Lectionary Selection: Luke 4:22-40
Prayers for Lebanon:
God of grace and acceptance, show us how to welcome all we encounter as you have welcomed us into your family. May we receive the newcomers in our communities with open arms as we seek to love the stranger like Jesus. Remind us also of the great needs in our hometowns, as the people closest to us often need care as well. We open our hearts to see each individual as you would see them, looking for ways to show your grace wherever we can.
Master Physician, we look to you as we seek to heal our world from oppression, injustice, and conflict. We see that, even amidst the many challenges facing our world today, there are many hands reaching out and bringing your hope and comfort to those in pain, including those uprooted from their homes or displaced in their own countries as victims of conflict. May we continue to move forward, inspired by the progress we see and determined to bring peace to each of our communities.
We pray for Lebanon and the other countries of the Middle East region, that their leaders would be moved to find peaceful solutions in this evolving context. Would those in power see the inherent value in each human life and work toward societies in which each human life is honored. And would all who seek peace in the region know that your justice will be its foundation.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Lebanon:
Starting in November 2018, FDCD began implementing a winterization project in Syria in partnership with Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). FDCD received many urgent requests for assistance in the areas of Aleppo, Hama, and rural Damascus as Syrians were preparing for a harsh winter. While food supplies are always an enormous need, families were very concerned about the cold winter ahead and the health of the household, children specifically. This is due to the fact that there are few organizations focused on helping Syrians prepare for winter. We therefore planned to distribute 500 sets of children’s clothes, 400 blankets, and 200 heaters, assisting over 1000 families as colder months approached. FDCD also provided assistance to volunteers helping in distributions, extending the impact of the project.
FDCD identified families in the most desperate situations to receive assistance. These families have expressed deep gratefulness for Global Ministries' aid and FDCD’s efforts to help them survive the winter months, and during distributions, families thanked volunteers for remembering their challenges. For them, violence may have decreased in recent months, but there are still glaring needs that must be met. They were especially thankful that their children would be kept warm throughout the winter, which affects all areas of life. As young children in rural Damascus and Aleppo, who asked FDCD to thank the UCC and Disciples for their contributions, told our volunteers, “Thank you for the clothes - now we can go to school,” and “Thank you for the heaters - now we can sleep at night.”
Prayer and Mission Moment by Ben Drolet
Mission Partners in Lebanon:
More information on Lebanon: https://www.globalministries.org/lebanon
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Lebanon:
Benjamin Drolet serves with the Forum for Development, Culture, and Dialogue (FDCD) in Lebanon. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, WOC, OGHS, and your special gifts.