Prayers for Guadeloupe and Martinique: John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
Dear Lord, we come before you humbly, asking you to send your holy spirit upon us so that we can share in the truth of your glory.
Lord, today in particular, we pray for the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.Please send a breath of peace and justice on these two small islands in the middle of a vast sea.
We ask you to touch the youth of Guadeloupe and Martinique, especially those that are tempted to enter into a life of drugs, gangs and violence. Let your spirit of peace and love touch their hearts so that they will search for positive alternatives in their lives.
We pray especially for parents, teachers, pastors and youth workers, who are fighting valiantly every day, as they try to find solutions within an increasing difficult social and economic context. Give them the wisdom and the patience to understand the challengs facing the new generation and the force to respond to these challenges.
Lord please touch the hearts of those in power; politicians, police and employers. Let them see your love and hear your call to justice. Help them reject the desire of riches and power based on exploitation. Inspire them to create a society in Guadleoupe and Martinique based on solidarity, equality and justice.
Mission Moment from Guadeloupe:
Municipal workers in the town I live in have been on strike since january. As is often the case in Guadeloupe, what started off as a disagreement between some of the town employees and the mayor’s office, soon grew into an ideologicl conflict between guadeloupian nationalists and the French government.
As the days and weeks have gone by the conflict has intensified. On the side of the demonstartors, the mayor’s office, schools and roads have been blocked and vandalism has taken place. On the side of the state, riot police have been deployed on several occasions and arrests have been made.
One day, at the beginnign of the strike, I went to the mayor’s office to pick up some administrative papers. Not realizing the gravity of the situation, I walked through the front door of town hall and found myself in the middel of a heated debate between strikers and non-strikers.
Not knowing who I was, or where I came from, several strikers began to yell at me as soon as I set foot through the door. Due to the color of my skin, they assumed that I was french and you can imagine my surprise as I was called, in creole, an “exploiter”, a “colonialist” and a “slaveholder” and told to return to France.
I explained to the group of people in front of me that I was a an american and thus it would be difficult for me to “return” to France. Adding a bit of humour to my response broke the ice a bit and the strikers apologized for the confusion. We spoke a bit and they explained the particular reasons for their strike and the general reasons for their anger against “France.”
Unfortunately, in Guadeloupe, race and origin enter into almost all public issues. In a highly divided society one is often judged first by their origins: black, brown, white, mixed, creole, indian, european...the categories are numerous and well stratified.
Today, Guadeloupe is caught between its historical past as a french slave colony, and its current status as a part of the french nation. Marginalized politically and economically (as is the case with many caribbean islands), many guadeloupians face an internal struggle between their african, european and caribbean roots.
Unfortunately, among the revindications and affirmations, one thing is often forgotten. God’s call to love all. While political and social injustice must be fought, it is sad to see people drawing lines in the ground based on perceived “origins.”
The Protestant Reformed Church of Guadeloupe is aware of this reality and our purposefully multi-ethnic parish is trying, in its small way, to help break down these barriers between people. Last year the church chose “identity” as one of its working themes and this year we have decided to work on “violence.”
In our small way, we are trying to help create a world where all people will bes seen as children of God, regardless of the color of their skin or their place of birth.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Tim Rose)
Global Ministries International Partners in Guadeloupe and Martinique:
- The Protestant Reformed Church of Guadeloupe
- The Protestant Reformed Church of Martinique
For more info: http://globalministries.org/lac/countries/guadeloupe/
Global Ministries Missionary in Guadeloupe and Martinique:
Tim Rose, a member of the United Church of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, serves the Protestant Reformed Church in Guadeloupe and Martinique as the Pastoral Assistant for Diaconal Ministries and as a Prison Chaplain. He is jointly appointed by Global Ministries and the DEFAP (the mission agency of the Reformed and Lutheran Churches in France).