Bishop Isaac Bangisa, Bishop of the Diocese of Ezo, South Sudan, has written to St. Francis to tell us about a community peace outreach program that his Diocese organized together with Ezo County. The 10-day program aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence among citizens engaged in violent tribal conflicts.
Many visitors from other Dioceses, other churches, and other parts of South Sudan attended the event, which included a Football Peace Tournament. This attracted hundreds of young people who played soccer or who came to watch the games (the Ezo Cathedral team won!). Over the 10 days, there were also group meetings on peace initiatives, evangelizing in the marketplace, confirmations and ordinations, the dedication of the guesthouse, and ceremonial tree plantings.
The church is viewed as a trustworthy institution in South Sudan, and it plays an important role in promoting peace in this volatile area. Bishop Isaac noted that the sporting events were especially helpful in building camaraderie among the youth as they played together and got to know each other. Overall, the event was a success in helping to build trust among people of the different tribes.
St. Francis supported the “Christ for Peace Mission” by sending funds to help offset event costs and to help with the building of the new guesthouse. The guesthouse is being built by volunteers in Ezo who make the sun-dried bricks and then work on the construction. While it is not completely finished, it was usable for housing visiting dignitaries during the peace event. Bishop Isaac thanks St. Francis for our support! And we continue to pray for each other and for peace.
For more information on the event, and pictures, please download the PDF here: Report on Ezo peace event Sept 2023 St Francis