Pray with Lebanon, April 24, 2022
Lectionary Selection: Acts 5:27-32
Prayers for Lebanon
Dear God, how lonely it can be to obey you above the powers that insist on our fealty. At every opportunity, they threaten and terrorize those who disobey, while you entrust the testimony of Jesus Christ to those who obey you. O Savior, you were brutally killed in public view, but you were also exalted into life and authority; not to create another reign of terror, but to invite all to repentance and forgiveness of sins, to fellowship with you and with your Body. In this world of ancient and modern horrors make us faithful witnesses of the things that make for life, hope, truth, and reconciliation. Join our feeble human testimony to your Spirit’s powerful witness in these sorrowful times. As you helped Peter and the apostles speak words of grace to the very ones who were consolidating their power and executing their policies of repression and extermination, so also fill our hearts and mouths with your truth, calling a wayward world to your ways. In the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Lebanon
Lebanon is drawing close to its mid-May parliamentary elections with a battered and discouraged population, one that only three years ago had great hopes for a new tomorrow for the country. Over at least the past four decades entrenched leaders aim at securing their seats and their wealth, while each party’s followers continue to entrust them with authority and the collective good is trodden underfoot. With each successive political or economic blow, the Lebanese are making do with less and less – less grain and oil (most is imported from Russia and Ukraine), less fuel (the failing banking system is preventing suppliers from being paid on time), less education (families have to choose between eating and education), less health (prepayment for curable conditions means foregoing treatment for many), less security (people keep cash – and weapons – at home, something thieves are well aware of), and less vision (many youth are determined to seek a future outside of their country).
Standing up to these circumstances takes supernatural commitment, something that only God can provide. The Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East and Haigazian University, as well as other partners of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), are trusting God to help them maintain their witness in days like this. Despite the deep, unhealed wounds of the Armenian Genocide, begun this very day in 1915 and continuing until this day in Artsakh, and despite the forgotten promises of assistance and intervention made to them by the very same powers that are now scrambling to “stand against terror” in Europe, the Armenian community of Lebanon endeavors to provide opportunities for education to children and youth of all backgrounds and religions, along with ongoing relief assistance to the growing numbers of needy families. Jointly with the Armenian Missionary Association of America, they are defying the jaded politics of this world as they witness to life and hope in the name of the One who conquers death, then as now.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Nishan Bakalian
Mission Partners in Lebanon:
- Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees
- 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
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Lebanon
Nishan and Maria Bakalian serve with the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in Lebanon. Their appointments are made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts. Make a gift that supports the work of Nishan and Maria Bakalian