AFRECS E-Blast: March 15, 2017

Let It Not Happen
Message from Executive Director, Richard Parkins: 
Dear Friends,
You are no doubt aware that South Sudan is facing a food insecurity crisis that is expected to impact over half the country with millions existing on the brink of starvation.  We are all called to lift up in prayer the desperate circumstances facing our brothers and sisters in South Sudan, asking that their leaders be willing to divest themselves of tribal myopia and the revenge that has seemingly captured their thinking.  We ask that the churches be strengthened in their resolve to make healing and the peace that might follow their primary concern.  We ask that donors worldwide be generous in responding to the devastating humanitarian crisis that now faces South Sudan.  This tragedy is compounded by the realization that as the conflict continues, the humanitarian crisis becomes more severe with diminishing prospects for peace.  Should we not remind the parishes and faith groups of which we are a part that Christ's central message of forgiveness and reconciliation needs to be put forth more forcefully and persistently?
Many of us have ties with this nation that is on the precipice of untold suffering. Let us pray and hope for a reversal of those forces that promote violence, asking that they be replaced by a spirit of peace and reconciliation. Can this not be our Lenten prayer?
Faithfully in Christ,

Related News from The Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) provides a way to advocate by contacting your representative in Congress. Currently, the EPPN website includes 'Support efforts to address famine in South Sudan'. Follow the above link to the Home page, then go to Take Action and you can take steps to give meaningful voice to your concern.  
Related News from The Anglican Communion:
Recent statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, posted on the AFRECS website, reads, in part: "We are acutely aware of the dire situation facing millions of South Sudanese people. Today (Feb 20th), the UN and the government estimate that 100,000 people face starvation, with more than a million on the brink of famine. Millions have been displaced from their homes and communities as a result of the ongoing violence. In the last three weeks alone more than 50,000 people have fled from Kajo-Keji to northern Uganda as fighting intensifies. The UN Refugee Agency says 1.5 million South Sudanese refugees have now fled the country, making it Africa’s largest refugee crisis and the third largest in the world. We stand prayerfully alongside the South Sudanese people and their leaders – particularly those in the Church who are providing emotional, physical and spiritual support. We pray for those on the ground who are delivering humanitarian assistance, that there will be an opening up of humanitarian corridors for the aid that is so desperately needed. ...  Please join me in praying for peace, for security, for relief, and for the Holy Spirit to comfort those who need it most."


Mother Harriet Baka, Mothers’ Union Provincial Coordinator, speaks from her heart about the situation in South Sudan, following her presentation at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.  Host: Five Talents USA- View Invitation for Her Speaking Engagement on Sunday, March 26th in Vienna, VA.
Another opportunity to hear Mother Harriet come from AFRECS board member, Richard J. Jones, who extends this invitation: 

I am eager to hear the eyewitness report from a woman who heads a parish-based organization with proven moral influence -- the Mothers' Union of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan & Sudan. Mother Harriet has labored for a decade to help women feed and nurture their families. More recently she has particpated in Gospel-based peace-teaching workshops where neighborhoods have been attacked, villages burned, and women raped.
Since 2015, the Presbyterian president of the South Sudan Council of Churches, the Rev. Peter Gai,  has challenged the Sudanese diaspora in North America to help mitigate calls for revenge between communities which have been attacking each other and destroying livelihoods back home in South Sudan.
Some friends of the Sudans, seeing the efforts of national and regional governmental peacemakers fail, have begun to wonder whether the last best hope for containing the wildfires of reprisal may come from the hearts of women like Harriet.
Please come hear for yourself: Thursday, March 23, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m., Meade Hall, Virginia Theological Seminary, 3737 Seminary Road, Alexandria VA (Contact Molly O'Brien, Center for Anglican Communion Studies, 703-461-1735). Lunch provided.

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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.