photos by Charlie Simokaitis and Constance Wilson
The Republic of South SUDAN
The Renk Media Team
I am extremely grateful to have been invited by producer Connie Wilson to accompany her and a team of creative people to the Diocese of Chicago's companion diocese, the Diocese of Renk, the Republic of South Sudan, to document and produce several videos about our Anglican brothers and sisters.
The Renk Media Team is based in the Diocese of Chicago. Through video, photographs and social media, the Team hopes to keep friends updated on current realities in Sudan.
Pray for peace.
The Renk Media Team is made up of Constance Wilson, Charlie Simokaitis, The Rev. Kevin M. Goodman and The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey Lee from the Diocese of Chicago and The Rt. Rev. Joseph Garang Atem Zorial from the Diocese of Renk, the Republic of South Sudan.
In 2007, The Rev. Joseph Garang Atem Zorial asked Connie to capture via photographs, the people of the Diocese of Renk: the priests and their families; the churches, schools and teachers; Renk Theological College with Renk Clinic and the Women's Center, new parishes and various worshiping centers.
In addition to a photographic record, Connie felt that there was an opportunity to tell the story of the Diocese of Renk. She invited Charlie Simokaitis to capture the story in photographs and Kevin Goodman to produce a video documentary.
In January, 2010, the Renk Media Team was accompanied by The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey Lee for a production trip to Sudan. In 10 days, the team conducted 45 interviews in 24 locations.
Bishop Lee's Online Video Journal chronicles the team's journey through the Diocese of Renk while producing the three documentaries “Voices of Faith,” “Partners in Faith,” and “Praises of Faith.”
As one woman shares, We rely on God for everything; and God never fails us." In the context of a land where hunger, illness and political violence are an ever-present threat, there is a fierce and a fragile beauty in such a declaration.
At a particular moment in time, this is the story of the people of the Diocese of Renk, The Episcopal Church of Sudan.