South Sudan Refugees Embark on Bible Study

1198 Views Adjumani, Uganda

In short
A local community organisation in Adjumani district has started conducting bible classes for the more than 3,000 South Sudan refugees in Mirieyi settlement camp.

A local community organisation in Adjumani district has started conducting bible classes for the more than 3,000 South Sudan refugees in Mirieyi settlement camp.
 
Pastor Cosmos Matre, the leader of Church Community Mobilization Process (CCMP) told URN during a visit to the camp that he is trying to meet the spiritual needs of the refugees and mend their broken hearts following the bitter war.
  
Matre says because the conflict has tribal connotations, there is need to change the hearts of the refugees and to enable them begin a new journey of forgiveness and reconciliation, both in the camps and back in their country.
  
Pastor Matre says the bible study started in 2013 with training of leaders of the camps but now they have rolled it out to the entire refugee population in Mirieyi camp.  He says the study will go on for a period of three years. He explains that the programme will be extended to other camps where the Nuer and Kakwa tribes are relocated to make them understand peace, unity and forgiveness.

Mirieri camp accommodates mainly the Dinka, the biggest tribe in South Sudan.
  
Oyet Joseph Taban, from Palotaka in South Sudan says he came to Uganda as a refugee in 1992 and completed his secondary education in Uganda.
  
He says bible lessons have changed his life by making him understand in detail the challenges in South Sudan. Citing the story of Abigail, David and Nabal in the bible, Taban says this has made them understand forgiveness and peace as a way of resolving conflicts.
  
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Reverend Abraham Abic Aroc from East Jonglei State in South Sudan, who was preaching in Episcopal Church of Sudan and now founder of Mirieyi Church of Uganda in Adjumani, says he attained the first training from CCMT in 2013 and then started the church in 2014 with support of the refugees.
 
He says after constructing the grass-thatched church, it becomes a centre for coordinating all the activities in the camp where meetings and trainings are conducted and preaching is done.
 
Reverend Aroc says that after starting the church, the UN refugee agency--UNHCR together with other organisations donated six sewing machines for the women to get training within the camp. They also constructed six boreholes and a school called Mirieyi primary school for the refugee children. He says the presence of the church has helped change lives of many refugee Christians.
  
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The church has attracted over 700 Christians. He appeals to Church of Uganda to extend support to the new church and to promote peace and unity.