Rev Samuel Marial with books
Rev Samuel Marial, the principal of Bishop Gwynne College, with books recently received from the UK

Continuing in the Spirit of Acts 5

This week, we bring you some news from our ‘Church Strengthening‘ work. These are projects that AID partners with which focus on building the capacity of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS) to preach the gospel faithfully and grow God’s kingdom in the country. This is all the more challenging during the coronavirus pandemic with the closure of churches – many people who have never learnt to read are unable to access the Bible without weekly Sunday services. But just like in Acts 5, our brothers in the ECSS are determined to keep preaching from the Word in the face of hardship:

‘And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.’

Acts 5:42

Philip and Seme at George Whitefield College

Seme enjoying one of his lectures

In partnership with Core Training and Development, AID currently sponsors two South Sudanese theology students, Philip and Seme, as they work towards their BTh degrees at George Whitefield College in Cape Town. Lectures are currently delivered remotely due to the social distancing measures in effect across South Africa and staff and faculty are working from home.

Although AID has been unable to talk to Philip and Seme, we imagine that the lockdown measures may be particularly difficult for them as they may feel a further layer of isolation living in a foreign country away from their families at this time. While South Africa has close to 3,500 confirmed cases, South Sudan has just 4, although the real number will be much greater due to the lack of testing. Please pray that, despite uncertainty, God would give Philip and Seme peace through His Word and clear hope in Christ.

Bishop Gwynne College Temporarily Closed

The theology training centre in Juba, Bishop Gwynne College, has sent students home with a view to them returning at the end of April. However, this may be extended. The government has called a curfew in the country from 8pm – 6am daily and officials are attempting to implement social distancing as much as possible throughout the nation, although this is much more difficult in low-income countries like South Sudan where people cannot work from home.

Please continue to pray for all those involved with our projects in East Africa. Next week, we will have an update from Drs Anil and Shalini Cherian at the Jonglei Health Sciences Institute as they mobilise their students to prepare communities for the spread of Covid-19 while participating in a national response.

‘…For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10-11