“God has preserved our lives”

War had been going on (for 30 years) when I first went to Sudan in 2002. Peace came in 2011, and independence was granted. When I went in 2013, there was a mood of optimism, great hopes there would be Justice, Liberty and Prosperity. It was, sadly, not long before civil war broke out. In 2016 RSS was 2nd on list of the Fragile States Index. I recently received this from Bp Bismark of Mundri:

‘As you are all aware, 2016 was not an easy one but we thank God most sincerely for His grace and mercy. May we all be thankful to God, that he has preserved our lives so that we may continue to glory Him. And as we look forward to the beginning of a brand new year, may we strive even harder to be the light of God that we have been called to be. May we extend love, offer grace, forgive those who seek to cause us harm and may we pray for God’s wisdom so that we accept the things we cannot change and make changes when we have the ability.

To say ‘2016 was not easy’ hardly tells the story. In March their 19 year old son disappeared in Kampala and after 3 weeks of searching, they discovered he had been murdered by a mob and, unidentified, buried in a mass grave. Despite a full search, his body was never found. Devastating.

In July Bismark was in Juba when fighting broke out at the Presidential compound. What happened he described as ‘carnage’ and thousands, including he himself, were classed as internally displaced, unable to move and so families separated. Mundri became a conflict zone, and many fled to the bush, others slept in the Cathedral. The Bishop’s house and office were ransacked. Church members were killed, he described everyone as traumatised. On top of that, inflation had got out of control.

TOM GILLUM