Early in April, not long before Holy Week, Sr. Anne Kiragu sat down in front of a microphone at Bakhita Radio, the Juba Catholic Archdiocese's station, pulled out 15 pages of prepared text and began recording a month's-worth of weekly radio broadcasts, four in all.
It was a hot day -- rainy season in South Sudan had just begun -- and Kiragu, 37, acknowledged that, at first, she was not at her best. She was perspiring a bit, and wiped her brow. But as air conditioning gradually cooled the studio, chasing out the warm and sticky heat, Kiragu seemed to catch her rhythm. She recorded the four broadcasts in quick succession, about seven minutes each, and only tripped up, ever-so-slightly, twice.
Kiragu's voice, with a distinct Kenyan lilt and cadence, was steady, firm and even. Her Easter messages sometimes dealt specifically with the problems facing South Sudan. In one, Kiragu spoke about inviting "the Lord to walk with you in your work, in your prayers, in your offices; walk with him in our hospitals, among the internally displaced people here in Juba, walk with him among the orphaned and there let him break for you the bread of understanding, and the bread of compassion to share life with them."