Debra Morris Smith's Blog (127)

Morus, At Home and in Diaspora

Some of our friends from the Diocese of Lui along with others from Greater Mundri have fled their homes and resettled elsewhere. Some are in Juba, some in Yei, some still in the bush not too far from their homes; technically they are IDPs -- Internally Displaced Persons -- in the UN's terminology because they are still in their country of origin. Others have fled the country altogether. and are officially refugees Of those, some may be in Kenya; during the long Sudanese Civil War that ended…


Added by Debra Morris Smith on June 5, 2016 at 6:31pm — No Comments

Lui Partners Meeting

Bishop Stephen, Noel, and Rina from Lui are meeting with partners from Lund, Blackmore Vale, and Missouri this week. This morning we heard about the situation in Lui town and diocese, and about the 16,000+ IDPs from Greater Mundri in Juba and Yei. Some areas in the diocese are under army control, and some are under the control of the rebels, so people cannot easily move between them without being suspected of informing or spying. Some villages have been mostly burned down, and almost everything… Continue

Added by Debra Morris Smith on May 18, 2016 at 6:37am — No Comments

Renewed SPLA attacks in Greater Mundri

Bishop Stephen emailed this morning that the army of South Sudan has for the past 4 days been increasing its numbers and building new bases in the Greater Mundri area, and that many of the people of Lui and Mundri dioceses are fleeing their villages. The army has burned some villages down. Please pray for our Moru friends!

If you know the Diocese of Lui, you may want these details:

"The parishes of Mideh, Matta, Mariba in Mideh Archdeaconry and parishes of…


Added by Debra Morris Smith on February 15, 2016 at 9:54am — 3 Comments

Lenten Study from the ECSSS Diocese of Wau

A few of us in the Diocese of Missouri participated in the Wau Lenten study in 2014 and 2015. Here it is for 2016 if anyone is interested: 

Answers: Responding with the Word of Peace

Added by Debra Morris Smith on January 14, 2016 at 1:48pm — No Comments

Update from Bishop Stephen

Bishop Stephen writes today that his people are still suffering and living in fear, not knowing what will happen. Besides fleeing to the bush and to Uganda, many Morus have fled to Yei, where they also are lacking basic necessities of life. Earlier this week, though, the World Food Programme, with assistance from the UN Mission in South Sudan, was able to deliver food in the Lui area. We know that food will continue to be a huge need because instability kept so many people from cultivating…


Added by Debra Morris Smith on December 15, 2015 at 1:32pm — No Comments

"Understanding New Violence in South Sudan's Western Equatoria"

John Ashworth posted this article from Radio Tamazuj, which seems to offer a balanced look at what has been happening in the Lui, Mundri, and Mvolo areas and other parts of Western Equatoria.

Added by Debra Morris Smith on October 10, 2015 at 11:33pm — 1 Comment

More Sad News from Our Moru Friends

Bishop Stephen has emailed to tell us that Lillian's mother passed away at 7:30 pm today, October 7. He asks for our prayers for Lillian and the family. 

Added by Debra Morris Smith on October 7, 2015 at 10:31pm — 1 Comment

Bombing Near Lui

This morning I woke up to texts from Vasco and then spoke with him by phone. A warplane bombed the Amadi junction, near where people are hiding in the bush. (For those who don't know, the junction is just a few miles outside Lui town on the road to Mundri.) Vasco didn't know whose warplane it was. He added that there are sick people stuck in Lui Hospital, among them his daughter, and that staff of CUAMM (an Italian organization, Doctors With Africa) are also at the hospital.



Added by Debra Morris Smith on October 7, 2015 at 8:41am — 5 Comments

Details About the Fighting in Moruland

Thanks to people in the Diocese of Salisbury for mentioning this source of news, Nyamilepedia, which I had never seen before. The story "Heavy Fighting in Greater Mundri" offers extensive detail on the SPLA attacks in Moruland. 

The story's explanation of reasons for the SPLA's attacks are as follows:

"It’s not…


Added by Debra Morris Smith on September 27, 2015 at 4:28pm — 1 Comment

More Shooting in Lui Diocese

Lillian tells me that there was heavy shooting in Lui all day today. She and Stephen are safe, and as far as she knows, the church's buildings are safe too. But everyone has fled to the bush, so nobody is left to ask now.

Yesterday Jambo saw a similar attack. (Jambo is the large town south of Lui just before you enter Rokon Diocese on the way to Juba.) A lot of people from the church in Mideh, which is by Jambo, had their houses burned down in this most recent…


Added by Debra Morris Smith on September 16, 2015 at 5:48pm — 1 Comment

News from Lui

I wrote to Bishop Stephen and Lillian to tell them about the election of Michael Curry at General Convention and a few bits of news from around Missouri, and today I received a reply from Stephen. He said

  • Lui is calm, but people missed planting season because of the conflict, and they haven't received as much rain as they need, so they're expected poor crop yields and famine this winter.
  • Yesterday was the deadline for signing an agreement at the South Sudan peace…

Added by Debra Morris Smith on August 18, 2015 at 3:17pm — No Comments

Update from Lui

I've been chatting with Lillian on Skype recently. She and Bishop Stephen have returned to Lui. The road to Juba is open, but it's very dangerous. With her permission I'm sharing this news.

Some people have been able to cultivate this summer, but many from Lui, Mundri, and Maridi are leaving the villages and going to settle in refugee camps in Uganda. Parents have not been willing to send their children to school since the outbreak of conflict in Mundri and Maridi some weeks…


Added by Debra Morris Smith on August 1, 2015 at 8:57am — 1 Comment

News and an Appeal from Bishop Stephen

Received yesterday from Bishop Stephen, this excerpt from his email posted with his permission:

We are writing to give you some update about the Diocese of Lui. As we have already communicated to you that the people in the Diocese of Lui are living at the moment in fear and because of that they are hiding in the bushes around the diocese but have no food to eat, medicine or clean drinking water.

At the moment this is cultivation…

Added by Debra Morris Smith on June 4, 2015 at 11:38am — No Comments

More Western Equatoria News

What I've heard today is this: Stores and homes in Mundri have been destroyed and at least several of the main roads that lead to the city have been closed. There was an attack on the Yei road (to Juba, I think, but I'm not sure) yesterday that led to some deaths. Many people are still in the bush. Food in Juba is scarce and extremely expensive. Rumbek is also under threat. 

Added by Debra Morris Smith on May 30, 2015 at 1:55pm — No Comments

Mundri Town Taken by Rebels

Apparently the rebels took Mundri town yesterday, May 22, and killed a top government official. Here's a link to the South Sudan news agency's report: And here's the Sudan Tribune's story, which says the…


Added by Debra Morris Smith on May 23, 2015 at 6:13pm — 2 Comments

Advent Meditations from ECSSS Diocese of Wau

Everyone who's interested may already have received this info directly from Dave Lewis, the webmaster for the ECSSS Diocese of Wau. But in case not, the Rev. John Bol has written meditations for each of the 4 weeks of Advent, and you can find them here:

Wau is the diocese whose Lenten program a few of us have joined the past two years. With…


Added by Debra Morris Smith on November 30, 2014 at 12:56pm — No Comments

Greetings from Rina

I had an email this morning from Rina. She is the Mothers' Union Coordinator for the Diocese of Lui. She said things are getting better and asked me to give her greetings to all the women here in the Diocese of Missouri.

Added by Debra Morris Smith on January 24, 2014 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Collection of Crisis News from the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan

Bishop Stephen and many others have sent news and prayer requests to the Diocese of Salisbury, a partner to the ECS(SS) of more than 40 years. Those messages are posted here.

On that page they mention that this Saturday, 1/11, is a day of prayer for South Sudan in the churches there. 

Added by Debra Morris Smith on January 7, 2014 at 3:48pm — 2 Comments

Lui Update

I've been in touch with Lillian. She says that so far (as of Tuesday) Lui is OK. There are still a lot of soldiers in the area, so that's a concern, and many IDPs are arriving in Lui from Juba. Lillian had gone to bring the children back to Lui for Christmas, but because the fighting broke out in Juba, she and they are got stuck in Kampala with Bishop Stephen still in Lui. 

I have a 20-page pdf on the situation in South Sudan as of 1/2/14 published for Congress by the…


Added by Debra Morris Smith on January 4, 2014 at 9:35am — 4 Comments

Report from the AFRECS Conference

Sunday October 20, 2 pm
Cindy Rapp (Emmanuel, Webster Groves), Martha Colville (Holy Cross, Poplar Bluff), Mary Seager (Christ 

Church Cathedral), Evelyn Smith (CCC and chair of the companion diocese committee) and I (St. Timothy's, Creve Coeur) are in the car on the way home from the annual conference of the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (AFRECS), held this year at the new St. James Cathedral Commons in Chicago. We had a wonderful time and learned a…


Added by Debra Morris Smith on October 20, 2013 at 8:39pm — 1 Comment

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