Pray for Turkey on Sunday, October 24, 2010

Prayers for Turkey: Luke 18:9-14

O God, regardless of our faith tradition, You see us for who we are. You see some of us trying to be as pure and correct as we can, trying to be perfect as we understand You are perfect. You see some of us judging ourselves and others according to our social and economic status, or ethnic and national background. You see some of us trying to save the world, Your creation, with our own two hands. You see some of us proclaiming our way of life as the best for everyone else. You see each of us seeking righteousness. Remind us that in honestly seeing ourselves as You see us, we can at last go beyond ourselves and be more like You.

We thank you, O God, for Jesus’s parable of the Tax Man and the Pharisee.

-        We pray for the people of Turkey. We pray for the people of Istanbul, especially the many migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who withdraw into the shadows, fearing to be seen, fearing the self-righteousness of those who judge them without understanding them. Give strength and resources to all who would help them.

-        We have especially in mind a young gay refugee trying to fight cancer with no money or resources.

-        Give special help to those of us who have more schooling than others, for they fall into greater temptation to scorn the less literate. Fill them instead with compassion to share their privileges with all.

-        We have especially in mind education for girls in remote areas who want to go beyond basic elementary school. We also think of young refugees who have never had any secular schooling and long for it.

We pray in the name of our teacher Jesus. Amen.

(Prayer by Betty and Ken Frank)

Global Ministries International Partners in Turkey:

  • Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program: Predecessors of the current Global Ministries personnel in Istanbul organized local parishes to serve the influx of refugees to that city during the First Gulf War in 1991. Hearing the continuing call to minister to the needs of economic migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees stranded in Turkey – they number at least 100,000 today – the parishes over the years have sustained and further developed this ecumenical program of Christian mission. The focus is on the most marginalized group of migrants, namely women with children. Services include food, clothing, health care, counseling, voluntary repatriation, adult education and emergency shelter subsidies. IIMP is a critical presence in the lives of those they help. Its work overlaps with NGOs that advocate for the rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Global Ministries personnel are officers on the IIMP Board and in charge of the adult education program.
  • Health and Education Foundation: The Health and Education Foundation, a Turkish secular philanthropy, began in 1968 to protect and renew the educational and medical institutions of the American Board, which represents the founder of these institutions more than a century ago. The Health and Education Foundation consists of volunteers who are the graduates of the American Board schools. There are three high schools in Turkey (TarsusIstanbul, Izmir), a hospital in Gaziantep (SEV American Hospital) and a printing press (SEV-YAY), founded by the American Board but now managed by the Health and Education Foundation, which has full responsibility and authority for them. The institutions exemplify the positive possibilities for bridging cultural divides and building trustful relationships that are needed in today's pluralistic world. Global Ministries follows with hope and interest the progress of these historical institutions through its office in Turkey, the American Board.

 

Global Ministries Personnel in Turkey:

Ken & Betty Frank serve with the American Board in Istanbul, Turkey.  They share the job of General Secretary of the American Board.  They also serve on the board of the Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program (IIMP) and work in its programs.

Alison Stendahl serves as Academic Dean of and a math teacher at Uskudar American Academy in Istanbul, Turkey. She also represents, along with Peter Makari, Global Ministries on the Near East School of Theology (NEST) Board in Beirut, Le