Friends of Sudan
Outreach is very big at All Saints! And international outreach to southern Sudan is an integral commitment at All Saints’ for serving others beyond our borders.
All Saints’ initial involvement began in the spring of 2004 with our youth and the children of the church school deciding to use half of their bake auction proceeds to help support Elizabeth Lueth, a Sudanese refugee who was ill and in need of medical attention. That first year alone, through the generosity of the children’s caring and generous donations, more than $3,700 was raised for Elizabeth’s medical care in Uganda.
Next, All Saints’ become an officially linked partner church with a parish in Renk Diocese in southern Sudan, one of the two companion dioceses supported by the Diocese of Chicago. That relationship was established in the fall of 2004 when we partnered with St. Peter Parish in North Geiger, located on the White Nile, close to the border between the north and the south.
Our outreach is predominately financial as travel to southern Sudan is difficult because of the previous civil wars and the ongoing insecurity in the country. Our financial support has been extremely generous, thanks for the annual bake auction sponsored by our children in the church school and the youth group. Since the first bake auction that supported our Sudanese friends, we have raised and distributed over $76,000 to support some of the following projects, etc.:
- $3,000 a year for salary for Dr. Paul, the only physician at the clinic in Renk Town
- $2,500 a year salary for the local midwife that works at the clinic in Renk Town
- Over $11,000 to build a restaurant in N. Geiger to support the parish and people of St. Peter
- $3,000 to buy an irrigation pump to support the restaurant and people of Geiger
- $2,500 each year to support student scholarships for students at the Scripture Union Club at Nile High School in Arua, Uganda
- $200 for Bibles for the new church of St. Paul at Halaga that serves a southern Sudan army base.
In addition to these fund raising efforts, All Saints incorporated a line item of $4,800 in the annual budget to support the clergy of the Northern Archdeaconry of which St. Peter Parish is a part. This began in 2006 and continues to be sustained at this level.
When Bishop Joseph Garang Atem, Bishop of Renk, visited All Saints’ in November 2010, he shared that the Geiger community has struggled to grow and rebuild St. Peter Parish. In the same area of Geiger is another church, St. Barnaba that also is in need of a new building and a parish priest. The devastation of weather on St. Barnaba, a church made of local materials, has taken its toll.
Bishop Joseph merged St. Peter and St. Barnaba into one parish last winter. Under the leadership of Isaac Chol, Archdeacon of the Northern Archdeaconry, Father Isaac has proven to be a strong leader and has reorganized the restaurant that is now running very smoothly with proceeds helping the community in a more efficient manner. This merged church, now called St. Peter and St. Barnaba is currently looking for a new priest to take Father Isaac’s place, as he is the priest also for St. Paul in Halaga.
From All Saints’ current capital campaign, 10% has been allocated to outreach. The funds from the capital campaign sent this summer from All Saints (over $6,000) has helped begin a new church building for the joined churches on the land where St. Barnabas sat. The roof is of zinc with metal supports. This will be a much more durable building than that made previously made of local materials. More funds will be needed to finish but this is a great start! Next steps are adding doors, windows and bricking the facade. The irrigation pump will be put to work now that the dry season is coming and vegetables need water from the White Nile. Planting will happen after the Jan. 9, 2011 referendum. The garden is to support the restaurant and the church community.