Church appeals for bicycles for its priests serving rural communities

Church
Typography

[Kajo-keji, South Sudan, TCT] Priests in some parts of the world may take for granted the fact that they can easily move from one part of the country to another to serve their flock.

But this is not the case in South Sudan.

Take the case of one clergy who attended a workshop in one part of her diocese and had to walk for 20 kilometres back to the parish where she serves.

Or the case of Isaac, who hired a bicycle for 30 South Sudanese pounds in order to attend an ordination service in Kajokeji, South Sudan. He had to start travelling back late in the evening, and spend the night in a small village on the way, in order to keep his word and return the bicycle to the owner on the agreed date.

Isaac had attended a 5-hour service in Romoggi in July, where ten deacons were priested and one was ordained.

“As I was leaving for my house after lunch, I saw one of the newly ordained priests (Isaac) from Kala Archdeaconry, who was about to leave for his home. I asked why he was leaving at 4 p.m. when Kala is a long way from Romoggi. I also saw that the front tyre of his bicycle was worn out and I commented on whether this would not give him any problems on the way,” narrated bishop Anthony Poggo of Kajo Keji diocese of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan. 

“His response was that the bicycle did not belong to him and that he had hired it for 30 SSP. He was asked by the owner that he must return it by Monday so that he is not charged more money. He was therefore starting early so as to spend the night in Liwolo and be in Kala on Monday.”

This story makes one to think of clergy like Isaac who ensure that they attend important church functions by all means. It also showed the commitment of clergy in many parts of rural South Sudan who carry on God's ministry even with little resources available.

“I would like Isaac and the other 9 other clergy who were ordained on Sunday to get their own bicycles to enable them in their ministry. I know there are many other clergy who also would need bicycles, but for now I am thinking of the 10 newly ordained clergy, the eleventh one had already received a bicycle a few months ago,” says bishop Poggo.

Bishop Poggo made arrangements to personally buy one bicycle when he heard the story of one clergy who  had a spouse who had been unwell for a long time.

One of the church’s partners helped them buy some bicycles for a few of the clergy early this year.

Bishop Poggo is now sending an appeal to friends, relatives and contacts so they can join in a bicycle for Isaac and some of his colleagues.

“I am not expecting each person I am writing to pay for the entire cost of a bicycle (although this would be good), but our contributions together will enable us to provide bicycles for these clergy. A brand new Phoenix bicycle would cost around US$ 125,” says the bishop.

Bishop Poggo is asking those who would like to participate in the scheme to let him know so that he can give information on how they can send the money. 

“If you are not able to make any monetary contributions, please pray that we will be able to undertake this task within the shortest time possible,” he said.

The Diocese of Kajo-Keji (DKK) is one of the 43 dioceses of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan (ECSS & S). The diocese borders Juba county on the North, Lainya and Morobo counties on the West, Magwi county on the East and Moyo and Yumbe Districts of Uganda on the southern part.

The Diocese has experienced rapid development spiritually and holistically since its establishment in 1986. The Diocese has eight archdeaconries, 16 deaneries, 57 parishes; five sub-parishes and more than one hundred preaching centres.

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