By: Karen Campbell-Nelson Mar 08, 2014
I share with you news about a recent case of human trafficking that involves young women and girls from East Nusa Tenggara (or NTT), the Indonesian province where we live. NTT is said to have one of the highest rates of exporting illegal migrant workers, with primary destinations being Malaysia and Hong Kong. Muslim women are sent to these destinations as well as to some countries in the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia. The Women's Network of Eastern Indonesia (JPIT),...Read more...
By: Joel Cooper Mar 03, 2014
As I write this, I can barely see my computer screen. There are two times I have not been able to stop crying since I arrived in Africa six months ago. The first was when I watched Lupita Nyong'o's performance in "12 Years a Slave." The second is right now as I recover from a bout with dehydration while watching "Hotel Rwanda" for the first time, at my hotel in Rwanda, having just met young...Read more...
By: Susan Valiquette Mar 03, 2014
Lectionary Selection: John 3:1-17
Prayers for South Africa:
O God, we sometimes feel overwhelmed as your workers in the vineyard. There are so few laborers for the work as it truthfully states in Mathew 9:37. At times, it is overwhelming when we see the vast amount to be done. When we experience injustice, hatred and inequality on a daily basis we are reminded of the long, arduous walk to justice, love and...Read more...
By: Judy Chan Mar 03, 2014
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 4:1-11
Prayers for Hong Kong:
O God, we live in a world full of temptations for easy solutions to hard problems. Like Jesus, we are tempted to satisfy our physical needs in ways that are detrimental to our spiritual health. We are tempted to test you when it is we ourselves who need to be proven trustworthy. We are tempted to take shortcuts to glory, even for your...Read more...
By: Nicole Betteridge Feb 26, 2014
Water is critical for existence. Used for cooking, cleaning, and bathing, water covers nearly 70% of the earth’s surface and composes 65% of every human being. In some places there is too much and flooding occurs, whereas in other areas not enough water is available or it is too contaminated to use. For many people who live near an ocean, river, or lake, the presence of water comes as second nature in their lives. In places of scarcity, it is...Read more...
By: Loren McGrail Feb 26, 2014
Isaiah 61: 1-4; Luke 19-37-44
One thread is a strange thread---it is my steadying thread;Read more...
when I am lost, I pull it hard and find my way.
When I am saddened, I tighten my grip and gladness glides
along its quivering path;
When the waste places of my spirit appear in arid confusion
the thread becomes a channel of newness of life.
By: Sara Makari Feb 19, 2014
Many of our church friends here would curiously ask us: “Do you plan to go someplace else for Christmas?” Surprised by the question, we would reply: “Would anyone be in Bethlehem want to go anyplace else for Christmas?!” Indeed, despite the growing commercialism in this “little town” around this season, there is also a far deeper awareness of the holiness of this otherwise ordinary place. Festive lights that remain glowing into mid-February, church bells...Read more...
By: Magyolene Rodriguez Feb 18, 2014
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 17:1-9
Prayers for Nicaragua:
O God, on this day I would like to thank you for breathing life into our lives with your words. Your words live and reveal light and guidance for your children in the Christian Mission Church in Nicaragua. Just as Peter, James, and John listened to a fervent desire to praise, obey and make your Kindom grow, so do the people working...Read more...