Lectionary Selection: Matthew 10:24-39
Prayers for Sri Lanka:
God of all, we give thanks to be in Sri Lanka with people whose origins are deep in the past, and we are grateful for what their past teaches us all.
We cherish our shared story of education, healthcare, faith and friendship. We give thanks that we work with the Church of the American Ceylon Mission (CACM) to continue our shared story. Today the UCC celebrates its 60th birthday – and the CACM is celebrating the 200th year since the American Ceylon Mission began! With joy we celebrate the ways our churches change and work to meet the needs of a challenging future.
We pray for what is needed and what is being done to help Tamil people recover from the war that followed years of discrimination against them. With faith in you, O God, the CACM works to reclaim homes and businesses and to prepare tomorrow’s adults for progress and success.
As the world grows smaller and more crowded, we pray for meaningful connections. We need your guidance, O Holy One, and the strength and creativity to adapt to a changing world. Help us to judge well what is important for our future and what to leave in history as lessons.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen
“No os olvidéis de la hospitalidad, porque por ella algunos, sin saberlo, hospedaron ángeles.” Hebreos 13:2
Una tarde lluviosa, Alberto, el pastor interino local, y yo compartimos la Biblia con los pocos jóvenes que vinieron. De repente, dos desconocidos se acercaron a la puerta de la iglesia. Greg, brasileño, y Joyce, de Malasia, viajaban por todo el sudeste asiático. Los dos viajaban con poco equipaje; cada uno con sólo una pequeña mochila.Read more
Lectionary Selection: John 14:15-21
Prayers for Indonesia
O Holy One of Truth and Love, we long for the Advocate that embodies a Spirit of Truth. We are so often confused by claims about truth and falsehoods, facts and fake news, that we forget our mission to love and care for all. May Your acts of love and compassion inspire us to nurture our local communities as well as national and international ones.
We pray for the many small churches in rural Indonesia who seek an Advocate to stand by them in their struggle to protect the mountains, forests and streams you have entrusted to them. Strengthen our bonds in the spirit of partnership so that there will be no orphans in the Family of God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.Read more
Today I went with a team of pastors and elders to visit a remarkable gentleman. Pastor Paul Smith is a retired missionary who used to hold the position I have recently been assigned to. Yes, my duties have just now changed. I am now beginning to work as a bi-lingual pastor in a Thai church. One of this congregation’s ministries is a Sunday morning worship service in English. Such a thing is not so uncommon in Bangkok, but it’s a little unusual when most of those attending, and almost all of those ministering, are actually Thai by birth. Some westerners also attend the English service, as well as people from other Asian countries—last week there were around 20 Korean university students visiting from a Korean-speaking church in the area, and they came with a Korean missionary couple whom I already knew through connections with the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT), which is Global Ministries’ partner organization here. There are well-off people and people who have almost nothing.Read more
We returned to the US just one day after demonstrations were being held at airports across the country to protest the Trump administration’s immigrant ban. It was difficult to breeze through customs and immigration at Logan International in Boston knowing that others, by the circumstance of birth alone, were being turned away. The body politic in this country— the ability to live together as members of one community—is being tested. Parallels with issues in Indonesia are striking: tolerance of difference and the role of faith in politics is being tested there as well.Read more
We, at Christian Hospital Mungeli, have had a very productive start to the New Year. Let us take you briefly into our small community made up of a Hospital, a Nursing school and a Primary/Secondary School operated by the Church of North India.Read more
By: CHM Staff
Christian Hospital Mungeli (CHM) is located in a rural town in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, which has a population of 25 million. Half the population lives on less than $1.5 a day (Below the Poverty Line). Chhattisgarh is one of eight Indian states whose poverty exceeds that of 26 of the poorest African countries. We have the second highest maternal death rate in India. Eighty percent of the population lives in rural areas, 80% of households do not have a toilet, and only half of rural women are literate. For cultural and economic reasons, many rural residents often fail to seek medical care until their condition is critical, instead first consulting traditional healers and unlicensed village medical practitioners. In this challenging context, our mission is to provide low cost, modern health care and education through skilled and compassionate personnel, to those marginalized by poverty.Read more
…we walk by faith and not by sight. 2 Cor. 5:7
On Tuesday I was at one of the weekly home worship gatherings that form a core part of the pastoral ministry for the Protestant Church in Timor Leste(IPTL). The house where we were was typical of many in Timor Leste: a simple corrugated iron shack with a rock foundation and a dirt floor. Such houses don’t have windows so the host had left both the back and front doors open to allow light to shine on our gathering. Out the back door I could see the neighbor processing food gathered from the surrounding forest. Through the front door I could see inside our host’s kitchen. A mound of earth with a fire on top was cooking something in a smoke-stained kettle. Our gathering included two moms and ten children, ages 5 to 17. Alberto, the pastoral intern, was sharing a reflection on Matthew 5:13-14. He proclaimed to the gathered community: “…You are the salt of the earth…you are the light of the world.” As I heard that, I was reminded how often the Bible draws our attention away from the rich and powerful and toward the poor, the meek and those who mourn (Matt. 5:3-5). And that is where our attention has been as we settle back into our ministry in Lospalos.Read more
The few months after our Christmas update have been filled with exciting visits from friends around the world. From San Diego-based nursing students to dear friends of Dr. Anil Henry’s, Immanuel and Zarreen Babu, CHM has seen no shortage of visitors.Read more