A letter from Jacob and Aliamma George in South Sudan
Psalm 66:1–3: "Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth, sing out the honor of His name; make His praise glorious. How awesome are your works! Through the greatness of your power, your enemies shall submit themselves to you."
We could witness the birth of the Republic of South Sudan from the ground of Malakal Freedom Square on July 9, 2011. There were at least 15,000 people celebrating in Malakal Freedom Square, though the capital celebration was in Juba, as many of you witnessed through television and other news media.
The Malakal celebration started at 7 am, when people started marching into the Square with loud patriotic songs. There were army tanks with the new flags, pastors in their clergy collars, church members in their choir robes, schoolchildren in their colorful uniforms, elders, deacons and deaconesses in their special attire, some with their Bibles, songbooks, their wooden crosses held up as high as they could, and others in the newest and best clothes. The Freedom Square was fenced with metal frames for the occasion and Army officers checked the people entering the gate with portable metal detectors. Four officers checked us in different ways as we looked different! They were very nice to us, allowed our water bottle and umbrella bag to go in, and even said, "Welcome."
There were many speeches from officials, prayers, music, African dances, and you could hear loud Hallelujahs! Each church, school, and other institution took their space on the ground like a booth with a string tie. No eating or drinking areas nearby; each group had their own singing, praying, dancing on the ground. People could sit, stand or jump or play, but security was tight. No misbehavior but shouts of happiness in the blazing sun. We could hear the new national anthem everywhere. The anthem was chosen through a nationwide competition and it is given below.
We praise and glorify you
For your grace on South Sudan
Land of great abundance....
We rise raising flag with the guiding star
And sing songs of freedom with joy
For justice, liberty and prosperity
Shall evermore reign
Oh great patriots!
Let us stand up in silence and respect,
Saluting our millions of martyrs whose blood
Cemented our national foundation
We vow to protect our nation
Oh God, bless South Sudan!
The Republic of South Susan is the 196th country in the world, the 193rd member of United Nations, and the 55th country in Africa. The new country is being recognized by nations one by one and the Republic of South Sudan is working toward its goals. A six-colored flag that was the official flag of the South Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLA) is the flag of the new nation. The new South Sudan pound is the new currency and will be coming into use within a few weeks.
The new national strategic plan for the next three years will be the foundation for further plans and implementation. The main aim will be to reduce poverty and improve quality of life for all, and to strengthen government and security.
The plans are made to improve the basic infrastructure and better access to health education along with agricultural development through the private sector, taking advantage of vast resources in the Republic for the benefit of its people.
His Excellency, Salvar Kiir Mayardit, is sworn in for a four-year term as the president of the new Republic.
When God commands us to pray for kings and those in authority, there is implied power to influence the course of men and events. Prayer moves the mind that moves the world to bring deliverance.
On Sunday, July 10, we had heavy rain in the morning. We thought that many people may not come to church as they were busy and tired with different "practices" and parades for many days and now the pouring rain. When we reached the Nuer Presbyterian church the place was full and people were standing at the doors and windows with rainwater dripping on their heads. The children and the youth with choir robes were sitting on the floor to save space for others. They announced that the total attendance was 1,748.
The Governor of Upper Nile state was present and got up to give the greetings, shouted "Hallelujah" three times, and gave an inspirational speech. Many people from different departments of the church gave greetings with touching stories. The General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Sudan, Rev. Gideon Tai, gave a message entitled, "You will be Truly Free when the Son sets you Free." Jacob also gave greetings and a special prayer for the new nation.
Though human beings might think that the future work will be hard, nothing is too hard for our loving and living God. "His grace is sufficient for us."
"And now let the weak say, I am strong,
Let the poor say, I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us,
Give Thanks!" (repeat)
May God bless you for your prayers and the mission support. Psalm 75:1: "We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks for your wondrous works."
Jacob and Aliamma George