January 6, 2014 Update:

We are very sad to report that five members of Bishop Joseph’s family were killed in the fighting in Bor about two weeks ago.  They were his brother (Daniel Deng Atem Zorial), his brother’s wife, their two children, and another of Joseph’s nephews.  Please include them and all those who have lost loved ones in this violence in your prayers.

Bishop Joseph has asked his church partners for help in receiving internally displaced people from the fighting with food and medical supplies.  Our Christmas loose plate funds for South Sudan will be directed towards these efforts.

The Bishop has evacuated his wife and two children to Nairobi where they are safe, a step he did not take during the very tense standoff with the north, and a sign of how bad things are.   The Bishop has also confirmed that our Christ Church mission trip is postponed given the turmoil presently prevailing.

The Episcopal News Service has written an article with an update on the current situation and describes the Anglican Communion’s response.  Click here to read more Anglican Communion responds to South Sudan crisis.

December 21 Update:

According to an update we received through our parishioner Russ Randle, both Ed Eastman and Noah Hillerbrand (please see below) were successfully evacuated from South Sudan.

From December 19:

According to reports by the Associated Press from Juba, South Sudan on December 18, increasing violence may become civil war in the young country. Click here to see the AP article for more information on the current situation in South Sudan.

We were told today that two US missioners, Ed Eastman and Noah Hillerbrand who have been working with Bishop Joseph Atem in the Diocese of Renk will be evacuated tomorrow, December 20.  Please keep them in your prayers for a safe passage home.  You can read more about the work that 19-year-old Noah has been doing by following the BE-RENK link below.

Christ Church maintains a covenant relationship with Bishop Daniel Deng Bul and persecuted Christians in the Diocese of Renk in South Sudan. As part of our relationship, we want to keep you updated on this situation, its possible impact on the Diocese of Renk, and what you can do to help. Although the clashes are not currently in Renk, there is concern.

Here are some things you should know and ways that you can help:

Stay informed about the situation.

  • Click here to read the statement from clergy, including the archbishop, in South Sudan about how they are trying to keep this dispute from becoming tribal warfare.

  • Visit the BE-RENK blog at this link for background on the Diocese of Renk from the perspective of Noah Hillerbrand, a young man from the Diocese of Chicago who has launched a project in Renk prior to starting college. He is sending updates to the blog whenever possible.

Please keep the people of South Sudan in your prayers:

  • Pray for peace in South Sudan that the current violence does not escalate into tribal warfare.

  • Pray for Bishop Joseph's brother who was badly wounded in Bor in South South.

  • Pray for the safety of the two American Missionaries in Renk and their possible evacuation.

  • Pray for the community in the Diocese of Renk that the situation there continues to  remain calm.

  • Pray for those who have died in the conflict and their families.

  • Pray for the 20,000 people already displaced from their homes in the past few days due to violence.

We are also making a portion of the Christmas Eve and Christmas loose plate donations available to assist the Diocese of Renk Clinic.