The Church of the Brethren continues mission efforts in South Sudan. This work is aimed at building up the church presence there, responding to human need, and working for peace and reconciliation through the Brethren Peace Center in Torit
There are many parallels with the start of the Brethren in Europe and the Brethren in South Sudan. The beginning of the Church of the Brethren grew out of a period when there were many wars in Europe. The emphasis on peace grew out of a heartfelt desire for peace on the part of the Schwarzenau eight. As Africa’s newest country, South Sudan has grown out of a period of over 60 years of conflict and war. The South Sudanese want peace and the teachings and service of the Church of the Brethren resonates well with their hope for the future.
The demographics of South Sudan means that there are many youth and children in each community. The first Church of the Brethren congregation in the village of Pacidi is in the home village of Athanasus Ungang, the Church of the Brethren country director for South Sudan. The hope is that many more congregations can be planted.
- EDF grants continue Nigeria Crisis Response, send aid to South Sudan
Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to continue the Nigeria Crisis Response through 2023 and to support a response to flooding and conflict in South Sudan.
- Emergency Disaster Fund grants fund relief work in Africa and Puerto Rico
Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support relief efforts by the denomination’s Puerto Rico District following Hurricane Fiona, and in the African nations of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda. To financially support the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries, and to give to these and other EDF grants, go to www.brethren.org/edf.
- Global Mission staff released from custody in South Sudan
Athanasus Ungang, Church of the Brethren Global Mission staff in South Sudan, was released from prison this week after a detention lasting more than three weeks. He and other church leaders and colleagues had been held for questioning following the murder of a church leader in May, although he was not a suspect in the case and the authorities did not press formal charges.
- Church of the Brethren staff plan expansion of agriculture and trauma recovery programing in South Sudan
A plan to expand Church of the Brethren agriculture and trauma recovery programing in South Sudan is receiving support from Brethren Disaster Ministries and the Global Food Initiative. A joint allocation directs $29,500 to the work in South Sudan, including $24,500 from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) and $5,000 from the Global Food Initiative (GFI).
- Disaster grants go to continuing hurricane response and COVID-19 response
In recent weeks the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) has disbursed several grants, directed by the Brethren Disaster Ministries staff. The largest are helping to continue hurricane recovery work in Puerto Rico ($150,000), the Carolinas ($40,500), and the Bahamas ($25,000). Grants for COVID-19 response are going to Honduras (two grants for $20,000
- Situation in S. Sudan Deteriorates, Brethren Donate Vehicle to Relief Effort
As the situation in South Sudan deteriorates, with recent eruption of renewed armed conflict and United Nations reports that 4.8 million people face food shortages, the Church of the Brethren has donated a vehicle to aid staff in food distribution and other relief work.
- Disaster Grants Support WV Bridge Project, Displaced People in Africa, DRSI Project, Sudan Mission, Deportees
Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund to a variety of projects in recent weeks. Among them are a bridge rebuilding project in West Virginia, assistance for refugees from Burundi living in Rwanda, assistance for people displaced by violence in the DR Congo, a Disaster Recovery Support Initiative aiding a longterm recovery group in South Carolina, food assistance in South Sudan, and aid for Haitian migrants returning to Haiti from the Dominican Republic. These grants total $85,950.
- South Sudan Church Leaders Request Prayer for Peace This Saturday
South Sudan church leaders have requested Christians around the world to join them in a time of prayer for peace in their nation on this Saturday, Feb. 6, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The request is being shared with the Church of the Brethren by members of a delegation that recently visited South Sudan and met with church leaders there.
- Work/Learning Group Makes Trip to South Sudan
South Sudan has experienced nearly continuous war since 1955. Although a peace accord was signed between North Sudan and South Sudan in 2005, the people of South Sudan have continued to suffer under ineffective South Sudanese government, lingering military engagement with North Sudan, and tribal conflicts.
- Reflections on Returning to South Sudan
“Malέ?” the Nuer greeting of “peace” filled the air as I reconnected with Nuer people of the Mayom/Bentiu area of South Sudan after 34 years. What a joyous occasion to again see these friends and to be able to introduce them to Jay Wittmeyer on our recent trip to South Sudan. This meeting confirmed the importance of the presence of the Church of the Brethren personnel from the 1980s to the present as we worked on issues of development and peace.