We, Katherine Bom, Suzy Laku, and myself, Michael Mawien, members of St. Luke’s, San Diego – North Park, had the great honor of representing our congregation at the national conference of American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan – South Sudan (AFRECS) the weekend of May 4-6, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.
During these three days we discussed the burden of trauma and the move toward reconciliation for all South Sudanese Christians from all denominations and tribes and the goals of achieve lasting peace and justice in South Sudan through advocacy. We also discussed united diasporas as foundations for reconciliation and peace building in South Sudan.
We recognized during the conference the importance of widening the dialogue among South Sudanese communities in diaspora to address our differences and build bridges for peace and reconciliation in South Sudan.
We believe this is the time for South Sudanese in North America to have a broader conversation and one voice for peace. We don’t expect to be heard by our brothers and sisters from the transitional government of unity or opposition groups at this time but we pray that by working with American Friends of the Episcopal Church, God can bring peace to South Sudan. We understood from St. Paul that the church is the body of Christ, and when one member suffers, the whole body suffers. The church in South Sudan is suffering and need our prayer and help. The conference urgently invites all South Sudanese in diaspora to add their voices as a force for peace.
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