Pray with Indonesia, January 31, 2021
Lectionary Selection: Mark 1:21-28
Prayers for Indonesia:
Gracious God, Giver and Keeper of life, we pray for the people of Indonesia as they are slowly engulfed by the spread of coronavirus. Give angelic strength and patience to its health care workers, for they are called to a task beyond human ability. Teach a family- and friendship-loving people that it is time to refrain from embracing. As a mother hen covers her chicks, cover those who must go out to work every day to earn their daily bread. Keep alive the light of learning that flickers now among the children tasked with learning from home on tiny hand phone screens, whose parents sacrifice in order to buy the data. Because you are the loving God we know in Jesus Christ, we know it will not always be this way. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Indonesia:
Here in Timor, we believe in unclean spirits. If a child is often ill, if crops and cattle fail to thrive, if nothing seems to go right in a household, bad spirits are always a possible explanation. Years ago our church acquired the land on which the seminary now stands because it was said to be haunted, the site of “black waters” harboring dangerous spirits. It was a triple bargain: the land was cheap, it included a spring to supply water to the school, and the church could give witness that we believe Christ is stronger than the unclean spirits. “Unclean” is a good word, because most people see these spirits as forces of nature that are not necessarily evil, but will do harm when they are out of place. Dirt on your carpet is “unclean,” but dirt in your garden is “fertile”– even if it’s the same dirt.
This understanding proved helpful when the church faced questions about the coronavirus: “Is the virus a punishment from God?” No, the church answered; it is part of God’s creation. But it belongs in the forest from which it came, not among humans. GMIT, the Protestant Evangelical Church of Timor, has worked hard to educate and to give aid and comfort to people during this trying time, neither demonizing the virus nor offering a false sense of security. The hardest hit have been the urban poor who rely on daily income for food and shelter. Ministry behind a mask and from a distance has challenged us all to be more creative but never once doubting that Jesus “commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”
Prayer and Mission Moment by John Campbell-Nelson
Mission Partners in Indonesia:
More information on Indonesia: https://www.globalministries.org/indonesia
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Indonesia:
John Campbell-Nelson serves the Protestant Evangelical Church of Timor. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.