Lectionary Selection: Genesis 45:1-15
Prayers for Italy:
At times things seem bleak and we cannot fathom your purpose. Yet even painful experiences can strengthen us, reveal new truths and engender change. When Joseph was sold into slavery, things were desperate. Yet he was enabled to alter the lives of many, govern wisely, and bring healing and hope for all.
So we ask for confidence in your purpose and perseverance in our walk with you.
We pray that Italy’s leaders would act wisely in responding to COVID-19’s effects on the nation’s health and economy.
We pray for those in Italy who have shown strength of character, discipline, and concern for others, that they might continue to do so, keeping Italy safe and communities strong.
We pray for those on the margins, for whom hunger, homelessness, or exploitation are a reality. We pray for those arriving in small boats across the Mediterranean, exposed to danger, poverty, and hostility. We ask you to strengthen those working to uphold their right to claim asylum and their struggle for dignity.
May we not close our eyes to the needy nor, through our actions, perpetuate their vulnerability. In all that we do, may we change lives for the better.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Italy:
Mediterranean Hope (MH) aims to respond where migrant need is greatest. It continues to work on the island of Lampedusa where small boats of exhausted migrants continue to arrive from North Africa, undeterred by the withdrawal of search and rescue operations or the risk of contracting COVID-19. These risks pale in comparison with the challenges left behind.
In recent months, however, much of MH’s focus has been on migrants already in Italy. Living below the radar in shanty towns, they are an exploited workforce, propping up seasonal harvests of tomatoes, citrus fruits, and olive oil; undocumented, without contracts or access to basic services.
MH’s team in Calabria has been supporting these folk through the health crisis, providing information and basic supplies such as hand sanitizer, masks, and food parcels. The team has also been fighting for rights for these workers.
This dogged struggle has at last borne some fruit. With the support of other organizations and the current Minister for Agriculture, legislation has been enacted providing for some short-term permits and contracts. It is a small but significant step.
MH is now looking to build on this work by providing housing for those crowded into containers, tents, and other inadequate accommodations. This much-needed project, involving other local organizations, has yet to be given the go-ahead at a local level. We are convinced, however, that it is worth pursuing and anxiously await the outcome of a funding application that would enable it to get off the ground. Please pray that this project might proceed. We know that Rome was not built in a day!
Prayer and Mission Moment by Fiona Kendall
Mission Partners in Italy:
More information on Italy:
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Italy:
Fiona Kendall serves with Mediterranean Hope, Italy. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.