The Rt. Rev. Abraham Nhial, Bishop of the Diocese of Aweil, South Sudan, of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, visited New England and the ADNE during the second half of November. He traveled around the region, meeting with the various South Sudanese communities here, who looked forward to his arrival and his encouragement, as many congregations are in a state of transition. This journey was on the heels of the Sudanese community celebration held in Portland, ME, with the visit of South Sudanese Archbishop Paul Yugusuk.
Bishop Abraham Nhial was one of the few Lost Boys of Sudan who resettled in the United States and became a bishop of the Sudanese Lost Boys in America, which number about 4,000. He then chose to return to now South Sudan and shepherd the Church in Aweil, overseeing 200,000 souls. He is still referred to as the spiritual leader of the Lost Boys for his commitment, work, and outstanding achievements for the southern Sudanese, especially during the decades-long civil war raging in his country.
Bishop Nhial was helped by Archdeacon Joseph Bizimana, who serves Sudanese believers in Maine and New Hampshire and was able to connect various congregations during the bishop’s stay in New England. In addition to visiting churches in Lisbon, ME, and Portland, they also met in Manchester, NH, with a small Sudanese congregation. The Rev. Solomon Mursal of All Nations Shukuru Yesu Church in Portland visited the Manchester community and was also able to minister to them, alongside Ven. Joseph and Bishop Abraham. Fr. Solomon was licensed as an ADNE priest during this year’s ADNE Synod, where his Portland congregation, which sent representatives, was warmly welcomed.
Bishop Bill was also able to meet with Bishop Nhial to discuss the future of South Sudanese Anglican believers in New England and form a greater partnership between our diocese and the Church of South Sudan.