ACC-12 Opening Eucharist
A week ago Friday, while I was waiting at Heathrow for my flight to Hong Kong, Lynne Butt from our Travel Office called and told me the horrid news -that Basimaki Byabasaija, the clergy representative from the Anglican Church in the Congo, had been murdered on the way to ACC-12 from his home in Boga en route to Uganda where he was going to fly to Hong Kong. In a press report that we received shortly after receiving this news, we were told that Basimaki's body had been so mutilated that it had to be collected to be buried.
This morning 1 received a letter from the Archbishop of the Congo, who told me that Miss Joyce Muhindo Tsongo, the lay representative, was supposed to join Basimaki, but she 'remains unreachable till now. People are scattered all over the region seeking for safety'. The Archbishop continued, 'almost all the population from Boga, including myself, have fled and are currently in Ugandan territory'. Hence when the banner from the Congo was brought into the Cathedral a black stole was draped over it.
In the Archbishop's letter he told me that Basimaki's son is completing his masters degree at a local university and the Archbishop requested a grant from the Communion for US$2000 to help with his education. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of Hong Kong, the Chair and the Vice Chair of the ACC have designated the offering from this Opening Service to go towards Basimaki's son's education. In this tragedy, please be generous.
Might I ask you now to stand for a minute of silence followed by prayers for Basimaki, remembering as well his family and all the people of the Congo who are suffering at this time.
Into your hands, O merciful Saviour, we commend your servant Basimaki. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the Glorious Company of the saints in light. Amen.
May his soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.