Lectionary Selection: John 14:15-21
Prayers for Lebanon:
Abundant and abiding God,
We often think of Easter as a culmination – of the season of Lent, of Jesus’ life. Yet you remind us that our work is not complete. In this time of uncertainty and global crisis, it is even more evident that the good news of Easter is not that something is ending, but that something even greater is just beginning.
We welcome your Holy Spirit into our lives, even when it feels disruptive. We ask you to keep us from getting complacent, from accepting what is and not envisioning what could be. In this time that feels so hopeless, we look for your Holy Spirit to guide us, to show us that little spark of hope. Help us to remember that there is still work to be done – and we can still do it.
We ask for your holy presence in Lebanon, a nation facing political, health, and now economic crises. We pray for all people of Lebanon, that they may have the energy to creatively address complex and seemingly insurmountable problems. We pray especially for those most impacted by the coronavirus -- he poor, the vulnerable, and Lebanon’s millions of Syrian and Palestinian refugees.
As we come together to face an unprecedented global crisis, help us to trust that your Spirit is still living and working among us.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Lebanon:
Lebanon is in crisis. After an autumn marked by protests against corruption in government, Lebanon faced an unstable economy and a currency rapidly decreasing in value. The country then had to come together to combat the growing Coronavirus pandemic. It was widely recognized that Lebanon’s health infrastructure could not handle a full-blown pandemic; the only way to mitigate suffering would be to close schools and business, and lock down the country, quickly. During the lockdown, Lebanon’s economic crises have been exacerbated. And as the country starts to slowly reopen, the protests from last fall, which never really died down completely, have resumed.
Meanwhile, January saw the biggest influx of new Syrian refugees into Lebanon since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011. Now, more than one in four people in Lebanon is a refugee. Since 2011, our partner, the Forum for Development, Culture, and Dialogue (FDCD) has been working with local churches and partners in Syria to provide emergency material relief, livelihoods, and psychosocial support to vulnerable Syrians - both internally displaced persons and host community members. In response to the current pandemic, FDCD has implemented further plans to distribute hygiene supplies and extra food relief.
While the crisis response has increased, much of the FDCD’s long-term work has been put on pause. Peacebuilding workshops, meetings of ecumenical groups, and trainings on facilitating dialogues have had to be postponed, canceled, or reworked. As the FDCD begins looking to the future, it is looking forward to collaborating with partners to creatively re-envision what this crucial work can look like.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Leda Zakarison
Mission Partners in Lebanon:
More information on Lebanon: https://www.globalministries.org/lebanon
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Lebanon:
Leda Zakarison serves with the Forum for Development, Culture, and Dialogue, Beirut, Lebanon. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, WOC, and your special gifts.