BACK TO THE PULPIT FULL AND FIT WITH A MESSAGE APIECE FOR ‘RIECKONCILIATION IN THE KIIRISTIAN CHURCH’
After three years of fighting against all the vices of the ‘War of The Big Seat’ outside the church, I have returned to what I do best this year, preaching Peace, Truth, Justice Reconciliation, Unity and Healing of our nation, not through mob Justice. My first sermon this year was on the 3rd Anniversary of my banishment, the day I flew out of my country, 31 January 2013. The second and third were on other important dates in my life, too.
The yesterday’s sermon that I delivered to the predominantly congregation of Bor Dinka origin of St. Andrews Parish at Zimmerman, Nairobi, was on a different theme, but I did not spare the ‘JCE’ (Jieng Church of Emmanuel), that group of arrogant congregants that attack the man of God for allowing the First Vice President of South Sudan to pray in what their Ringleader, Mading Ngor Akec Kuai, believes as ‘Church of the Bor Victims of the War of Riek Machar’.
It is regrettable that brother Mading and those Bor Bros have started fighting us, peace preachers, campaigners and activists, again while we are on the podium of peace and national unity (recovery). The other years, they were fighting us in the name of war. Last week when Riek popped up in that so-called ‘Jieng’ or ‘Bor Church’, Mading Ngor posted a comment on Chuol C. Nyabieh ‘s post blasting ‘Jon Pen de Ngong and Mabior Garang de Mabior’, who are looking for jobs from Riek Machar, to be the ones who sneaked him into the church.
Lol! I laughed it off as the usual character assassination campaign by Mading Ngor and his group of ‘Bor patriots’ on my person in relation to Riek Machar. If I had been looking for a mouthpiece job from the warring camps, I would have instantly picked it up long ago. For instance, I was in the Office of the President, Salva Kiir in Juba, in the Office of SPLM-IO Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar, in Pagak, and also in the camp of Pa’gan Amum, leader of the Former Political Detainees (G11 or 10) in Nairobi, as well as among all of the parties in Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Arusha and Kampala, all in one year — 2014! But what was I looking for? Peace first, then job later. So I can walk into anyone’s office and ask for a job in the new/near future on condition that they have taken our country back to its feet whereby citizens access services through their national capabilities and natural abilities, not through some tribal connections as of now.
I am nothing wrong with any demonstration as such, but I have everything wrong with this particular ‘demon’stration that led to an unconstitutional resignation of the pastor in charge of Emmanuel Parish. Indeed, ‘Saul Mading’ and Co should prosecute, instead of persecute, the man of God for a ‘crime’ being pursued by means of another crime. The Bor patriots fighting foi Justice enveloped in the hate speech and a get-popular-quick drive is an abuse to the church of God, Bishop Nathaniel and the names of the victims of the December war in Bor.
Sincerely, no young man in his senses would print out pictures of the army generals, who fell in the line of their national duties, and then use them to attack the church with on placards. Since when did the late Gen. Abraham Jongroor, Gen. Ajak Yen, Gen. Kuol Malith and all those military leaders who lost their lives fighting the SPLM-IO rebels become Bor army generals? I would rather the youth had done this using pictures of children and women who were massacred in churches and hospitals, especially to attack Riek once he dares them at St. Andrew’s Cathedral at Leudier in Bor.
It is to be noted that I am not against Jieng or Bor, my origin, per se. I am just embarrassed by the way some opportunists use the name of my tribe and people to score cheap heroism, and reflect on those fighting for the Unity of the nation as betrayers of their local people. We know during Jesus’s days, there rose tribal hardliners from Judaism (in our case, Dinkaism, Nuerism, Zandeism, etc.) in the name of Scribes (journalists or writers), Sadducees, Pharisees, Herodians, Hellenists, etc. (various politico-ethnic or sectarian interest groups. Would you like to be one of them in our modern settings?
Yes, I do protest. For instance, just exactly two weeks ago, I organized a demo with Eligo Dak Gabriel and other like-minded youth in front of VP Wani Igga and Hon. Taban Deng Gai at KICC (Kenyatta International Convention Centre) in Nairobi. Our messages ranged from urging them to hold the first joint rallies in Juba, Guolyar and UNMISS PoC IDP camps, release all the prisoners of their war (POWs), settle the cantonment areas wrangles, resolve the 28-state stalemate, among others. We believe we are national youth, no longer a tribal youth.
Unfortunately Mading Ngor and his group did this against the wrong target and at the wrong venue, wrong time, wrong timing, though for the right reason. This anti-unity event came at the advent of peace for which Salva and Riek are posing and pleading to the world around us and about us in order to secure some funding and rescue our nation from collapsing economically, politically and socially.
I thought those youth knew that Justice and Accountability are taken care of by Chapter 5 of ARCISS. This chapter prescribes the Hybrid Court against anybody suspected to have got their hands in shedding the innocent blood of the South Sudanese people. Hypocritically, such people of mine want a revenge against Riek Machar but do not want Justice delivered through this agreement…for reasons best known to them. That’s why a fair-minded reader would understand that they, themselves, are not clean.
To those who asked me yesterday why I did not comment on the ‘JCE Jr.’ fracas, I was busy preaching the message of our nation’s unity in another church peacefully in Nairobi. I saw even JCE (Jieng Council of Elders)’s member in front of the congregation, but I did not make any negative reference to anybody, the way Mading and his ‘Riek Victims’ Self-Declared Revenge Heroes’ did to a wrong target in the wrong venue in Juba. In fact, I looped Hon. Maker’s last Sunday’s war insinuation message into my sermon in a constructive way, thus:
“When God, The Father, felt frustrated with our sins in the world, he had nothing else but to send His only Son to die for us. That same frustration is what made our father, Hon. Ustaz Maker Thiong, said he was ready to offer his children (we here) to defend that nation, here last Sunday. It’s out of the frustated love of a father on this nation, just as God did to the world. However, we have already sacrificed our very last to atone our now independent nation: the 2.5 million souls during the war of liberation of our nation, plus something like 0.5 million of this war of the ‘Liberation of One’s Seat’. Therefore, no more bloodshed because Jesus Christ is now our last sacrifice.”
In the conclusion of my sermon in front of that church, nobody is allowed anymore to donate their own or another person’s life in exchange for something or in cementing an allegiance with their Boss. That’s why Abraham was restrained from sacrificing his own son.
As for my personal opinion on the Riek’s topic and the Emmanuel (Jieng) Parish’s hooliganism against their members of the congregation, especially those who fall on the political opposition bloc outside the church, I have written volumes about it. The latest two articles are linked here:
However, I should also bring it to the public knowledge that I was one of those members opposed to the naming of the Christian Church in reference to one ethnic community in the national capital city inhabited by 64 ethnic groups and the rest of the various nationalities of the world, like the Ahmaric-speaking church (Orthodox), who pray there in the afternoon. Thank God, five years later, the name ‘Jieng’ (in ‘Emmanuel Jieng Parish’) was dropped.
By the way, I repeat, I am not against my very own origin, Jieng or Dinka (Bor for that matter). In fact, I would only campaign for the renaming of that former cinema hall-turned-church (now full of unholy dramas) after our very own’s name when I would be the church council elder 30 years later (2050 AD) as ‘St. Nathaniel Garang Parish’. Yes, Jieng (Dinka) is no saint by any means, but Bishop Uncle Nathaniel Garang Anyieth Jangdit is, just as Emmanuel Jesus Christ is.
Therefore, stop desecrating our church with your filthy politics of tribalism. Don’t you know that Emmanuel Parish is not for Bor, not in Bor, not under the Diocese of Bor, but under the Diocese of Juba managed by the Bishop of Juba, who doubles as the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan? Hey, did I mention that the head of this parish is the same Chairman for National Peace, Reconciliation and Healing Commission, His Grace Dr. Daniel Deng Bul? And that Dr. Riek Machar, President Salva Kiir and all of us, lay men and women in Christ, fall under him in the church, as he falls under the president and first vice president in the government through the said peace committee appointed by the president? So who are you to call Emmanuel Parish a Bor church that should be fenced off from the access of ‘other unclean members’, ya Brother ‘Saul Mading’?
Otherwise, you are guilty of the persecution of the servant of Christ, Pastor Abraham Maker Ator, whom you forced out of that church because he does not come from Bor. How I wish you prosecuted — instead of persecuted — that eloquent man of God for the ‘crime’ he has committed against the people of ‘The God of Dinka’.
After their action caused and cost the tears of a holy elder in the church on Sunday, 29 May 2016, they should stand warned of the boomerangs. We know what it means harassing and embarrassing just an ordinary elder, leave alone the man we regard as the holiest in our land as per now. Therefore, they should go seek forgiveness from His Lordship, The Bishop.
If I were also that team member, I would extend this sorrowful explanation (call it apology) to the congregation of Emmanuel under the stewardship of Rev. Maker Aciek, unless one thinks ‘aci kec’ (not spiritually bitter) also.
Unless you sincerely open up and tell the truth, which will set you free, I still have to recommend you to recite these morning and evening verses from our Prayer Book in Dinka:
“Na wel raan ye piou wei te de reec den ci looi, ku ye ke ye kepieth looi, ekee tiep de luok bi piir…”
…Complete the whole penance prayer in the screenshot pictures attached…
May the Lord of Mercy forgive those boys and reconcile our church and nation. Amen!