Lectionary Selection: Luke15:1-3, 11b-32
Prayers for Nicaragua:
Beloved Father, you give to us abundantly, when we manage your gifts responsibly, and when we spend them frivolously. Profligate God, you bless us richly, when we fall at your feet in gratitude, and when we grumble and worry about receiving our fair share. We thank you and praise you for who you are. Give us hearts that are generous to our brothers and sisters, that we may rejoice whole-heartedly when the lost are found and the least are served.
We pray for Nicaragua:
- for so many struggling to survive, whose struggle is made more difficult by global economic turmoil and rising prices for petroleum, for transport, rice and beans.
- for children whose parents are too poor to send them to free public schools, because they can’t afford shoes or school supplies, or rely on them to work so the family can eat.
- We pray for La Misión Cristiana (the Christian Mission Church of Nicaragua): as they work to help children get an education, to help families have enough to eat, to train pastors to care for and inspire their churches and communities, to build biogas stoves and plant trees, and to share a vision of a new Nicaragua.
- for the church leadership, as they work to make these visions reality with very limited resources, that the leadership will be inspired by love of the work to which God has called them, and continue to move forward despite real challenges.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Nicaragua:
The village of San Pedro is found about an hour from the paved road in the driest, hottest part of Nicaragua. There is no electricity. Any water for cooking and cleaning must be carried up from the spring in buckets, and to get cell signal you have to climb a mountain. Each day brings only a few vehicles trundling by on the road that passes in front of the church. San Pedro is off the grid. And it was here that several pastors and lay leaders of the Christian Mission Churches gathered last year to kick off a new project -- the building of biogas cooking stoves known as biodigesters.
Rural Nicaraguans typically cook their meals using firewood. This practice often leads to delicious arroz y frijoles or sopa de gallina, but can cause health problems for the women who are in charge of the kitchen. Cutting firewood also accelerates the severe deforestation in the region, which can cause soil erosion, flooding, changes in rainfall patterns and more. And as trees grow more and more scarce, the daily search for firewood can be expensive and time-consuming. For this reason, a good alternative to firewood was one of the primary needs of the community identified by the local pastors.
A biodigester is a technology that converts cow manure (an abundant resource in this cattle ranching area) into methane cooking gas. With the collaboration of several U.S. partner churches, the Christian Mission has now built 3 working biodigesters for families near San Pedro, with plans for 7 more this year. The family who received the first biodigester reports that it is working well and that one bucket of manure yields 3-4 hours of cooking gas a day. The pastors in the region are hopeful that the project can continue and expand to benefit more local families.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Tim Donaghy and Laura Jean Torgerson)
Mission Partners in Nicaragua:
Video Resources about Nicaragua:
More information on Nicaragua:
Global Ministries Missionaries in Nicaragua:
Timothy Donaghy, and Laura Jean Torgerson are members of University Christian Church, Hyattsville, Maryland, and serve the Christian Mission Church in Nicaragua. He works on church projects in environment, food security, and leadership development and teaches about environmental issues at CIEETS (the Inter-Church Center for Theological and Social Studies). She works as a consultant to the church's national Education and Theology Department and assists in the formation of pastors and lay leaders in the liberating theology of the church. She also teaches New Testament to undergraduate theology students at CIEETS (the Inter-Church Center for Theological and Social Studies).