Week of prayer for Gambella

Posted by Roger Cooke on Mon, 25 Apr 2016 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Following the recent violence and unrest in the Gambella region of Ethiopia, our partners there have issued an urgent call for a week of prayer.

The past few months have seen an escalation in violence between different communities living in the province of Gambella. On 16th April, more than 20 Nuer villages were targeted in coordinated attacks, which saw over 200 people killed and around 100 children abducted.

With the help of a number of Church of Ireland parishes, CMSI currently supports theological education and training at St Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College in Gambella. Earlier this month, CMSI Partnership Coordinator Linda Abwa visited the college to provide some training on pastoral care for those who are living with HIV/AIDS.

Over the past weekend, we received the following update from the Dean of St Frumentius’ College, Rev Dr Johann van der Bijil, who asks us to pray.

Last night, a ‘highlander’ was bringing water to refugees in a nearby camp called Jewi when he accidentally hit and killed two Nuer. The driver and some innocent bystanders were immediately beaten to death and more were murdered later that night brining the total up to nine.

This is not the only recent incident preceding and following the Jikwo, Lare, and Nininyang massacre. The hatred has to stop somewhere and we are asking the Lord to do what appears to be impossible for humans in spite of their best attempts.

Also, we had planned to bring in a Professor from Addis to teach all our students, both full-time and part-time, on the subject of Early African Church History. This is scheduled for 2nd-6th May. Our faculty believe that we must take a step of faith and proceed with this course even though at present fear still keeps our students apart.

We believe that this fear is not from God as He clearly says He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, and of power, and of a sound mind and we believe we must take a public stand in faith. While we will not force anyone to attend, we are encouraging our Nuer brethren to allow us to bus them to and from the Anglican Centre.

And so we need your prayers for that week also. Satan is seeking to bring this College to its knees…and so to our knees we will go! Remember, St Frumentius is the only seminary in the area. It is no wonder that the forces of darkness rally against us in such a violent manner!"

The Rev Dr Johann W H van der Bijl; Dean, St Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College, Gambella

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