Lectionary Selection: Mark 10:46-52
Prayers for Indonesia:
Yesus, Son of God, have mercy on the people of Indonesia. Tens of thousands are grieving and homeless after the earthquakes and tsunamis on the islands of Lombok and Sulawesi. Thousands are still missing, and their families can only trust that their loved ones have found shelter in Your mercy. As Muslims and Christians, Hindus and Buddhists face a common grief, may they rediscover their common bonds of humanity as well. Calm this troubled earth, calm our hearts, that we may rebuild and start life again in hope. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Indonesia:
Some years ago as I was leading worship in a village congregation I looked down from the pulpit to see a woman crawl into the church on her hands and knees and lift herself up onto one of the back benches. She crawled out again during the closing hymn. After worship, I asked the elders about her, and they explained: “She was born with stunted legs”—and here they lowered their voices to a whisper: “Her family says it’s a punishment, because before they became Christians they worshipped a crocodile, so she has to crawl around like one. She comes every Sunday just like that.”
Nearly every village has a small diffable population who are hidden away because their families are ashamed. This woman was unusual because she was brave enough to face the stares and whispers, to crawl through the dusty village streets to worship.
After witnessing partner church events in which diffable members were full participants, Evangelical Christian Church of West Timor's Theology Commission conducted a series of dialogues on the twisted theology that has kept the differently-abled in the shadows, opening a space for them to bring their witness to the church that had ignored them for so long, and replacing the whispers of shame with a clear call for justice. Signs of growing awareness include inclusion of diffable issues in the seminary curriculum and a move toward more accessible church buildings.
Jesus asked Bartimeus, “What would you have me do for you?” The church is at last listening for the answer.
Prayer and Mission Moment by John Campbell-Nelson
Mission Partners in Indonesia:
More information on Indonesia: http://www.globalministries.org/indonesia
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Indonesia:
John Campbell-Nelson serves the Evangelical Christian Church of West Timor. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.