Monday, January 22, 2018

From @chinaaid : "Anhui officials ban church, confiscate Christian materials"

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.

Anhui officials ban church, confiscate Christian materials
Distributed by ChinaAid, December, 2017 ...

ChinaAid Photo
HEFEI, ANHUI, CHINA – During a growing movement to control ideology, officials from various government departments joined forces to raid a congregation last in China’s eastern Anhui province last month, ChinaAid recently learned ...

more on this story from China Aid



In the News ... "Actor Kirk Cameron to lead seminar at Odessa church"


• Visit 2 years ago drew 1,000 attendees

Staff Report
Odessa American


MIDLAND, TEXAS - Christian actor Kirk Cameron will give a marriage and parenting seminar titled “Living Room Reset” from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at New Life Chapel at 914 N. Texas Avenue ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

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,

We will be meeting this Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. I hope you can join us!

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



The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

Dear Intercessors,

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

Observer Photo by Mark Townsend
EL SALVADOR // Women deported by Trump face deadly welcome from street gangs in El Salvador

"Inside an apartment block in San Salvador beneath the shadow of the volcano that dominates the city skyline, 20 girls aged between 14 and 18 are in hiding, fearing for their lives. Recently deported to the country of their birth from the US by Donald Trump as part of his evolving immigration clampdown, the teenagers are wanted dead by the street gangs that make El Salvador the most homicidal place on Earth. Survival necessitates drastic measures when the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13,or its rival 18th Street gang want you murdered. First, the girls - branded traitors for daring leave El Salvador to set up home in America - are given radical makeovers; new haircuts and new clothes along with sunglasses that are rarely removed. Then they learn to talk differently, walk differently. All trace of their previous existence is erased. Travel is arranged using bulletproof cars with tinted windows." Read more here ...

Let's pray for these girls to find safety and protection from the violence.

Reuters Photo
BANGLADESH // More Rohingya flee Myanmar as Bangladesh prepares to start repatriation
"Bangladesh and Myanmar said on Tuesday they had agreed to complete the return of the refugees within two years, with the process due to begin on Jan. 23." "In Dhaka, a senior foreign ministry official told Reuters that the deadline of next Tuesday for starting the Rohingya repatriation to Myanmar "may not be possible". "The return has to be voluntary, safe and dignified," said the official, who was part of a 14-member team at talks with Myanmar this week about the repatriation. He said Myanmar would take back 1,500 Rohingya a week, "although our demand was 15,000 per week", adding the number could be ramped up over the next few months. They would sheltered in a temporary transit camp in Myanmar before being moved to "houses as per their choices". "They (Myanmar) will create all kind of provisions including for their livelihood. We want to make sure there's a sustainable solution to the crisis," the official said." Read more here ...

At this point, it's hard to imagine how the Rohingya can return to Myanmar when some are still trying to escape. Let's pray for both governments to work together to find a safe solution.


UNITED STATES // And let's continue praying for ...
... families and children impacted by immigration as our government tries to sort out the future of DACA recipients, along with other people caught in immigration limbo.

Praying with you,
Carrie

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



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 ... "New private school in Big Spring to open its doors this fall"

KMID Photo
• Pre-K through 8th-grade Christian academy

Caleb Califano, Reporter
KMID-TV


BIG SPRING, TEXAS - - For almost two decades now, the second floor of the former Runnels Jr. High School has been empty. However the previously closed doors look to be open soon under a new name: Runnels Academy ...

read/watch the rest of this KMID report


C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

By the bye, what are your views, now, on the question of sacraments? To me that is the most puzzling side of the whole thing. I need hardly say I feel none of the materialistic difficulties: but I feel strongly just the opposite ones—i.e., I see (or think I see) so well a sense in which all wine is the blood of God—or all matter, even, the body of God, that I stumble at the apparently special sense in which this is claimed for the Host when consecrated. George Macdonald observes that the good man should aim at reaching the state of mind in which all meals are sacraments. Now that is the sort of thing I can understand: but I find no connection between it and the explicit “sacrament” proprement dit [“properly so called”]. The Presbyterian method of sitting at tables munching actual slices of bread is clearly absurd under ordinary conditions: but one can conceive a state of society in which a real meal might be shared by a congregation in such a way as to be a sacrament without ceasing to be also their actual dinner for that day. Possibly this was so in the very early Church.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
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.

Photo by Andrew Black
Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 22, 2018

BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT - Nearly 30 spiritual leaders recently gathered in New Mexico to show their support for threatened public lands sacred to Native Americans and for tribal sovereignty. The event, organized by the New Mexico Wildlife Federation and Creation Justice Ministries, brought together representatives from a number of denominations and groups, including Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic, United Church of Christ and Jewish organizations, as well as several Native American organizations ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

TO BEDE GRIFFITHS: On fortitude and trust in God in the face of war; and on ecumenical differences.

29 April 1938

I have been in considerable trouble over the present danger of war. Twice in one life—and then to find how little I have grown in fortitude despite my conversion. It has done me a lot of good by making me realise how much of my happiness secretly depended on the tacit assumption of at least tolerable conditions for the body: and I see more clearly, I think, the necessity (if one may so put it) which God is under of allowing us to be afflicted—so few of us will really rest all on Him if He leaves us any other support.

About our differences: I feel that whenever two members of different communions succeed in sharing the spiritual life so far as they can now share it, and are thus forced to regard each other as Christians, they are really helping on reunion by producing the conditions without which official reunion would be quite barren. I feel sure that this is the layman’s chief contribution to the task, and some of us here are being enabled to perform it. You, who are a priest and a theologian, are a different story: and on the purely natural and temperamental level there is, and always has been, a sort of tension between us two which prevents our doing much mutual good. We shall both be nicer, please God, in a better place. Meanwhile you have my daily prayer and good wishes.

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: January 21, 2018

MINUTE FOR MISSION: CRIMINAL JUSTICE SUNDAY - Let us, on this Criminal Justice Sunday, be reminded of these sad facts ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

In the News ... What’s going on in South Plains churches

Courtesy Photo
• Area events in the days, weeks ahead

By Lucinda Holt, Reporter
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

LUBBOCK, TEXAS - From the Avalanche-Journal, news of special events and programs from Lubbock-area houses of faith ...
 • read the rest of this LAJ report

In the News ... "Abilene Church News"


• Special services for the season

Staff Report
Abilene Reporter-News

ABILENE, TEXAS - From the Reporter-News, news of services, special events and programs from Abilene-area houses of faith ...

read the rest of this ARN report ...

In the News ... "San Angelo Faith Briefs"


• This weekend, and in the week ahead

Staff Report
San Angelo Standard Times


SAN ANGELO, TEXAS - From the Standard-Times, news of special events and programs from Concho Valley houses of faith ...

read the rest of this SAST report

In the News ... "Odessa Church News"

Courtesy Photo
• Today and in the days ahead, in Odessa-area houses of worship

Staff Report
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - Coming events include worship services, classes, Bible studies, community outreach, mission opportunities and more ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

Bree turned round at last, his face mournful as only a horse’s can be. “I shall go back to Calormen,” he said.

“What?” said Aravis. “Back to slavery!”

“Yes,” said Bree. “Slavery is all I’m fit for. How can I ever show my face among the free Horses of Narnia?—I who left a mare and a girl and a boy to be eaten by lions while I galloped all I could to save my own wretched skin!”

“We all ran as hard as we could,” said Hwin.

“Shasta didn’t!” snorted Bree. “At least he ran in the right direction: ran back. And that is what shames me most of all. I, who called myself a war horse and boasted of a hundred fights, to be beaten by a little human boy—a child, a mere foal, who had never held a sword nor had any good nurture or example in his life!”

“I know,” said Aravis. “I felt just the same. Shasta was marvelous. I’m just as bad as you, Bree. I’ve been snubbing him and looking down on him ever since you met us and now he turns out to be the best of us all. . . .”

“It’s all very well for you,” said Bree. “You haven’t disgraced yourself. But I’ve lost everything.”

“My good Horse,” said the Hermit, who had approached them unnoticed because his bare feet made so little noise on that sweet, dewy grass. “My good Horse, you’ve lost nothing but your self-conceit. No, no, cousin. Don’t put back your ears and shake your mane at me. If you are really so humbled as you sounded a minute ago, you must learn to listen to sense. You’re not quite the great Horse you had come to think, from living among poor dumb horses. Of course you were braver and cleverer than them. You could hardly help being that. It doesn’t follow that you’ll be anyone very special in Narnia. But as long as you know you’re nobody very special, you’ll be a very decent sort of Horse, on the whole.”

From The Horse and His Boy
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.

Photo by Randy Hobson
Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 20, 2018

FOREST HILLS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, CLEVELAND, OHIO - Near the end of a long corridor lined with classrooms and elaborate hand-painted murals of biblical scenes sits a small kitchen. The sign on the refrigerator says, “This is Leonor’s refrigerator. Please do NOT help yourself to her food.”

Standing next to the refrigerator in Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, Leonor Garcia proudly shows off a physical manifestation of the outpouring of love and support she has received from the congregation ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, January 19, 2018

From @FWMission ...Friday Story: "How one wheelchair would help over 7,000 people"

Founded in 2001, Free Wheelchair Mission is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing wheelchairs for the impoverished disabled in developing nations. Headquartered in Irvine, California, FWM works around the world in partnership with a vast network of humanitarian, faith-based and government organizations, sending wheelchairs to hundreds of thousands of disabled people, providing not only the gift of mobility, but of dignity, independence, and hope.



FWM Photo
Friday Story: "How one wheelchair would help over 7,000 people"

Francis Mugwanya, founder and director of Father’s Heart Mobility Ministry in Uganda, recently visited our office and shared this holiday message of gratitude to you ...

read the rest of this story ...

In the News ... "Abilene's retiring herald, Bill Brant: Count on what he said"

ARN Photo by Ronald W. Erdrich
• Realized many believers didn't know how to talk about their faith

By Loretta Fulton, Reporter
Abilene Reporter-News

ABILENE, TEXAS - With a background in radio and communications, it’s not surprising that Bill Brant realized the organization he has led since 2007 needed a new name, one that would connect better the younger generations.

“Herald of Truth” suited the radio, print and television ministry just fine when it was started in Abilene in 1952 as an outreach of Highland Avenue Church of Christ ...

read the rest of this ARN report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat [“is truly hidden”]—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.

From The Weight of Glory
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.

Photo by Randy Hobson
Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 19, 2018

PC(USA)'S NATIONAL OFFICES - At a recent community reception in his honor, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson II pledged that “we’re moving out of [the Presbyterian Center] because there’s a need to get out into the community to make partners so people’s lives are better” ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

FBR Report: "A Celebration of Thanks for 20 Years of the Hard Way"

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
A Celebration of Thanks for 20 Years of the Hard Way

Dear friends,

Twenty years ago, as thousands of Karen people fled attacks of the Burma Army, the first FBR mission was launched: Dave Eubank went to the front with a few backpacks of medicine and met thousands of people fleeing from Burma; in that group was Eliya a Karen medic. Eliya joined Dave and together they found and cared for families who had just run from their homes and were hiding in dense jungle, with survival their first and immediate hope. Some were shot or had stepped on landmines and many were sick. Dave and Eliya coming through the jungle with medicine, guidance and prayer provided those people they met with help, hope and love. And so the first FBR mission happened, a small spot of light in a dark situation – but the light is not overcome by the darkness ...

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

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



Free Burma Ranger, the film ...

This film, currently in production, chronicles the journey of an American family bringing aid to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people caught in Burma's war zones, a bloody conflict that is one of the longest-running civil war's in the world.

Learn more about the film, and hour YOUR donation can help complete its production ...

In the News ... "Abilene churches to miss pastors bound for new pastures"

ARN Photo by Nellie Doneva
“We are a healthy, vibrant, growing community.”

By Loretta Fulton, Reporter
Abilene Reporter-News

ABILENE, TEXAS - Two of Abilene’s higher profile churches, First Christian and Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, will be searching for new ministers.

Don Wilson, pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in downtown Abilene since 2008, left at the end of November for First Christian Church in McKinney.

Luke Back, rector at Heavenly Rest since 2010, will leave at the end of February to become rector of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, Illinois, a part of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago ...

read the rest of this ARN report ...

ARN Photo by Ronald W. Erdrich

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

Screwtape offers ways to cleverly exploit the Patient’s dry spell:

But there is an even better way of exploiting the trough; I mean through the patient’s own thoughts about it. As always, the first step is to keep knowledge out of his mind. Do not let him suspect the law of undulation. Let him assume that the first ardours of his conversion might have been expected to last, and ought to have lasted, forever, and that his present dryness is an equally permanent condition. Having once got this misconception well fixed in his head, you may then proceed in various ways. It all depends on whether your man is of the desponding type who can be tempted to despair, or of the wishful-thinking type who can be assured that all is well. The former type is getting rare among the humans. If your patient should happen to belong to it, everything is easy. You have only got to keep him out of the way of experienced Christians (an easy task nowadays), to direct his attention to the appropriate passages in scripture, and then to set him to work on the desperate design of recovering his old feelings by sheer will-power, and the game is ours. If he is of the more hopeful type your job is to make him acquiesce in the present low temperature of his spirit and gradually become content with it, persuading himself that it is not so low after all. In a week or two you will be making him doubt whether the first days of his Christianity were not, perhaps, a little excessive. Talk to him about ‘moderation in all things’. If you can once get him to the point of thinking that ‘religion is all very well up to a point’, you can feel quite happy about his soul. A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all—and more amusing.

From The Screwtape Letters
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.

Courtesy Photo
Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 18, 2018

JINISHIAN MEMORIAL PROGRAM - Longtime partners, supporters, current and former staff, and donors gathered recently to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Jinishian Memorial Program ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

In the News ... “Midland Ministerial Alliance elects new president"


• Alliance meets second Tuesday of the month

Staff Report
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - The Rev. Jorge Romero, senior pastor of The Gathering, a Church of the Nazarene congregation, is assuming the presidency of the Midland Ministerial Alliance. He is replacing the Rev. Larry Long, senior pastor of Fellowship Community Church ...

 • 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,

We will be meeting this Wednesday - TODAY - at 11:00 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. I hope you can join us!

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



The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:9-10

Dear Intercessors,

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed... even the forgotten and left-behind children in Myanmar. The Lord is a stronghold in times of trouble... even as the ground gives way in mudslides. The Lord doesn't forsake those who seek him... even little girls married-to-soon to abusive men who lock them away and treat them as objects.

Can I be honest and say that even typing that out feels a little preposterous and un-accepting of reality. Sort of like I've put my fingers in my ears and started shouting, "I can't hear you!" in the face of news I don't want to get. Do the forgotten children in Myanmar know that the Lord is a refuge? Do children who lost their homes, pets, and maybe even parents in the California mudslides this week trust that the Lord is a stronghold when the ground is quite literally giving way? Do little sub-Saharan African girls trust that God hasn't forsaken them even when it seems everyone else has? Most certainly, some do not.

And we know that children continue to die daily of starvation and lack of medicine. Children loose everything in natural disasters. Little girls loose their innocence at the hands of older men. And yet... And yet...

We trust that God is still a refuge. Still a stronghold. Still refuses to ever forsake His children. Even when circumstances don't make sense and we can't see the light of day, He is there. Let's cling stubbornly to the truth of His goodness and presence in this broken and fallen world.

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

AP Photo by Dar Yasin
MYANMAR // Rohingya children left stranded amid garbage and muck in Myanmar

"Tens of thousands of Rohingya children have been left "trapped and almost forgotten" in remote, squalid camps and isolated villages in Myanmar's Rakhine state, the UN has said. Stringent restrictions on the movement of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine, which have worsened amid the increased violence over the past 15 months, have left an estimated 60,000 children stranded, in need of aid, and suffering from "high levels of toxic fear", said Unicef, the UN children's agency. The UN's top human rights official has described Myanmar's treatment of its Rohingya population as a 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing.'" Read more here ...

The situation in Myanmar and neighboring Bangladesh only seems to grow more and more desperate for the Rohingya people, especially children. Please pray for children struggling under "toxic fear," deplorable living conditions, and hunger and disease.

Reuters Photo by Pius Sawa
UGANDA // African refugees help girls learn to avoid abuse, early marriage
"In western Uganda's Kyangwali refugee settlement, Tamari Mutesi teaches tailoring to young women who do not go to school. The initiative she works with aims to combat violence against young single mothers and other refugee girls, including those mistreated by their husbands, by helping them gain economic independence." ... "According to UNESCO, many African girls only receive five years of schooling, while 9 million girls between the ages of six and 11 will never go to school at all in sub-Saharan Africa." Read more here ...

Praise God for these efforts to empower girls to protect them from abuse and violence. Please pray for the 9 million girls who remain uneducated in sub-Saharan Africa... education and safety go hand-in-hand, so when girls are deprived of an education they also are often deprived of safety. Pray for God's protection and for more opportunities to arise.

SBCFD Photo by Mike Eliason
CALIFORNIA // Natural Disaster Victims and Surivors
"For children in southern California, the last few weeks have been a traumatic mix of raging wildfires and harrowing mudslides. As of Thursday, Jan 11, afternoon, "at least 17 people are dead, another eight are missing and over two dozen are injured in California from weather-related incidents, according to Santa Barbara County officials. The southern part of the state has been drenched with heavy rain just weeks after several fires scorched the area. Flash flooding, debris flow and mudslides are punishing the communities hit hard by the Thomas and La Tuna fires, prompting "dozens and dozens" of rescues on the ground, a spokesperson from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department told ABC News." Read more here ...

Please pray for children who have lost their homes and family members to the natural disasters of the last few weeks. Like any natural disaster, the impact of the residual fear and trauma caused be these events can be life-long and life-altering. Please pray for healthy coping methods and strong community and national support.

Praying with you,
Carrie

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



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 ARTHUR GREEVES, who had just ended an unhealthy friendship with a boy: On doing the right thing; and on the blessing of friendship.

29 December 1935

As regards your news—sympathy and congratulations. Sympathy on the wrench of parting and the gap it will leave: congratulations on having done the right thing and made a sacrifice. The chief consolation at such times, I think, is that the result, however unpleasant, must be a kind of relief after the period of saying ‘Shall I really have to—no I won’t—and yet perhaps I’d better.’ There is always some peace in having submitted to the right. Don’t spoil it by worrying about the results, if you can help it. It is not your business to succeed (no one can be sure of that) but to do right: when you have done so, the rest lies with God. . . .

I don’t think you exaggerate at all in your account of how it feels. After all—though our novels now ignore it—friendship is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief happiness of life. If I had to give a piece of advice to a young man about a place to live, I think I should say, ‘sacrifice almost everything to live where you can be near your friends.’ I know I am very fortunate in that respect, and you much less so. But even for me, it would make a great difference if you (and one or two others) lived in Oxford.

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.

Photo by Jeff Lawrence
Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 17, 2018

BIBLE EXPLORATIONS - The announcement of a baby’s birth can tell you a lot about the parents.

Techy parents send out emails. Photographer parents send beautiful pictures. Artistic parents send out creative announcements. Traditionalist parents send out formal announcements on card stock. Royals like Prince William and Kate Middleton waited a few months before landing their son, Prince George, on the cover of celebrity gossip glossy Vanity Fair a few years ago.

Then there’s Jesus ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Partners Blog: "And it's another day we can’t presume to have"

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
And it's another day we can’t presume to have

And it’s another day we can’t presume to have
because it’s far too easy to die out there ...

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/

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,

We will be meeting this Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. I hope you can join us!

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



The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:9-10

Dear Intercessors,

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed... even the forgotten and left-behind children in Myanmar. The Lord is a stronghold in times of trouble... even as the ground gives way in mudslides. The Lord doesn't forsake those who seek him... even little girls married-to-soon to abusive men who lock them away and treat them as objects.

Can I be honest and say that even typing that out feels a little preposterous and un-accepting of reality. Sort of like I've put my fingers in my ears and started shouting, "I can't hear you!" in the face of news I don't want to get. Do the forgotten children in Myanmar know that the Lord is a refuge? Do children who lost their homes, pets, and maybe even parents in the California mudslides this week trust that the Lord is a stronghold when the ground is quite literally giving way? Do little sub-Saharan African girls trust that God hasn't forsaken them even when it seems everyone else has? Most certainly, some do not.

And we know that children continue to die daily of starvation and lack of medicine. Children loose everything in natural disasters. Little girls loose their innocence at the hands of older men. And yet... And yet...

We trust that God is still a refuge. Still a stronghold. Still refuses to ever forsake His children. Even when circumstances don't make sense and we can't see the light of day, He is there. Let's cling stubbornly to the truth of His goodness and presence in this broken and fallen world.

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

AP Photo by Dar Yasin
MYANMAR // Rohingya children left stranded amid garbage and muck in Myanmar

"Tens of thousands of Rohingya children have been left "trapped and almost forgotten" in remote, squalid camps and isolated villages in Myanmar's Rakhine state, the UN has said. Stringent restrictions on the movement of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine, which have worsened amid the increased violence over the past 15 months, have left an estimated 60,000 children stranded, in need of aid, and suffering from "high levels of toxic fear", said Unicef, the UN children's agency. The UN's top human rights official has described Myanmar's treatment of its Rohingya population as a 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing.'" Read more here ...

The situation in Myanmar and neighboring Bangladesh only seems to grow more and more desperate for the Rohingya people, especially children. Please pray for children struggling under "toxic fear," deplorable living conditions, and hunger and disease.

Reuters Photo by Pius Sawa
UGANDA // African refugees help girls learn to avoid abuse, early marriage
"In western Uganda's Kyangwali refugee settlement, Tamari Mutesi teaches tailoring to young women who do not go to school. The initiative she works with aims to combat violence against young single mothers and other refugee girls, including those mistreated by their husbands, by helping them gain economic independence." ... "According to UNESCO, many African girls only receive five years of schooling, while 9 million girls between the ages of six and 11 will never go to school at all in sub-Saharan Africa." Read more here ...

Praise God for these efforts to empower girls to protect them from abuse and violence. Please pray for the 9 million girls who remain uneducated in sub-Saharan Africa... education and safety go hand-in-hand, so when girls are deprived of an education they also are often deprived of safety. Pray for God's protection and for more opportunities to arise.

SBCFD Photo by Mike Eliason
CALIFORNIA // Natural Disaster Victims and Surivors
"For children in southern California, the last few weeks have been a traumatic mix of raging wildfires and harrowing mudslides. As of Thursday, Jan 11, afternoon, "at least 17 people are dead, another eight are missing and over two dozen are injured in California from weather-related incidents, according to Santa Barbara County officials. The southern part of the state has been drenched with heavy rain just weeks after several fires scorched the area. Flash flooding, debris flow and mudslides are punishing the communities hit hard by the Thomas and La Tuna fires, prompting "dozens and dozens" of rescues on the ground, a spokesperson from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department told ABC News." Read more here ...

Please pray for children who have lost their homes and family members to the natural disasters of the last few weeks. Like any natural disaster, the impact of the residual fear and trauma caused be these events can be life-long and life-altering. Please pray for healthy coping methods and strong community and national support.

Praying with you,
Carrie

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



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