Rapturous welcome for Connor team in Mongo

Tuesday January 22nd 2013

The people of Mongo village gave the Connor Yei team a rapturous welcome when they visited on Monday January 21.

The eight–strong team travelled in two landcruisers from their base in Yei town to the village, 16 miles down a rutted dust road. Improvements have been made at the Mongo end of the road, however, and so the bone shaking journey took just over an hour each way, rather than the two hours experienced by previous teams.

The journey ended at the track leading to Mongo Primary School, built with donations from parishes and individual in Connor Diocese, and opened by a Connor team in July 2010.

There, pupils, teachers, clergy and elders were singing and dancing to welcome their guests. They visitors joined this musical procession as it wound its way down the lane to the school, where the Connor team and Bishop Hilary of Yei were welcomed by Archdeacon Jackson of Mongo.

They were than given refreshments in a large tukul. or payot, before joining the party where speaker after speaker, including a pupil of Mongo primary school, expressed their thanks for the wonderful school the people of Connor had given the people of Mongo.

Deputy head Jumo outlined the success of the school, which received a 95 per cent pass rate in its exams, and three Mongo teachers whose training was funded by the parishes of Larne, Lisburn Cathedral and Agherton had the opportunity to express their thanks personally to Archdeacon Stephen Forde, rector of Larne, Canon Sam Wright, Lisburn Cathedral, and Dr Frank Dobbs, Agherton.

Following the speeches, during which Bishop Alan brought the greetings of Connor Diocese, the Connor team enjoyed lunch before travelling back to Yei.

That evening, the team had an unexpected task. The guest speaker at a youth camp which had opened on the Sunday evening at the Yei Vocational Training College, was unable to attend, and the Connor team was invited to fill the slot.

At short notice, Bishop Alan, Judith Cairns, Rev Andrew Sweeny and Sam produced four short talks which enthused and inspired the 300 strong audience of young people. The team all joined in with the worship to a fantastic African beat, and enjoyed it so much that Bishop Alan requested another song before the session closed. That lasted another 20 minutes and had everyone on their feet, scruffing up the dusk of the massive shed that is normally used for carpentry.

At time of writing the team are now in Entebbe, and will fly home late on Wednesday January 23, arriving back in Ireland the following day.

Even their send off from Yei was filled with praise as a youth choir and band were in full song at Yei Airstrip – admittedly not to see the Connor team off but to welcome home the Commissioner of Yei River County who flew in on the plane which took the Connor group out of South Sudan.

The intenet connection in Entebbe is poor. We are uploading photos to our web album (see link on our homepage) as and when we can get signal. 

You can read team blogs on the CMS Ireland website.


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