Lectionary Selection: Mark 9:38-50
Prayers for Kenya:
Pray for the Organization of African Instituted Churches, for our “Youth Ambassadors for Peace” program. This program identifies young people in high schools (secondary school) in different parts of the country, especially areas that are prone to violence and instability. Africa has a very diverse and dynamic population of young people filled with hope and inspiration for a better continent. Yet against this background the continent is constantly threatened with serious wars and conflicts. The youth being the majorities are caught in the cross fire and the most affected. This makes a program like Youth Ambassadors for Peace program one of the crucial interventions. The youth Ambassadors will work in their school and community as they spread a message of peace, reconciliation and nonviolence.
Also pray for:
The OAIC works with churches throughout Africa, we therefore would like to invite you to pray along with us for Burundi. Burundi has been relatively peaceful for 10 years, but now has been affected by the current political instability related to the Presidential elections and term limits. It is our prayer that the country will not be plunged into civil unrest.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Kenya:
WARNING! “You are traveling where? NIGERIA? Have you heard about Ebola? Are you aware the country is about to go to the polls to elect a new President, there is a likelihood that violence can breakout anytime! And if you are still not convinced not to travel keep in mind the kidnapping by Boko Haram!” This was the warning I received when I told someone I was traveling to Nigeria, however; I was looking forward to joining the women at Christ Holy Church International, to celebrate the opening of their newly built Women’s Center. I was excited to hear the story of how each woman in the church committed themselves to give the equivalent of $2.60 per year over a six year period. The sharing of the gifts by the people reminded me of the gospel reading of how we are called to be salt, the transforming power in the world. The weekend long dedication ended on Sunday morning, thousand of churchgoers filled the tents where the concluding worship service was held. After the sermon was preached it was time for the collection. I noticed many people walking out of the tents. I wondered why they were leaving? Are they suffering from giving fatigue? On the contrary, the music started and the church leaders were leading the people dancing down the aisles with their offerings. It was a sea of colors dancing as they came forward to give their offerings. They brought forward gifts of traditional fabric, pots, goats, cows, and monetary gifts. The warning to not travel to Nigeria was correct but for a different reason, I should have been cautioned that my faith would be challenged and life transformed by the faithful witness of the women of Christ Holy Church International.
Loving God, sometimes we erect stumbling blocks for others under the guise of protecting them. But we actually do this because we lack the faith to move out of our own comfort zone. We discourage others from doing what we are afraid to do ourselves. Help us to be your disciples, as we commit ourselves to be the salt in the world, through our praxis of transformational living. Amen
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Phyllis Byrd)
Mission Partners in Kenya:
- All Africa Conference of Churches
- National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK)
- Presbyterian Church of East Africa
- Programme for Christian Muslim Relations in Africa
- St Paul's United Theological College
More information on Kenya: http://www.globalministries.org/kenya
Global Ministries Missionaries in Kenya:
Phyllis Byrd serves as a missionary with the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC). She is serving as the Director of the Justice communities Program. This program works with AIC (African Independent churches) across Africa in the areas of economic justice, Peace, governance, Poverty alleviation, ecological justice. Phyllis’ appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.