Weekly Prayers

Pray for Ghana on Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayer for Ghana: John 3:14-21

God, we thank you today for the reminder of how much you love the world. Thanks for sending your Son to walk among us and show us the way to sacrificially love one another. We pray today for our brothers and sisters in Ghana. We ask you to empower them in their efforts of love in your name. We pray particularly for the ministries of the Christian Council of Ghana and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Ghana:

  • For the Christian Council of Ghana as they work in the area of education by providing scholarships for girls to attend school and with refugees from the surrounding countries.
  • For the work of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Ghana, especially for it's hospitals, schools, pastor training institutes, women's work and HIV/AIDS work.


(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)

Global Ministries International Partners:

  • Christian Council of Ghana: The Christian Council of Ghana, founded in 1929, is the unifying organization of Christians in the country.  It represents the Methodist, Anglican, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Evangelical Presbyterian, African Methodist Episcopal Zionist, Christian Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran, F'Eden, and Baptist churches, and the Society of Friends.  The Council serves as the link with the World Council of Churches and other ecumenical bodies. This Christian organization is concerned primarily with the spiritual affairs of its congregations but has occasionally acted in circumstances described by the government as political. Such was the case in 1991 when both the Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Ghana Christian Council called on the military government of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) to return the country to constitutional rule. http://www.un.org/africa/osaa/ngodirectory2/dest/countries/printNGO.asp?lang=ENG&country=21&ngo=GHA30
  • Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana: The Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana is an established partner of Global Ministries, having been founded in the 1840's by the Breman Mission of Germany among the Ewe people of what was then considered German Togoland.  After World War 1, Togoland was divided as a spoil of war between Britain and France.  The Ewe people were politically divided between Anglophone Ghana and Francophone Togo, and the Church became divided as well.  The United Church Board for World Ministries began its involvement with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana in 1946. The EP Church, Ghana is one of the oldest self-governing churches in Africa, having adopted its own constitution in 1922.  It has strong roots in the Evangelical and Reformed tradition and includes approximately 600,000 members and 512 congregations. The EP Church, Ghana is very committed to its spirituality and social action ministries. Global Ministries supports the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana in programs of church expansion, education, and service. http://www.reformiert-online.net/adressen/detail.php?lg=eng&id=12200

Global Ministries Missionary:

None at the present time

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Pray for Australia on Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Australia: John 2:13-22

God, in our zeal for your "house", the Body of Christ around the world, we join with our brothers and sisters in Australia, who have suffered through devastating fires and are now in the process of healing and recovery. May you make your presence know to them as they seek you in prayer. And may we walk with them in solidarity this Sunday using this liturgy:




We are the people

who face life after the fires.

We are those whose lives

will never be quite the same again.

We are gathered here to grieve,

to claim the ground of our lives in a new way,

to support each other

and to be part of the creation of the future.

The Christ who has walked the way of human pain

will be with us here,

weeping within our tears

and holding us in love.



Let us remember this country as it was

and our lives as they were

before the fires.

Let us place our symbols here

in loving memory of our world as it was then,

when the greenness surrounded us

and the bush creatures and birds were our companions,

and life felt safe for us all:

The green cloth is spread down the aisle and the people place

The memories which they have placed on the cloth (see above).



This is the truth.

Our lives will never be quite the same again,

even though we will journey on together.

The stories have been shared

and yet no words or images

can ever really capture or express what we have lost.

While we play this quiet music,

let us grieve all those things which are no more,

which have been damaged,

or which will be a loss for us for some time to come.

Music is played

We will hold in love all that is gone from us

with respect, with honour, with tenderness and with grief.

We will gather its beauty into our good memories

to carry with us into the future.

Now, in the silence, let us reach out

to touch the heart of a God

who waits to comfort us.

A silence is kept

O God, as our Loving Parent,

we believe that you are with us now.




O God, life is often so painfully ambiguous.

When tragedy strikes, we sometimes cannot help

but anxiously ask what we have done to deserve this.

We pray today that we will know with confidence

that you would never wish fires of destruction upon us.

Embrace us in ways which restore our faith

and which help us to live, in confidence,

with the awesome freedom of your creation

rather than imagining a punishing God.

Send us your Holy Spirit this day

with gifts of wisdom, healing and comfort, we pray.

We especially remember before you these people and situations:

The people pray

Show us ways of caring for all those who grieve and suffer, O God,

and open our lives to share what we have with those in need.

Renew us for the days to come,

that we may lift up our heads and begin again in hope.

This we pray in faith.




In the power of a loving God,

we will survive the future,

as we have the past,

and in the same spirit with which we faced the fires.

A song could be sung, a poem read

In a silent moment,

let us bring to mind what we see among us

which will carry us forward in faith:

A silence is kept

Now let us take these green leaves (or flowers),

name what we see among us for our future survival and strength

and place them over the symbols of our past.

Let us place them gently

as a covering of peace over that which we have lost.

Let us place them in confidence as signs of the renewing of our life.

The people do so



As the bush springs green again,

restoring its beauty to us as a gift,

as the seeds are broken open by the fire

for the beginning of new life,

and as we bring together all that is among us

for the future in this place:

let us go from here,

stronger than when we came,

holding on to those who have lost the most,

ready for all that is to come

and walking firmly into a new day.

Let us go in courage, hope and peace,

surrounded by the love of God.



And may the God who never leaves us nor forsakes us be with us,

the Christ, who wept for the loss of a friend, walk before us

and the Holy Spirit heal us and bring us a new dream.



With love and prayers from Dorothy McRae-McMahon

For other information and resources on the fires in Australia, click here: http://globalministries.org/news/eap/australia-black-sat-ash-weds.html

Global Ministries International Partners:

  • Churches of Christ in Australia: committed to making the love of God known to the world as revealed through Jesus Christ http://cofcaustralia.org/cofc-cms/
  • Uniting Church in Australia: providing a witness for social justice and multi-cultural expression in Australia's diverse population http://www.uca.org.au/
  • Churches of Christ Theological College: celebrating 100 years of ministerial education http://www.cctc.edu.au

Global Ministries Missionaries:

None at the present time

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Pray for Cuba on Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Cuba: Mark 8:31-38

God, we thank you for your church in Cuba. We praise you for how the Cuban church has taken up the Cross and followed after Jesus through all these years of isolation and difficulty caused by the travel ban and embargo. We ask you to bless our partners in Cuba as they continue to walk faithfully after Christ in their various ministries. We pray for the end of the ban on travel to Cuba so that we might freely visit our brothers and sisters in Cuba and receive the gifts that they bring to the global church. We ask that legislation (H.R. 874 was introduced by Rep. Delahunt (D-MA) and Rep. Flake (R-AZ), along with seven original co-sponsors.  The Senate version, S. 428, was introduced by Senators Lugar (R-IN), Enzi (R-WY), and Dodd (D-CT).) that is now in Congress would be successful in paving the way for a more productive Cuban policy in our country. Amen

(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)

To read more about lifting the ban on travel to Cuba, click here: http://globalministries.org/news/lac/lifting-of-us-travel-ban.html

Global Ministries International Partners in Cuba:

  • Centro Memorial Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  http://www.ecaminos.org/
  • Concilio de Iglesias de Cuba (CIC)
  • Evangelical Seminary of Theology
  • Iglesia Cristiana Pentecostal de Cuba (ICPC)

Global Ministries Missionary in Cuba:

None at the present time

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Pray for Syria on Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Syria: Mark 1:9-15

God, we pray for your church in Syria. We thank you for her commitment to announcing the coming of your reign in the world. We ask that you might give her strength and courage as she reaches out to Iraqi refugees who are displaced from war. (2 million Iraqi refugees have fled to Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.) We also thank you for the generous efforts of the Syrian government in their relief efforts for this displaced population of your children. Continue to help us encourage these efforts and advocate for policies that will make this part of your world a place of peace and justice. Amen

For more information and resources, click here: http://globalministries.org/mee/from-war-to-peace/

(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)

Global Ministries International Partners in Syria:

  • Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East: The country of Syria, located in Southwest Asia, was a French mandate before it gained independence in 1946. Its history can be traced back, however, to the fourth millennium BC. Damascus, the capital of Syria, houses the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, which represents not only Syrian Greek Orthodox Christians (who make up 50-55 percent of Syria's Christian population), but also those in the republic of Lebanon, the Arabian Peninsula, parts of Turkey, and communities in North and Latin America, Australia, and Europe.
  • Middle East Council of Churches: At its first General Assembly in Nicosia, Cyprus (May, 1974), the Middle East Council of Churches was formed at the conclusion of a series of successful discussions between the Orthodox churches in the Middle East (both Eastern and Oriental) and the Protestant and Episcopal members of the Near East Council of Churches. The MECC is unique among regional ecumenical councils. It represents the advancement of ecumenism in a way not found anywhere else. At the Fifth General Assembly of 1990, the seven Catholic churches of the Middle East joined the council as its fourth family. This symbolically completed the square of wholeness and made the council a fully inclusive body. The Middle East Council of Churches is a fellowship of 27 member churches gathered in four families–Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Evangelical, and Catholic. Spanning the Middle East and North Africa from Algeria to Iran, 12 to 15 million Christians are thus represented in this all-inclusive Council. The Council has several units and programs, including the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees, and the Inter-Church Network for Development & Relief in Lebanon (ICNDR).

Global Ministries Missionary in Syria:

None at the present time.

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Pray for Sri Lanka on Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Sri Lanka: Mark 9:2-9

Please pray for an immediate cease-fire, peace and reconciliation between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The following are excerpts of e-mails from partners on the ground with specific prayer information:

            You may be aware that Sri Lanka recently 'celebrated' 60 years of 'independence'. I wish to bring to your kind information that we are going through a very bad period in the history of our nation and seek your prayers for guidance, wisdom, patience, tolerance and understanding at this critical time.

            The ethnic conflict that was unresolved since 'independence' has taken away many lives since 1958. In 1983 after the ethnic clashes many Tamils migrated to South India and other parts of the country. With the experiences of frustration, LTTE waged war to get a separate state and it had been continuing on and off since 1983. Various efforts taken for a negotiated settlement have failed due to many reasons. The Cease Fire Agreement signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE in February 2002 was abrogated early this year. The hostilities have escalated. Aerial bombings in the North continue, claymore mines go off killing many innocent civilians in many parts of the country including the South. People are arrested and detained. Freedom of expression is curtailed. Journalists are harassed. People live in fear. It is a volatile situation. Life has been desecrated.

  Please remember the people, and the leaders of our weeping and bleeding land. Please also pray for sanity, justice and peace.

Jayasiri Peiris - General Secretary of the National Christian Council in Sri Lanka

You all are aware of the situation in Vanni. The Government of Sri Lanka is not listening to the request made by several humanitarian organizations to stop the ongoing war in Vanni.  Nearly 300,000 thousand people are encircled by the Sri Lankan Forces in a small area of land (Approximately 20KM X 30 KM) and continuously attacking the area with mortars, artillery and ariel bombarding.  Within last week alone more than 1000 people were killed and another 1500 are injured.  They do not have facilities and medicines for medical treatment.  The Government announced a place as safety zone and when people assembled there, they bombed that place.  No one can do any thing to save the innocent people.  Only our God Almighty can intervene in this regard.  Let us all unite and pray to our God to save these people from their suffering.

Rev.A.Jeyakumaran - The Jaffna Region of the Church of the American Ceylon Mission

"UN Evacuates Civilians in Sri Lanka" (The Boston Globe, Page A3, Jan. 30) only begins to tell the story of the growing number of civilian casualties from Sri Lanka's escalating violence.  As a member of a non-profit organization with historic ties to Christian educational programs in the nation's northern Jaffna region, I am alarmed by reports from local church leaders and colleagues of a civilian population in crisis, squeezed by the opposing forces, especially within a shrinking "safe refuge" in the northeastern Wanni area. On Wednesday, a local pastor who manages a Home for Girls and a Day Care Center was injured by aerial bombing. Primary school girls at Uduvil Girls' College (Jaffna) who are from the Wanni region are frantically worried for the safety of their families, from whom they have had no word. The innocent, including children, are suffering the price of this horrific war. Church leaders from northern Sri Lanka are calling for an immediate cessation of violence and a return to a ceasefire between the government forces and the LTTE. On Sunday morning, Feb. 1,  many of the Protestant churches in Sri Lanka's Jaffna district held an hour of prayer, a vigil in support of those internally displaced by the violence. My prayers joined with theirs and with those in a circle of concern worldwide who are dismayed by this tragic war.

Phil Braudaway-Bauman, president of the Trustees of Jaffna College Funds

Global Ministries International Partners in Sri Lanka:

  • Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society (CISRS) has co-sponsored a Joint Women's Program with the William Carey Study and Research Center.  This program has attempted to address the issues of communal harmony; growing violence against women and children; economic policies particularly as they impact women; and the JWP has lobbied the government on these and other issues related to women.
  • Church of American Ceylon Mission
  • Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue (EISD) is dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and cooperation among members of the various religious traditions represented in Sri Lanka.  The Study Center building is used by a number of church-related organizations and other institutions to provide accommodation for participants involved in Study Programs.  The endowment fund enables the EISD to continue developing and offering opportunities for programs that will promote respectful and cooperative relationships among differing faith traditions.
  • House for Hope, Sri Lanka is a Leper Colony which provides a home, treatment and hope for those battling leprosy.
  • Jaffna College has been serving the people of Sri Lanka for over 175 years.  The College provides the opportunity for a good quality education to youth who would not otherwise have this opportunity.  The Jaffna College Technical Institute offers technical training in air conditioning and refrigeration; automobile technology; mechanical engineering; electronics and telecommunications; civil engineering and quality surveying; electrical engineering; and computer programming and information processing.  From 2003 to 2005, Global Mission Intern Diane Faires taught at the College.
  • Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India. The Christian communities of Sri Lanka are members of the Church of South India.  The Jaffna Diocese is their local body of church governance.  The Jaffna Diocese has been challenged for many years to find ways of promoting peace in a country torn by war.  More recently they have been challenged to respond to the devastation of the tsunami.  Much of the government's relief delivery has been directed to serve the Sinhalese population.  Tamils, in the north and northeast have been in conflict with the Sinhalese for over twenty years and the tensions are still high.  Global Ministries support for tsunami relief in Sri Lanka has been directed to the Jaffna Diocese for assisting these Tamil Communities which are not being served by the government relief programs.
  • National Christian Council of Sri Lanka has been involved in interfaith dialogues, theological education and rehabilitation in the midst of the civil war.  They are now developing their capacity to address the HIV/AIDS crisis.The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka has been involved in interfaith dialogues, theological education and rehabilitation in the midst of the civil war.  They are now developing their capacity to address the HIV/AIDS crisis.
  • Uduvil Girls College was created to provide educational opportunities for Tamil girls who were getting only minimal education.  It is now 175 years old and still dedicated to promoting the education and cultural advancement opportunities for girls.  Missionary Grace Bunker has recently retired after serving at Uduvil for 4 years.

Global Ministries Missionary in Sri Lanka:

None at the present time

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Pray for the Dominican Republic on Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for the Dominican Republic: Mark 1:29-39

Lord we see around us a society torn by inter family violence toward women and children, children malnourished and undereducated, and in situation of sexual exploitation. We've seen the innocence of youth who have learned the realities of poverty very early in life and the parents who are struggling to change their situations in life. We see not only people infected by AIDS but families suffering the effects.  We don't understand why people are still without the basic necessities of life such as clean water and food. Amidst this devastation we fail to remember that you are the ultimate healer. Lord, in our busy lives help us to find the quiet space and time to spend with you in solidarity so that we may be renewed and cleansed to go out into this world with peaceful spirits and loving hearts. We pray that you may use our hands to bring your healing powers and embrace the struggles of this world that we live in.  Amen.

Prayer requests:

  • For the staff of Caminante that works long hours to defend and promote the rights of children that the Lord will continue to renew their spirits and hearts with compassion, patience and energy.
  • For the children in Situations of the Street that they may see and know the love of Christ through the hands of those that continually are workings with them.
  • For the youth of this community that are struggling with the pressures of poverty, forced to work,  neglecting their education and right to the enjoyment of children.
  • For the families and children affected by HIV/AIDS, that they may continue to fight for their right to life and overcome the daily struggles through knowing the healing presence of the Lord.
  • Prayers for the Regional Ministers/Staff (Glen Stewart – Tennessee, Paxton Jones – Kansas, Don Hiscox – Upper Midwest, Penny Ross-Corona – Mid-America, Tom Jewell – Oklahoma, Lee Parker – Virginia, Ralph Datema – Central Rocky Mountain, Ray Miles – Georgia, Thad Allen – West Virginia, Sotello Long – South Carolina, Barb Jones – Great River and Rebecca Hale – Northwest)  that will be visiting the Dominican Republic and the partner organizations of Global Ministries that they will be visiting. We pray that minister as well as partners bring each other a renewed hope and faithful presence, that they may continue the work of the Lord our healer and ever present companion in each of their parts of the world. 

(Prayer by Erin McKinney)

Global Ministries International Partners in the Dominican Republic:

  • Acociacion Centro Cristiano de Asesoramiento Familiar (CECAF):
  • Alfalit Dominicano:
  • Iglesia Evangelica Dominicana:
  • Proyecto Educativo Caminantes:
  • Servicio Social de Iglesias Dominicanas, Inc. (SSID):

Global Ministries Missionary in the Dominican Republic:

Erin McKinney, a member of Hiram Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Hiram, Ohio, has been appointed to serve Caminante in Boca Chica from 9/1/08 to 8/31/09. She works with children in Caminante's Outreach Ministry.

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Pray for Haiti on Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayer for Haiti: Mark 1:40-45

Loving God,

As followers of that radical Galilean peasant may we remember that he was first and foremost a healer. Jesus brought life to those experiencing social alienation. May we do the same. Jesus reached out to those in desperate situations and allowed them to know firsthand the compassion of the divine. May we do the same. Jesus challenged the attitudes and structures that caused misery in his own time in order to bring God's love to those in need. May we do the same. When the world informs us that we too can choose to be healers may we respond with the heart of Jesus by saying, "I do choose."

The people of Haiti cry out from the agony of hunger, unemployment, environmental destruction, and political instability. We pray especially for the following:

  • That the community churches in CONASPEH stay true to the organization's liberating vision to be a movement of peace and justice. And that the CONASPEH Congress on February 13-25 be a time of renewal and inspiration for the organization.
  • That the plight of those experiencing the pangs of hunger in Haiti not be forgotten.
  • For the healing of the Haitian environment, which has undergone a tremendous amount of destruction and exploitation.
  • That the women of Haiti may have their voices heard throughout the country and especially within the church.
  • For all of the children living in crowded orphanages, on the streets, and in other inhumane situations. May we as people of faith respond to this injustice by reaching out to help.
  • For the 12 Disciples regional staff, (Glen Stewart – Tennessee, Paxton Jones – Kansas, Don Hiscox – Upper Midwest, Penny Ross-Corona – Mid-America, Tom Jewell – Oklahoma, Lee Parker – Virginia, Ralph Datema – Central Rocky Mountain, Ray Miles – Georgia, Thad Allen – West Virginia, Sotello Long – South Carolina, Barb Jones – Great River and Rebecca Hale – Northwest) Felix Ortiz and Bob Shebeck who are visiting partners in Haiti at this time during the Be a Global Mission Region Immersion Trip.

In the name of the Spirit of love, compassion, and justice we pray these things.


(Prayer by Patrick Bentrott)

Global Ministries International Partners in Haiti:

  • National Spiritual Council of Haitian Churches (CONASPEH) is composed of 6,000 affiliated grassroots churches, approximately 3,000 neighborhood schools, plus the Karen School of Nursing and the Andrew Theological Seminary. An  important part of their mission is to provide a more unified political and social voice for Protestant churches in the country.
  • House of Hope is a project that works in favor of children who live in domestic slavery
  • Hospice St. Joseph is dedicated to walking with the poor who can't afford health care or emergency surgery.
  • Ecumenical Committee for Peace and Justice
  • Service Chrétien D'Haiti
  • Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti
  • Christian Center Integral Development: Sant Kretyen pou Devlopman Entegre (SKDE)

Global Ministries Missionaries in Haiti

Kim and Patrick Bentrott have been appointed to serve the National Spiritual Council of Churches in Haiti (CONASPEH) from 9/1/08 to 8/31/12. Kim advises CONASPEH on health care and diaconal projects and programs and Patrick on theological education and diaconal projects and programs.

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Pray for Angola on Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Angola:  Mark 1:21-28 

Gracious God, we thank you for sending to us Jesus the Christ to cast out evil in our spirits and in our world, to speak your Word of Truth and Justice, with power and authority.

For far too long, the evils of war and want ravaged Angola and your people cried out for peace and justice. Peace has come to the land and we pray that your Church in Angola will continue to be a force that works for peace with justice for all.

We pray that You will guide and bless the efforts of the Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola as it seeks to be a voice for the voiceless and a source of empowerment for the disenfranchised:

  • Help your Church to continue its ministry of reconciliation, reaching out to people still captive by the wounds of civil strife.
  • Enable community development programs to improve the current circumstances and life prospects of poor people in rural areas.
  • Guide the staff of IECA's schools to prepare young people for participation and leadership in a free and open society.

And, help your Church all around the world to stand in prayerful solidarity and active partnership with our brothers and sisters in Angola, for we are One through You. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Strength and our Redeemer. Amen.

(Prayer by Donna Dudley)

Global Ministries International Partners in Angola:

  • Council of Christian Churches in Angola: CICA, is an ecumenical institution founded in 1977 with the purpose of being the Angolan's faith community's guiding institution in the country, as well as the prophetic voice of its member institutions towards local and international governments.  CICA began with 7 member communions, and today has 22 member communions and related organizations.  CICA is based in Luanda, yet supports activities and ecumenical relations in all 18 provinces of Angola.  The Department of Justice, Ecumenism, Reconciliation and Cooperation was created as an organ responsible to respond to the various needs in peace building and conflict transformation in order to promoted a culture of peaceful coexistence, relationship building  throughout Angolan society.  http://www.edicisa.org.zw/FOCCISA/angola/index.html
  • Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola: The Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola (IECA) is a longstanding partner of Global Ministries.  The entity now known as IECA was founded in 1880 on the Angolan central plain by missionaries from the United Church of Canada and the American Committee of the Missions (USA), a forerunner of the United Church of Christ. The Church expanded in the central plateau through the creation of missions. During the long civil war (1976 – 2002), most church institutions were destroyed and members were dispersed throughout Angola, but the Church continued to expand, and currently has over 900,000 members and more than 3,000 congregations. IECA's Department of Social Assistance, Studies and Projects (DASEP) was created in 1991, to improve the general well being of the Angolan people by implementing projects in the areas of: Justice, Peace and Reconciliation; Gender, Women and Children; Health and HIV AIDS; Education and Training; Institutional Strengthening; and Sustainable Community Development. The current peace in Angola allows DASEP to be an agent of social transformation in implementing the Church's vision: To create a more just Angolan society, founded on ethical-moral and biblical principles, leading to a better world for all. http://warc.jalb.de/warcajsp/church.jsp?news_id=19&navi=9&church=127

Global Ministries Missionary in Angola:

Donna Dudley is a missionary with the Evangelical Congregational Church of Angola.  She is assigned to their Department of Social Assistance, Studies and Projects and assists with development projects, staff leadership training, and strengthening church-related and other international partnerships.

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Pray for the Philippines on Sunday January 25, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for the Philippines: Mark 1:14-20

We give thanks, Lord, for our sisters and brothers in the Philippines who have heard your call and have followed you. For some, living out the call of their faith has not been easy and has meant following you even to the cross. For our brothers and sisters in the Philippines who have been unjustly imprisoned, tortured, abducted and killed, we admire and respect their courage and mourn with their families and friends. They have reminded us that following you and trying to tread your path faithfully can be difficult and dangerous. In this world in which the power of money and of guns is pursued with much greater fervor than the power of your love, we pray, Lord, for your holy protection for our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. Keep them safe, Lord, and keep them faithful. We lift up our prayer to you, Lord, in your Son's name. Amen.

  • Hundreds of people have been extrajudicially killed and hundreds more have disappeared since Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo became president of the Philippines in 2001. Those killed and abducted have included lawyers, journalists, students and a variety of social activists advocating for the rights of peasants, workers and indigenous people as well as members of the clergy and lay people in Asia's only predominantly Christian country. Most victims have sought to better the lives of the poor. To honor their lives and witness, we offer the prayer above.
  • While hundreds of individuals have died or have never been found, only a handful of people have been arrested, prosecuted and convicted for this loss of life. The military is viewed by most observers inside and outside of the country as being responsible for most of this violence. With so few perpetrators held accountable, impunity is engendered, and the cycle of death continues. We thus pray for justice for those who have been killed and disappeared and for compassion for their families.
  • The Philippines is also afflicted with corruption, from questionable election results to the awarding of government contracts and other irregularities. Therefore, we pray for those occupying public office in the Philippines to serve the interests of the people and not the self-interests of themselves.
  • Land and the wealth of the nation are very unevenly divided in the Philippines. Attempts at genuine land reform since the fall of the Marcos dictatorship more than 20 years ago have often been thwarted and delayed by those who wield economic and political power in the country. Consequently, we pray for land for those who till it and a distribution of wealth that ensures that all Filipinos can enjoy an adequate standard of living.

 (Prayer by Bruce Van Voorhis)

Global Ministries International Partners in the Philippines:

  • Dansalan College Foundation
  • Northern Christian College
  • Silliman University
  • Southern Christian College
  • Union Theological Seminary
  • United Church of Christ in the Philippines

Global Ministries Missionaries in the Philippines:

  • Levi Oracion is a long-term volunteer and serves as a theology professor at the Divinity School of Silliman University in the Philippines.
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Pray for Hungary Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Hungary: John 1:43-51

Hear our prayer this day, for the numbers of your people who are in recovery from oppression or spiritual unhealth brought about by powers opposed to You.  Help such congregations to overcome the malaise and blunted nerve that is a sign of victimization.  May the Reformed Church of Hungary (and especially the third of them who remain marginalized just outside the borders of the country), we pray, know that they are part of a prayer and practice koinonia much larger than themselves.

As we grow in our believing, help us to connect the ancient and the present (as John does for us today), made vital in the life-gifts and messages, the very presence, of the Son of God, the Son of Man, our Jesus the Christ - For in his Name we pray.  Amen.

  • The declining birth-rate in Hungary, true of many EU countries at this time, means that the national education office intends to close 2/3 of all higher education institutions, with particularly the religious colleges and universities feeling targeted.   Pray for the worth of the Church's presence in Hungary  in higher education. 
  • Again, now, a list of clergy has been activated from State/Party Archives, identifying church leaders who "informed" on their fellow church members during the 1948-1989 'Soviet' years, often only to safeguard their homes, families and jobs.  Pray that this process can be accompanied by forgiveness and internal healing rather than by political manipulations within the Church.
  • Be with the populace of Hungary as it is battered by EU integration requirements and immigrant incursions, - from the East (ie., the current President brought in 4000 Chinese nationals early in his term of office, and now we are importing Chinese police candidates to supervise them), - from the South (ie., Iraqis, Pakistanis, and Afghans "wash" through Hungary in their desperation to find a safe home in the West, and a surprising number choose to stay), - or more locally, the minority Roma are enjoying some consciousness-raising and a phenomenal birth-rate increase!  This diluting puts a great strain on Hungarian identity too early in the re-finding process.
  • Praise God for the present and future faithful, hopeful, Christian leaders who are not daunted by the many challenges they face. Strengthen them in their efforts to meld the several theologies being practiced in the Reformed Churches here in these days, so they can allow a genuine Christ-centered vitality to emerge from historic Church-ness.

(Prayer by Coralyn and Laslo Medyesy )

Global Ministries International Partner  in Hungary:

  • The Reformed Church in Hungary is, in terms of numbers, the largest denomination in Hungary, after the Roman Catholic Church. The existence of the Reformed Church in Hungary dates from this Debrecen Synod of 1567. At present the registered number of Reformed Hungarians world-wide is about three and a half million. Of these, some two million live in Hungary. In consequence of the dismemberment of Hungary after World War I, many congregations—even whole church districts in Transylvania—were separated from the church and placed beyond the borders of this country. These believers continue to live in their old homes, but in alien linguistic and religious surroundings. In the United States there are some 70 Hungarian Reformed congregations in two separate church bodies. The Reformed Church in Hungary maintains close fraternal relations with Hungarian coreligionists living abroad, whether in neighboring countries or dispersed throughout the world, partly through the World Federation of Hungarian Reformed Believers, and partly within the framework of the Consultative Synod of the Hungarian Reformed Church. Reformed believers amount to about 21% of the Hungarian population of ten million. 1200 congregations live in four Church Districts and 27 seniorates. http://www.reformatus.hu/

Global Ministries Missionaries in Hungary:

Coralyn and Laslo Medyesy are Global Ministries missionaries with the Reformed Church in Hungary, based in Budapest, Hungary. Coralyn is a Teacher of Social Work and Diakonia at the Nagy Koros School. Laslo serves as professor of theology in the Department of Theology of the Gaspar Karoli Reformed University in Budapest.

Barbara and Zoltan Szucs are Global Ministries missionaries with the Reformed Church in Hungary. Barbara works with the Roma (Gypsy) mission as an enabler and Zoltan serves as a Professor of Practical Theology at Karoli Gaspar University in Budapest.

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