Lectionary Selection: Genesis 25:19–34
Prayers for Turkey:
This week we pray for the people of the Republic of Turkey and for those who find themselves escaping to Turkey as refugees. As hundreds of thousands of refugees find themselves leaving their homes, whether due to war, economic hardship or fear for their lives, we pray for a roof over their heads and food to eat. We lift up the Turks who are on the street protesting and seeking a more just, open and free society. As you hear their cries for justice, may the current government treat them as more than troublemakers and abnormalities in their own country. You hear the cries of pain and sorrow rising from those close to workers who lose their lives due to unsafe working conditions, such as the miners who recently died in the Soma mining disaster. We pray for the day when human life will be treated with dignity and concern. Through the darkest of nights we are assured of your presence, your comfort and your guidance. Let us never forget to seek you out.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Turkey:
The Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program began over 20 years ago by an ecumenical consortium of churches trying to deal with the great influx of refugees from a variety of countries in the surrounding regions. Common Global Ministries was quick to respond with assistance and sent the first coordinators of the program, the Rev. Bob and Olgha Sandman. The IIMP continues to run on a small budget by one paid part-time coordinator, a program assistant and a myriad of volunteers from all over the world. Since its inception the number of clients and the range of countries continue to grow. Every month people from 25 – 30 countries seek out medical support, especially for the very vulnerable such as women and children; partake of soup kitchens; attempt to have some normality by joining in the Moms and Tots program; or just drop in for advice or support. Currently, with nearly one million Syrian refugees now in Turkey, resources are stretched thin. Many of these refugees live in camps set up by the Turkish government near the Turkish-Syrian border, but many Syrians have made their way to Istanbul. To see Syrian women with children sitting on a sidewalk with a sign asking for help has become a frequent sight, especially near mosques and churches. To see men from Senegal or Nigeria on the street peddling fake watches is also a common occurrence. With so many needs in the world, the IIMP is very grateful for donations from churches and individuals. With your continued financial support and prayers, the ministry of the Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program will continue to serve the growing number of refugees.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Alison Stendahl)
Mission Partners in Turkey:
- American Research Institute in Turkey
- Health and Education Foundation
- Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program (IIMP)
More information on Turkey:
Global Ministries Missionary in Turkey:
Alison Stendahl, a member of University Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Seattle, Washington, serves the Near East Mission in Istanbul. She works as academic dean and math teacher at Uskudar American Academy.