Bishop shares his journey from orphan to man of God
BISHOP Daniel Abot is a true man of faith.
As a child he survived war and displacement, but a calling to God has set the course of his adult life to be completely devoted to spreading peace.
After spending more than six months in South Sudan where he shares the word of God in an area called Duk, Bishop Abot has returned to Australia and reunited with his family.
And for the first time this weekend he travelled to Bundaberg for the Anglican Men's Society's annual conference.
Delegates from across the world were in attendance.
Bishop Abot, who was one of the South Sudanese "lost boys", was resettled in Australia in 2003, now also uses his position as a bishop to help make a difference to the lives of orphans.
He said after becoming involved with the church as a young man he realised he wanted to make a difference, no matter how small.
"I realised I could come home to help bring peace to the country ...," Bishop Abot said.
Bishop Abot does not have a home or office base in war-torn South Sudan, and uses public transport to get where he needs to go.
But that comes at a great personal risk and recently an incident resulted in his passport being taken.
"I had to ring the high commissioner, and had to travel to Nairobi to get an emergency passport (to make it to Bundaberg," he said.
His experiences in South Sudan make coming home to his wife, Rachel, and their seven children all the more sweeter. But Bishop Abot says it also fuels his passion to work for God's will, and to place his own desires second.
"The call of discipleship is heavy ... when you obey God first, when you work for him and not for what you want, it can be hard," he said. He said losing 51 people in his diocese last year, many women and children, highlighted the challenges of his work.
"There (was a time) where 53 children were abducted in the area I served," he explained.
"The area oversees a population of 67,000 but many are scattered because of war.
"Some are hiding in swampy areas and the refugee camps are scattered."
But despite the immense weight on Bishop Abot's shoulders he said he knew he had to try and help.
"I would (have) been like them ... There is a huge need and I can't fulfil (it all) but all I can do is (what I can do)," he said.
"Regardless of what happens, people can not have the joy of God taken away ... and knowing and having hope that one day it will get better."
He said he asked himself what he could do to make a change, and said God answered his question.
"God said the greatest need is to help the children and have a passion for it ... there are thousands of them (that I can't help), so I do what I can."
Currently, six boys and six girls between the age of 11 and 18 are being assisted through the work of Bishop Abot.
"If you see the need is there, don't give up, you can help one or two that might add up," he said.
"Helping 12 (now), we are hoping it can add up and they are out of the trouble zone, they don't hear gun shots they now dream of their future in Uganda."