Leadership Training and Community Services for Sudanese in East Cairo

A large number of Sudanese refugees live in Egypt, especially those who have come from North Sudan and the Nuba Mountains due to the difficult situation in these regions. The Sudanese Christians among the refugees have added their own new flavour to the life of the Anglican Church in Egypt. The Sudanese congregation at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Heliopolis started 12 years ago; we now have a Sudanese congregation with 669 members.

One of the church members shares “Despite so many challenges for Sudanese refugees in Cairo-Egypt, St. Michael’s
church is experiencing tremendous growth numerically and spiritually, which in return resulted into a very remarkable work.” In January 2014, it was a joy to receive the visit of Bishop Ezekiel Kondo of the Diocese of Khartoum (pictured below).

Bishop Ezekiel

Nuba Mountains Bible Institute

Many of these Sudanese refugees want to use their time in Egypt for learning. They need to be equipped to play roles of pastoral and ministerial leadership in our and other churches. This is why in February 2013 we began the Nuba Mountains Bible Institute Cairo (NBIC). We train those leaders and other members of the Sudanese community in Egypt for the benefit of their own church here, both for their time now in the Egypt and hopefully later for their future in Sudan or elsewhere.

Nuba Mountains Bible Institute (2)

We started the classes of NBIC in January 2013, after we interviewed 60 students and after we chose 35 of them to begin with. We began well prepared, with a curriculum of three years and teachers lined up. 2013 was not an easy year for Egypt with political disturbances, violence and street demonstrations. We thank God that we have been able to continue our work in the midst of all this and we admire our students’ perseverance and courage. They often had to travel to us in situations where the streets were unsafe at least, and sometimes more like a war zone. For more information, download the full report:

2013 Report for Nuba Mountains Bible Institute

St Gabriel Centre

The St. Gabriel Center is a ministry of St Michael’s which runs social and spiritual activities among Sudanese refugees in Cairo in the area of Kilo 4.5. This area east of Cairo was mostly illegally constructed, hence without any governmental oversight and a shortage of services. The Sudanese community shares a low standard of living with the Egyptians in the neighbourhood, facing challenges of poverty, illiteracy, chronic children’s diseases (like malnutrition and the lack of calcium) and other types of diseases.

The centres runs a medical clinic, English courses, handcrafts and domestic work, discipleship (pictured below) and youth activities.Nuba Mountains Bible Institute (1)

For more information, download the 2013 report:

2013 Report for St. Gabriel Centre

Both the Nuba Mountains Bible Institute and the St. Gabriel Centre rely on donations for their ministry. For more information please contact the Very Rev. Dr. Jos Strengholt: priest@heliopolischurch.com

Appeal to Help Sudanese Refugees in Ethiopia

Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing from the violence that has caused so much death and suffering in South Sudan in the last two months. Media reports have put the death toll from the violence at 1,000, while other reports estimate the number dead to be closer to 10,000.

Refugees are flooding across the border into Gambella, a region in the west of Ethiopia (see map below). There are 70 Anglican Churches in the Gambella Region, and some of these churches are very close to the South Sudanese border.Gambella mapUrgent Needs
Bishop Grant LeMarquand, the Area Bishop for the Episcopal Area of the Horn of Africa, writes:

“Some of the towns where we have churches near the border have been overrun with large numbers of people fleeing the fighting in South Sudan. In the village I visited last weekend, there are now 4,000 refugees from the Nasir area of South Sudan and it is expected that more will arrive. The UN is preparing a camp, which should take about a month to prepare. Although the refugees were at first sleeping and cooking in church compounds (pictured below), they have now been integrated temporarily into the community, sleeping and cooking in the compounds of the local people.

Church compound

The refugees will receive food rations once they have been moved to the camp. In the meantime they have been surviving on the generosity of local people, especially the churches, and cutting and selling firewood. I brought 800 kilograms of maize, tarps for shelter from the intense sun, mosquito nets, soap, sugar and salt to the village to the Anglican church in the village. The pastor of church is also the chairman of the village Nuer Council of Churches, which will arrange for the supplies to be distributed.

In the coming weeks I will meet with pastors of our congregations in refugee camps to assess what new needs they have because of the situation in South Sudan. There has been an influx of new people in all of the camps, and it will take some effort on the part of relief agencies and the churches in the camps to assist in the settlement and integration of these newcomers.”

 

Samaritan Fund
The Episcopal Area has a ‘Samaritan Fund’ which enables the Anglican Church to respond quickly to help our congregations and new refugees. This fund was less than empty when this last crisis hit, as there has been a few desperate needs in the past year. This has included a localised famine in the village of Tiergol, devastating fires which burned several houses of clergy and church members in Gambella town, and surgery for a young girl shot during a cattle raid.

We are seeking support of partners to donate to the Samaritan Fund, enabling the Anglican churches in Gambella to respond to the needs around them.

 

How to Contribute
In  the  UK,  please  contact  The  Egypt  Diocesan  Association  (EDA)  through  Mr. Joseph Wasef (edasecretary@gmail.com) or visit their website: http://www.eda-egypt.org.uk/

In the USA, you can either contact The Friends of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt (FADE) through Dr.  Randi  Wood (blessfade@gmail.com) or  visit their  website: www.friendsanglicandioceseegypt.org

or

Give through our partner the Anglican Relief and Development Fund in the USA: http://anglicanaid.net/south-sudan-refugee-crisis/

To contribute directly to Ethiopia, please contact Bishop Grant LeMarquand (bishopgrant777@gmail.com) or the bank account details are:

Account Name: The Anglican Church in Ethiopia
Account Number: 476/0130422129700
Bank Name: Awash International Bank s.c.
Branch: Arat Kilo
Swift code: AWINETAA
Address: P.O Box 12638

 

Update about the refugee situation in Gambella

As violence continues in South Sudan, refugees have been fleeing across the border to Gambella. Bishop Grant writes

“Some of the towns where we have churches near the border have been overrun with large numbers of people fleeing the fighting in South Sudan. For example, in the town where I am going this coming Saturday, there are about 1,000 people living without shelter and with almost no food on the Anglican church compound. The same is true of most of the churches in the town (the clergy have organized the people into groups). There is apparently some food in the town, but little money to buy and the prices are high. I’m going to bring a load of maize with me on Saturday, as well as tarps to use for shelter from the sun – it’s the beginning of dry season – no rain, but intense sun.”

“We have a woman who helps clean the compound here in Gambella. Two days ago we heard that her son had been killed in Juba (he had been staying at the UN compound, but decided to go home to get a change of clothes and was killed on the street.) Stories come to us daily of family members caught in the cross fire. Several members of the staff and clergy have family in UN compounds in Bor and Juba – but no compound is truly safe.”

Pray for Bishop Grant and Dr Wendy, and for the clergy in Gambella as they respond to the current situation. Pray that the needs of the refugees would be met.

Recent visitors to the Episcopal Area of the Horn of Africa (December 2013-Jan 2014)

  • The Rev Dr John Piper who preached at St Matthew’s Church, Addis Ababa
  • Former Crosslinks missionary David Harley to St Matthew’s Addis

Gambella

  • Bishop Andrew and Mrs Janice Proud, the Rev Dr Darrell Hannah, the Rev John Edwards, Ms Tina Bailey, and Ms Janet Larkine from Reading, UK
  • The Rev Dr Johann and Louise Vanderbijl, South Carolina
  • The Rev Nancy Kenney and her husband Pat from North Augusta, South Carolina
  • Mr Yien Chagor Reath of Addis Ababa
  • Mr Paul Gilbert, London, UK
  • Canon Dr John A. Macdonald of Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge PA USA and three theological students: Matthew Stromberg, Scott Gorbold and Stevan Betcher

Coming soon

  • A team to Gambella from International Design and Development (in February)
  • The Rev Dr Ashley Null guest preacher at St Matthew’s Addis Ababa (in March)
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