cavern written on it. For those who may not know, Howe Cavern is located near Cooperstown, NY, in the Diocese of Albany. The chances of this young lady receiving this tee-shirt from the other side of the world and wearing it on the day that we visited unannounced from the Dioceses of Albany and Down and Dromore could only have been arranged by God.

This is only one of so many experiences that have truly touched me during our time in Maridi. The faith of the people in Maridi (in the midst of such poverty, suffering and loss) is both humbling and inspiring. While I pray that our presence has been an encouragement to Bishop Justin and the people of Maridi, I don’t know that it can compare to the blessing that they have been to me and our whole team.

Bishop Bill and Bishop Justin

I look forward to continue to build upon the special relationship between the Dioceses of Albany, Maridi, and Down and Dromore. Just as it wasn’t by accident that the Lord arranged for that young lady to receive and wear her Howe Cavern Tee-Shirt today, neither is by accident that our three dioceses have been united together in what has come to be described as a “three-fold cord that is not easily broken.” May the Lord Jesus Christ be honored and glorified in this special relationship between our dioceses, and may His Church and people be blessed.

On Tuesday morning Bishop Justin, Bishop Harold and I (along with our Diocesan teams) came together for one last time (during this visit) as we dedicated a new Haddow Primary school extension that has just been completed.

Bishop Bill opening the Haddow PS extension

Following the service, the Albany and Down and Dromore Teams began their long journey back home. Hurricane Sandy is presenting some problems for the Albany Team, but by God’s grace I pray that we all return home safely. Thank you all for your prayers and support.


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