Friday, May 26, 2017

In the News ... "Educator's Mission Trip To Africa"

KMID Photo
• Bringing new technology to kids who would never experience it otherwise

Haylee Brooks, Reporter
KMID-TV


ODESSA, TEXAS - One ECISD educator is packing some interesting items for his mission trip to Africa.

Lyndon Domsten, instructional technology specialist is heading to Africa for 3 weeks on June 10th ...

read/watch the rest of this KMID report

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

Lewis, grieving the death of his wife, Joy:

There’s a limit to the ‘one flesh.’ You can’t really share someone else’s weakness, or fear or pain. What you feel may be bad. It might conceivably be as bad as what the other felt, though I should distrust anyone who claimed that it was. But it would still be quite different. When I speak of fear, I mean the merely animal fear, the recoil of the organism from its destruction; the smothery feeling; the sense of being a rat in a trap. It can’t be transferred. The mind can sympathize; the body, less. In one way the bodies of lovers can do it least. All their love passages have trained them to have, not identical, but complementary, correlative, even opposite, feelings about one another.

We both knew this. I had my miseries, not hers; she had hers, not mine. The end of hers would be the coming-of-age of mine. We were setting out on different roads. This cold truth, this terrible traffic- regulation (‘You, Madam, to the right—you, Sir, to the left’) is just the beginning of the separation which is death itself.

And this separation, I suppose, waits for all. I have been thinking of H. and myself as peculiarly unfortunate in being torn apart. But presumably all lovers are. She once said to me, ‘Even if we both died at exactly the same moment, as we lie here side by side, it would be just as much a separation as the one you’re so afraid of.’ Of course she didn’t know, any more than I do. But she was near death; near enough to make a good shot. She used to quote ‘Alone into the Alone.’ She said it felt like that. And how immensely improbable that it should be otherwise! Time and space and body were the very things that brought us together; the telephone wires by which we communicated. Cut one off, or cut both off simultaneously. Either way, mustn’t the conversation stop?

From A Grief Observed
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 26, 2017

THEOLOGICAL CONVERSATIONS: WORDS MATTER PAPER - “Theological Conversations”—a series of papers designed to invite congregational leaders in the PC(USA) into theological conversation wherever they gather as sessions, presbyteries or for adult education in congregations—began as a way to create space for conversations accessible to all church members. Each paper is a study resource with accompanying questions for conversation or reflection, suitable for use by both individuals and groups ...

... The latest paper, “Words Matter,” was written by the Rev. Mary Beth Anton, a PC(USA) pastor in the Presbytery of Tres Rios. Anton, a graduate of Concordia University Irvine and Princeton Theological Seminary, has served in small, medium and large congregations, and as a day school chaplain. Her most recent position was as administrative pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Midland, Texas ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

FBR Report: "JSMK Graduation: Welcoming 22 New Medics"

The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) is a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement. They bring help, hope and love to people in the war zones of Burma (Myanmar) and the Middle East. Groups send teams to be trained, supplied and sent into the areas under attack to provide emergency assistance and human rights documentation. Together with other groups, the teams work to serve people in need.



FBR Photo
JSMK Graduation: Welcoming 22 New Medics

On Friday, March 3rd, 2017, another graduating class from FBR’s Jungle School of Medicine-Kawthoolei (JSMK) crossed the stage of the main classroom and received their certificates from their instructors. This is the sixth graduating class of JSMK ...

CLICK HERE to read the rest of this FBR Report ...

CLICK HERE to learn how YOU can get involved in FBR and its mission ...

In the News ... "Monsignor ends 55-year career"

OA Photo by Mark Sterkel
• Bridges credited with founding Helping Hands, West Texas Food Bank

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


MIDLAND, TEXAS - As the first priest ordained in the new San Angelo Diocese on May 26, 1962, Monsignor James P. Bridges has followed that distinction by serving as pastor of the diocese’s biggest parish for 21 years and starting the West Texas Food Bank in Odessa and the Helping Hands financial assistance and emergency housing organization here.

Retiring July 1 as pastor of St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, the 87-year-old native Lamesan also served in Odessa at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and was the founding priest of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church there ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

“Stay where you are,” cried Digory, turning round to face her, “or we’ll all vanish. Don’t come an inch nearer.”

“Foolish boy,” said the Witch. “Why do you run from me? I mean you no harm. If you do not stop and listen to me now, you will miss some knowledge that would have made you happy all your life.”

“Well, I don’t want to hear it, thanks,” said Digory. But he did.

“I know what errand you have come on,” continued the Witch. “For it was I who was close beside you in the woods last night and heard all your counsels. You have plucked fruit in the garden yonder. You have it in your pocket now. And you are going to carry it back, untasted, to the Lion; for him to eat, for him to use. You simpleton! Do you know what that fruit is? I will tell you. It is the apple of youth, the apple of life. I know, for I have tasted it; and I feel already such changes in myself that I know I shall never grow old or die. Eat it, Boy, eat it; and you and I will both live forever and be king and queen of this whole world—or of your world, if we decide to go back there.”

“No thanks,” said Digory, “I don’t know that I care much about living on and on after everyone I know is dead. I’d rather live an ordinary time and die and go to Heaven.”

From The Magician's Nephew
Compiled in A Year with Aslan

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 25, 2017

RWANDA - Rwandan names are significantly different from American names. There are no family names. Instead, when a child is born, the parents give him or her two names: a Rwandan name that reflects something of the child’s birth situation, the family’s situation at the time of the birth or a wish the parents have for the character of their child, and a European name—for Christians, the baptismal name ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WAW Wednesday ... "Sell Tacos ..."

"The Word at Work is a ministry that mobilizes churches and individuals to answer God's call to minister to those in need," writes Rev. Tim Tam, Director of the Amarillo, Texas-based ministry. "Through our relationships, God reveals needs and opportunities for service. As we come along side the poor, new friendships develop and doors for ministry open. As we serve, God provides the resources to supply for the needs he reveals."


WAW Wednesday: "Sell Tacos ..."

Friends,

Here is just one of the many reasons why you love to support TWAW:

We connect you to causes that matter to God, causes that are near to the heart of God. And you will be hard pressed to find a cause more important than this.

Sell tacos, not children!

Cute slogan, but it’s also the Battle cry of one of our partner ministries in Belize.

It points to the serious, rather, to the horrifying reality of human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

CDF (Child Development Foundation) is a Christian Organization on the front lines and they’re busy fighting the battle at every level.

   Drafting legislation to protect children
   Educating judges, Police, School officials and parents
   Holding sensitization sessions with children in schools across the country
   Rescuing and caring for victims
   Helping with recovery and reintegration

But there is one essential piece of their multi-pronged strategy that is lacking. They need a shelter for housing victims that are in danger and a peaceful Christ centered setting for the difficult path of recovery.

Gomer House is the name of this project and it is well underway. Our friend and former TWAW Board Member Cindy Wall and her husband, Lonnie (a gifted contractor), of Clovis, NM, have responded to God's prompting and they're preparing to relocate to Belize to oversee the next phase of construction!

You are invited to join God in his work here.

   Learn more about Gomer house here (.pdf file).

   Your Financial Commitment to The Word At Work (.pdf file) helps projects like this become a reality.
Gratefully,

Tim Tam
#wearethewordatwork




EDITOR'S NOTE: Speaking from my own first-hand experience - working side-by-side with Tim, Kenny and our brothers and sisters in Belize - won't you give thoughtful, prayerful consideration to supporting the efforts of Tim, the Word At Work staff and their partners? Please please fill out this Commitment Card and return it to their office!

Also, remember that you can follow The Word At Work on their Facebook page!


In the News ... “Family Promise gets hefty donation"

Courtesy Photo
• Good Neighbors: Professional women’s organization donates $3,000

Rich Lopez, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - The Uptown Midland Business and Professional Women organization on Tuesday made a $3,000 donation to Family Promise. The funds will help the nonprofit organization’s clients purchase clothing to for transitioning to school and the work force.

Through fundraisers, bunco nights and other events, UMBPW raised money both for the nonprofit and for their scholarship fund all to help women of nontraditional age ...

 • read the rest of this MRT report


Invitation to Prayer from Faces of Children ... TODAY

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer ... TODAY

Hi Friends,

Thank you for joining me in prayer for the children of the world. If you can, we'd love to have you pray together with us this Wednesday - TODAY - at 11:30 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. The church is not currently offering lunch service. If you'd like to have lunch together, please bring a sack lunch and we can eat together.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Dear Intercessors,

I'm not sure I'll ever forget her radiant face. About 16 years old, she has dark hair cut in a bowl cut. She wore her purple and black sequined costume proudly, and every few minutes during her enthusiastic dance at the recital, she'd stop and wave at her family in the audience. I pictured a day about 16 years ago, when her mama and daddy held her for the first time. Did they cry when they found out she had Down's Syndrome? Did they grieve all the ways she may not experience their dreams and goals and hopes? Did they worry that she'd miss out on the richness of life? I picture the long, hard days that they must have pushed through when she was 3, 7, or 10, teaching her the things of childhood like how to take her first wobbly steps, tie her shoes or which bathroom to go into at the store... I'm certain each lesson felt more monumental and challenging than it does for most kids.

I'm sure they cried and grieved... there's a time for that, after all, and I think any parent would go through that process when first faced with a drastically different reality concerning a child's future than what was imagined.

But as I watched her dance - face joyfully shining, laughter on her lips, uninhibited, confidant, and beautiful - all I could think is: "Oh, but there is a time to dance."

And dance, she did. She danced as I've always dreamed of dancing - without shame or concern or worry about how she looked or what others thought. And it wasn't just her. Each dancer in the Midland Children's Rehabilitation Center's dance program has some sort of developmental, cognitive, or physical special need. Some girls danced in wheelchairs, coaxing their stiff limbs to move. Some girls did their best to twirl on legs that didn't move with a dancer's traditional fluidity. Each child faced different challenges, and I'm sure child has a history thick of worried parents, arduous therapies, and constant reminders that they are just a little bit different than "the other kids." But on this night, we watched them shine. And it was holy and sacred. For in those moments, they saw themselves as the Father sees them - beautiful, graceful, talented daughters and sons created in the imago dei. They are complete and perfect and enough, just as they are.

This week, I'm remembering that the very things I cry over today might lead me to places of great joy tomorrow... may we each walk in hope.

This week, I'd like to invite you to join me in praying for the following matters:

USA // Students wrapping up academic year
Please pray for students who are finishing up the academic year. Many students are in the middle of final exams, state achievement tests, and graduation. Pray that as students walk through these last few weeks of school, they are able to focus and do their best while also relaxing under the pressure many feel. For many students, summer is a time of little structure and many opportunities to get into mischief. Please pray for God's protection to rest on them and his wisdom to guide them. Also, many students eat most of their daily meals at schools. For them, summertime can mean hunger. Please pray for community groups and churches to fill in the gaps so that no child goes to bed hungry.

Reuters Photo by Marko Djurica
Global // Record number of solo migrant children, U.N. sees slavery risk
"Be it to escape war in Syria or gang violence in Central America, natural disaster or famine, increasing numbers of children are on the move and are travelling alone, UNICEF said in a report.

About 200,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum across 80 countries from 2015 to 2016 and another 100,000 children were stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border, UNICEF said.

Taken together, 300,000 children travelled alone worldwide from 2015 to 2016 - a five-fold increase since 2010, when 66,000 children were reported to be on the move, UNICEF said.

Ruthless smugglers and traffickers are exploiting their vulnerability for personal gain, helping children to cross borders, only to sell them into slavery and forced prostitution," Justin Forsyth, UNICEF deputy executive director, said in a statement. 'It is unconscionable that we are not adequately defending children from these predators." Learn more here ...

his is not an easy problem to solve, but God sees these children. Please join me in praying for them to be protected and sheltered from those who would cause them harm.

Reuters Photo by James Akena
Sudan // Alarming rise in S.Sudanese children fleeing to Uganda - aid group
"More than 100 lone children cross into Uganda each day as they flee conflict in South Sudan, walking for days on end with no food or family to sustain them, an aid agency said on Thursday. World Vision said at least 9,000 children had made the journey since last July and it expects another thousand to join them by mid year. 'The majority of these children saw their parents being killed, while others lost touch with their families once fighting broke out. Some of them walk for more than a week to get to Uganda, with nothing to eat,' said Gilbert Kamanga, country director of World Vision in Uganda. 'This is one of the worst forms of violence against children. It must stop. Peace needs to prevail in South Sudan,' he said in a statement." Learn more here ...

ust like the previous story, this is not a simple problem to solve. But we can raise our voices together and ask God to protect these children who are walking for days on end with no family or shelter or protection.

Praying with you,
Carrie

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153

* Name changed to protect her privacy.


If you have prayer requests about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to info@facesofchildren.net

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

TO SIR HENRY WILLINK, whose wife had just died: On bereavement and grieving.

3 December 1959

Dear Master,

I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt one, those who keep silence hurt more. They help to increase the sense of general isolation which makes a sort of fringe to the sorrow itself. You know what cogent reason I have to feel with you: but I can feel for you too. I know that what you are facing must be worse than what I must shortly face myself, because your happiness has lasted so much longer and is therefore so much more intertwined with your whole life. As Scott said in like case, ‘What am I to do with that daily portion of my thoughts which has for so many years been hers?’

People talk as if grief were just a feeling—as if it weren’t the continually renewed shock of setting out again and again on familiar roads and being brought up short by the grim frontier post that now blocks them. I, to be sure, believe there is something beyond it: but the moment one tries to use that as a consolation (that is not its function) the belief crumbles. It is quite useless knocking at the door of Heaven for earthly comfort: it’s not the sort of comfort they supply there.

You are probably very exhausted physically. Hug that and all the little indulgences to which it entitles you. I think it is tiny little things which (next to the very greatest things) help most at such a time.

I have myself twice known, after a loss, a strange excited (but utterly un-spooky) sense of the person’s presence all about me. It may be a pure hallucination. But the fact that it always goes off after a few weeks proves nothing either way.

I wish I had known your wife better. But she has a bright place in my memory. . . . She will be very greatly missed—on her own account, quite apart from any sympathy with you—by every fellow of this College.

. . . I shall not be at the funeral. You can understand and forgive my desire, now, to spend every possible moment at home. Forgive me if I have said anything amiss in this letter. I am too much involved myself to practise any skill.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in Yours, Jack

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 24, 2017

SYRIAN PRESBYTERIAN FELLOWSHIP - Like many good things, the Syrian Presbyterian Fellowship began with a relationship. A family from Homs, Syria, and a Californian Presbyterian pastor formed bonds that would bridge cultures and unite hearts ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Partners Blog: "Naw Roe Mae Paw"

Steve and Oddny Gumaer started Partners Relief and Development in response to the needs of refugees and displaced people from Burma, and now in the Middle East, as well. Their mission is to demonstrate, through holistic action, God’s love to children and communities made vulnerable by war in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and other conflict zones.

Partners Photo
Naw Roe Mae Paw

Naw Roe Mae Paw is a 6-year-old girl from Law Klaw Kee Village. Five years ago, malnutrition and growth stunting was very common in her area. Thanks to the work of the village health workers, children are growing healthier and taller. At a recent health screening, the worker found that Naw Roe Mae Paw was severely stunted. The health worker wondered: Why is she not growing as well as the other children?

The local medics checked her and couldn’t find the answer, but noted that she had frequent fevers. They advised the health worker to take her to Mae Sot for further investigation ...

read the rest of this post ...




Partners Relief and Development is a registered charity in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States. "We’re a small, grassroots nonprofit passionate about making a big impact in communities affected by conflict and oppression, demonstrating God’s love to children and giving them the opportunity to live free, full lives." For more information aboput Partners, visit their website at partners.ngo/

Burgers & Blessings kicks-off next month at Grace Presbyterian

Laura Up In the Clouds
Burgers & Blessings will begin on June 7th this year, starting at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday evenings at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2801 N. Garfield Street in Midland, Texas.

The members of Church on the Journey will be joining us this year.

Burgers & Blessings is a time to get together for for fellowship, mid-week. The church provides burgers, hot dogs, fixin's and drinks. We set up 'teams' to take turns preparing. If you would like to be on a team, please contact Suzi Thompson, Judy Brown or Cheryl Truzkowski at the church - phone number (432)-684-6542.

The men's study group will be taking turns cooking the meat, so we will all be bringing side dishes and dessert ... if you have a new recipe you would like to try, we are willing guinea pigs!

Join us?

Invitation to Prayer from Faces of Children ... Tomorrow

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer ... Tomorrow

Hi Friends,

Thank you for joining me in prayer for the children of the world. If you can, we'd love to have you pray together with us this Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. The church is not currently offering lunch service. If you'd like to have lunch together, please bring a sack lunch and we can eat together.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Dear Intercessors,

I'm not sure I'll ever forget her radiant face. About 16 years old, she has dark hair cut in a bowl cut. She wore her purple and black sequined costume proudly, and every few minutes during her enthusiastic dance at the recital, she'd stop and wave at her family in the audience. I pictured a day about 16 years ago, when her mama and daddy held her for the first time. Did they cry when they found out she had Down's Syndrome? Did they grieve all the ways she may not experience their dreams and goals and hopes? Did they worry that she'd miss out on the richness of life? I picture the long, hard days that they must have pushed through when she was 3, 7, or 10, teaching her the things of childhood like how to take her first wobbly steps, tie her shoes or which bathroom to go into at the store... I'm certain each lesson felt more monumental and challenging than it does for most kids.

I'm sure they cried and grieved... there's a time for that, after all, and I think any parent would go through that process when first faced with a drastically different reality concerning a child's future than what was imagined.

But as I watched her dance - face joyfully shining, laughter on her lips, uninhibited, confidant, and beautiful - all I could think is: "Oh, but there is a time to dance."

And dance, she did. She danced as I've always dreamed of dancing - without shame or concern or worry about how she looked or what others thought. And it wasn't just her. Each dancer in the Midland Children's Rehabilitation Center's dance program has some sort of developmental, cognitive, or physical special need. Some girls danced in wheelchairs, coaxing their stiff limbs to move. Some girls did their best to twirl on legs that didn't move with a dancer's traditional fluidity. Each child faced different challenges, and I'm sure child has a history thick of worried parents, arduous therapies, and constant reminders that they are just a little bit different than "the other kids." But on this night, we watched them shine. And it was holy and sacred. For in those moments, they saw themselves as the Father sees them - beautiful, graceful, talented daughters and sons created in the imago dei. They are complete and perfect and enough, just as they are.

This week, I'm remembering that the very things I cry over today might lead me to places of great joy tomorrow... may we each walk in hope.

This week, I'd like to invite you to join me in praying for the following matters:

USA // Students wrapping up academic year
Please pray for students who are finishing up the academic year. Many students are in the middle of final exams, state achievement tests, and graduation. Pray that as students walk through these last few weeks of school, they are able to focus and do their best while also relaxing under the pressure many feel. For many students, summer is a time of little structure and many opportunities to get into mischief. Please pray for God's protection to rest on them and his wisdom to guide them. Also, many students eat most of their daily meals at schools. For them, summertime can mean hunger. Please pray for community groups and churches to fill in the gaps so that no child goes to bed hungry.

Reuters Photo by Marko Djurica
Global // Record number of solo migrant children, U.N. sees slavery risk
"Be it to escape war in Syria or gang violence in Central America, natural disaster or famine, increasing numbers of children are on the move and are travelling alone, UNICEF said in a report.

About 200,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum across 80 countries from 2015 to 2016 and another 100,000 children were stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border, UNICEF said.

Taken together, 300,000 children travelled alone worldwide from 2015 to 2016 - a five-fold increase since 2010, when 66,000 children were reported to be on the move, UNICEF said.

Ruthless smugglers and traffickers are exploiting their vulnerability for personal gain, helping children to cross borders, only to sell them into slavery and forced prostitution," Justin Forsyth, UNICEF deputy executive director, said in a statement. 'It is unconscionable that we are not adequately defending children from these predators." Learn more here ...

his is not an easy problem to solve, but God sees these children. Please join me in praying for them to be protected and sheltered from those who would cause them harm.

Reuters Photo by James Akena
Sudan // Alarming rise in S.Sudanese children fleeing to Uganda - aid group
"More than 100 lone children cross into Uganda each day as they flee conflict in South Sudan, walking for days on end with no food or family to sustain them, an aid agency said on Thursday. World Vision said at least 9,000 children had made the journey since last July and it expects another thousand to join them by mid year. 'The majority of these children saw their parents being killed, while others lost touch with their families once fighting broke out. Some of them walk for more than a week to get to Uganda, with nothing to eat,' said Gilbert Kamanga, country director of World Vision in Uganda. 'This is one of the worst forms of violence against children. It must stop. Peace needs to prevail in South Sudan,' he said in a statement." Learn more here ...

ust like the previous story, this is not a simple problem to solve. But we can raise our voices together and ask God to protect these children who are walking for days on end with no family or shelter or protection.

Praying with you,
Carrie

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153

* Name changed to protect her privacy.


If you have prayer requests about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to info@facesofchildren.net

In the News ... "The Rev. Hagger seeks unanimity"

OA Photo by Jacob Ford
• Navy veteran worked for Halliburton for nine years in the Mideast

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - The Rev. Christopher Wayne “Chris” Hagger has come a long way since the night of Feb. 14, 1980, when he had gotten into trouble in the Navy and was considering suicide when a sailor from Louisiana persuaded him to become a Christian.

Hagger, pastor of All People Worship Center at 2000 W. University Blvd., was in despair at age 18 because he had neglected to file the paperwork for another sailor to take his shift, and a man from Lafayette named Ricky Duffy intervened to save him from self-destruction ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On Holiness

If He does not support us, not one of us is safe from some gross sin. On the other hand, no possible degree of holiness or heroism which has ever been recorded of the greatest saints is beyond what He is determined to produce in every one of us in the end. The job will not be completed in this life: but He means to get us as far as possible before death.

From Mere Christianity
Compiled in Words to Live By

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 23, 2017

MADAGASCAR - It is 6:30 a.m. in the rural village of Andolofotsy, a six-hour drive from Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo. Léa Harilalao opens the door and looks across the road to the thatched shelter where a dozen or so people have already begun to congregate. “The dispensary is only meant to open at 7,” she laughs softly, “but, as you can see, people come early.” So, often — when she is not hosting visitors — her day also starts early ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, May 22, 2017

From @chinaaid : "Virginia pastor summoned by Chinese police in Guangdong"

The China Aid Association is a non-profit Christian organization - based in Midland, Texas - with a mission to uncover and reveal the truth about religious persecution in China, focusing especially on the unofficial church. They do this, they explain in their website, by exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused and equipping the saints to advance the kingdom of God throughout China.

CAA Photo
Virginia pastor summoned by Chinese police in Guangdong
Distributed by ChinaAid, April, 2017 ...

GUANGZHOU, GUANGDONG, CHINA – A pastor hailing from Virginia was summoned by police in China’s southern Guangdong province today for leading a Bible seminar ...

more on this story from China Aid



Mid-Day Prayer Service, this Wednesday at Grace Presbyterian

Please join us for Mid-Day Prayer Service this Wednesday, May 25thr, starting at 12:00 noon in the parlor/chapel at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2801 N. Garfield Street in Midland, Texas.

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Invitation to Prayer from Faces of Children ... Wednesday

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer ... Wednesday

Hi Friends,

Thank you for joining me in prayer for the children of the world. If you can, we'd love to have you pray together with us this Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. The church is not currently offering lunch service. If you'd like to have lunch together, please bring a sack lunch and we can eat together.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Dear Intercessors,

I'm not sure I'll ever forget her radiant face. About 16 years old, she has dark hair cut in a bowl cut. She wore her purple and black sequined costume proudly, and every few minutes during her enthusiastic dance at the recital, she'd stop and wave at her family in the audience. I pictured a day about 16 years ago, when her mama and daddy held her for the first time. Did they cry when they found out she had Down's Syndrome? Did they grieve all the ways she may not experience their dreams and goals and hopes? Did they worry that she'd miss out on the richness of life? I picture the long, hard days that they must have pushed through when she was 3, 7, or 10, teaching her the things of childhood like how to take her first wobbly steps, tie her shoes or which bathroom to go into at the store... I'm certain each lesson felt more monumental and challenging than it does for most kids.

I'm sure they cried and grieved... there's a time for that, after all, and I think any parent would go through that process when first faced with a drastically different reality concerning a child's future than what was imagined.

But as I watched her dance - face joyfully shining, laughter on her lips, uninhibited, confidant, and beautiful - all I could think is: "Oh, but there is a time to dance."

And dance, she did. She danced as I've always dreamed of dancing - without shame or concern or worry about how she looked or what others thought. And it wasn't just her. Each dancer in the Midland Children's Rehabilitation Center's dance program has some sort of developmental, cognitive, or physical special need. Some girls danced in wheelchairs, coaxing their stiff limbs to move. Some girls did their best to twirl on legs that didn't move with a dancer's traditional fluidity. Each child faced different challenges, and I'm sure child has a history thick of worried parents, arduous therapies, and constant reminders that they are just a little bit different than "the other kids." But on this night, we watched them shine. And it was holy and sacred. For in those moments, they saw themselves as the Father sees them - beautiful, graceful, talented daughters and sons created in the imago dei. They are complete and perfect and enough, just as they are.

This week, I'm remembering that the very things I cry over today might lead me to places of great joy tomorrow... may we each walk in hope.

This week, I'd like to invite you to join me in praying for the following matters:

USA // Students wrapping up academic year
Please pray for students who are finishing up the academic year. Many students are in the middle of final exams, state achievement tests, and graduation. Pray that as students walk through these last few weeks of school, they are able to focus and do their best while also relaxing under the pressure many feel. For many students, summer is a time of little structure and many opportunities to get into mischief. Please pray for God's protection to rest on them and his wisdom to guide them. Also, many students eat most of their daily meals at schools. For them, summertime can mean hunger. Please pray for community groups and churches to fill in the gaps so that no child goes to bed hungry.

Reuters Photo by Marko Djurica
Global // Record number of solo migrant children, U.N. sees slavery risk
"Be it to escape war in Syria or gang violence in Central America, natural disaster or famine, increasing numbers of children are on the move and are travelling alone, UNICEF said in a report.

About 200,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum across 80 countries from 2015 to 2016 and another 100,000 children were stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border, UNICEF said.

Taken together, 300,000 children travelled alone worldwide from 2015 to 2016 - a five-fold increase since 2010, when 66,000 children were reported to be on the move, UNICEF said.

Ruthless smugglers and traffickers are exploiting their vulnerability for personal gain, helping children to cross borders, only to sell them into slavery and forced prostitution," Justin Forsyth, UNICEF deputy executive director, said in a statement. 'It is unconscionable that we are not adequately defending children from these predators." Learn more here ...

his is not an easy problem to solve, but God sees these children. Please join me in praying for them to be protected and sheltered from those who would cause them harm.

Reuters Photo by James Akena
Sudan // Alarming rise in S.Sudanese children fleeing to Uganda - aid group
"More than 100 lone children cross into Uganda each day as they flee conflict in South Sudan, walking for days on end with no food or family to sustain them, an aid agency said on Thursday. World Vision said at least 9,000 children had made the journey since last July and it expects another thousand to join them by mid year. 'The majority of these children saw their parents being killed, while others lost touch with their families once fighting broke out. Some of them walk for more than a week to get to Uganda, with nothing to eat,' said Gilbert Kamanga, country director of World Vision in Uganda. 'This is one of the worst forms of violence against children. It must stop. Peace needs to prevail in South Sudan,' he said in a statement." Learn more here ...

ust like the previous story, this is not a simple problem to solve. But we can raise our voices together and ask God to protect these children who are walking for days on end with no family or shelter or protection.

Praying with you,
Carrie

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153

* Name changed to protect her privacy.


If you have prayer requests about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to info@facesofchildren.net

In the News ... "Collective impact model serves West Texas Food Bank well"

MRT Photo by Tim Fischer
• Partnerships we utilize help bridge the gaps between the available resources and the people who need them

West Texas Food Bank, Contributor
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND/ODESSA, TEXAS - This past [month], the West Texas Food Bank was honored to host Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the United States Senate. Upcoming legislation to be filed by the senator will feature the Food Bank as a successful model of collective impact ...

 • read the rest of this MRT report

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

“When the lion said—but I don’t know if it spoke—‘You will have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.

“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know—if you’ve ever picked the scab off a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is fun to see it coming away.”

“I know exactly what you mean,” said Edmund.

“Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off—just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt—and there it was, lying on the grass, only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me—I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on—and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again. You’d think me simply phony if I told you how I felt about my own arms. I know they’ve no muscle and are pretty mouldy compared with Caspian’s, but I was so glad to see them.”

From The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Compiled in A Year with Aslan

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 22, 2017

PRESBYTERIAN MISSION AGENCY BOARD, GENERAL ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE MEET IN PUERTO RICO - he love of Christ goes hand in hand with a spirit of unity in Christ’s church, two PC(USA) officials told a recent gathering of Presbyterians.

? The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly were meeting in Puerto Rico at the invitation of the Presbytery of San Juan ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

I find I must borrow yet another parable from George MacDonald. Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were ‘gods’ and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful, but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said.

From Mere Christianity
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 21, 2017

PRESBYTERIAN HERITAGE SUNDAY - Isabella Marshall Graham (1742–1814) was an educator and philanthropist who worked tirelessly to educate and support women and orphans.

Isabella was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, where her devotion to education and God manifested at a young age ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

In the News ... "Local Jeep club raising money for House of the Sycamore Tree"

KWES Photo
Topless Night at Big Sky Drive-In

By Jolina Okazaki, Multimedia Journalist
KWES-TV

ODESSA/MIDLAND, TEXAS - The Texas Tactical Jeep Club is helping the House of the Sycamore Tree in Odessa, an organization that provides vocational training for intellectually disabled and challenged young adults.

The House of the Sycamore Tree in Odessa is a faith-based group that teaches programs which provides innovation and education to those in need of that extra help ...

 • read the rest of this KWES report ...

In the News ... "West Texas Priest Celebrates 50 Years of Ministry"

KTAB/KRBC Photo
• Your commitment, the prayer life and availability

Pheben Kassahun
KTAB/KRBC-TV


ABILENE, TEXAS - A special celebration took place for a man who has dedicated five decades to ministry.

Father Fred Nawarskas has been with the Diocese of San Angelo for more than 40 years and has been a pastor for Holy Family Catholic Church since 1996. Friday, the church celebrated him ...

read the rest of this report

In the News ... “Singer Bryan Duncan finds soul in gospel music"

Courtesy Photo
• THIS AFTERNOON at True-Lite Christian Fellowship

Rich Lopez, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - After 22 albums and countless singles, Bryan Duncan still plays the music game hard. Times are different these days as he has gone independent. With a lot of help from his fans and his faith, he has remained true to keeping his music alive.

Duncan will headline True-Lite Christian Fellowship at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Before his show, he talked about his rehabilitation, how that affected his music and how his fans have quite literally kept his music alive ...

 • read the rest of this MRT report


C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

TO MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE: On the return of Joy’s cancer.

18 October 1959

Will you redouble your prayers for us? Apparently the wonderful recovery Joy made in 1957 was only a reprieve, not a pardon. The last X Ray check reveals cancerous spots returning in many of her bones. There seems to be some hope of a few years life still and there are still things the doctors can do. But they are all in the nature of ‘rearguard actions’. We are in retreat. The tide has turned. Of course God can do again what He did before. The sky is not now so dark as it was when I married her in hospital. Her courage is wonderful and she gives me more support than I can give her.

The dreadful thing, as you know, is the waking each morning—the moment at which it all flows back on one.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in Yours, Jack

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 20, 2017

ECUMENICAL RELATIONS - Sometimes global ecumenical bodies such as the World Council of Churches (WCC) seem far removed from the daily lives of Christians in the United States. But 49-year-old Presbyterian minister Rebecca Todd “Toddie” Peters says her work with these bodies “has completely shaped how I live in the world.”

In fact, when Peters published her 2014 book, Solidarity Ethics: Transformation in a Globalized World, she dedicated it “to the women and men in the ecumenical movement who have become my ‘cloud of witnesses’” ...

CLICK HERE to read more.