The leader of an international Christian organisation has told South Sudanese that there is still hope for their countrty, despite the destruction that has taken place there.
Speaking during a conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, for South Sudanese Church and community leaders, the President and CEO of ALARM International, Rev. Celestin Musekura, said revenge killings and blaming others will not solve the current crisis in South Sudan. He added that only forgiveness and reconciliation will restore peace and stability in the country again.
Rev. Celestin, who is originally from Rwanda, shared his painful and traumatic experiences during the Rwanda genocide. He recounted to the audeince how his parents were murdered by his neighbours, while he was a student in the United States. He said that his parents died together with over 70 congregation members from his local church in Rwanda. But he said that he had to forgive those who committed those heinous crimes.
The conference was held to help in the healing process for South Sudanese Church and community leaders who have been affected by the recent conflict in the country. The conference was organized by (ALARM) Africa Leadership And Reconciliation Ministries. The forum was attended by over 40 leaders in Kenya from various denominations and communities.
Rev. Celestin spoke of the trauma he went through after learning that some of the church leaders and chaplains he had trained earlier in the year in Bor, had been affected by the violence that broke out in Bor. The church leaders and chaplains were serving in police, army and other organizes forces.
“When I received the news and saw pictures of Bor, I felt bad and broke down, that those I have ate with, the place I slept in, are no more; it is painful and unbelievable,” he saiod.
He challenged South Sudanese leaders through Nehemiah chapter 1, that when Nehemiah received the news of Jerusalem, he broke down, distressed and trouble.
He said that even though memories always remain in people’s mind, it is upon the South Sudanese to forgive and move on with their lives, for real healing to take place.
“After all these, Nehemiah said life must continue. So after or within this crisis in South Sudan, it is not the end of the world, life must continue,” he said.
He told the gathering that life gives hopes and reconciliation among people, not destruction. Rev. Celestin warned the leaders not to keep things in their hearts but to speak out for healing to take place.