"Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" Amos 3:3
On Sunday, we celebrated the signing of the official partnership agreement between Canadian Baptist Ministries and the Faith Evangelical Baptist Churches of South Sudan (FEBAC-SS).
Since 2010, Canadian Baptists have been working with FEBAC in small joint projects and emergency relief efforts in South Sudan. Together we have worked to improve theological education for pastors, enhance food security, improve peace and reconciliation, and Kamp Tumaini. Through the support of Canadian churches, we've also been able to provide scholarships and educational support for young leaders and students in the church.
Earlier this year, we made the final step towards an official partnership as CBM and FEBAC conducted a peer capacity assessment that mapped out areas and opportunities of strength and weakness, as we identified priorities for how we as organizations might best help one another become more effective and healthy.
Rev. Saphano Riak Chol, FEBAC Secretary General and Erica Kenny, CBM Africa Team Leader signing the official partnership agreement, June 18, 2017.
As partners, CBM and FEBAC will continue to work together in providing emergency assistance to refugees and displaced communities in South Sudan. We are committed to bringing people together for integral mission that bears witness to the love and hope of Christ through words and deeds.
It is also exciting to see how FEBAC is building new bonds of mutual support and collaboration with our other African partners. God is working in new ways throughout the Church in Africa. This is an incredible time to be a part of the Church.
James Ochuho leading the congregation in prayer and worship
"Only God can bring peace... Lord we pray for the leaders [of South Sudan], touch their hearts, change their minds, we are tired. Send your Holy Spirit to interfere in South Sudan. We thank you for your love, Lord Jesus, your mercy, your intervention in our lives."
FEBAC children singing in Dinka
One of the most moving moments in the service was a group of Sunday school children that shared a heartfelt prayer in Dinka. Over and over they sang Nhialic Ping Long Da, "God hear our cry and heal our country." As the children held their faces and repeated these words, mothers and grandmothers left their seats and waved handkerchiefs over the children. Soon the front of the church was filled with women and children lifting one another.
Many of these children have lost parents, siblings, and loved ones from the war that is destroying their country. During the service, learned of several fathers killed in attacks against civilians just this past week in Juba. The sincere faith and resilience of this church is humbling to witness.
Rev. Obengo and Rev. Saphano preaching during the service
Guest speaker, Rev. Tom Joel Obengo, of Moffat Bible College encouraged both CBM and FEBAC for making this step of commitment and solidarity. "In an age when everywhere you look people are pulling apart, it is important that this day the two of you are coming to walk together. This is good to see. It is a day to be remembered."
Please join us in praying for the ongoing ministry in South Sudan.
We join the people of FEBAC in their prayers for peace and healing for South Sudan. We pray for God's intervention in the lives of the leaders that must put the welfare of the people before political ambition. We pray for healing for the tens of thousands of families that are mourning the loss of loved ones and for those who are receiving medical attention for wounds of war and famine.
We are thankful that right now the Canadian government is offering matching emergency relief assistance to organizations providing humanitarian aid to famine regions. We are thankful to the many churches that are raising funds to join this assistance. To learn more on how your donation can be matched, please see our website at www.cbmin.org or click here.