Lectionary Selection: Matthew 25:1-13
Prayers for Lebanon:
O God who calls us to be ready at all times to meet you, help us to be good stewards of the lives, resources and institutions you entrust to us, so that we would not be counted among the thoughtless, the haphazard, or the foolish.
Yet we indeed fool ourselves into thinking that we have everything under control, that we are clever enough to handle life’s twists and turns, that we deserve our personal pleasures and pastimes. We forget how crucial it is in these days to focus on what we must do, with your help, in order to be counted among the wise. Forgive us, dear Lord.
You have entrusted your work to us, and although it seems as if our resources are running out, leaving us unable to continue being your witnesses and your joyful servants in this place, yet somehow you enable us to go on, even if only for a step or two.
Help us to trust you, filled with the joy of those at the wedding feast, knowing that your presence and your grace is sufficient to help us continue to joyfully minister to the least; in your precious name we pray. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Lebanon:
Currently, the Lebanese government is vacillating over a new taxation plan and wage scale. Ordinary people and weaker institutions are fearful of the outcome, due to their dwindling resources. Caught in this crush are the many small, private schools, often Christian schools, that have historically raised the literacy level of Lebanese, Muslim and Christian alike, to among the highest in the Middle East.
The Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East, and its modest school system, including Haigazian University, is in the midst of this whirlwind. Will the government mandate pay increases for teachers? Because the UAECNE caters to mostly lower- and middle-income families, the government’s decision could result in a cascade of schools closing their doors. Families will have to send their children to the lower-standard public schools, as wealthier private schools will be out of their reach.
The support that organizations such as the Disciples of Christ and the United Church of Christ provide is ever more crucial. Assistance rendered to institutions to improve their curriculum and facilities is helping them maintain and even increase their student population, allowing them to continue their unique educational and cultural mission, as they strengthen the constructive presence of the Armenian people in the Middle East.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Nishan Bakalian)
Mission Partners in Lebanon:
- Forum for Development, Culture, and Dialogue (FDCD)
- Haigazian University
- National Evangelical Church of Beirut
- National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon
- Near East School of Theology
- Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East
More information on Lebanon: http://www.globalministries.org/lebanon
Global Ministries Mission Coworker in Lebanon:
Nishan Bakalian is serving the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East (UAECNE) as communications, worship, and leadership training coordinator. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples' Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.