Where Are We Today?
No one would deny that the situation in South Sudan today is extremely complex. Despite the fact that the south was able to establish its own country, conflict erupted in December 2013 amid a power struggle between the president and his deputy. This escalated into fighting along tribal lines between government and rebel factions. In early 2014, the U.S. Embassy in Juba was forced to evacuate U.S. citizens as violence grew. By mid-2014, over 1.4 million South Sudanese were internally displaced by the conflict, which remains unresolved.
Likewise, the relationship of St. Francis Great Falls remains complex with our brothers and sisters in South Sudan.
Currently, we support two areas and projects:
1. We continue to support the St. Francis Basic School in Juba. We correspond with Simon Bonis, who is an officer of the school, and we continue to send money that was raised through church galas and other fundraisers. The money goes directly to the school's account.
2. We continue to carry out our covenant with the Diocese of Ezo. Thanks to the mission trip of 2013, we now have a relationship with Bishop John, and we are sending them funds, also from church galas and other fundraisers. We are asking that those funds be used primarily for educational purposes, although they have many needs.
We are committed to carrying out the promises we made in the covenant signed in 1998 with the Diocese of Ezo. We would like to continue to build our relationships with the people of South Sudan. We would like to plan more mission trips and, perhaps, be able to sponsor a trip for either officials of the St. Francis Basic School in Juba and/or for Bishop John and Mama Nancy of Ezo to visit us at St. Francis.
Would you like to be involved? Everyone is welcome to the St. Francis Outreach meetings, held in the conference room on the third Sunday of every month, after the last service.
· Read about Bishop John and the Diocese of Ezo at http://ezo.anglican.org.
· Learn more about the involvement of American churches with Sudan through the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan at www.afrecs.org.
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