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Companion Dioceses


Diocese of Brechin, Scotland
Diocese of Swaziland, Southern Africa
Diocese of Nzara, Episcopal Church of Sudan 

Daily Prayers for Dioceses of Iowa, Brechin, Nzara and Swaziland 

Joint Intercession List 

Companion Diocese Coordinators are trying to improve their distribution list.  If you want to receive messages about either of the Companion Dioceses and you wish to be added to their list please email them.  Feel free to forward this to interested parties. 

News from Brechin and Swaziland is available using the links as left

Recent updates from Ray Gaebler, Companions of Nzara Coordinator

To schedule a presentation about Nzara call or Email: Ray Gaebler, 515-987-9534 or raygaebler@mchsi.com

[Sept. 1, 2014] Dear Friends,
Bp. Samuel Peni has returned to the Diocese of Nzara from his many responsibilities beyond Nzara.  From August 3 - 16 Peace Training was conducted in Juba.  During this time he also traveled to Uganda to meet with victims of the “Lord’s Resistance Army.”  This is part of his efforts to help LRA victims recover from the trauma they have experienced and resume their lives.  He also went to Rwanda to learn more about the reconciliation process they are undergoing after the genocide of 1994.
Immediately after returning to Nzara Samuel gathered the Pastors and Evangelists to plan for the “Week of Witness” coming up.  The first Sunday in September is always set aside as a “Special Day of Prayer, Remembrance, and Appreciation” for the Mother’s Union.  This is the kickoff for a week of witness in the community.  The group selected as a theme, “Call for Salvation.”  Focusing on Romans 10: 9-10 they will go to throughout the community to share the Gospel.  Schools, homes, offices, and the public market will be visited.  They will reach non-believers and back-sliders, inviting them into the church and to baptism.  Our prayers in Iowa can support their faith and witness.  Please add the Week of Witness to your prayers for September 7-14.
        Peace, Ray Gaebler

[August 22, 2014) Dear Friends,
         "I would like to inform you all that our meeting with Nuer senior pastors/moderators will be tomorrow from 10am to 2pm at Chaster House Nairobi, Kenya. Please remember us in your thoughts and prayers. God bless you all!” Bishop Abraham Nhial
         I received this message today and urge you to pray for this meeting to succeed.  If you are reading this Saturday in Iowa the meeting has already taken place but in God’s time prayers are always heard.  Bishop Abraham is one of the youngest bishops in the Anglican Communion.  He was born in Aweil, Northern Bahr-el Gazel shortly before the Second Sudanese Civil War began in1983.   Before his tenth birthday, the troops sent by the National Islamic Front regime attacked his village along with hundreds of others. Those at home were either taken as slaves or killed. Those who were not home during the attack took flight, like Nhial, to Ethiopia. Not all made it, and many died during the attempted escape.  Eventually Abraham made his way to Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya and ended up as one of the “Lost Boys” who came to America.  Abraham was educated in America and became an American Citizen but has returned to South Sudan to be the first Bishop of the Diocese of Aweil in South Sudan.  Aweil is near the border with Sudan and has been very insecure during the current civil strife. 
        Bishop Abraham has been working diligently to bring peace among the Dinka, Nuer, and Murle tribal groups at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.  Earlier this year The Rev. Jeffrey Gill, rector of Trinity Church Seattle, and others conducted a peace training session for youth at Kakuma.  One of the attendees was a dynamic student from the University of Nairobi who had a vision to promote peace with a Football (Soccer ) Event for the youth of Kakuma.  Plans for this are moving along well.  Michael, the student leader, is of the Nuer tribe but most of the early enthusiasm has come from Dinka youth.  Trust between the Dinka (mainly Episcopalians) and the Nuer (mainly Presbyterian) is not high.  Bishop Abraham has a long history of good relations with both factions.  He and Michael have worked hard to find neutral ground where the two can meet and build trust.  The United Nations organization that runs Kakuma and the Kenyan Police who provide security have endorsed this effort and are cooperating.  The success of the meeting at Chaster House is critical to moving forward.
        Thanks for your prayers. Ray Gaebler

A Brief History of the Companionship
The three-way companionship among Iowa, Swaziland and Brechin, Scotland, became official in 1990, but the relationships reaches back much further. Our link with Brechin was made official in 1982, and the late Bernard L. Mkhabela, Bishop of Swaziland, and Bishop Walter Righter explored of a three-way companionship in 1988. The idea was endorsed by the Diocesan convention that year, with national recognition coming two years later. Bishop C. Christopher Epting traveled to Swaziland and Brechin shortly after his investiture, and he worked to expand the relationships under his watch.

The heart of diocesan companionship is joining together in mission. To this end Iowans and their companions in Nzara Swaziland and Scotland pray for one another daily through the Joint Intercession List

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