Prayers for Hong Kong: Matthew 25:31-46
Our prayer this week, Lord, is a prayer of confession, for we fail too often to see and even less often to respond to the “least of these” in our affluent midst among the tall, modern mirrors of glass and steel that point toward the sky in Hong Kong. We have become creatures of consumption, Lord, not brothers and sisters of compassion. Too often we walk by the bent-over elderly person picking through our rubbish bins for something to recycle. Too often we regard in our minds the South Asian and African asylum-seeker as someone who has fled their country for money and not because they were tortured. Too often we look down upon the single mother whose home is a bunk bed surrounded by wire-mesh fence—one of our “caged homes”—and wonder why they are such a poor parent. For the “least of these” we have ignored, for the “least of these” we have silently despised, for the “least of these” we have rejected, forgive us, Lord. Nurture us to know that we are them and they are us and that you Lord are all of us. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Hong Kong:
“In religious conflicts, people kill each other in the name of their God. Deep-seated stereotypes and prejudices are often prevalent in these conflicts, mindsets that can contribute to inhuman debaucheries. For me, we are the same human beings even though we have different religions, cultures, traditions and races. We breathe the same air. Why then do we have to kill each other in the name of our Gods or because of different religious beliefs and practices?”
These were the words of So Nasier, a Muslim participant from Cambodia who attended the 14-week School of Peace (SOP) in 2008 that Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) holds in Bangalore, India. He shared this reflection in the October 2011 issue of faith and peace, the monthly e-newsletter that I edit that seeks to illustrate the ways in which people of different faiths in Asia and other parts of the world are thinking and working toward realizing peace with justice, or justpeace, in their communities.
ICF, a joint program of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs (APAY) in Hong Kong and the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) in Chiang Mai, Thailand, will hold its next SOP in Bangalore between February and May next year. Recently, 25 participants were selected, including for the first time people from outside of Asia—two Native American women from the Unites States and Canada and a woman from a local YMCA in England who attended a two-week ICF training program in Bangladesh in July 2011.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Bruce Van Voorhis)
Video Resources for Hong Kong:
- Bruce Van Voorhis, GM Missionary: http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/hong-kong-human-rights.html
Global Ministries International Partners Hong Kong:
- Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs: http://www.asiapacificymca.org/ - Federation of YMCA movements in 27 countries in the Asia and Pacific region, with programs for global citizenship and social responsibility, peace with justice and sustainability for life.
- Asian Human Rights Commission: http://www.ahrchk.net/index.php - An independent, non-governmental body, which seeks to promote greater awareness and realization of human rights in the Asia region, and to mobilize Asian and international public opinion to obtain relief and redress for the victims of human rights violations.
- Christian Study Centre on Chinese Religion and Culture: http://www.csccrc.org -Ecumenical research institute for study of the religions and culture of China, including Hong Kong.
- Chung Chi College Divinity School: http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/theology - Ecumenical seminary providing theological education for church leaders and laity. The school is supported by mainline churches and is part of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
- Hong Kong Christian Council: http://www.hkcc.org.hk - Ecumenical body of mainline churches and Christian organizations. It works for a united Christian witness and mission in Hong Kong society.
- Hong Kong Christian Institute: http://www.hkci.org.hk/ - Christian center for education and advocacy on issues of social concern. The organization promotes human rights, democracy and justice in Hong Kong.
- Hong Kong Christian Service: http://www.hkcs.org/index_e.htm - One of HK’s largest social service agencies. It was started by mainline churches and provides Christian Service for “The Healing and Growth of People.”
- Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China: http://www.hkcccc.org/ – Hong Kong church denomination with historic Congregational and Presbyterian roots. The Council has 66 congregations and is the sponsoring body for more than 80 schools for kindergarten, elementary, secondary and evening students.
- Hong Kong Women Christian Council: http://www.hkwcc.org.hk/en - Organization to fight for social justice and women’s rights, to promote feminist theology and to stand with marginalized communities.
More info on Hong Kong: http://globalministries.org/eap/countries/hong-kong/
Global Ministries Missionaries in Hong Kong:
- Judy Chan is a Global Ministries missionary serving with the Hong Kong Christian Council in communications. She is in charge of ecumenical radio broadcasting ministry, English publications and ecumenical partnerships in Hong Kong and overseas.
- Bruce Van Voorhis serves as missionary with the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs in Hong Kong. He works as their Coordinator for Interfaith Programs since July 1, 2009.
Pray for Partners without Global Ministries Mission Personnel: Philippines
We mourn today, Lord, the death of your faithful prophet in the Philippines—Fr. Fausto Tentorio, a Catholic priest who left his homeland of Italy more than three decades ago to work for the indigenous people of the country and their rights. With them, he sought to ensure that their land—their spiritual home—was not taken from them by agribusinesses and mining companies. For following the example of the Christ in which he sought to serve, he was crucified with a bullet instead of a cross on Oct. 17 in Mindanao in the southern Philippines.
We ask, Lord, How many more will die and disappear in the Philippines? When will the bloodshed end of those who merely seek to ensure that the “least of these” can live life with the dignity that you gave them at birth? We pray that the extrajudicial killings and disappearances that have afflicted the Philippines for the past decade will soon be no more.
For those who have lost loved ones, like Fr. Tentorio, we pray for your loving spirit to comfort their hearts, Lord. For those who have killed and tortured, we pray for your loving spirit to restore their hearts, Lord. We offer these prayers up to you, the God of Peace, the God of Love, the God of Justice. Amen.
More info on Philippines: http://globalministries.org/eap/countries/philippines/