Rev. Debbie Braaksma, Africa Area Coordinator, Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) reported from the February 2014 All Africa Council of Churches meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia of dialogue with leaders of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan (PCOSS).
One of the stories she recounted of courageous witness of the PCOSS was as they sheltered 6,000 people of all ethnicities ( Nuer, Dinka, Shilluk, Anuak and Murle) in their church compounds. Moderator Peter Gai positioned himself at the gate of the PCOSS compound strongly refusing entry to the soldiers who wanted to come in looking for certain people saying “there are no enemies here”. The situation he described in Malakal and many other parts of South Sudan is very bleak, they told about the horrific conditions of the tens of thousands who are in refugee camps.
As a ceasefire was declared on January 23, between Sudan and South Sudan. Our sisters and brothers in South Sudan need our prayers as they seek to move into a future of justice and peace. Your prayers are requested for those who mourn the loss of loved ones, for those injured in the conflict, for political and religious leaders, and for all who work for peace and justice.
In addition to prayer, Presbyterians are encouraged to:
- Advocate with the United States government. Information is available through the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness.
- Give. Your gifts to DR-000042-South Sudan will help provide food, emergency supplies, trauma recovery, and peace-building support.
- View the Jan. 24 CNN interview with Shelvis and Nancy Smith-Mather, PC(USA) mission workers in South Sudan.
- Read a reflection from Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, on how the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations works for peace in South Sudan.