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East African Bishops offer Hope and Encouragement to Anglicans in South Carolina

East African Bishops offer Hope and Encouragement to Anglicans in South Carolina
Anglican Church in Kenya no longer recognizes The Episcopal Church as valid
Four African bishops support Bishop Lawrence against heresies of The Episcopal Church

By Ladson F. Mills III
Special to Virtueonline
April 10, 2013

Suffering is what you can expect when you follow the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the message from four East African bishops to the faithful Christians who have chosen to remain with Bishop Mark Lawrence in South Carolina.

These four leaders arrived in Charleston having recently completed participation in the New Wineskins Conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina. All four bishops were guests of the Diocese of South Carolina to share about their work in their area of the Anglican Communion. Virtueonline spoke with them prior to their meeting concerning their perspective on the current situation between South Carolina and The Episcopal Church.

Bishop Abraham Yel Nhial of the Diocese of Aweil in Sudan encouraged the diocese to stand firm in the faith. He cited his own country which has grown into thirty one dioceses from only one when missionaries left years ago. Over two million have given their lives for the Gospel. He urged the diocese to continue to follow Christ and he welcomed the opportunity to stand with Bishop Lawrence. He reminded that all suffering comes to an end.

Bishop Elias Mazi Chaakupewa, Diocese of Tabora in Tanzania reminded the diocese not to forget the Body of Christ is a living body. Although it can sometimes feel as though it has become a political organization he urged that its true identity not be forgotten. He stated he would continue to stand with Bishop Lawrence and the faithful members of the diocese as well as uphold them in prayer. God he reminded never changes and the truth of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ must never be denied.

Bishop Robert Martin Diocese of Marsabit Kenya stated that the Church in Kenya has been so horrified by the positions of the Episcopal Church that it no longer recognizes it as valid. It does however recognize ACNA and Bishop Lawrence is part of that same tradition. He reminded the people of the Diocese of South Carolina that they cannot expect peace when they stand for the truth and he urged them to continue in taking risk. In East Africa Christians recognize that Christianity and suffering go together.

Bishop Nathan Kamuskime Gasatura of the Diocese of Butare in Rawanda reminded that the Church of Rawanda has a long history of supporting Anglicans grown weary of the continued heresies of TEC. Following the genocide in which the world stood by doing nothing the church in Rawanda made a decision they would never stand by silently while others suffered. That is why he and his Church stand by Bishop Lawrence and the Christians of the Diocese of South Carolina and believe they will triumph.

All four made it very clear they personally support Bishop Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina against the continuing heresies of The Episcopal Church.

A video of their talk to the diocese will be available shortly.

Ladson F. Mills III is a priest with over thirty years pastoral experience. He is retired and lives with his wife in South Carolina. He currently serves as Scholar in Residence at Church of Our Saviour, Johns Island. He is a regular contributor to Virtueonline

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