Pray for South Africa on Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pray for South Africa on Sunday, February 3, 2013

Lectionary Selection: Luke 4: 21 -30

Prayers for South Africa:
Gracious God, teach us again through your servants that your Realm exists wherever and whenever and through whomever strives to make it exist!  Teach us not to hear the scoffers who seek to lift themselves up by tearing others down.  Where there is pessimism, sow hope.  Where there is cynicism, sow inspiration.  May we be like Jesus, preaching the Truth at home or away.  Let those who have ears listen!  Counter our prejudices, so often driven by the media or by stereotypes.  Give us the courage to seek out demonstrations that your power and wisdom are alive and well throughout the world, and especially in our own neighborhood and on our very doorstep.  May those who are given the blessings of education, plow back into others the investment placed in them.  Allow those who have suffered so much to look back and celebrate their triumph while then turning forward to build their bright future.  May our South African brothers and sisters in Christ, live to their fullest God-given potential.  May the students of Inanda Seminary, living bridges of North American and African Christian faith, shine, and shine like stars!  Amen.

Mission Stewardship Moment from South Africa:
After some 300 years of colonialism and a half century of Apartheid where white supremacy ruled the day, it is no surprise that many black South Africans suffer from an inferiority complex.  The image portrayed of Africans in the international press is unfortunately negative more than not.  Black South Africans themselves often believe that anything from ‘overseas’ is superior to anything from home.

In South Africa, there is a new movement afoot, and its mantra in Afrikaans among all race groups is “Local Is Lekker”, meaning ‘Local Is Awesome’.  The saying is especially true at Inanda Seminary.  As a historic, Christian (Congregational), private, boarding school for black females, Inanda Seminary has produced South Africa’s best and brightest women since 1869.

There will be no shortage of competent, intelligent and promising Africans if Inanda Seminary continues to educate!  That is for sure.  In 2012, Inanda Seminary received its best graduation results in its long illustrious history.  100% of the students passed.  100% of the students received marks high enough to allow them university entrance.  The 73 students received an unprecedented 190 subject distinctions, almost doubling the previous high.  Inanda Seminary is allowing South Africans to say of their own, “Local Is Lekker!”

When Jesus demonstrated wise and competent leadership, many said, “Nothing good can come from here”.  Many say of Africa, “Ah, nothing good can come from there”.  Yet, like Jesus, Inanda Seminary girls prove the pessimists wrong.  Inanda Seminary’s motto is “Shine Where You Are”, whether at home or abroad!

 (Prayer and Mission Moment by Susan Valiquette and Scott Couper)

Mission Partners in South Africa:

Video Resources about South Africa:

More information on South Africa:

Global Ministries Missionaries in South Africa:
Susan Valiquette, a member of First Congregational Church, Winter Park, Florida, serves with the Inanda Seminary, Durban, South Africa. She works as the school chaplain and a class instructor. Scott Couper, also a member of First Congregational Church, Winter Park, Florida, serves with the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA). He serves Inanda Seminary as its Development Manager. He also serves as pastor of the Thafamasi Congregational Church (UCCSA). He also serves as Senior Honorary Lecturer, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.