There’s a lovely article in Glencoe News about Noah Hillerbrand, a young, lay Episcopalian, who has just begun working with the Diocese of Renk in South Sudan:
After the family joined Christ Episcopal, Hillerbrand became even more deeply involved in that community. It was his dad Eric who first suggested he meet with Bishop Joseph last fall, when he made one of his many trips to Chicago.
“My first thought was that it sounded really cool, but I thought I’d probably find something else to do,” Hillerbrand said. “But when I asked Bishop Joseph what I could do there, right away he said, ‘Teach English.’ There was no hesitation, and he said he could find plenty for me to do. That was when I felt this was something important.”
I’m particularly delighted that he found my book, Grace at the Garbage Dump, so helpful as he prepared for his time in Renk:
Hillerbrand finds inspiration from a book by Episcopal priest Jesse Zink, who served for two years in a South Africa slum neighborhood’s medical clinic.
The book Zink wrote about his experience ”really spoke to me,” Hillerbrand explained. “When he first arrived, he didn’t know the language, he wasn’t trained to do anything at the clinic. He had to be content with being with these people. He called it a ministry of presence. Realizing the ministry of presence is something that I’ve kind of trained my trip around.”
You can follow Noah’s work on the Facebook page he has set up for his trip, facebook.com/BERenkSSudan.
When we shift our focus in the Anglican Communion away from bishops, it’s amazing what kind of stories we find.