Missio Dei- Called to serve on Mission of God. Part 2
By Bishop Patrick Augustine
In April 2018 I received a letter from the Most Reverend Ruben Akurdid, Archbishop of Jongeli Province and Bishop of Bor that the Executive Committee of their Jongeli Province and Diocese had passed a resolution, inviting me to serve as the Assistant Bishop to serve in the Diocese of Bor. I was consecrated as Bishop on June 9, 2019 at St. Andrews Cathedral in Bor. This made me a Missionary Bishop and I felt my role in the Diocese of Bor is to teach, preach, pray and support the Mothers Union work, help with the education of 3600 children of St. Andrews Primary and High School. It is an honor and privilege for me to be a servant of Jesus Christ to serve here. I live with my community day and night. It means I am experiencing their suffering and triumphant faith every hour I spend with them. It is a very simple life, at times difficult, but it gives me a deep sense of solidarity to be one with them in Christ.
Now, let me end with why I do not call my work the “Mission of Bishop Patrick Augustine” but instead the “Mission of God”, missio Dei. The Old and New Testament, is a revelation of “God’s mission.” I will share several Scripture passages:
1. “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49:6).
2. God took a very decisive step to redeem humanity from the power of sin: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. God sent the Son into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17)
3. Jesus fulfills Isaiah’s prophesy to tell the world charter of his mission: “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed to proclaim the acceptable Year of the Lord. (Luke 4: 18-19)
4. Jesus Christ makes it very clear in sending his disciples on the missio Dei: “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world”. (John 17:18)
During my doctoral study at Virginia Theological Seminary I read several articles and books of the eminent scholar and missiologist David Bosch who clearly articulates:
That Mission is, primarily and ultimately the work of the Triune God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, for the sake of the world, a ministry in which the church is privileged to participate. This is the deepest source of mission … there is mission because God loves people.
As a disciple of Jesus Christ this is exactly how I have been called to bring the Good News, bring hope to the poor and oppressed, and to love them as my brothers and sisters. I pray every day for peace and reconciliation in the nation of South Sudan and in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan. I have been called to hear personal stories and cries of many orphans and widows who carry pain and are in need to their wounds to be healed. I serve among them as their brother in Christ in the Diocese of Bor, South Sudan. I give thanks to God for providing me this opportunity. My heart is full of gratitude for many churches and individuals who have contributed that allow me to serve here on the mission of God as the servant of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, since it is by God's mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart. (2 Corinthians 4:1)
yin Ca leec (Dinka), Shookrun (Arabic), Thank you.