“As we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus, we are also thankful to inaugurate the newest Bible Society in the world,” says Dr Edward Kajivora, Executive Secretary of the Bible Society in South Sudan. Although it was registered in January, the Bible Society only officially opened its doors last week, on December 18, at a ceremony attended by high-ranking government officials and church leaders.
“We’ve been hard at work all year but not many people in South Sudan know about their new Bible Society,” notes Dr Kajivora, “so this ceremony was very important – a historical moment. It was wonderful to welcome guests from the government, the churches and representatives from our sister Bible Societies and partner organisations.
“We were delighted that the event was covered by the media, including being broadcast live on national television. Now people throughout the country know about their Bible Society and its mission to serve them.”
South Sudan’s Minister of Information, the Honourable Dr Martin Marial Benjamin, was the guest of honour and congratulated the Bible Society on its official opening and on the work it has already done. The minister, a committed Christian, challenged the Bible Society to eventually open offices in all 10 states in order to make God’s Word available to all people in South Sudan.
Fight against crime and corruption
Bishop Arkanjelo Wani Lemi of the Africa Inland Church shared with the gathering his belief that God’s Word can play a key role in the fight against crime and corruption. He told the Bible Society that the Church stood firmly behind it in its work of translating the Scriptures into South Sudanese languages and making them as widely available as possible.
Among the special guests at the ceremony were two South Sudanese women who live in Kampala, Uganda.
“They are members of a group called ‘Women of Zion’, and travelled all the way to Juba to witness the official opening of the Bible Society,” says Dr Kajivora. “They are planning to move back to South Sudan next year. Earlier this year, they raised US$1,000 when they heard that their Bible Society had been born, but without clothes. It is wonderful to see this kind of support from the people of this country.”
Earlier stories from South Sudan: