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Lectionary Text and Prayers for The Middle East: Mark 6 1-13
Creator God, Source of All Hope and Presence, we sense our diversity as we reach forward from our places of fragmentation toward unity and wholeness to so many displaced from their homes. We pause and reflect on the more than 4 million persons, Dads, Children and Moms, displaced throughout this region since 2001. We pray for your steadfast presence for those dealing with the significant loss of the basic human need of a home a place where persons and animals can find refuge and safety and live in security. We strive for the strength to identify with our brothers and sisters in their places of most critical need as we look for ways to connect and offer assistance in whatever ways possible. Hear our prayer for international partner agencies and the wisdom of its members as all work together to bear the burdens of all in these distressing circumstances. With your guidance may all in these areas and circumstances experience understanding that will lead to clearer dialog between all represented faith traditions.
Creator God, Source of Grace hear our prayer, Amen.
Global Ministries International Contacts in The Middle East: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran
Global Ministries Missionary in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran:
None at the present time
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Lectionary Text and Prayers for Togo: Mark 5:21-43
God, there are so many in our world who are trying to reach out and touch you in order to be whole. As we think of our sisters and brothers in Togo today, we focus our prayers especially on the youth of this nation where 45% of the population is under 15. We pray for parents, like Jarius, who find themselves in desperate situations in relationship to their children. We pray for strength for parents as they seek to provide for their children. We pray for the ministries of the YMCA as they reach out to young people through various ministries which seek to bring wholeness in fragmented parts of Togolese society. We pray especially for the rehabilitation program that the YMCA is implementing with young offenders in Togolese jails. As they seek to provide educational opportunities, healthcare and reintegration skills to the youth participants, may they experience the healing touch of Jesus in their lives. We also pray in a more general way for discernment as the Africa office of Global Ministries considers how Disciples and UCC can respond to the various ministries in this country. Amen.
(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)
Global Ministries International Contacts in Togo:
- Togo Council of Churches
- Togo YMCA
- Lutheran Church of Togo
Global Ministries Missionary in Togo:
None at the present time
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Lectionary Text and Prayer for Nicaragua: Mark 4:35-41
Most Gracious God:
We pray blessings on Nicaragua, this land of volcanoes, lakes and incredible natural beauty. Bless the people of Nicaragua who are as beautiful as the land.
We pray a special blessing on those who lift up the dignity of all your people. Bless those who look through the eyes of Jesus and see brothers and sisters in the impoverished and the malnourished. Bless those who empower women to claim their place at the table. Bless those who remind homeless children that they are loved by the great God of all creation. Bless those who proclaim a message of hope even in the midst of trouble.
Jesus spoke and even the winds and the waves obeyed him. O God, may Christ speak the words that calm the storms of economic disparity and political unrest. May the power of Christ work to end the chasm between rich and poor.
We thank you, O God, for the vitality of the church in Nicaragua. It works to bring justice to the oppressed and food for the hungry. It proclaims with joy the Good News of the Gospel. It is a gift to the church everywhere. Bless the churches of Nicaragua.
(Prayer written by Rev. Dick Clough)
Global Ministries International Partners:
Convencion de Iglesias Mision Cristiana de Nicaragua: The Christian Mission of Nicaragua, a grass roots national Pentecostal church, is committed to assisting the poor, not only with their spiritual needs, but also with development projects and leadership training.
Consejo de Iglesias Evangelicas Pro Alianza Denominacional (CEPAD): The Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua seeks to serve the poor through community development, work for peace and reconciliation, and by promoting the values of the Kingdom of God. http://www.cepad.org.ni/eng/index2.html
Acción Médica Cristiana: Medical Christian Action provides community based holistic healthcare. Global Ministries supports several community water projects. http://www.amc.org.ni/
Iglesia Morava: The Moravian Church works with Afro-Caribbean and indigenous populations on the country's eastern coast.
Centro Inter-Eclesial de Estudios Teologicos y Sociales:
Centro Ecumenico Antonio Valdivieso:
- Convencion Bautista de Nicaragua:
- Seminario Teologico Bautista de Nicaragua:
Nicaraguan Protestant University (Universidad Evangelica Nicaraguense Martin Luther King, (UENIC-MLK): http://www.uenicmlk.edu.ni/
Global Ministries Missionary:
None at the present time
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Lectionary Text and Prayers for Hong Kong: Mark 4:26-34
O God, whatever our mission calling, You provide the seed, soil, water and sunshine – and ultimately, the harvest. May all that we do to serve the world in Your holy name bring honor and glory to Your Kingdom for the healing of the nations.
In Hong Kong, let us pray for those suffering from the global financial tsunami, especially the poor who lose the most when their jobs are gone. Let us pray that the Hong Kong government will be responsive to the needs of the whole community, not just the wealthy and powerful. We also remember racial minorities who are discriminated against and marginalized because of race and language. May the people of Hong Kong dare to speak out for truth and justice so that all may live in peace and harmony. And may almighty God guide and protect us as we battle the H1N1 virus with the hard lessons learned from SARS in 2003. With faith, hope and love, we shall overcome.
(Prayer by Judy Chan)
Global Ministries International Partners Hong Kong:
Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs: http://www.asiapacificymca.org/ - Federation of YMCA movements in 27 countries in the Asia and Pacific region, with programs for global citizenship and social responsibility, peace with justice and sustainability for life.
Asian Human Rights Commission: http://www.ahrchk.net/index.php - An independent, non-governmental body, which seeks to promote greater awareness and realization of human rights in the Asia region, and to mobilize Asian and international public opinion to obtain relief and redress for the victims of human rights violations.
Christian Study Centre on Chinese Religion and Culture: http://www.csccrc.org -Ecumenical research institute for study of the religions and culture of China, including Hong Kong.
Chung Chi College Divinity School: http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/theology - Ecumenical seminary providing theological education for church leaders and laity. The school is supported by mainline churches and is part of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Christian Council: http://www.hkcc.org.hk - Ecumenical body of mainline churches and Christian organizations. It works for a united Christian witness and mission in Hong Kong society.
Hong Kong Christian Institute: http://www.hkci.org.hk/ - Christian center for education and advocacy on issues of social concern. The organization promotes human rights, democracy and justice in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Christian Service: http://www.hkcs.org/index_e.htm - One of HK's largest social service agencies. It was started by mainline churches and provides Christian Service for "The Healing and Growth of People."
Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China: http://www.hkcccc.org (Chinese version only) – Hong Kong church denomination with historic Congregational and Presbyterian roots. The Council has 65 congregations and is the sponsoring body for more than 50 elementary and secondary schools.
Hong Kong Women Christian Council: http://www.hkwcc.org.hk/en - Organization to fight for social justice and women's rights, to promote feminist theology and to stand with marginalized communities.
Global Ministries Missionaries in Hong Kong:
Judy Chan is a Global Ministries missionary serving with the Hong Kong Christian Council in communications. She is in charge of ecumenical radio broadcasting ministry, English publications and ecumenical partnerships in Hong Kong and overseas.
Bruce Van Voorhis serves as missionary with the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs in Hong Kong. He will work as their Coordinator for Interfaith Programs beginning July 1, 2009.
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Lectionary Text and Prayers for Israel & Palestine: John 3:1-17
We pray for Israel and Palestine, and for their leaders. We pray for the next cycle of peace dialogues and for the people involved in these important negotiations. We hope the international community helps these dialogues and negotiations to achieve a real peace based in national justice and human dignity.
We pray for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, and also we pray for Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan. We pray for the Bishop's wisdom in living the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Holy Land, and for his commitment in the transformation of good theological values and principles into concrete educational and service programs in his diocese.
We pray for the important ministries of the Diyar Consortium in Bethlehem, especially for its educational programs. We hope that the Dar al-Kalima College, with its new physical facilities, be able to continue its contextual and transforming educational ministries in the midst of the many difficulties related to the wall that surrounds the city and the check points that hurts the normal communication and transportation processes.
We pray for the Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, for him to maintain his spiritual, mental and physical health, to continue his leadership not only in his local city and ministries but as well in the rest of the world, especially in Europe and the USA.
We pray for the people of Bethlehem and their relatives in Latin America, like Rozana, which has her father still living in Honduras. They moved to Palestine a year ago to avoid the fiscal crisis and violence in Central America, to live in this Palestinian context full of challenges and difficulties.
We pray for the women, children and senior citizens caught in the middle of these struggles, for them to discover and enjoy the value of hope, the gift of love, and the power of prayer. We pray that a new manifestation of the Holy Spirit come to Bethlehem to transform this traditional «little town» of hymns and history, into a vital center of transforming pilgrimages and socially responsible tourism. We pray that people coming from different parts of the world discover in the holy sites not only the stones of the old buildings, but the living stones of the local believing community.
We pray in the name of the Prince of Peace, which was born in this little old town of Bethlehem. Amen.
(Prayer written by Noemi and Samuel Pagan)
Global Ministries International Partners in Israel & Palestine:
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, the Christmas Church in Bethlehem, and the Diyar Consortium: The Diyar Consortium is a Lutheran Based, ecumenical oriented institutions serving the Palestinian community «from womb to tomb». Their main emphasis is on children, youth and the elderly, through transforming, contextual and holistic programs. Their initiatives are inspired in the Biblical message: «That they might have life and have it abundantly». In a context of too much politics, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem (CCB) and Diyar Consortium believe in caring for the city and its citizens… In a context of exclusive forms of religion, ELCJHL, CCB and Diyar believe in investing in ecumenism, inclusion, dialogue, respect… In a context of too much disempowering aid, ELCJHL, CCB and Diyar believe in empowering the individual and the community, in the name of Jesus Christ… In a context of too much segregation, ELCJHL, CCB and Diyar believe in building bridges and platforms for international, intercultural and interreligious encounters, dialogue and mutual respect… In a context of despair, ELCJHL, CCB and Diyar believe in creating rooms for hope, forgiveness, reconciliation, justice, and peace… www.elcjhl.org and www.annadwa.org
Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center (Jerusalem) is an ecumenical grassroots liberation movement among Palestinian Christians. It's an ecumenical center for Palestinian Liberation Theology which seeks to make the Gospel contextually relevant. In Arabic Sabeel means "the way" and also a "spring of water." Sabeel strives to develop a spirituality based on justice, peace, nonviolence, liberation and reconciliation for the different national and faith communities. Sabeel also works to promote a more accurate international awareness regarding the identity, presence, and witness of Palestinian Christians. The Center is located in Jerusalem where the majority of programs take place with participants from Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah and surrounding areas. http://www.sabeel.org/
- The East Jerusalem YMCA was established in 1949 in a tent at Aqabat Jaber Refugee Camp, near Jericho and operates with all sectors of our Palestinian Society without discrimination. The East Jerusalem YMCA operates a variety of programs and functions related directly to the needs of Palestinian society in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, Beit Sahour, Gaza, Nablus, Hebron, Jenin, and Tulkarem. http://www.ej-ymca.org/site/
- The YWCA of Palestine is an ecumenical grassroots movement serving women of all faiths. The main aims are to promote women's full and equal participation at all levels of society through leadership opportunities and training; to work for social and economic justice through development and advocacy programs; and to mobilize women's collective power for action on issues of vital concern: women's rights, justice, equality, freedom, the dignity of human beings and integrity of their environment. Programs include vocational training programs; training courses in Computer skills, hairdressing and language; children and youth activities such as summer camps; social and cultural activities; income generating projects; and advocacy work in areas such as human rights. The YWCA headquarters are in Jerusalem. There are three local associations in Jerusalem, Jericho and Ramallah, and three centers in refugee camps: Aqabat Jabr, Jalazone and Kalandia. http://www.ywca-palestine.org/
Rawdat el-Zuhur (Arabic for "Garden of Flowers") is a primary school for Palestinian children in East Jerusalem. Established in 1952, it aims at bringing up a new generation that is aware of the principles of good citizenship, and concerned for the environment; capable of thinking creatively, and analyzing logically and critically, offering and accepting positive criticism, and excelling in performance; and equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to assume leadership in a democratic society which they would develop and preserve. It serves mainly the lower income community. Students at Rawdat el-Zuhur can be supported through the Common Global Ministries Board's Child Sponsorship Program. http://www.rawdat.org/
Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches was set up in the early 1950s to help Palestinian refugees with their newly acquired status following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The Department set up branches in five different regions: Gaza, Jerusalem and West Bank, Galilee in Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon, with the clear mandate of working with the refugees, the poor, and the dispossessed. http://www.mec-churches.org/main_eng.htm
Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza of the Episcopal Diocese in Jerusalem was established in 1882 by the Church Mission Society and is located in the Gaza Strip area of Palestine. It became a service ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem in 1982, and continues to provide important medical and surgical care to all people of the Gaza Strip. Over 60 percent of the Strip's residents live in refugee camps, and a significant portion of the hospital's care is charitable as they serve a community of exceptionally poor citizens. Al-Ahli has also responded to the needs of the victims of crises, including providing medical treatment to those involved in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. http://www.j-diocese.org/
Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) supports Palestinians and Israelis working for peace by monitoring and reporting violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, offering protection by accompanying local communities in daily activities, and by advocating with churches for a peaceful end to the Occupation. The programme, which began in 2002, is coordinated by the World Council of Churches (WCC). http://www.eappi.org/
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Lectionary Text and Prayers for Colombia: John 15:26-27 & 16:4b-15
When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. ... And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment...
John 15:26, 16:8
God of love, life and peace, we pray today for our sisters and brothers who live and minister in Colombia. We pray for an end to the decades-old civil war that has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions more. You have heard the cry of the Colombian people and we have heard it too. Give us strength, we pray, to embody the Spirit of truth as we seek to support our Colombian brothers and sisters as they testify of your spirit of peace even as the guns and bombs seek to drown out their voices. Today we pray for...
- All who serve with the Restoration, Life and Peace Commission of the Council of Evangelical Churches of Colombia (CEDECOL). We pray especially for the new national leadership team and its coordinator, Pablo Moreno... for strength, endurance and courage.
- Pedro Acosta, coordinator of the Caribbean Coast Region of the Restoration, Life and Peace Commission, whose uncle was shot and killed on May 20 of this year by paramilitary gun-men. We pray for the wife and six children who survived Besaido Acosta.
- Idia Miranda, whose husband Pastor William Reyes has been missing (disappeared) since September of last year. We pray for Idia and her children, William, Luz Nelly and Estefanía who recently were forced to flee from their home to another state due to on-going threats from armed groups that were likely involved in the disappearance of William.
- The family of Pastor Justo Tunubalá, who was shot and killed by the Colombian Army in September of last year.
- The staff and volunteers who compile A Prophetic Call, which documents the suffering and hope of Colombian Protestant Churches each year. We pray for their safety in the midst of dangerous and important work.
Come, Spirit of truth, righteousness, justice and peace, in Colombia, in the United States and around the world. We pray thanking you for the Advocate who accompanies us all in the midst of our daily trials, Amen.
(Prayer by Michael Joseph)
Global Ministries International Partner in Colombia:
- CEDECOL – The Council of Evangelical Churches of Colombia. Global Ministries partners closely with the Restoration, Life and Peace Commission and the Christian Women's Network for Life and Peace.
Global Ministries Missionary in Colombia:
Michael Joseph serves in Colombia with the Restoration, Life and Peace Commission of the Council of Evangelical Churches (CEDECOL), including the Christian Women's Network for Life and Peace. He is providing a pastoral critical presence to church and lay leaders who are living in life-threatening situations.
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Lectionary Text and Prayers for Japan: John 17:6-19
I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.
Dear God, thank you for the many gifts of community and fellowship with the global Christian community brought to us through missionaries around the world. This week we pray for Japan. We ask for your light and guidance for Christians in Japan, while few, continue faithfully on their journey towards your kingdom here on earth. Help us, as missionaries, to learn to serve and walk alongside our partners in the Japanese church on this mission. We…
- Pray for global food security and for ministries like the Asian Rural Institute in Tochigi Prefecture which help to inspire leadership in rural communities both in Japan and around the world.
- Pray for the indigenous peoples of Japan from the Ainu peoples of northern Japan and Hokkaido to Ryu Kyu peoples in Okinawa, and others as they continue their struggle for acknowledgement by the Japanese people and government.
- Pray for the Christian centers and smaller ministries like the Emmaus Center, the Douhoku Centre, the Student Christian Fellowship (SCF), Bazaar Café, and Ginowan Seminar House as they continue to serve as a vital meeting point between the church and the wider community. Help them to continue their work serving the most vulnerable and needy.
- Pray for sexual minorities, the LGBT community in both Japan and the US, that they are able to find acceptance and understanding from their families, religious institutions, and government leaders.
- Pray that awareness of Article 9 of Japan's Peace Constitution will continue to grow both here in Japan and abroad. We pray that Japan will be an example of peace in seeking non-military means for conflict resolution.
We bring these prayers to you from a world, still broken, as a forgiving and forgiven people of God. Amen
(Prayer by Sandra Lee-Takei)
Global Ministries International Partners in Japan:
Doshisha University: http://www.doshisha.ac.jp/english/ Martha Mensendiek is a teacher of Social Welfare at Doshisha University, Kyoto. Casilda Luzares teaches English.
Asian Rural Institute: The mission of the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) is to build an environmentally healthy, just, and peaceful world, in which each person can live to his or her fullest potential. This mission is rooted in the love of Jesus Christ. To carry out this mission, ARI trains and nurtures rural leaders for a life of sharing. Leaders, both women and men, who live and work in grassroots rural communities primarily in Asia, Africa and the Pacific form a community of learning each year together with staff and other residents. Through community-based learning they study the best ways for rural people to share and enhance local resources and abilities for the common good.
Emmaus Center: Rev. Jeffrey Mensendiek works as the Director of youth ministries at the Emmaus Center, Northeast Conference of United Church of Christ in Japan, based in Sendai, Japan. Ms. Sandra Lee-Takei works as a global mission Intern at the Emmaus Center as the assistant to the Director of youth ministries.
Kobe College: http://www.kobe-c.ac.jp/ekc/index.html
Korean Christian Church in Japan: http://www.kccj.net/
- Miyagi Gakuin Women's University:
National Christian Council of Japan: http://ncc-j.org/english/profile.htm
Tohoku Gakuin University: http://www.tohoku-gakuin.ac.jp/en/index.html
- United Church of Christ in Japan:
Global Ministries Missionaries in Japan:
Sandra Lee-Takei serves as a Global Mission Intern at the Emmaus Center
Casilda Luzares teaches English at Doshisha University and is involved in pastoral ministries to migrant workers from the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.
Martha Mensendiek teaches Social Welfare at Doshisha University
Jeffrey Mensendiek serves and the Director of youth ministries at the Emmaus Center and the Sendai Student/Youth Center in Sendai.
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Lectionary Text and Prayers for the DRC: John 15:9-17
Loving God, as we turn our hearts this week towards our brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we ask you to teach us what it truly means to love one another the way that Jesus has loved each one of us. We thank you for our fruitful partnership with the Community of the Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC) and the Church of Christ in Congo which brings all of the Congolese Protestant denominations together. We ask that you would continue to show us ways to make our journey together more fruitful. Amen
Rev. Bonanga, the President of the CDCC, shared with Sandra Gourdet the following information:
- Greetings and blessing to all the Disciples and UCC constituents in the U.S. and Canada
- Prayer for the various Global Church Partnerships that have been established or that are in process… Michigan Region, Indiana Region, Missouri Mid-South Conference…
- Prayer for the Mbandaka District Council meeting which is being held at the moment.
- Prayer for the DRC that peace would continue to gain momentum in the country.
- Prayer for Rev. and Mrs. Bonanga as they travel to Indianapolis for the General Assembly this summer and for Rev. and Mrs. Illumbe as they travel to the Indiana Region for congregational visits and the General Assembly.
- Prayer for General Assembly and Administrative Council of the CDCC which will be held in August 2009.
- Prayer for the ongoing communication challenges that the church is experiencing due to the lack of communications equipment.
- Prayer for the transportation challenges that church staff constantly face as they seek to visit remote locations by motorized canoe, motorcycle, bicycle and by walking.
- Prayer for those affected by tornados in the Mbandaka district and praise for the repair of buildings that were damaged through funds that were channeled through Global Ministries.
- Prayer and praise for the progress on the rebuilding of a portion of the Bolenge hospital of which the dedication will occur sometime within the next year.
Note: The Indiana Region and the Mbandaka District have proclaimed the week of May 17-24 as Partnership Week, in observance of the first anniversary of their partnership agreement. To access the worship resources they are using this Sunday and other types of Congo resources, go to: http://www.indianadisciples.org/congopart.php
Global Ministries International Partners in the DRC:
Church of Christ in Congo: is the ecumenical Christian organization that brings under one umbrella more than sixty Congolese Protestant denominations. Global Ministries has been in partnership with the Church of Christ in Congo since its inception and was one of the founding members of the organization through the Disciples of Christ. This Christian organization is even more relevant today than ever before. After a bloody war that counted more than 4 million deaths, countless rapes and traumatized survivors, the people of Congo look to the church for its leadership in national reconciliation and peace. Core values of the ECC are reconciliation, justice, peace, struggle against corruption, and respect for human life. It also encourages the mentality of power as a service to others and not a privilege reserved for self interest. The Women's Department recognizes that women are that part of the population who are the most affected by the war. They are also the ones most easily manipulated by politicians and predators. Therefore the Women's Department is determined to be engaged in the reconstruction of the country on principles based on love and forgiveness, respect of human lives and values as well as good governance. http://ecc.faithweb.com/
The Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC): was founded in 1889. The church has been affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States since its inception. The church functions with 22 ecclesial regions located in the Equator, Bandundu, East Congo, Lower Congo and Kinshasa regions. Its 358 congregations serve 650,000 members. The church has 6 general hospitals, 9 maternity centers and 42 functioning health centers. The communities where the congregations are located are confronted with many socio-economic problems. They are all struggling from the effects of a civil war that included the involvement of surrounding countries as well as some international involvement. Health care, education and development programs suffered greatly during the war and during years of systemic corruption before the war. One of the devastating effects of the war has been the rapid increase in the number of HIV/AIDS patients, particularly in the Equator with more than 7 million inhabitants and where the largest numbers of Disciples are located.
The Protestant University of Congo, Kinshasa: is a church-related institution with four colleges, [Business, Law, Theology, Medicine.] The enrollment for the academic year 2006-2007 is over 5000 students. It is the outcome of a century-long effort by the various Protestant missions and the Congolese "Eglise du Christ au Congo [ECC]" to provide university level education, in a Christian environment, to Africans from any nation, but principally in the Democratic Republic of Congo. All nationalities and faiths are considered for enrollment. The goal of the university is to provide university level education for all enrolled National and International students, and prepare them to serve the needs of their community and the African Christian Churches. http://upcpublicrelations.org/
Global Ministries Missionary in the DRC:
None at the moment
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Lectionary Text and Prayers for Brazil: John 15:1-8
O God of all creation, hear the pleas for justice of the millions of Brazilians who live in sub-human conditions in the rural areas and shanty towns of the cities with inadequate sanitary conditions or water for daily consumption, often with no schools or health facilities and jobs, and inadequate transportation; who suffer all kinds of violence including social and economic injustice.
Guide the leaders of this great country to make laws that will give these people the dignity they deserve as citizens. Help these politicians to understand that if the vine is not healthy, good quality fruit will not be produced. The nourishment to produce good fruit requires that all the things that are lacking for millions of Brazilians be provided so that this country may grow in production and fair distribution to the people as well as contribute to the world Brazil's diversity, natural resources and gifts.
We praise you for the community health educators who share with the families they visit daily, their lives, frustrations, concerns, fears as well as joys. These health educators are neighbors of these shanty town families and suffer the same anxieties. They suffer with their patients the lack of adequate hospitals, or doctors trained in specialties, such as cancer and cardiology as well as the lack of medicines or ability to purchase them. They live in the same community where poor sanitary conditions and violence affect them as well as their patients, yet they continue to show the love of Christ as they listen and try to do what is possible for them.
Guide them, merciful God, and give them the strength and patience to continue even though they are underpaid and overworked. Help them to know that they are showing the love of Christ in their daily work and are his missionaries. Help them to continue to have pride in their profession as health educators and see the positive results of their work.
Guide the leaders of this country so that they may make the laws necessary to benefit these millions of Brazilians; that they may put aside their individual political and financial gains to work in benefit of the people who elected them especially those who are the victims of social, economic injustice. Help them to understand that the corruption so apparent to these people is not the correct attitude of sisters and brothers in Christ.
Guide the middle and upper classes to understand that as long as one child goes to be hungry; as long as this class inequality exists, there will always be violence, drugs and corruption affecting all classes.
(Prayer written by Rev. Barb de Souza)
Global Ministries International Partners:
Instituto de Estudos de Religião, ISER (Institute for Religions Studies) Involved in research and religious studies as they affect social/economic/racial/sexual policies. An ecumenical institution, which publishes books and articles about religion and religious issues, ISER is active in educational programs, such as health and sexuality, women's programs, special school programs for adolescents and action for the betterment in all these categories.
Association of Community Health Educators (AECS) A non-profit (NGO) Association formed in 1996 by the Global Ministers Missionary, Barb de Souza, and students of the training course for Community Health Educators. In 1999, the City Health Dept. of Rio de Janeiro, signed a contract (renewable every 2 years) for the financial support of the Family Health Program in the Shantytown of Canal do Anil where these women had been working as volunteers since the founding of the Association. The family health program promotes health education and health care in economically poor areas. The Association's family health clinic has 3 doctors, 3 nurses and 6 nurses assistants, 18 health educators, a dentist and 2 assistants, a social worker and administrator. The city has not yet approved financial support for the Association's rehabiitation center, with the 3 physical therapists and teacher but we still hope the value of this program as part of a basic health program, will be recognized in an area where there is no such treatment for lower income famies. http://www:aecsprojetobrasil.com.br/
- Igreja Presbiteriana Unida do Brasil (United Presbyterian Church of Brazil)
Ascociacion de Igrejas Metodistas do Brasil (Association of Methodist Churches of Brazil) http://www.metodista.org.br/
Igreja Evangelica Congregacional do Brasil (Evangelical Congregational Church of Brazil) http://www.iecb.org.br/
Global Ministries Missionary:
Rev. Barb de Souza is a Global Ministries long-term volunteer with the Global Ministries and the Brasilian Partner, ISER, Institute of Relgious Studies, serving as an advisor and teacher of popular education in the areas of sexuality leading to women's empowerment. She retired in 2002 after 16 years as a health education missionary for Global Ministries and in 1996 became a long term volunteer of the Global Minstries´ new international partner, the Association of Community Health Educators. She is coordinator/director of the Family Health Program, a city financed program in contract with the Association of Community Educators which administers it in a 3 building clinic that was built and is maintained by the Association.
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Lectionary Text and Prayers for Sri Lanka: John 10:11-18
Please pray for peace and reconciliation between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the innocent people trapped in the middle of the war. The following excerpts from the Sri Lanka Statement on Peace, Security and Development in South Asia by the World Council of Churches (WCC), Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) and the South Asia Council of Churches (SACC), can be turned into prayer points as we ask the Good Shepherd to bring peace to God's flock in the country of Sri Lanka:
- Expresses deep concern over the continuously worsening humanitarian crisis in the northern parts of Sri Lanka;
- Appeals to the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to immediately stop the ongoing military operations to ensure safe passage arranged by credible and neutral agencies for those who are trapped in the war zone;
- Urges the LTTE to facilitate safe conduct for the people who want to leave such areas and refrain from any form of forced conscription, of both children and others;
- Appeals to the Sri Lankan government to allow international and national agencies to address and assist the persons in camps and in the conflict areas;
- Urges the Sri Lankan government to take initiatives conducive to undertaking talks with all concerned and also to present an outline of a political formula with a view to finding a lasting solution to the issues behind the conflict;
- Assures the churches in Sri Lanka of the support of the churches around the world, represented by the WCC, the CCA and the SACC, as they are engaged in responding to the urgent humanitarian needs and also in working with others in seeking practical ways of resolving the conflict.
To read the entire statement, click here: http://globalministries.org/news/sasia/sri-lanka-statement.html
To read an appeal from concern citzens of South Asia: http://globalministries.org/news/sasia/an-appeal-from-concerned.html
To read the Common Global Ministries Board statement on Sri Lanka: http://globalministries.org/news/sasia/seeking-peace-in-sri-lanka.html
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.
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.
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.
Global Ministries Missionary in Sri Lanka:
None at the present time