A special presentation, titled “Let Justice Roll: The Church’s Role in Building a Peaceful Sudan”, will take place at Christ Church Anglican, 890 Vimy Street, North Bay on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 7 p.m. Jesse Zink, a Yale Divinity School student visiting his family in North Bay, will be showing pictures and speaking about his recent stay in southern Sudan. The presentation about the church’s critical witness for peace will last approximately an hour and a quarter.
Sudan is facing a critical referendum in January that could allow the southern half of the country to secede after two brutal civil wars that have spanned nearly five decades. The wars have left the country deeply impoverished, and more than 90 percent of southerners live on less than a dollar a day. As the country rebuilds and prepares for an uncertain future, the church has emerged as a key player in promoting peace and reconciliation.
Sudan is creeping back into the news as more western media organizations begin to pay attention to the referendum. This presentation will give residents in North Bay a picture of life in Sudan from the perspective of the poorest Sudanese, an understanding of the issues at play in the referendum, and a sense of the importance of the church’s witness for peace in a war-torn land.
Zink stayed at a seminary of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) and visited various church projects in the southern region of the country. ECS is the country’s largest non-governmental organization, with a presence in virtually every village. ECS and other churches are building schools and clinics, providing clean water, and teaching agriculture so returning refugees can feed themselves, among many other projects. At the same time, the church is growing rapidly and church services are full to overflowing on Sundays.
Jesse Zink has traveled widely in Africa and his presentations and photographs have been praised on three continents. His first book, Grace at the Garbage Dump: A Journey into Mission in the 21st Century, is nearing publication in the United States.