Pray with Italy, December 18, 2022
Lectionary Selection Matthew 1:18-25
Prayers for Italy
In this Advent season, we give thanks for your incarnation. Through this, we glimpse the depth of your love for us; through this we glimpse the value of life itself and the profound difference made by the way we choose to live it. Help us to do your will and, in this, to uncover for others and for ourselves the promise of your salvation.
On this International Migrants’ Day, we think particularly of those who are separated from the land of their birth and face extreme challenges: physical, practical and political. We ask that their burden might be eased, that they would be sustained by hope and that they would meet welcome rather than hostility.
We pray for Italy, a country where the phenomenon of migration is often exploited for financial and political ends. We ask that the voices sowing resentment and misinformation would be drowned out by the clamour of goodwill. We pray for a shift in discourse, for compassion and for vision; for fear to be replaced by the dawning realization of the value of every life.
Bless the work of Mediterranean Hope as it meets migrants at diverse frontiers: Lampedusa, Bosnia, Beirut, Sicily and on mainland Italy. Bless the lives of those it encounters: exploited workers in Calabria; those arriving barefoot across the Mediterranean; those cared for as their Italian lives proceed. Give strength and resilience to the staff.
We ask this in Christ’s name. Amen
Mission Stewardship Moment from Italy
An airport is a theatre of many emotions. No more so than when 152 Afghans, displaced from their country of origin and living in a state of uncertainty for months, if not years, arrive at Rome’s Fiumicino airport, exhausted yet exhilarated, on 24th November 2022. All have arrived via the humanitarian corridors program running in Italy in 2016. Since that first flight from Lebanon, the program has expanded and is now bringing refugees from across the Middle East and Africa safely and legally to Europe. Around 3,000 have arrived in the space of six years. The numbers, relative to those in need, are still small – but, for each person in the program, participation represents a new beginning.
It’s a privilege to welcome those arriving at Fiumicino. Aside from basics such as hot drinks, food, toys and – where needed – camp beds and medical support, we also offer “presence”: a team of staff and volunteers available to sit, chat and accompany participants as they wait patiently to be processed by the authorities and, finally, travel to their new homes in different parts of Italy. During those hours they share something of their stories: the young girl not permitted to attend school for the last two years; the teacher eager to start work in her adopted country; the old man overcome at being reunited with daughters who arrived six months ago. These are individuals, not statistics. Their lives matter and, by grace, we can play a small part in enabling them to flourish.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Fiona Kendall
Mission Partners in Italy
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Italy
Fiona Kendall serves with Mediterranean Hope, the refugee and migrant program of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI). Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.
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