From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[PCUSANEWS] A New Year's Perspective from Sudan

Date 16 Jan 2003 07:28:11 -0500

Note #7566 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:

A New Year's Perspective from Sudan
January 13, 2003

A New Year's Perspective from Sudan

By the Rev. Fahed Abu-Akel
Moderator, 214th General Assembly

KHARTOUM - As I write this article, it is a new year and I am in Sudan. The
Presbyterian Church began its evangelism, medical, and education work in this
country one hundred years ago. Presently, the Presbyterian Church of Sudan
and the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church is experiencing fast growth
under the National Sudanese leadership.

I preached five times on this first Sunday of the new year. Churches were
filled with children, youth, and adults who love Jesus Christ and want to
serve him by serving the people of God in Sudan. 

On behalf of the Presbyterian Church of Sudan and the Sudan Presbyterian
Evangelical Church, I want to thank you for your faithful stewardship that
helps the church's work and witness in this place. I ask you to join the
Sudanese people in praying for their country and for the Presbyterian Church
of Sudan and the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church. Pray for an end to
the civil war that has killed more than two million people over the last
nineteen years. Pray for peace between the north and the south in general,
and peace between the Christian tribes in the south in particular. Pray for
an end to hunger and poverty. Pray for the church as it trains young, new
leaders in ministry.

It is a new year, but I have already passed the halfway point of my term as
Moderator. I have witnessed the church in action in many ways. Congregations
are involved in local and global mission. Dedicated pastors, elders, and
church members are engaged in ministry for Jesus Christ. Presbyteries and
synods are focusing on the mission of the church, restructuring goals and
objectives to meet the needs of the twenty-first century.
Presbyterian-related colleges are educating our young people and seminaries
are training our future church leaders. The church's national staff members
are demonstrating their commitment to serve Jesus Christ. The mission field
is growing, thanks to the partnerships between sessions, presbyteries,
synods, and the General Assembly.

It is a new year and the Presbyterian Church is alive and well. May we
continue to focus on spiritual renewal, unity in the midst of our diversity,
local and global mission, and hospitality to everyone in the name of Jesus
Christ. May each of us invite someone new to come to know Jesus and to join a
congregation. May we continue our strong financial support of the mission and
ministry of our presbyteries, synods, and General Assembly. 

As I walk through these refugee camps in Sudan, I am reminded of how God has
uniquely blessed us as Presbyterians in the United States and how our real
response to the gospel can make - and is making - a difference in God's

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