Lectionary Selection: Luke 18:1-8
Prayers for Haiti:
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried to my God for help;
The Lord heard my voice out of the Lord’s temple,
And my cry for help before God came into God’s ears. Psalm 18: 6
Lord of all that is good, we find comfort in being able to call upon you and to know our words fall on ears that hear with love and compassion. We are grateful for your mercy and your righteousness which reveal that you will act on behalf of your people when those whose hearts are hard and self-focused seek to harm or denigrate.
We desire to please and honor you with our lives and ask that you help us to stand strong and confident in a world that seems more and more chaotic. So often it seems the only time we can make sense of our surroundings is when we take our thoughts off of ourselves and set our sights on being the salt and light you call us to be.
We embrace your call to encourage one another and to bear one another’s burdens as we pray for our sisters and brothers in Haiti.
O God of all tenderness we ask that you will be with the people of this island nation as they seek to elect leaders who will advocate on their behalf in the areas of employment, education, agriculture, and health care.
Lord of all that is good, we find comfort in your promises and your love.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Haiti:
Almost immediately, Tim knew he was speaking with a unique group of women. After hearing him talk about micro savings and how to get a group started, the church women, whom we dubbed “the mountaintop ladies” because Tim had to climb a mountain for some 20-25 minutes to reach them, said, “Let’s get started!”
The 12 women were members of a CONASPEH-partnered church that met under a tarp each Sunday for worship and were keen to get a micro savings group going after their pastor asked Tim to explain the savings concept to them. They were bright and eager students who worked well with Tim as they created 20+ guidelines to protect their financial investment. They asked questions such as, “What will we do if one member does not contribute to the weekly savings?” and “What will we do if one of the women moves away?” and sealed their decisions by signing a covenant.
As they each saved about $1.00 a week, they monitored their money through an elected President, Secretary, Treasurer, two separate key holders (with 2 different locks on their metal money box) and individual Passbooks. At the end of each month, the group determined which woman would receive the lump sum of $48 which was more than any one of them had ever held in her hands at one time.
Through their combined savings efforts the various women were able to use their individual monies for their children’s school tuition, for expanding their “maches” or sidewalk markets, for helping elderly parents, or for meeting whatever particular need they had at the time.
After a year of saving successfully, the women talked to Tim about saving even more money and the end result was to start a second savings group with other members of their church. They now participate in the new group as well as their original group and have recently begun talking about setting aside some of their joint savings to buy materials to help construct a church building.
These dynamic women have now been saving for 3+ years and it has been inspiring to see their confidence grow and their stature increase in both their homes and their community. Pastor Ansenn says the savings program has been one of the best things that has happened to their church as people now interact more and talk about the ways they might work together in other ventures.
Like the widow in the Lectionary reading, the “mountaintop ladies” were persistent in their desire to bring about change in their individual lives and in their particular community. They tell us that they had prayed for a long time about how they might achieve such goals and then one day their pastor came to them and said, “I have heard about a program of savings and I think it is something you might want to consider, something that might be an answer to your prayers.”
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Diane and Tim Fonderlin)
Mission Partners in Haiti:
- Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti
- Christian Center Integral Development (Sant Kretyen pou Devlopman Entegre (SKDE))
- CONASPEH -National Spiritual Council of Haitian Churches
- Ecumenical Committee for Peace and Justice
- Hospice St. Joseph
- Service Chretien D'Haiti
- Teachers Helping Teachers (Pwof Ansanm)
More information on Haiti: http://www.globalministries.org/haiti
Global Ministries Missionaries in Haiti:
Diane and Tim Fonderlin, serve with the National Spiritual Council of Churches of Haiti (CONASPEH). Their appointment is supported by One Great Hour of Sharing, Our Church’s Wider Mission, Disciples Mission Fund and your special gifts.