A letter from Nancy McGaughey in Sudan
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth PEACE, good will towards men” (Luke 2:13-14)
My calendar shows it is December and Christmas is fast approaching. But it doesn’t feel like Christmas in Sudan — the days are sunny and warm, even hot! I do not see Christmas lights, hear Christmas music, we are not singing Christmas carols in church, not even in Dinka!
But when I think of one of my favorite carols, “It came upon a midnight clear,” the lyrics fit. After 11 p.m., when the compound is quiet, all lights are out, the sky is very clear, the stars numerous and bright, I can almost hear the heavenly hosts singing, “Peace on the earth, good will towards men.”
PEACE is very relevant to Sudan, especially at this time of the year. On January 9, unless there is a delay, the people of Southern Sudan will vote on whether they wish to remain one country with the north or separate and form their own country.
PEACE is something these people have sought and fought for, for many years. Now many of these people seem convinced that peace will come only by separating and becoming their own country. To come out from under Northern rule, to unite the different tribes in the South and become one. Is it possible? Can it be done?
I firmly believe that with God all things are possible and He can bring Peace — HIS PEACE — to this land. In our morning devotions as staff of the Association of Christian Resource Organisations Serving Sudan (ACROSS), we meet under the mango trees and pray for peace.
In the busyness of this special season, may you find some quiet time to reflect on the Prince of Peace, born in a humble stable to bring salvation to all the world. And, don’t forget to say a prayer for Sudan, for peace in this land.
Love, Joy and Peace be yours, now and in the new year.
Prayer for Sudan
God of Ages,
Your children in Sudan have known hunger,
They have experienced violence
And they endured trouble and toil
And through it all, You have been with them
Bringing them thus far on their journey.
Remind all of your people in Sudan of Your Presence
As the day draws near
For the referendum in Southern Sudan.
Touch them by Your Grace
That they might live in hope.
Guide Your church
That all may witness boldly and faithfully
To the good news of Christ’s gospel of love
During this time.
Lead the citizens of Sudan
To become well informed
As they prepare to make critical choices
That will have far-reaching impact.
Fill their hearts anew with Your Holy Spirit
So that they may turn from all forms of violence.
To honor, respect, and care for one another
As they exercise their vote,
May they do so in safety
And may all clearly speak their will.
Guide their leaders
To plan and conduct a referendum
That is free and open and honest.
God who does new things,
Open all the people of Sudan to new possibilities
For shaping their lives and country.
God who establishes justice,
Give Sudan courage to challenge injustice
And to work together
To build a Sudan in which all have enough to eat,
Blessed peace prevails,
And justice is known throughout the land.
The 2011 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 54