Wonderful support from Yei pastors for Connor team’s training sessions

Friday January 18th 2013

Archdeacon Stephen Forde leads a training session on Nehemiah.Photos: Follow the link on our home page.

Local pastors from across the Diocese of Yei in South Sudan have been hugely supportive of training sessions offered by the Connor team currently in Yei.

The first training session got underway in the very African surroundings of a communal tukul at 9am on Friday January 18 with around 35 local pastors present.

Archdeacon Stephen Forde, rector of Larne, opened the first session, welcoming the trainees and encouraging each to introduce themselves, their parishes and tell everyone what their favourite food is. Beans, cassava and chicken were high on the list!

Stephen led the first session, basing his talk on Nehemiah and drawing parallels to the situation past and present in South Sudan. Many of those present had spent the civil war either in exile or hiding in the bush. They are all faced with the task of rebuilding their homeland.

A group of pastors in discussion during the training session delivered by the Connor team.After a break for tea, Stephen gave a talk on preparing for a Bible Study group, again with a focus on Nehemiah, helping the group prepare a bible study on Nehemiah 9.

After lunch the Rev Andrew Sweeney led a talk on sustaining a healthy spirit. He told his own story, and used the painting by Rembrant of The Return of the Prodigal Son to illustrate his talk and encourage imput from the pastors. Judith Cairns, Chief Executive of Love for Life, also took part in this session, reading a reflection.

This session opened with a duet of ‘Rejoice’ by Bishop Alan and Andrew, with the pastors needing no encouragement to get to their feet and join in. Bishop Alan then requested the local pastors lead them in singing and the tukul in the grounds of the Vocational Training College resounded with joyful praise.

While the clergy members of the team were involved in the training, Dr Frank Dobbs was back at Yei Hospital, delivering a talk to nurses on peptic ulcers. In the afternoon, Frank was again involved in training, this time at the church run Martha Clinic where he spoke to staff about the importance of small group training as a means to continuing education in medicine.

The previous evening the group had a heartening meeting with representatives of Yei Mothers Union, who spoke of the wonderful work they do in Yei Diocese, which stretches for many miles. They care for mothers and families, and in particular for pregnant women.

Mary Gboka explained that their work is often hindered by lack of transport. David Gough, of CMS Ireland who are facilitating this visit by the Connor team, suggested that it may be possible for CMSI to offer a marketplace for the craftwork produced by MU members, which includes soap and knitted items.

This brief summary does not do justice to the inspirational work carried out by the ladies of Yei MU, many who have suffered greatly during the civil war. However more detailed reports will be available in the Connor Diocesan magazine Connor Connections when it is published in February.

Fuller reports on all team activities will also appear in Connor Connections.

David has been uploading team blogs to the CMS Ireland website so please visit www.cmsireland.org for an alternative take on the Connor team visit to Yei!


Back to latest news

Site Directory