AFRECS E-Blast: January 18, 2017

Message from AFRECS President, Philip Darrow: 
Friends and Supporters of AFRECS:
2017 is going to be a year of many changes affecting the work of AFRECS.  Not only will we see a change in U.S. leadership, which may also bring many changes in how our government views its role in the world and conducts foreign policy in South Sudan, Sudan and elsewhere, but we will also see a change in the leadership of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan, as His Grace Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul steps down after courageously leading the ECSSS through a time of profound change and challenge.
AFRECS itself is experiencing leadership transition, as Bishop David Jones has retired after many years of wise and faithful service as President of the Board of Directors.  As his successor, I want first to thank him for his wonderful, spirit-filled guidance of AFRECS and his many efforts in promoting friendship and mutual support among the faithful in the U.S. and in South Sudan and Sudan.  Bishop Jones has embodied every point of our mission to “pray, teach, partner, urge and give” with, I must say, emphasis on giving of himself in time, talent and treasure. His presence will be sorely missed, though I anticipate taking him up often on his gracious offer of informal consultation.
While there is very much we do not yet know as to what will arise out of the changes coming this year and their impact on South Sudan, Sudan and the ECSSS (especially on prospects for peace at last), we do know that AFRECS will continue, with renewed determination, extending the hand of friendship to the ECSSS. This means many things, from advocating for and supporting peacemaking efforts in South Sudan and Sudan, to preserving and deepening partner and other relationships, to seeking greater understanding of and working through cultural differences, without losing sight of what binds us together in brother and sisterhood.
We have many strong ties of friendship to build upon, but we will need to forge new ones as we welcome a new Archbishop of the ECSSS, and as we see turnover in those charged with maintaining the U.S. government’s relationship with South Sudan and Sudan.  While there is deep concern about the future in many corners, both as to the potential for deeper conflict in South Sudan and Sudan and as to the depth of commitment of the U.S. and other stakeholders to continue to work for peace in the region, all we can do is our best as friends, whether in prayer, information-sharing, relationship-building, advocacy or financial support.
Countering such deep concern is the remarkable spirit, resiliency and perseverance we have seen time and time again from our brothers and sisters in South Sudan and Sudan.  While the world’s newest nation has been burdened by an undue measure of conflict and ominous forces moving throughout the land, there is light emanating from the ECSSS and its faithful, and it is that light to which we are drawn.  Times of crisis and change can display the worst of humanity, but also draw out its best in response, as our friends have so often shown us.  Let us share in their spirit, resiliency and perseverance as we go about our work with them.
Faithfully Yours,
Phil Darrow
American Friends of the Episcopal Church of the Sudans

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Sudan and South Sudan

United States Institute of Peace: USIP
Review this archived event which was live streamed today (1/18/17). Ambassador Donald Booth, Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, speaks as he steps down from this post after completing more than three years of service. He discusses the lessons learned from recent international initiatives to end violent conflict in both countries, and the road ahead for that effort and for the U.S. role.
The New York Times: U.S. Envoy Warns Against Being Too Trusting of Sudan's Armed Opposition.
NYT's report on the above USIP event.
The New York Times: United States to Lift Sudan Sanctions.
The New York Times: In South Sudan, Mass Killings, Rapes and the Limits of U.S. Diplomacy.
The New York Times: U.N. Urges 'Credible Pressure' by Security Council on South Sudan.
The New York Times: South Sudan Claims Mandate Has Expired for More UN Troops.
Dear Friends,
Thank you for your interest, your prayers, and your support.
We invite you to visit our Website:
Ellen J. Hanckel

If you'd like to be doing more to help address the crisis in South Sudan, please consider the following:
*Pray for peace and deep healing of the conflicts and rivalries in South Sudan.
*Join AFRECS or renew your annual membership on line at

* If you have contacts in South Sudan and are able to get news of various parts of the country and the church from them, keep AFRECS in the loop by replying to this email or using our main contact email address:
* Be prepared to advocate for peacemaking with the US (or other) government, especially if attention to conflict resolution wanes.
*Donate to support the Episcopal Church in South Sudan and Sudan’s efforts to provide solace and encourage reconciliation. 
*Urge others to support AFRECS as well.