Prayers for South Africa: Matthew 25:1-13
Gracious God, we gather today to celebrate You. Take away our distractions and allow us to become closer to You. You have called each of us here for a unique purpose. Give us the strength to act on what You have called us to do. We come prepared to do Your work, to unleash the potential You know is within us.
Help us, Lord, to remember this week the people of South Africa who, despite extreme hardship and poverty, gather each week to joyfully worship and praise You. We keep in our hearts and minds our mission partners in South Africa and pray that the work they do in Your name be to the benefit of those who need it most.
We rejoice in the chance to participate in Your work in the world and give thanks for the difference it makes in the lives of Your people. It is in Your name we pray. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from South Africa:
On November 1st the staff of the Theological Education by Extension College of South Africa began the 4 month marathon of registrations for the 2012 academic year. Our staff of 12 process thousands of applications each year from all over Southern Africa, resulting in a student body of approximately 3500. The number of students increases with every passing year.
Many of our students we only know through emails and phone conversations. Some we meet at graduation. Others we will never see in person. That is the case with hundreds of our students in prisons throughout the country.
These prisoners lead prayer groups and church services; they serve as counselors and liaisons between fellow inmates and prison staff members. They have received a call of reconciliation and healing and have heeded that call. Some will apply these lessons to their new lives and new career upon their release. Others will continue to make a difference behind bars for the rest of their lives.
The prisoners are probably our most thankful group of students. Were it not for distance learning and scholarships offered by South African partner churches they would not be able to pursue theological degrees until their release. For some, prison is their first real opportunity at getting an education. Every year the prison students express their gratitude to the staff at TEE College. That gratitude extends to all of the partner churches, including those in the US. Thank you for the opportunity to help change lives in Southern Africa.
(Prayer & Mission Moment by Kristine Tisinger)
Video Resources for South Africa:
Kristine Tisinger – Theological Education by Extension College in Johannesburg: http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/kristine-tisinger.html
Susan Valiquette - Celebrating 142 Years of Inanda Seminary: http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/south-africa-inanda-seminary.html
Global Ministries International Partners in South Africa:
- South African Council of Churches: This council consists of the joint work of 26 member churches. The SACC focuses its ministry on social justice, the integrity of creation, and the alleviation of poverty.
- Theological Education by Extension College: This college, supported by nine member churches, helps prepare students for ministry, whether lay or ordained. The college is ecumenical and students come from Catholic, Anglican, Reformed, and African Independent backgrounds.
- United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) – South Africa Synod: The UCCSA - South African Synod consists of over 250 churches, divided into 11 regions. Within the Synod one can find many different cultures and languages, making the SA Synod an example of reconciliation in the new South Africa.
To learn more about South Africa: http://globalministries.org/africa/countries/south-africa/
Global Ministries Missionaries in South Africa:
Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette are members of First Congregational Church (UCC), Winter Park, Florida. Scott and Susan serve the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA). Both Scott and Susan live at and serve the Inanda Seminary in Inanda township (near Durban), South Africa. Scott serves the school as the Development Manager. Scott also serves local churches as a pastor. Susan serves the school as the Chaplain and a teacher.
Kristine Tisinger, a member of University Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Fort Worth, Texas, serves the Theological Education by Extension College (TEEC) in Johannesburg, South Africa as a Global Mission Intern. She works as an administrative assistant in the Academic Department and Library.
Pray for Partners without Global Ministries Mission Personnel: Cuba
To learn more about Cuba: http://globalministries.org/lac/countries/cuba/