Members of our Diocesan community recently joined in a global ecumenical prayer vigil, hosted online by the World Council of Churches, which gathered clergy and lay people in solidarity, hope and lament for the people of Sudan who continue to suffer amidst the violent conflict.
The Rev’d Dr Ibrahim Wushishi Yusef, World Council of Churches (WCC) programme executive for peacebuilding in the African region, opened the vigil.
“The Bible always calls us to stand with each other in prayer,” The Rev’d Dr Ibrahim said.
A number of Anglican Church Southern Queensland faith communities are directly impacted by the conflict that broke out in mid-April, leaving thousands dead and injured, churches and mosques bombed and hospitals raided.
In June, Bishop Daniel Abot explained to anglican focus readers that two rival military leaders and their forces are battling for control of the resource-rich nation, leaving Sudanese and South Sudanese members of our Diocesan community grieving the loss of family members.
Priest-in-Charge of The Parish of Yeronga, The Rev’d Rebecca King who was born in Sudan, joined in the vigil on Friday night to pray for the people of Sudan and her large Sudanese congregation.
“‘A few days ago when my 16-year-old niece was praying at home in the morning in Juba, she was killed by a stray bullet,” The Rev’d Rebecca said.
“The service meant a lot to me and my entire congregation, especially those from Khartoum.
“It helped us connect with others online.
“I spoke to one of my parishioners after the vigil and while sharing about Archbishop Kondo’s message, she found out that her priest uncle was shot dead by a random bullet.
“It’s very personal because we don’t know if our family will die.
“Joining in prayer with people around the world made me feel like I wasn’t alone.
“I cried during the online service — I held my self.
“I felt comforted by the wise selection of prayer wording.”
In June, Sudanese Christians from different denominations in South East Queensland gathered in person to pray in the north-side suburb of Ashgrove.
The Rev’d Rebecca said that a collection was taken, with $2,500 raised to aid people in Sudan who have been left homeless in the wake of the wide-scale bombing.
“I encourage other people in our Diocese to remember us in their Sunday service intercessions or to conduct a prayer vigil — in their own parish, with other parishes or as an ecumenical collaboration,” she said.
“I have been given the order of service and Archbishop Kondo’s recording from Friday night’s WCC service and can share these as resources.
“I also encourage prayer vigil organisers to take up a collection if possible to help care for those in hiding and left homeless.”
Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo, Bishop of Khartoum and Archbishop of Sudan, pre-recorded a message because he is facing communication challenges in Sudan.
“We know that we are not forgotten and that we are not alone,” Archbishop Kondo said.
“If war continues much longer, there will be no Sudan left.”
“They are on fire. They are killed. They have been displaced.”
God will make a way, the Archbishop said.
“This is what I believe. But what can be done to stop this war? I would like to say war must stop now and not tomorrow.”
Catholic priest and general secretary of the South Sudan Council of Churches, The Rev’d Dr James Oyet Latansio, urged all those of faith to pray for the people of Sudan.
“The body of Christ is being maimed and Christ is bleeding in the people of Sudan,” Fr James said.
“They are bombing everywhere. Whether there are civilians or not, they bomb.
“You have been keeping people alive in Sudan through your prayers — thank you.”
“Thank you for whatever you do to sustain and heal our brothers and sisters in Sudan.
“We never expected this war to be there, but it has become reality. Please pray — they will feel that prayer.”
Note from The Rev’d Rebecca King: “I would like people to contact Michelle McDonald from anglican focus (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they wish to obtain a copy of the WCC vigil order of service and Archbishop Kondo’s recording. I would like people to contact the treasurer for The Parish of Yeronga, James Stephen (email@example.com), if they wish to take up a collection to help care for those left homeless.”Jump to next article