Lectionary Selection: Isaiah 11: 1-10
Prayers for Laos:
Loving and gracious God, be with the volunteers who work with the Laos Disabled Women’s Center. They come from the most disadvantaged families. Show them by our presence that You are with them in their time of need.
Guide our work at the National Rehabilitation Center to offer deaf and blind children creative ways to express their God-given gifts and offer them meaningful work to remind them that they are not forgotten.
Loving God, guide our Social Work graduates and reveal Your presence each time they face and work to repair the brokenness in this world. Give them the community of other social workers to shore up their time of doing your good work.
Be with those who dedicate themselves to overseeing and mentoring social workers. Connect their lives in a network of volunteers, students, mentors and teachers. Remind them they are not alone.
For all of these things we pray, Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Laos:
We started the morning with over fifty guests representing child development centers, primary schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, women’s centers and faculty of the Social Sciences at the National University of Laos (NUOL). These guests were invited to my home to honor the eight Global Ministries scholarship recipients but also to build relationships with one another for support and to discover the intersections for their work together.
The excitement of the gathering left us seated with a sense of something wonderful taking shape. This celebration marks the fourth informal Social Work Day in Laos. Eight years ago there were no social workers. Today there are over 419 thanks to your support. To “visually see” social work in Laos - where it is now and what it is becoming – is quite remarkable.
The graduates were awarded special certificates for their Volunteerism course and time of service outside of class giving students a vision of the need for social workers in Laos. Recently the Director of the National Rehabilitation Center (NCR) for blind and hearing-impaired youth, asked me to re-open the popular after-school activity program offering our students even more volunteer opportunities.
A beautiful candle/singing walk was part of the ceremony giving graduates a time to reflect on the journey to this Bachelor's degree but it also gave those gathered a symbol of unity of joining other social workers in Laos.
Ceremony is a time for inspirational speeches so one of our 4th year students read a speech written by a lecturer at the National University of Laos who is in Korea working on her PHD. It offered hope and inspiration for their future work - especially social work with all its challenges that often bring sadness, anger, and frustration.
Child protection is one area that engenders these feelings of anger and frustration - a growing concern in Laos. Actively responding, I mentor a leader who is working with the Office of Education of Vientiane Capital to bring awareness of the UN Children’s Rights (UNCRC) to schools.
We concluded our celebratory time together by breaking bread and sharing informal conversation among friends, both old and new.
Congratulations to all the 2013 graduates! Blessings in your life and work.
(Mission Moment and Prayer for Xuyen Dangers)
Mission Partners in Laos:
Video resources about Laos: LAOS: education and religious freedom (Khampon Kounthapampa, mission partner)
More information on Laos: http://globalministries.org/sasia/countries/laos/
Global Ministries Missionary in Laos:
Xuyen Dangers is a social work supervisor in Laos/Vietnam who trains Social work university students as interns in Donkoi Children Development Center. She serves also serves as a Social work supervisor of 5 other centers, Social work advisor, as Faculty of Social Sciences, and the National University of Laos, for Church World Service and Witness (NCCC).