Tombura Yambio (Agenzia Fides) - The life of the inhabitants of South Sudan is fragile, exposed to a thousand unexpected ups and downs, injustices and abuses of all kinds. The country finds itself in a precarious situation, built on a powder keg of tribal groups, greed and corruption of semi-illiterate politicians. This is what Fr Christopher Hartley Sartorius, currently a missionary in the Diocese of Tombura Yambio, writes to Agenzia Fides.
"Only three weeks ago, as I was leaving Naandi Church after the Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, one of the members of the Parish Council came up to me, to tell me to be careful because they had seen armed rebels in the area - says the missionary from the Diocese of Toledo. "I ordered the closure of the church and the parish house. After nine in the evening they gunshots were heard. Thank God nothing happened to us. The next day in the middle of the morning, I went to the police station and saw that a number of rebels had been arrested. They were young, poor and in bad shape. The police officers allowed me to enter the small cell and I spoke with them for a long time. At the end, we prayed together and invoked the mercy of God. When I left one of the guards whispered to me: ‘if you hadn't come, after interrogating and torturing them, they would have been executed in the jungle’!"
Despite the continual difficulties and emergencies, the missionary continues his pastoral commitment, helped by the local population and by the many volunteers.
"Here, life is worthless - concludes the missionary - but the Church constitutes a refuge for many fears, a consolation for all tears and the dawn of a new day in the hope of a better life". (CHS/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 3/2/2021)