Connor team prepares for visit to South Sudan

Wednesday January 9th 2013

Members of the team travelling to Yei in January. From left: Judith Cairns, Andrew Sweeney, David Gough, Frank Dobbs, Bishop Alan, Archdeacon Stephen Ford, Sam Wright.A team from Connor Diocese is making final preparations for a visit to Connor’s partner diocese of Yei in South Sudan.

The team of eight will attend the Yei Diocesan Synod which takes place from January 17 until January 19. Team members will also be involved in Bible Teaching and a youth programme.

The trip has been facilitated by Church Mission Society Ireland. The team will be led by David Gough of CMSI and members are the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, making his first trip to Yei; Archdeacon Stephen Forde, Chair of Connor Council for Mission; Frank Dobbs, a GP from Agherton; Judith Cairns, Love for Life at Lisburn Cathedral; Canon Sam Wright, Lisburn Cathedral; The Rev Andrew Sweeney, Ballymoney; and Diocesan Communications Officer Karen Bushby.

A touchdown like this at Yei Airstrip awaits the Connor team!The team departs from Dublin to Entebbe in the early hours of Monday January 14, flying via Amsterdam. They arrive late on the Monday night, and have an early flight to Yei via local carrier Eagle Air on Tuesday morning.

They will stay at the Yei Diocesan Guesthouse, and on the first day will visit some of the institutions run by the diocese which include the Martha Clinic with its designated children’s ward, and the Yei Vocational Training College. They will be welcomed by the Bishop of Yei, the Rt Rev Hilary Luate Adeba, who will be looking forward to renewing friendships formed both in Yei during previous Connor visits, and here in Connor where he and his wife Mama Joyce have been welcome guests on a number of occasions.

The new Mongo School, funded by Connor Diocese, photographed from inside the ruins of the old school.Clergy members of the team will lead Bible teaching throughout the three day Yei Diocesan Synod, and Judith Cairns will be delivering talks to youth leaders looking at issues common to young people wherever they live, including identity, building relationships and peer pressure.

Frank Dobbs, who was in Yei in March 2010, visiting health centres and helping staff set up a continuing education scheme which would allow them to learn together without needing a lot of money or support from outside, will revisit this project.

On Sunday January 20, team members will preach at Yei Cathedral and three nearby parishes, and the following day the team will travel to Mongo village to visit the primary school, built in 2009/10 with donations from parishes and individuals across Connor Diocese.

The group returns to Entebbe on Tuesday January 22, where they spend a day before an overnight flight back to Dublin via Amsterdam.

Diocesan Communications Officer Karen Bushby will be reporting on the Yei trip in the February edition of Connor Connections. Technology permitting, we hope to update the Connor diocesan website with reports and photographs from Yei on a daily basis during the visit.

Young woman and child in Yei, South Sudan.











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