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Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware, turns 300 this year, and the congregation plans a year-long celebration. On Sunday, worshipers meeting both in-person and online heard an inspiring and heartfelt sermon from one of its favorite sons, U.S. Senator Chris Coons, D-Delaware, who deftly put into historical perspective the church’s lengthy history.
For two decades, June 20th’s designation as “World Refugee Day” has drawn global attention to both the plight of refugees living on the edge of survival and their strength and courage. It is also a day to remember the promise made by 146 countries, including the U.S., to provide safe haven and long-term recovery to those forced to flee their homelands.
On the surface, things seemed calm. Professors came and left every two weeks, teaching courses to adult South Sudanese students on various aspects of peacebuilding. The students sang together during morning devotions, laughed while acting out dramas in class, and played boisterous volleyball matches before dinner. The staff enjoyed the liveliness of a campus brimming with activity. Yet underneath, we were all aware of the country’s instability. At any time, a spark might fly, igniting a rapidly spreading flame of violence.
Squeezed together with girls about her same age, Mary sat on a bamboo pew in the sanctuary. It was the first morning of a three-day children’s trauma healing workshop. The list of things written in her new notebook included: too much housework, loss of my parents and missing school.