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Lectionary Text and Prayers for Argentina: Matthew 25:31-46
God, we thank you for your call to serve the "least of these" as we serve you. We pray today for the ministries of our partners in Argentina as they seek to reach out to the "least of these" in their context. We pray particularly for the work of the Disciples of Christ in the "La Tablada" as they touch the lives of children at risk in that neighborhood. We pray also for the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo as they continue their search for the children that were taken away from their parents during the "dirty war" of the late 1970's. We pray also for the collaboration that is taking place between the Disciples in Argentina and Paraguay with the possibility of including the Congregational churches in Argentina. Bless these churches as they seek new ways to work together and serve the "least of these" in their communities. Teach us also how to recognize the face of Christ in the brothers and sisters with whom we are in partnership around the globe. Amen
(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)
Global Ministries International Partners in Argentina:
- Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo
- Asociacion la Iglesia de Dios
- Colegio Ward
- Iglesia Evangelica Congregacional de Argentina
- Iglesia Evangelica de los Discipulos de Cristo en Argentina
- Isedet - Instituto Superior Evangelico de Estudios Teologicos http://www.isedet.edu.ar/
- Junat Unida de Misiones
- Movimento Ecumenico por los Derechos Humanos (MEDH) http://www.medh.org.ar/
Global Ministries Missionary in Argentina:
None at the present time
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Lectionary Text and Prayers for Poland: Matthew 25:14-30
Giving God, today we thank you for the many talents you have given each of us to minister in your name. Guard us from foolishly protecting what we have, instead of using all we have and are in your kingdom-building work.
We lift up to you in prayer our ministry partners around the world—those in places of scarcity and in those places of plenty. Today we especially pray for your church in Poland. Guide them as they seek to use the talents God has given them.
Grant your grace to our partner in Poland, the churches of the Evangelical Reformed Church. Bless them as they seek to discern new areas for welcome and for service. Help them reach out into their communities in new and courageous ways. Grant their pastors and people the strength to persevere, and the wisdom faithfully to invest their time and resources, even when these are scarce and the workers are few.
And grant your grace to us, right here in _____________________ (church and place). Help us as we, ourselves, discern how we can reach out our hands to help our brothers and sisters, in Poland, and around the globe.
All this we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.
(Prayer by Doug and Liz Searles)
Global Ministries International Partners in Poland:
Global Ministries Missionary in Poland:
Doug and Elizabeth Searles serve with the Evangelical Reformed Church in Poland. They serve as mission workers for church growth and outreach.
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Lectionary Text and Prayers for Sudan: Matthew 25:1-13
Prayer for Sudan
God of arid deserts and of rainforests.
God who hurts when we are hurt,
who cries when we mourn, and
who stands as a living witness to the atrocities that unfold
on this planet you created to be a lush and serene paradise.
We lift our hands of supplication up to you
seeking your blessing on those whose backs are scorched by the sun,
on those who suffer under the interrogator's lash,
and on those who search feverishly for nourishment.
And we ask, O God, that you fill our hands
with an impassioned resolve to hope beyond the confines of despair,
to enter into solidarity with those who suffer,
to be fully engaged in the struggle for liberation and justice
for all peoples victimized by the Caesars of the world.
Remind us, O Holy One, that our fate is inextricably bound with theirs,
that we are unable to fully breathe the air of freedom
while others' lungs are filled with the stench of enslavement.
Hear this, our prayer for hope and liberation,
that we lift up to you
in the name of the Resurrected One.
The Rev. John Tamilio III
- Pray for all those who have been affected by genocide in Darfur, Sudan
- Pray for the injured, the raped, the tortured, the slaughtered
- Pray for those robbed of their childhoods and those orphaned
- Pray for the men detained with no representation or trial
- Pray for the 2.7 million people who have been forced from their homes and now live as internally displaced persons (IDPs) or refugees
- Pray for the thousands of people of faith from across the U.S. joining in Washington D.C. at the Gathering of the Tents to lift up the ongoing crisis in Darfur, Sudan
Global Ministries International Partners in Sudan:
The country of Sudan has 35 million inhabitants, 70 percent of whom are of Arab descent. Christians make up 3-5 percent of the total population; Christians are largely concentrated in southern Sudan, where the Sudanese of African descent are located.
- The New Sudan Council of Churches was established to address the situation of conflict in southern Sudan. Its sister council, the Sudan Council of Churches, could not adequately cover needs of southern Sudan. The New Sudan Council of Churches has six member churches including the Anglican, African Inland Mission, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic churches. It's administrative and program headquarters are located in Nairobi, Kenya, which borders southern Sudan and also has received many Sudanese refugees, numbering more than 600,000 in refugee camps at the height of the conflict. When it was first formed, the New Sudan Council of Churches emphasized relief and humanitarian aid to areas affected by the war in southern Sudan. The leadership quickly realized this was not sufficient and organized program areas in:
- Peace Program - advocacy; participation in peace processes together with the All Africa Council of Churches, World Council of Churches; promotion of reconciliation at grassroots levels in southern Sudan;
- Education - largely scholarship support;
- HIV/AIDS - raising of awareness and education in churches;
- Women and Youth - capacity building and promotion.
Global Ministries Missionaries in Sudan:
None at this time
Global Ministries Links
Tents of Hope
Tents of Hope: Gathering of the Tents in Washington DC
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Lectionary Text and Prayers for Honduras: Matthew 23.1-12
Compassionate God, we watched this week as heavy rains sent humble homes occupied by the poorest of the poor tumbling down the mountains of Tegucigalpa. We have seen the streets and businesses filled with flood waters. We read of roads and bridges disappearing, swept away in the rain, leaving villages stranded. And, we have witnessed the indifference of the rich to the plight of the poor. We have heard the poor being blamed for their plight –for building their homes in risky areas, for having more children than they can be cared for in the midst of a disaster, for cutting down the trees for firewood to cook their food that has resulted in the landslides.
Help us, caring God, to feel outraged. Help us, loving God to feel indignant. Help us to not tie up and heap yet another heavy load on the shoulders of the poor who suffer the most. Help us to be moved to respond, to lift our hands and move our feet and raise our voices and to practice what we preach. Move us to feel compassion and free us to serve your pueblo in Honduras. Amen.
- Pray for all those who have been affected by recent flooding and landslides in Honduras, to those who have lost their homes, their land and their lives. Pray for the church Fuente de Bendición and their pastor Miguel, where eight church families who live in extreme poverty have lost all they own.
- Pray for those living in extreme poverty in Honduras, 2/3 of the population, as they struggle with rising costs for basic foods and transportation while salaries remain below the poverty level.
- Pray for the new president of CCD, Fredy Murrillo and the new director of CTEH, Noemi Espinoza.
- Pray for youth in Honduras who have such limited options because of lack of educational opportunity, and high levels of unemployement (60%) that they are easy targets for gangs.
- Pray for people living and dying with HIV-AIDS in Honduras where levels of the disease are rising astronomically and where medicines are not available.
- Pray for the students in public schools, and their teachers who strike because they haven't been paid in months, for patients and health workers who strike because they haven't been paid all year (!) and for the government to make wise decisions to resolve these problems.
Global Ministries International Partners in Honduras:
Christian Commission on Development (CCD): Ecumenical organization based in Tegucigalpa working on sustainable development projects with churches and communities in Honduras. Residential technical training program for youth "at risk," those who have limited life options because of living in extreme poverty. Sponsor work groups from the US to come and work in impoverished communities on development projects. http://www.ccdhonduras.org/eng/
Theological Community of Honduras (CTEH): Ecumenical theological education at high school, and college level. Theological Education provided at grade school level in many rural communities, and in Tegucigalpa. Ecumenical dialogues. A weekend Jr. High and High school education for working adults. Technical education program with classes in computers, electronics repair, auto mechanics, beauty school for youth ages 12-25 living in extreme poverty. Preschool and kindergarten classes for poor children from the surrounding neighborhood in partnership with World Vision. A medical clinic with medical services for students, staff and members of the community including medications at low cost ($1 for a medical consult including medications). HIV-AIDS education project with religious organizations and churches throughout Honduras.
Evangelical and Reformed Church of Honduras (IERH): Synod leadership is based in San Pedro Sula with 50 or so congregations spread out through the northern portion of Honduras.
Mennonite Social Commission (CASM): http://www.casm.hn/
Global Ministries Missionaries in Honduras:
Bruce and Linda Hanson are assigned to the Christian Commission on Development (CCD) to serve the Theological Community of Honduras (CTEH). Bruce works in a clinic located at the Theological Community and accompanies visiting medical groups, while Linda is teaching theological courses and serves as dean of the Theological Community.
Kevin Howe is a Global Mission Intern working with the Christian Commission on Development (CCD) working in the area of communications and hosting groups.
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Lectionary Text and Prayer for Lesotho: Matthew 22:34-46
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Matthew 22:37-39
Our worship of God is expressed in our love for God and neighbor. Part of that worship is praising God with all our hearts, with praise that comes from the depth of our souls, praise that wants to shout out to the Lord! In our worship we also bring before God our prayers and petitions, many of these on behalf of our neighbors in need at home and around the world. Let us praise God and pray to God for the following:
- for our Friends of God group as we prepare to visit a Scripture Union group next month at Mopeli High School up in the mountains! The Mopeli group feels rather isolated being so far away from other schools and is excited to know about our upcoming visit. May both groups be mutually encouraged as they share the Word of God and enjoy Christian fellowship.
- for the healing of Palesa, a primary school teacher who is involved with Scripture Union in our local district. Back in May, when we visited her, Palesa was bedridden with heart problems, unable to walk and diagnosed with a tumor in her womb. Now, thanks to God's mercy and healing power, she is fully recovered. All her doctor could say was, "Your god must be very powerful."
- for Mrs. Lechaka, a high school teacher who is in need of stronger faith. At our last SU leaders meeting, as Palesa and others gave testimonies of God's power and goodness, she felt a bit lost as her faith seemed so small in comparison. May she grow in her faith and understanding of God and his Son and our Savior Jesus.
- for the many recent graduates from the National University of Lesotho and other institutions of higher learning who are former students of Masitise High School. Some of them received special honors and awards. Some are now teaching here at Masitise.
- for good rains as we are now in spring and farmers are busy preparing their fields. The Lesotho Meteorological Service has forecast below normal rainfall and above normal temperatures for much of the country during the upcoming growing season. Already the temperatures are high and hot, dry winds are a regular feature nearly every day. Very little rain has fallen in recent months. Join together with the churches in Lesotho in praying to God to send forth showers of blessing.
- for the wonderful group of youth attending the Sunday afternoon Friends of God meetings. There is a strong core group that attends regularly and is growing in faith and maturity.
- for our Form C and E students who are writing their national exams during the months of October and November. How well they perform will determine if they are admitted to Form D next year or to a post-high school institution of learning.
- for the upcoming 175th anniversary celebrations of the Lesotho Evangelical Church which will be held on the 25-26th of October. Pray for safe travels for Rev. Dr. Howard Goodrich and his daughter, Rev. Darla Glynn, who are coming for this event to represent Global Ministries. Howard and his wife Darlene served as missionaries in Lesotho during 1991-92.
(During 2008 the Lesotho Evangelical Church is celebrating the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the first missionaries from the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society. In June 1833 Thomas Arbousset, Eugene Casalis and Constant Gossellin arrived at Thaba-Bosiu, home of the founder of the Basotho nation King Moshoeshoe I. King Moshoeshoe had invited the missionaries to settle among his people.)
The Lesotho Evangelical Church asks you to pray for:
- Peace and stability in Lesotho and in Africa.
- Churches, Pastors and Evangelists to be the able to continue preaching the Word of God.
- Reducing poverty in the country amid the worsening economical hardships brought about by increasing petrol prices.
- The church to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the arrival of the first missionaries in Lesotho in 1833 and the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin.
Global Ministries International Partners in Lesotho:
Lesotho Evangelical Church - The Lesotho Evangelical Church is one of Africa's oldest Protestant churches, founded in 1833 by missionaries from the Paris Evangelical Mission society. It is Lesotho's oldest denomination and today it has 261,350 members in 112 congregations. It also maintains 563 schools. The LEC-sponsored schools have contributed to the 83 percent literacy rate nationwide. Global Ministries' relationship to LEC began in 1983.
Christian Council of Lesotho - The Christian Council of Lesotho is a fellowship of Christian churches and Christian organizations. It has two main objectives: (1) to foster closer cooperation and unity amongst churches and organizations of different Christian traditions; (2) to enable member churches and organization to more fully share in the spiritual, social and economic endeavors. It has been involved over the years in social development, formal and informal education, health and sanitation, environmental protection and agriculture, civic education, conflict management.
Christian Health Association of Lesotho - The mission of the Christian Health Association of Lesotho is to facilitate the participation of the Christian churches in ensuring that the right of all members of society to the highest quality health services is upheld. In pursuit of this mission, the Christian churches are committed to see to it that quality health services reach those who have least access, the families and communities, through appropriate technologies, in spirit of mutual trust and cooperation as a tangible expression of Christ's vision to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Global Ministries Missionary in Lesotho:
Mark Behle serves with the Lesotho Evangelical Church as a teacher at Masitise High School. He teaches math, a course on Luke & Acts, coaches basketball and leads a youth group called Friends of God. He has been in Lesotho since 1996 and prior to that served with Global Ministries in Zambia for eleven years as a teacher at Kafue Secondary School.
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Prayers for Turkey and Lectionary text: Matthew 22:15-22
O God, we ask that the people of Turkey and the USA, and all who often divide themselves between the religious and the secular, learn to stop plotting to trap those on the other side, to resist being cynical, to try out your commandment to "love one another" and have trust and respect for the other in their political lives. May we have the humility to admit that the issues that divide us today have been with since the Pharisees and Herodians tested Jesus 2000 years ago and to this day are part of our common humanity.
We ask your blessing on the people of Turkey and the people of the United States:
- on refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers as they make their way in Turkey and in the USA;
- on teachers and students in schools;
- on youth who are so discouraged about their country's politics that they drop out rather than participate in Your quest, O God, for justice and peace;
- on all Muslims and Christians who work together for the common good in Turkey, the USA, or anywhere in the world;
- on women and minorities who find themselves labeled and categorized by political opportunists;
- on those who have lost their loved ones in natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes, and in acts of terrorism, and who scramble to stay live and find hope in living.
We ask all these things in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Global Ministries International Partners in Turkey:
Health and Education Foundation: The Health and Education Foundation, a Turkish secular philanthropy, began in 1968 to protect and renew the educational and medical institutions of the American Board, which represents the founder of these institutions established more than a century ago. The Health and Education Foundation consists of volunteers who are the graduates of the American Board schools. There are three high schools in Turkey (Tarsus, Istanbul, Izmir), a hospital in Gaziantep, and a printing press, founded by the American Board but now managed by the Foundation, which has full responsibility and authority for them. The institutions exemplify the positive possibilities for bridging cultural divides and building trustful relationships that are needed in today's pluralistic world. CGMB follows with hope and interest the progress of these historical institutions through the American Board, its office in Turkey.
Global Ministries Personnel in Turkey:
Ken & Betty Frank share the position of General Secretary of the American Board in Istanbul. They work with the Health and Education Foundation. They also serve on the board of the Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program (IIMP), which is a critical presence in ministering to the needs of economic migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees stranded in Turkey. Betty and Ken rejoice that everyday work is an interfaith dialogue.
Alison Stendahl serves as Academic Dean of and a math teacher at Uskudar American Academy in Istanbul, Turkey.
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Lectionary Text and Prayer for Botswana: Matthew 22:1-14
Modimo yoo motla otlhe (God of power and might)
Help us to remember what it means to be called as ambassadors in the precious name of Jesus; to share the Good News by making our actions a reflection of your goodness and caring, in all that we say and do in this world. In particular, let us not become so wrapped up in our own lives that we should forget the 25 percent of Botswana's population who are living on less than one US dollar a day; and where rising fuel and food prices consume an overwhelming portion of a person's financial resources. Give us the courage to do something more than to be thankful for our own blessings, and work to give hope to all who live in this world. "For many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:14)
(Prayer by Jim and Jayanthi Wilson)
Global Ministries International Partners in Botswana:
Botswana Council of Churches
Founded in 1966 with 36 member churches, the Council exists to serve the churches, to enable them to serve God and God's people, especially those in need. It is a national body which is affiliated to the All Africa Conference of Churches and to the World Council of Churches. Among the many projects which it is involved in, include evangelical and developmental work among the Hambukushu people on the western side of the delta in Ngamiland and assisting children in especially difficult circumstances (street kids) in the capital of Gaborone, through rehabilitation, re-education and reintegration into society
United Congregational Church of Southern Africa – Botswana Synod
Kgodisong Centre was started in July 2001 by the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) in Kanye, a partner denomination with Global Ministries. It began as an initiative to address the escalating number of orphans in Kanye. According to national records from the Department of Social Services 51 600 orphans are registered countrywide. Approximately 5,000 of these are registered in Kanye alone. This alarming figure is by far due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic followed by road accidents and other factors. These children at risk in the local community are provided with a safe environment for learning, nutritious meals along with varying other assistance each week day.
Kgolagano Theological College
Since its beginning in 1975, Kgolagano is the only ecumenical theological institution in the country, both in terms of staffing as well as student body.
Although the major focus of its programme has always been the promotion of theological education for the pastors of Botswana. Kgolagano cannot and does not ignore the life issues facing the people of the nation. It has an active, grass-root HIV/AIDS awareness programme as well as an educational empowerment programme for individuals incarcerated in prison.
Global Ministries Missionaries in Botswana:
Jim and Jayanthi Wilson are missionaries with the Kgolagano College of Theological Education in Gaborone, Botswana. Jim serves as a tutor of theology at Kgolagano College of Theological Education. Jayanthi serves as the coordinator of the College library.
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Lectionary Text and Prayers for the Republic of Congo: Matthew 21:23-32
God, we ask you today to help us to be true to our word with you. When we say we are going to do work in your name, help us to be faithful to our promise and to believe that you will work in and through us as we walk with partners around the globe. We thank you for global partners who remind us of our word and think specifically today of the Church of the Disciples of Christ of the Congo located in the Republic of Congo. We ask you to:
- Grant this young and growing Church strong leadership with wisdom to carry out your mission in Jesus name.
- Bless the food security project that the Church is undertaking on their 27 acre farm.
- Encourage the youth who are being trained in professional skills through the Pointe Noire vocational training center.
- Strengthen the leadership development program and the work of the Bible College in Brazzaville and also the students attending the Protestant University of Congo across the river from Brazzaville in Kinshasa.
- Speak to the participants of the Be a Global Region Immersion Trip as they visit projects and congregations of the Disciples and seek to learn about your mission in their context.
(Prayer by Sandra Gourdet and Bob Shebeck)
Global Ministries International Partners in the Republic of Congo:
The Church of the Disciples of Christ of the Congo (EDCC): in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), is a relatively new church founded in 1995. Global Ministries has been a key supporter since the beginning of the church. Global Ministries funded a missionary from the Community of the Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC) in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo to the newly forming EDCC from 1995 to 2003. The Republic of Congo has made great strides in recovering economically from its 1997 war. The opportunity for religious freedom, after many years in which the government discouraged worship, has caused significant growth in the number of people interested in religious practice. The church is relatively small with about 2,000 members in the country but is growing.
Global Ministries Missionary in the Republic of Congo:
None at this time
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Lectionary Text and Prayers for the DRC: Matthew 20:1-16
Generous God, we thank you today for your call to work in the vineyard of your world. We are grateful for the mutual relationships that we are able to cultivate and develop with global partners through Global Ministries as we seek to be faithful to that call. We ask you to help us to see those partnerships as you see them. Today, we pray specifically for our brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We ask your blessing on the work of the Church of Christ in Congo which brings together more than sixty Protestant denominations for common work in your vineyard. We pray particularly today for the witness of the Community of Disciples of Christ in the Congo, our close relative in the faith and we bring before you these specific requests for your Church:
- We pray for the Be a Global Mission Region Immersion trip in which 8 Disciples Regional Staff are participating at this moment in the DRC with Sandra Gourdet and Bob Shebeck. We ask you to bless the dialogue and specific visits to Disciples in Kinshasa, Mbandaka, Ikengo, Bolenge, Boyeka and Monieka
- We pray for the programs of the Church of Christ in Congo that are seeking to address the abuse of women as weapons of war through rape in the Eastern part of Congo
- We pray for justice in the use of the natural resources of the Congo particularly in the areas of the extraction of Coltan for our cell phones and the destruction of the rain forest for wood products in the global economy
- We pray for the programs of the Community of Disciples of Christ in the Congo particularly in the areas of education in both urban and rural settings, healthcare and specifically the construction of the new pediatric wing of the Bolenge hospital, pastoral training through the portable schools and food security projects such as the Ikengo farm
- We pray for the Protestant University of Congo as it seeks to develop strong leaders for the country
(Prayer by Sandra Gourdet and Bob Shebeck)
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 Prayer for Korea: Matthew 18:21-35
We pray, Lord, that your spirit of peace will descend on South Korea, especially on the daily candlelight vigils that have been held since May as people seek to ensure their right to health. Because of inadequate safeguards in an agreement between their government and the United States, they fear they will unknowingly be served infected U.S. beef that exposes them to mad cow disease.
While exercising their constitutional right to freedom of assembly and expression, they have been beaten by the riot police with batons and police shields, blasted at close range with water cannons, sprayed with fire extinguishers. Demonstrations have become nightly battle zones between protestors and riot policemen. Thousands have been injured on both sides; some have been knocked unconscious.
In this environment, we also pray for the volunteer medical workers who treat both protesters and policemen, lawyers who offer legal assistance to those arrested, journalists who report on these violent encounters. These clearly identified human rights defenders too have been assaulted by the police.
We pray as well for the young and inexperienced riot policemen—19 to 23-year-old men conscripted to take orders on the front lines every night, to beat others and be beaten as well.
In the midst of these violent daily confrontations, your peace is absent, Lord. We thus ask for an end to this vicious discord. We remember too those who have been injured and pray for their speedy recovery.
Amid such violence and hostility, forgiveness is difficult. However, forgiveness is the path to your peace and a new environment to freely express one's views. May it be your will, Lord, that South Korea will know this peace soon. Amen.
(Prayer by Bruce Van Voorhis)
Bruce Van Voorhis is a Global Ministries missionary serving in Hong Kong with the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a regional human rights organization. In July, Bruce was part of a four-member fact-finding mission to Seoul that focused specifically on respect for people's freedom of expression and violence against human rights defenders at public assemblies. The one-week mission was invited to visit the country because of violent attacks by riot policemen on protesters who have held daily candlelight vigils since May 2 in response to the agreement between the South Korean and U.S. governments in mid-April to import U.S. beef. Even after the agreement was renegotiated in June, Koreans are still concerned about their health because they are afraid that there are inadequate safeguards to prevent cattle and body parts susceptible to carrying mad cow disease from entering the country as only 2 percent to 3 percent of the beef is inspected.
Global Ministries International Partners in Korea:
- Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea: In 1884, the first Protestant Church was built by Suh Sang-Ryun in Sorai, Hwanghae Province in what is now North Korea. Suh was a layperson who was baptized in Manchuria and returned to Korea to evangelize. One of the unique characteristics of Korean Christianity is that Koreans themselves, on their own initiative, began to translate the Gospel and build churches before foreign missionaries came to Korea. One of the most important accomplishments of the early Korean Protestant Christians was the printing of the New Testament in Hangul, the Korean alphabet, which all could read. Insightful and radical, the decision to print the Gospel in Hangul was highly significant because the grassroots people used Hangul, while the elite and the government used the Chinese alphabet. In addition schools, hospitals, orphanages, and churches were built by early Christians in Korea.The Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea (PROK) was the fruit of a movement to reform the Presbyterian Church to create a true church of Jesus Christ, setting aside the secular elements, authoritarianism, and rigid dogmatism so deeply rooted in the Korean Presbyterian Church. Since 1953, the PROK has continued to develop a prophetic stance in its understanding of the church and its mission in society. The PROK has many programs in place to carry out its mission. http://www.prok.org/prok_engcon/contents.htm
- Hanshin University: http://www.hs.ac.kr/english/html/sub01_03.html
- Hanul Disabled Children's Center
- House of Early Dawn
- Sungnam Migrant Workers Center
- My Sister's Place
Global Ministries Missionaries in Korea:
None at this time