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As we maintain physical distance from one another to inhibit the spread of the Coronavirus, Mafair UMC is committed to finding new ways to worship the Lord together and maintain community.

We have been holding Sunday Worship and daily Bible devotions on Facebook Live. If you don't use Facebook, or you'd prefer to avoid the hassle of finding the correct video, this will be a help to you.

Click here, and you'll find our current livestream (if there's an ongoing broadcast), or the most recent completed livestream. Blessings to you!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sudan Message from Libby and Fred Dearing

Hello All:

What a wonderful time to be in South Sudan!!! We were privileged to be a witness to the birth of a new nation yesterday. Through Elias, a friend and UMCOR employee, we received invitations to attend the ceremony in Yei. We were seated under the shed (built new after being torn down by a storm) just behind the dignitaries that attended. We felt honored to be included. Many speeches were given and we heard a lot about responsibility, respect, hard work, and struggle. One guy said, "Now is not the time to sit". There was a parade with many schools, women's groups, tribal dancers, and others participating. Even the local Moslems marched. The banners were hand made and held high with pride. People had come from everywhere and you could feel the excitement in the air. It was very moving when they took down the flag of Sudan and raised the flag of South Sudan. They even sacrificed two goats at the base of the flag. I wasn't particularly fond of that part, but it is part of their culture. Later, in his speech, Bishop Elias Taban said it isn't necessary to do that anymore because the blood of Jesus Christ is enough.

We returned home and soon received a call from Elias saying the tribal dancers were fantastic and he was coming to pick us up. He took us back to Freedom Square where there was a sea of people as far as you could see. There were many circles with dust rising from each one. Soon the pastor from Yei UMC, Amos Taban, came and led us through the crowd. He took us to each group and cleared the crowd so we could be right at the edge to see. Several people kept trying to get us to join the dance but Amos was pretty protective and said no. It was the most exciting thing we have seen in a while. At the end, we joined the gospel program where our children at Yei UMC were performing. They made us proud.

Just when we thought we were finished for the day, we received an invitation to dinner at UNMIS (United Nations Missions In Sudan). We had roasted goat (that was delicious), chicken, and rice. The coordinator of the event said they would now be changing their to UNMISS (United Nations of South Sudan). We met people from Nepal, Wales, Russia, Holland, Pakistan, and Canada. Of course, many Sudanese were there. It was amazing to be in the presence of people from so many different places.

By the end of the day we were exhausted but so thrilled to have been a part of a truly historic event. It has made us appreciate the founding of our nation and realize what our ancestors went through to give us the freedom we enjoy today.

May each of you experience the freedom you have through Jesus Christ,
Fred and Libby