Lectionary Selection: John 6:24-35
Prayers for Lesotho:
Lord, you know that all of us sometimes put our faith in the wrong kind of bread, the kind that isn’t able to satiate our deeper hunger for you. Help us to see past the confusion of the crowd at Capernaum, to see which things truly endure: the love and life given by you through Jesus. Help us to see, as many of the people of Lesotho do. With only the barest of necessities, many without running water or electricity, they sing their praises to the Lord with joy in their hearts. The bread of man is low in their bellies, but the everlasting bread of God endures all.
For the students at the seminary, we pray that their thirst for knowledge will continue and never be fully satiated; learning more about the world around is knowing you better, God. For the people of Lesotho God, we pray for the leaders of their government and military at odds with one another; guide their decisions with your wisdom and grace and help them see a way without violence and death. We also pray for those whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS, asking that you give your comfort to those who struggle every day.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Lesotho:
It was a Monday, enhanced by pouring rain and the inevitable coating of mud that comes with it. In classes, we had just spent the past 4 weeks practicing typing; a vital skill to have when operating a computer, but no one enjoys the drilling, entering 'F'...'F'...'F'...'J'...'J'...'J' into a mostly static screen. The tedium was wearing thin the students' patience, and I decided a deviation from the carefully-devised curriculum was in order.
My goal in teaching was to instruct the students in the basic usage of a computer, but what good would the lessons be if most of them despised their time spent electronically? I was here in Lesotho, doing this specific job, because I'm passionate about the opportunities made available to everyone through the power of a PC. The fastest, most concise way to get students reinvigorated about learning about computers, I thought, was to open a door to a world of knowledge. Google and other search engines can get you anything you want on the internet, but take a bit of familiarity to realize their full potential. We would get to that later in the semester.
For now, we would make do with Wikipedia, the encyclopedia of seemingly everything. After a few minutes spent ensuring everyone was in the right place on the web, with the right application ("No, please do not use Internet Explorer." "Why not?" "Uh, we'll get to that later...") I instructed them to search for anything they wanted to learn more about. This being a Theological Seminary, there were quite a few searches for Biblical topics. In a Wikipedia article there are links within the text to other relevant articles, and once I mentioned this, the students began their tunnels of knowledge, ending up at the Great Pyramids, the Council of Nicea, or an article about the production of ice cream. Suddenly this vast amount of information was at their fingertips, and the power of that knowledge came through the computers.
During the rest of the semester, I would often come to the computer room outside of our class times and see students researching topics for other classes, supplimenting their information from lectures or books. Through their ability to use the computer and the internet, they were now able to access one of the largest webs of human knowledge. I pray they continue to use it as they become ministers and preachers, staying connected to the rest of the world and promoting education over obliviousness along their faith journeys.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Andrew Cooper)
Mission Partners in Lesotho:
Global Ministries Missionary in Lesotho:
Andrew Cooper, member of First Congregational Church of Boulder, United Church of Christ, Boulder, Colorado, serves as a Global Mission Intern with the Lesotho Evangelical Church.