A visit to Yei by the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy and a team from Connor Diocese has been postponed due to unrest in South Sudan.
The Bishop of Connor and the 10–strong team were due to depart for Yei, travelling via Entebbe in Uganda, on Thursday January 16.
The META (Mission Experience Team Abroad) was facilitated by CMS Ireland. Jenny Smyth, CMSI’s Partnership Co–ordinator, spoke to Bishop Hilary of Yei, on Monday January 6 when Bishop Hilary confirmed that Yei Diocese had decided to postpone its planned Youth, Clergy and Young Family Members conferences, which would have been supported by the Connor team, until the political situation is calmer.
The decision to postpone the META was taken by Jenny, Bishop Alan and CMSI Mission Director Ronnie Briggs following discussion and prayer. It is also likely that a trip by a team from Down and Dromore to Maridi Diocese, also in South Sudan, scheduled for February 6, will be postponed.
In an email to the Connor team, Jenny said that when the first fighting broke out in Juba [in mid December] and spread north there were hopes it would be contained, but over the weekend there had been more disruption in Juba and on Saturday January 4 there were further incidents in Yei and Morobo, between Yei and the Uganda border. The road from Yei to Juba and from Yei to the Ugandan border had closed for a time, making the southern area of South Sudan far more volatile and vulnerable.
“Bishop Hilary and Bishop Justin [of Maridi] assure us that they are both safe but are much in need of our prayers as they speak out for peace in a troubled situation,” Jenny said.
A training evening for both the Yei and Maridi teams will go ahead as planned on Tuesday January 7, however the focus will be on prayer and sharing rather than training.