By Eng. Michael Wetnhialic Maluil, an Activist – Reachable at email@example.com and WhatsApp at +211917771111
As all South Sudanese Christians and Christians worldwide warmly welcomed and celebrated His Holiness Pope Francis’ Visits to Africa along with his two other powerful Men of God, Rev. Dr. Justin Welby, the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, and Rt Rev. Dr. Iain Greenshields, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, it expresses Pope Francis’s deepest love and affection for the people of South Sudan especially his Holy final touching the head of our supreme leader Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit to have his brain boosted spiritually. I am blessed and so proud to be part of people who learned a lot of historical things in this Holy Visit.
In this historical moment when South Sudan is in desperate need of peace, reconciliation, and togetherness, no one could accomplish it better than the Godly Father, Pope Francis, who has a deep affection for the people of South Sudan. His Holiness Pope Francis’ visit to South Sudan will alter the country’s landscape in several positive ways, including the imminent improvement of international relations, the lifting of economic sanctions, increased economic well-being, humanitarian relief efforts, and the reactivation of Christianity, which is currently under threat from Islamic influence coming from government institutions in Juba and Khartoum.
Surprisingly very many countries in the world would wish His Holiness Pope Francis to visit them but our Holy Father, Pope Francis willingly visited South Sudan and scheduled to be with us South Sudanese on Sunday 5th of February 2023. What a greater blessing for South Sudan, the only 90% Christian nation in Africa and maybe also in the world. There are many benefits for the coming of Pope Francis to South Sudan; which include boosting Christianity history such as rising the levels of Christianity to other generations to come, increasing the hopes of the civil population for a promising future, uplifting the living standards of the common citizens, restoring love, peace, and unity among the citizenry as seen on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday respectively at JIA and other places in Juba and across the country. There are indicators of chronic tribalism and disunity declining meanwhile love, smile and unity are visibly renewed/surfacing. There is a clear change in the faces and hearts of our dignitaries recently.
In these terrifying situations where the World is experiencing worldly problems, with acute unprecedented challenges, thus making it very extremely difficult for the majority of nations’ leaders to make rightful decisions and actions for the betterment of the world (the respective nations), a very sad situation which begs for spiritual interventions as confirmed by the Apostolic Visit to Africa, Middle East, and America.
We South Sudan are heartily touched by the Apostolic Pope’s Visit which changed many good things; renewed hopes for promising peace in the country, a change of hearts of our leaders as seen by the President having pardoned the judged prisoners as well as the Presidential speech.
Holy Pope, we dearly love you as our figure Father. Your HOLY INVITATION of our leaders to the Vatican in 2019 resulted in the relative peace we have in the country. Furthermore, your Holy Apostolic Visit to South Sudan cemented your long-awaited quest for peace in South Sudan and this Holy visit has boosted our faith which is threatened by Islamic force from within our government institutions. Holy Father, be assured that your repeatedly Holy interactions, counsel, pieces of advice, and guidance prompted our leaders to remain a leaf in forcing peace and unity, however, in a shaky manner!
It has represented a new paradigm that the Pope kneeled and kissed the South Sudanese leaders’ feet in front of the entire world five years heretofore, pleading with them to steadfastly and speedily work toward peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, and unity for the benefit of their people. as if that was insufficient, so you three Men of God went further to follow them up to here.
The entire world must have been perplexed as to why this unusual apostolic visit occurred to black tribal Christians-dominated South Sudan, and it is hoped that your Holy Visit will rekindle the interest of foreign investors who had shied away from the country due to the turmoil. Can you believe, Your Holiness, that we now have a brand-new asphalt road connecting several areas of Juba, and that it was constructed incredibly quickly, less than a week before your arrival? More miracles will occur in South Sudan, and whatever is accomplished will be because of your holy calls for sincere peace, reconciliation, and mutual forgiveness.
Holy Father Pope Francis, upon your arrival to Juba to all the places you visited – I am one of the people who physically witnessed the moments you have directly heard/received detailed messages verbally and documented ones from individuals and organizations who expressed things that are concerning different types of stories of very painful events characterized by continuing serious problems, suffering, severe pain, and potential high risks without hope for possibilities of peace and stability in South Sudan and you wholeheartedly answered all the messages fully beyond the way those messages were brought forward you. Now the reasonable actions in line with your answers will be upon South Sudan leaders and God. You did your part Holy Father.
Three-day ecumenical visit to South Sudan, you did not have time to rest even. It was from Juba International Airport and you went straight to President’s Office on the first day. On the second day, you went to Church and later went to Juba Garang Mausoleum where you prayed for us and on your 3rd day you cemented all your prayers by that historic Sunday holy mass where you blessed all of us and the country at large and Africa. I don’t think you got time for your resting during the hectic historical three days visit.
Your holiness Pope Francis, Rev. Dr. Justin Welby of Anglican and Moderator General, Iain Greenshields of Presbyterian Church of Scotland thank you so much with much love from us for coming and blessing South Sudan land and its suffering people. It has been hectic days but we could not feel it because we received God’s blessings, peace, wisdom, and strong feelings/hope for mutual forgiveness from you the three Great Men of God.
It is in my prayers that the Apostolic Pope Visit would be tangibly translated from wording to actions by the citizens and the leaders of South Sudan to conform to His Holiness Pope Francis’ expectations and desires for us South Sudanese. At face value, it seems attainable but actions are awaiting to be seen. I and all South Sudanese are very much happy for the safe arrival to Vatican City through God and Mary’s protection.
Dear Holy Father Pope Francis – I am speechless in whatever way I can express my gratitude to which I and my children have been part of the communities you have blessed through this historical apostolic visit. As one of RCC’s products in terms of faith and academy, I will be so proud of you and I remain seeking possible means to visit Vatican City and Rome as well in near future.
Another gratitude to the Ecumenical body comprised of seven (7) member Churches and associate Churches in South Sudan sometimes known as South Sudan Council of Churches. My unaccountable thanks go to Archdiocese Gabriel Zubeir Wako, Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin, Mons. Emmanuel Bernardino Lowi Napeta, Bishop Santo Loku Pio Doggale and all other members of Churches leaders in South Sudan for your positive roles in the birth and protection of South Sudan before and after independence while they were doing it while in the uniforms of God. Their faith and brave are the main reason South Sudan is leading in Christianity.
Not only that – they have been at the center of peacebuilding efforts in South Sudan since time immemorial: they have been successful in helping prevent violence, they have been voluntarily facilitating peace agreements, offering secure spaces for dialogue between warring parties, engaging with armed rebel organizations to accept peace, and working directly with war victims and convincing International and local Nongovernmental Organizations to support peacebuilding and IDPs. Despite deep hatred and high tensions caused by violent politicians and warlords, these brave South Sudanese Men of God have never stopped risking their lives in a search for peace and promotion of development in South Sudan. Now that they had been successful in making the pilgrimage to the sacred locale (John Garang Mausoleum) an international event in South Sudan. Regards and appreciation to the South Sudan Council of Churches and all other South Sudanese who were part of the organizing committees of these three days’ Visit.
Last but not least, I want to express my gratitude from the bottom of my heart to H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit for pardoning 36 prisoners who were convicted of death sentences and 35 others who had been sentenced to pay compensation. Therefore, if you encounter some of these people outside, know that they have been pardoned and are free to live once more. This is in keeping with the message of harmony, forgiveness, and reconciliation that has been spread by religious leaders such as His Holiness Pope Francis, Rev. Dr. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and Rev. Dr. Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. This shows that the visit of the holy men of God is not in vain, and with this, I hope peace shall reign in South Sudan and His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit (Wunpiny) is going to do more miracles whether the warlords like it or not.