Clergy Training in Gambella

Every month the clergy of the Gambella region in western Ethiopia come for two to three days of training. We are reading through 1 Corinthians, reading a book on the 39 Articles of Religion, and talking about pastoral issues in the area.

Bishop Grant shares about a recent clergy meeting: “one of the clergy came to me during a break. “Bishop, I have a problem. I need help to understand something”. David Onuk is the priest for the Opo people a small language group two hours into the bush from Gambella town. Although the Ethiopian census number only 1,700, there are probably closer to 5,000 Opo people in the world (it is hard to count people who are so isolated). In the last few years many of them have become (Anglican) Christians.
David’s problem took me by surprise, so I brought the story to the assembled clergy to discuss. A 19-year old nephew, James, who lived with David and his family, had gone off with a group of other young men to hunt for honey in the forest. They found a nest in a tree and James climbed the tree to retrieve the honey. The bees attacked and James fell from the tree impaling himself in the chest as he landed. By the time David reached the scene James was dead.

Then David explained his dilemma. James is the first Opo Christian who has ever died. Some of the people are confused. Are Christians supposed to die? What happens to a Christian when he dies? David explained that the Opo have no view of an afterlife. After relating the details of the story, and after receiving comfort and assurances of prayers from the other pastors, we turned to an attempt to help David to communicate the meaning of this event to his people.

The passage which, in the end, seemed most helpful was 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, but especially the first two verses:
    “We do not want you to be uninformed brothers and sisters, about those who  have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve as those who have no hope. For,  since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so through Jesus, God will  bring with him those who have died.”
Paul, it seems, had encountered a problem in Thessalonica which was similar to the problem that the Opo were having. Didn’t Jesus defeat death? Doesn’t John 3:16 say that those who believe in Jesus “will not perish”? So what does it mean that Christians die? We talked for quite a while about that fact that Jesus himself faced death. We talked about the resurrection of Jesus and how Jesus’ resurrection is the “first fruits” of our future resurrection. We talked about how we do not have to grieve as if facing death means facing total loss and emptiness, but how our grief is intermingled with true hope – because Jesus rose, we have the assurance of being raised with him. James, even now, is truly in Christ.”

For more news from Bishop Grant and Dr Wendy LeMarquand, visit their blog; www.grantandwendy.com

 

Holy Trinity (Algiers) Church Camp

Holy Trinity Church in Algiers helds its annual church camp in August, attended by 46 people, mostly sub-Saharan African students who are pursuing university studies. The theme was from Psalm 90 “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

Rev. Hamdy Daoud shares “It was a very blessed camp. I conducted daily morning bible study on relying on God’s strength, followed by discussion groups. In the evenings, I encouraged two students to preach on the theme, followed by discussion groups on exploring different personalities, advantages and disadvantages and how to deal with every personality in a Christian way. It was a transforming camp. Praise the Lord!”

New Principal for the Alexandria School of Theology

Dean Samy Fawzy Shehata, new Principal of AST

Dean Samy Fawzy Shehata, new Principal of AST

The Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa is proud to announce that The Board of the Alexandria School of Theology (AST) has appointed The Very Rev. Canon Dr. Samy Fawzy Shehata, Dean of St. Mark’s Pro-Cathedral in Alexandria, as the Principal of Alexandria School of Theology.  Dean Samy holds a Diploma in Theology from the University of Wales, and both a Masters of Arts in Mission Studies and Doctorate in Theology from the University of Birmingham, UK.

In June 2013, Alexandria School of Theology held its sixth graduation service at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt.  The Most Rev and Rt Hon Justin Welby, the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, was the commencement speaker.

 

Refuge Egypt 2012 Report

Download the 2012 Annual Report

Click this image to visit the Refuge Egypt websiteRefuge Egypt serves people from Sudan and other African countries, living in Egypt, who have fled their country of origin.

In 2012, approximately 50,000 persons of concern registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Egypt, with thousands more unregistered. In addition to emergency assistance, Refuge Egypt provides programs aimed at encouraging individuals and families towards local integration in Egypt.

Refuge Egypt

During 2012, Refuge Egypt

  • provided 9,920 food packages,
  • helped 379 refugees got a job,
  • taught 149 people English,
  • serviced 17,839 consultations at medical clinics,
  • provided pre-school education for 53 children.

Download the 2012 Annual Report

Visit www.refuge-egypt.org

Deaf Unit launches their own website

The Deaf Unit has just launched their very own website which contains up to date information about their activities and some great new photographs.  Please visit the site and we are sure you will enjoy exploring it and learning more about what goes on there.

Just click the image to visit the new Deaf Unit website

You can also subscribe to receive the latest news from the Deaf Unit by clicking HERE.

Congratulations to Revd Faraj!!  The website project was made possible by a donation from one of the Deaf Unit’s supporting organisations.

Visit www.deafunit.org

Fundraising for the Legacy Project in Tunis

St George’s in Tunis have committed themselves to leave a legacy for the future in Tunisia and North Africa by providing facilities for

  • Theological education for the emerging leaders of the indigenous, Tunisian and North African church
  • Community outreach in the local, poor community
  • Enhancing our ministry of hospitality

The fundraising committee, made up of members of the church, organized a fundraising event in June. It was a wonderful evening attended by more than 250 people, with worship and praise and fellowship and sumptuous feasting yet focused so creatively on the raising of funds to get our Legacy Project truly underway.

The evening started with the Rt Revd Dr  Bill Musk, Rector of St George’s, and Area Bishop of North Africa, revisiting his vision of leaving a legacy in Tunisia and North Africa. The music team of St George’s was out in full force to provide melodious, musical interludes accompanied by much dancing and rejoicing! The youngest people of the church family, the children of Sunday School, gave a brilliant performance of some of the songs learned by them for their Vacation Bible School. We auctioned many gifts from members and friends of St. George’s including books by Bishop Bill, photographic art by Hilary Musk, paintings by artists in the church, plus many unique artifacts and materials.

Our joy and gratitude to God who made it all possible! For more information about the Legacy Project, please contact Bishop Bill Musk by email on rector@stgeorgetunis.com

Gambella Priest receives Theological Degree

Deng Mark is the first priest from the Gambella region to receive a theological degree. He graduated from Mekane Yesus Seminary in Addis Ababa in June after four years of study. He produced a thesis as a part of his work which focused on the problem of nominalism among Nuer Christians in Sudan and Ethiopia – a very timely and helpful study. He returns to Gambella to take up parish work.

 

Bibles for the Horn of Africa

Nuer Bibles

While Nuer is one of the main people groups in our churches in Gambella, there are no Nuer Bibles available in Ethiopia. They are available in South Sudan, but there is as yet no mail service functioning in South Sudan. Most churches have only 5 Bibles per congregation.

While mentioning the lack of Bibles in a church in St Helena’s Beaufort, in our partner Diocese of South Carolina, it became clear that the pastor of the church was very concerned that so many did not have access to God’s written word. On the spot he pledged money, not only to buy Bibles, but also to pay for getting them from Juba in South Sudan to Ethiopia. Then while in the UK, Bishop Grant and his wife Wendy made contact with someone who flies into both Juba and Addis Ababa and who will be able to facilitate picking up the Bibles and delivering them to Ethiopia! Praise God for His provision!

Anuak Bibles

Up until now, the Anuak people have had only the New Testament. Now for the first time, the whole Bible is available! On July 6, Bishop Grant attended the great celebration of the Bible’s unveiling together with thousands of joyful Anuak Christians. Churches in both Pittsburgh and southern California have donated funds so that we can purchase a good number of Anuak Scriptures.

 

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