Weekly Prayers

Pray for Lesotho on Sunday, July 6, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Lesotho: Matthew 11:25-30

Dear God, we pray that people throughout the world will find rest in you.  May you bring your peace upon peoples and nations torn asunder by wars, politics and natural disasters.  We pray especially today for the Lesotho Evangelical Church that it may help heal political divisions within Lesotho.  As we remember those who have come before us in spreading the Good News around the world, we pray that as we share God's love we will do so with the gentleness and humility of our Savior Jesus Christ.  In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

(Prayer by Mark Behle)

During 2008 the Lesotho Evangelical Church is celebrating the 175th  anniversary of the arrival of the first missionaries from the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society.  In June 1833 Thomas Arbousset, Eugene Casalis and Constant Gossellin arrived at Thaba-Bosiu, home of the founder of the Basotho nation King Moshoeshoe I.   King Moshoeshoe had invited the missionaries to settle among his people.

The Lesotho Evangelical Church asks you to pray for:
-  Peace and stability in Lesotho and in Africa.
-  Churches, Pastors and Evangelists to be the able to continue preaching the Word of God.
-  Reducing poverty in the country amid the worsening economical hardships brought about by increasing petrol prices.
-  The church to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the arrival of the first missionaries in Lesotho in 1833 and the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin.

Global Ministries International Partners in Lesotho:

  • Lesotho Evangelical Church - The Lesotho Evangelical Church is one of Africa's oldest Protestant churches, founded in 1833 by missionaries from the Paris Evangelical Mission society.  It is Lesotho's oldest denomination and today it has 261,350 members in 112 congregations.  It also maintains 563 schools.  The LEC-sponsored schools have contributed to the 83 percent literacy rate nationwide.   Global Ministries' relationship to LEC began in 1983.
  • Christian Council of Lesotho - The Christian Council of Lesotho is a fellowship of Christian churches and Christian organizations. It has two main objectives: (1) to foster closer cooperation and unity amongst churches and organizations of different Christian traditions; (2) to enable member churches and organization to more fully share in the spiritual, social and economic endeavors.  It has been involved over the years in social development, formal and informal education, health and sanitation, environmental protection and agriculture, civic education, conflict management. 
  • Christian Health Association of Lesotho - The mission of the Christian Health Association of Lesotho is to facilitate the participation of the Christian churches in ensuring that the right of all members of society to the highest quality health services is upheld.  In pursuit of this mission, the Christian churches are committed to see to it that quality health services reach those who have least access, the families and communities, through appropriate technologies, in spirit of mutual trust and cooperation as a tangible expression of Christ's vision to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Global Ministries Missionary in Lesotho:

Mark Behle serves with the Lesotho Evangelical Church as a teacher at Masitise High School.  He teaches math, a course on Luke & Acts, coaches basketball and leads a youth group called Friends of God.  He has been in Lesotho since 1996 and prior to that served with Global Ministries in Zambia for eleven years as a teacher at Kafue Secondary School.   

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Pray for Taiwan on Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Taiwan: Matthew 10:40-42

Gracious God, we thank you for the extravagant welcome that you have extended to us in Jesus. As we remember our partnerships around the globe and the specific ones that we share with our Taiwanese brothers and sisters this Sunday, we ask that we might be able to extend that gracious hospitality to one another in tangible ways. We pray for each of the Taiwanese ministries mentioned below and ask that each one would be empowered to welcome the other and provide what is needed, even a cup of cold water, in Jesus name. Amen

(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)

Global Ministries International Partners in Taiwan:

  • Disabled Persons Service Center
  • Fishermen's Service Center
  • Labor Concerns Center
  • Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT)
  • Rainbow House
  • Taiwan Theological College and Seminaries

Global Ministries Missionary in Taiwan:

None at the present time

 

 

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Pray for Zimbabwe, Sunday June 22, 2008

Prayer and Action for Zimbabwe

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Zimbabwe: Matthew 10:24-39

Loving God, as we pray today we want to focus our thoughts on the work of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) based in Geneva, Switzerland. We thank you for the continued support and advocacy of the international community to members of the WSCF in crises such as those suffering in Zimbabwe today. We thank you for the spirit of compassion that unites us.

We pray for the political situation in Zimbabwe that it may be resolved quickly and peacefully.

We pray that state officials will act out of compassion and understanding throughout this process, and not out of self-promotion and domination.

We pray that in the face of intimidation and violence people will remain firm in the truth of their convictions and will continue to vote their real desires in the re-election on June 27th.

We pray for courage and strength for the people of Zimbabwe as they face their current challenges. We know that anyone who opposes the dominant political force is under great risk, and we ask you to please keep them safe.

We pray that the Church in Zimbabwe will remain faithful to minister the Gospel in a dangerous atmosphere.

We pray for wisdom for retaining security and safety of women, children and men in Zimbabwe.

We pray for the struggles of young people who are used by corrupt politicians to advance their own needs.

We pray that the needed change must surely come through God's own way. Help us all to sow seeds of peace with justice at this time.

We ask this of you Great God of overflowing creative energy, Jesus of vast compassion, and Holy Spirit who turns chaos into life enhancing wholesomeness.

Amen

(by Varsha Vijayakumar, based on prayers by the World YWCA for A Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe on April 28th).

Global Ministries International Partners in Switzerland:  

Global Ministries Missionary in Switzerland:  

Varsha Vijayakumar, a member of Olmsted Community Church, United Church of Christ, Olmsted Falls, Ohio, is serving a one-year term with the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) in Geneva, Switzerland. She is a human rights and solidarity Global Mission Intern.

Prayer and Action for Zimbabwe

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Pray for South Africa, Sunday June 15, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for South Africa: Matthew 9:35 to 10:8

God of love and compassion, we ask you to bless the rich diversity of South Africa—a land rich in resources, land, and people.  Yet we lament that in the midst of this beautiful country it is also riddled with crime, rape, violence, poverty, unemployment, an AIDS pandemic, and recently xenophobia.  There is much to be done to heal the nation.  Call forth new labourers, O God.  Commission new compassionate leaders who will cure the sick, raise-up those dead in poverty, cleanse those with HIV and AIDS, and cast out the demons of hatred towards one another.  We pray for our refugee neighbours from Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo who fear they will be the next victims of xenophobia. We pray for the AIDS orphans who are deprived of their most basic needs and will never know what it means to have parents.  In Jesus' name. Amen.

(Prayer by Susan Valiquette and Scott Couper)

Global Ministries International Partners in South Africa:

  • South African Council of Churches: This council consists of the joint work of 26 member churches.  The SACC focuses its ministry on social justice, the integrity of creation, and the alleviation of poverty.
  • Theological Education by Extension College: This college, supported by nine member churches, helps prepare students for ministry, whether lay or ordained.  The college is ecumenical and students come from Catholic, Anglican, Reformed, and African Independent backgrounds.
  • United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) – South Africa Synod:  The UCCSA - South African Synod consists of over 250 churches, divided into 11 regions.  Within the Synod one can find many different cultures and languages, making the SA Synod an example of reconciliation in the new South Africa.

Global Ministries Missionaries in South Africa:

Jonathan and Dawn Barnes are missionaries with the Kei Regional Council of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, South Africa.  They serve as development officers in the Kei region of the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette are missionaries serving in South Africa.  Susan serves as the Chaplain of Inanda Seminary (Secondary school of the UCCSA).  Scott is the HIV and AIDS coordinator for UCCSA kwaZulu Natal Region and serves as the pastor of Bethel UCCSA church.

Carla Giger is a Global Mission Intern (funded by Week of Compassion) serving with the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa as an Assistant Program Coordinator. She works on the Girls Against the Spread of Aids (GASA) program.

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Pray for Ecuador on Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Ecuador: Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26

 

God who desires mercy, not sacrifice, we thank you for the work of our partners in Ecuador. We ask you to continue to empower them as they seek to reach out to the marginalized and the poorest of the poor as Jesus did throughout his ministry. We are grateful for those who have served you in Ecuador on behalf of the Disciples and UCC throughout the years. We think especially of Victor and Violet Vaca and we pray for Victor as he continues to grieve the passing of Violet. We thank you for those in our two denominations that walk closely with our partners in Ecuador, especially the Illinois South Conference and the Oregon Region. We ask your blessing on these partnership relationships. Amen

 

Illinois South Conference partnership

 

Oregon Region partnership

 

(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)

 

Global Ministries International Partners in Ecuador:

  • Centro Integral de la Familia (CIF)
  • Confraternidad Evangelica Ecuatoriana
  • Consejo de Pueblos y Organizaciones Indigenas Evangelicas del Ecuador (FEINE)
  • Fundacion Ecumenica Para el Desarrollo Integral Capacitacion-Education (FEDICE)
  • Iglesia Evangelica Unida delEcuador (IEUE)
  • La Asociacion Latinoamericana de Asesoramiento y Pastoral Familiar (EIRENE)

Global Ministries Missionary in Ecuador:

 

None at the present time

 

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Pray for Mozambique on Sunday, June 1, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Mozambique: Matthew 7:21-29

God, we thank you for our partners in Mozambique who are rebuilding their communities on a solid foundation after many years of civil war. We thank you for their commitment to peace with justice as they turn weapons of war into works of art. We pray for the work of the church as it reaches out to all and seeks to do your will. We pray particularly for the development of leaders who will put the words of Jesus into practice as they carry out their ministries. Amen

(Prayer Bob Shebeck)

Global Ministries International Partners in Mozambique:

  • Christian Council of Mozambique: Christian Council of Mozambique is a Church based organization formed in 1948 by the main line churches like the Methodist, Anglicans and Presbyterians. Presently it constituted 22 different denominations both main line as well as small denominations including two Associations (The Bible Society and the Scripture Union). CCM works countrywide with offices in each province and in some districts, administrative posts and localities. 
  • Mozambique Synod - United Congregational Church of Southern Africa:  The Mozambique Synod is one of five synods comprising the United Congregational church in Southern Africa.  Its office is located in Maputo.  The synod is engaged in ministry in various districts throughout the country.  In recent years, the country has suffered from many natural disasters and the synod has been in the forefront trying to alleviate some of the suffering.  It has constructed new homes for the homeless and cared for hundreds of children.
  • Ricatla United Seminary: The United Seminary of Ricatla is an ecumenical theological institution in Maputo. It was founded in 1958 by a group of Protestant churches committed to creating a school where ministers can receive cross denominational training in an ecumenical setting.  The United Seminary of Ricatla has since graduated hundreds of ministers, both male and female, who have gone on to work in a variety of churches throughout the country. The ecumenical mission of the United Seminary of Ricatla is demonstrated in its practice of requiring students to complete their practical training in three denominations besides their own.  The Seminary also offers exchange programs and accepts students from outside Mozambique.  In addition to being respected for its theological training, the Seminary is well respected for the leadership and spirit of unity and understanding its graduates provide both among churches and in the communities in Mozambique.
  • United Church of Christ in Mozambique:  The UCC in Mozambique was founded in 1905. It is made up of 56 congregations with 20 ordained ministers. It has around 10,000 members.

Global Ministries Missionary in Mozambique:

None at the present time 

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Pray for China on Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for China: Matthew 6:24-34

Loving God, there are many today in China who lack food, water, clothing and shelter because of the earthquake. As the Chinese observe 3 days of national mourning, we ask you to wrap your loving arms around your children in this part of the world. May the aid that is needed for each one in need arrive as soon as possible. We pray for the relief efforts of our partners in China, the Amity Foundation and the China Christian Council. May their work and the work of so many others, provide for the needs of those who are worried about how they will make it tomorrow. May the justice and compassion of your Realm be seen in and through the response of your people. Amen

(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)

Global Ministries International Partners in China:

Global Ministries Personnel  in China:

Tom Morse serves with the Amity Foundation as an English Teacher.

Doreen and Michael McFarlane are professors at Nanjing Seminary

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Pray for Myanmar (Burma) on Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayer for Myanmar: Matthew 28:16-20

God we thank you for this promise that Jesus has left us: "And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." We pray particularly for the people of Myanmar and ask that the presence of the Risen Christ would be made know in the relief and rebuilding efforts currently being carried out. We ask that you might empower our partners in their response to this difficult situation. May they sense your presence at their side. Amen

Update on Cyclone recovery
Getting Aid to Myanmar
UCC Myanmar appeal
Eyewitness account of Cyclone

Global Ministries International Partners:

  • The Myanmar Council of Churches is a Global Ministries Partner. However, it is difficult to participate in projects in Myanmar under the current military regime.

Global Ministries Missionary:

None at the present time

 

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Pray for Japan on Sunday, May 10, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Japan: John 20:19-23

God we thank you for your promise of peace and the gift of the Spirit for doing mission in your world today. As we pray for Japan today, we ask that you migh enable the Japanese church to continue it's faithful and creative witness to the Risen Christ. We also ask you to continue to teach us what it means to walk in solidarity with them as they carry out your mission. We…

  • Pray for migrant workers and their families in Japan, who work hard to make ends meet and to send part of their pay back to their families in impoverished countries.
  • Pray For the victims of human trafficking all over the world. Japan and the United States are two major countries to which people (especially women) are trafficked. Help us God that we  work together to bring an end to this modern form of slavery.
  • Pray that the witness of Ariticle 9 of Japan's Peace Constitution will grow. That the Japanese people and government will see that the Peace Constitution is a gift to the world,  and that Japan can take a lead in furthering non-military means to resolve conflicts, which is what is most needed in our broken world.
  • Pray for the Christian church in Japan, which though small, continues to preach the Good News in this secular society.
  • Pray for small ministries such as the Bazaar Café, the Emmaus Center, and many social service organizations rooted in the Christian church, that they may continue to serve the most needy and the lonely.  Amen

(Prayer by Martha Mensendiek)

Global Ministries International Partners in Japan:

  • Doshisha University: http://www.doshisha.ac.jp/english/ Martha Mensendiek is a teacher of Social Welfare at Doshisha University, Kyoto. Casilda Luzares teaches English.
  • Asian Rural Institute: The mission of the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) is to build an environmentally healthy, just, and peaceful world, in which each person can live to his or her fullest potential. This mission is rooted in the love of Jesus Christ. To carry out this mission, ARI trains and nurtures rural leaders for a life of sharing. Leaders, both women and men, who live and work in grassroots rural communities primarily in Asia, Africa and the Pacific form a community of learning each year together with staff and other residents. Through community-based learning they study the best ways for rural people to share and enhance local resources and abilities for the common good. 
  • Emmaus Center: Rev. Jeffrey Mensendiek works as the Director of youth ministries at the Emmaus Center, Northeast Conference of United Church of Christ in Japan, based in Sendai, Japan. Ms. Sandra Lee-Takei works as a global mission Intern at the Emmaus Center as the assistant to the Director of youth ministries. 
  • Kobe College: http://www.kobe-c.ac.jp/ekc/index.html
  • Korean Christian Church in Japan: http://www.kccj.net/
  • Miyagi Gakuin Women's University
  • National Christian Council of Japan: http://ncc-j.org/english/profile.htm
  • Tohoku Gakuin University
  • Unite Church of Christ in Japan

Global Ministries Missionaries in Japan:

Sandra Lee-Takei serves as a Global Mission Intern at the Emmaus Center.

Casilda Luzares teaches English at Doshisha University and is involved in pastoral ministries to migrant workers from the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.

Martha Mensendiek teaches Social Welfare at Doshisha University. She is also involved in the YWCA hotline and counseling service for migrant workers, and the Bazaar Cafe, a coffee house ministry of the Kyoto Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Jeffrey Mensendiek serves and the Director of youth ministries at the Emmaus Center. 

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Pray for Timor Leste/East Timor on Sunday, May 4, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Timor Leste: John 17:1-11

Almighty God, whose will be done in this part of our small world, please continue to endow the Timorese your wisdom in leadership of your followers; as servant leaders as Jesus did instead of being focused on position and power. We know this can be done only with the Holy Spirit working within them in changing values, perceptions and attitudes attuned to your will. Let them continue contributing to the positive development of this new nation through its existing ministries in rehabilitation, socioeconomic development and educational concerns both at the secondary and college levels because they are focused mostly on the underprivileged in their society. We pray that peace will continue so that change can be realized to strength this nation and its people. Also, we pray for the current leadership not only in the Protestant Churches of East Timor (IPTL) and its foundations and related bodies but the whole country itself. We ask that they not be distracted in pursuit of the general welfare of your people. We know God that only through you can positive change take place. Finally, we pray that there would be a successful transition of leadership in IPTL this coming July 2008. In Jesus name. Amen.

(Prayer by Carlos Madrazo)

Global Ministries International Partners in Timor Leste:

  • Protestant Churches of East Timor (IPTL): represents the Reform Churches presence in a predominantly Roman Catholic country in Southeast Asia. When Timor Leste gained United Nation's recognition in 2002 through a referendum, more than half of IPTL members were Indonesian civil servants and members of the military left. What used to be 17,000 member church had more than half of its supporters gone. Likewise, more than half of its ordained pastors left for Indonesia and/or Australia. The main front line workers that sustain the Christian fellowship in rural areas are the evangelists assisted by barely 17 ordained clergy; a few of whom are doing part-time jobs. The exact number of IPTL members remains unknown. During the first or second week of July every four years, IPTL holds its General Assembly. This coming July 2008, there will be change of leadership. IPTL besides being Global Ministries' covenanted partner in this tropic oasis is fully committed to and engaged in spiritual, educational and socio-economic rehabilitation of their young country. It has now three church-related bodies that tend to the more specialized ministries namely, the Foundation for Social Light (HUSONA) for rehabilitation and development (1979), Didache Foundation (DIDACHE) (2007) for the Lisa Dila Vocational Junior High School and the International Christian University Timor (ICUT, 2007) and Universidade Communidade Matebian (UCM, 2002) for higher education concerns where it hopes to establish its own school of divinity to train more rural pastors.. IPTL also collaborates with the Ministries of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), Asian Federation of Student Christian Movement as well as the Federation of Asian Women's' Ministries. IPTL has made fraternal relationships with neighboring Christian churches in  Australia and Indonesia. As of this writing, IPTL is spearheading the formation of a National Council of Church for Timor Leste. IPTL is a member of WCC (World Council of Churches) and WARC (World Association of Reformed Churches).

Global Ministries Missionary in Timor Timor Leste:

Carlos Madrazo began serving in 2007 as an institutional capacity building advisor to IPTL, Didache Foundation and ICUT.

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