A Day of Meetings
by Jeff Ritchie
Today we didn’t see anything. But we had long meetings. The leadership of the Presbytery of Eastern Upper Nile, our main partner since 2013, sat down with us and told us of the state of the church. The Moderator and Vice-Moderator rehearsed our partnership, shared some of their hopes for the future, and then were quite frank about some discontent in the presbytery. The Education Coordinator, John Jock, shared his hopes for the next stage in the development of the preschool project—uniforms for the 368 children in the three schools.
The surprise presentation was from Elder Mary, Coordinator for Women’s Work. We met Mary last year on our visit. She has experienced all the trauma of a refugee but continues to work voluntarily for the women of Eastern Upper Nile Presbytery. As we finished our 2015 visit, she handed David Paduil a list of some contacts she had in the U.S.A. He wrote them and encouraged them to support the Women’s Work in South Sudan. Elder Mary was happy to report that the women in the U.S. responded with a donation for a sewing machine for the Women of Eastern Upper Nile. With this gift, Mary said, they had 80% of the funds now and lacked only $100. Through the mission funds we had brought with us, we were able to make up that lack.
For us that was yet one more reminder of the role of women in building up the church, the family, and the community. We’re glad that Elder Mary has a place at the leadership table of Eastern Upper Nile Presbytery.
Associate Director for Mission