Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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, followed by lunch 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,


Dear Intercessors,

"What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?" "The one who treated him kindly," the religion scholar responded. Jesus said, "Go and do the same."
Luke 10:36-37, MSG

Valentine's Day was a few days ago, but I'm still thinking about love.

And this week, I came across a story that struck me as a beautiful picture of radical love. A Libyan-born devout Muslim foster father, Mohamed Bzeek, who only cares for terminally ill children in LA. The world's headlines are mostly dominated by angry rhetoric -- telling us who we should fear and who we ought to keep out and who we ought to suspect. But every now and then, a story bubbles to the surface that speaks much more quietly and yet far more powerfully. If Mr. Bzeek were to try to immigrate to the USA today, he may not be allowed in. And the little girl he's charged with? No one else really wants her. Two people displaced by the world; but both are seen, known, and loved by a God who brought them together because he sets the lonely into families. By virtue of his faith and his birthplace, I venture to say Mr. Bzeek is like a Samaritan from the New Testament days. And when I read the story of Mr. Bzeek laying down his life on behalf of his foster children, I cannot help but think of the story Jesus told of a man just like him, the Good Samaritan. So often we want to change the world. And more and more, I'm starting to believe when we start with loving a child no one else notices, we can. May we go and do the same.

In addition to that, please join me in praying for the following matters this week:

USA // This foster father only takes in terminally ill children

"The children were going to die. Mohamed Bzeek knew that. But in his more than two decades as a foster father, he took them in anyway - the sickest of the sick in Los Angeles County's sprawling foster care system. He has buried about 10 children. Some died in his arms. Now, Bzeek spends long days and sleepless nights caring for a bedridden 6-year-old foster girl with a rare brain defect. She's blind and deaf. She has daily seizures. Her arms and legs are paralyzed. Bzeek, a quiet, devout Libyan-born Muslim who lives in Azusa, California, just wants her to know she's not alone in this life. "I know she can't hear, can't see, but I always talk to her," he said. "I'm always holding her, playing with her, touching her. ... She has feelings. She has a soul. She's a human being."

Praise God for people like Mohamed Bzeek who do not aspire to fame or fortune, but instead believe in the power of making a difference by loving others well. Pray God strengthens, encourages, and sustains him as he fulfills his calling, and pray for more foster families to be raised up to follow in his footsteps.

Read more here ...

TEXAS // Sold Out: How the crusade against sex trafficking in Texas has left child victims behind

Thank you to one of our intercessors, Glenn, for bringing this investigative series to my attention. "Texas Tribune reporters have spent months uncovering the details of dozens of these cases, performing autopsies to determine where systems designed to protect the state's most endangered children broke down. In Sold Out, we'll reveal how more than a decade's worth of initiatives - empty laws and hollow programs rolled out with fanfare by Texas' top officials - have failed to protect the state's most vulnerable youth. We will explore how widespread misconceptions about what's sometimes called "modern day slavery" - a complex problem with many underlying causes - have further challenged efforts to help these young victims."

Currently the following three pieces have been released:

Yvette: Laws the state uses to put sex traffickers behind bars can sweep up their prey, too. A few years in age can mean the difference between a chance at rehabilitation and a lengthy prison sentence, as Yvette learned.
Read more here ...

Lena: No one wanted Lena behind bars. She was not a prostitute; she was a child who had been sexually exploited. But teenage sex-trafficking victims in Texas end up in jail for one simple reason: There's nowhere else for them to go.
Read more here ...

Jean: After her father raped her, Jean became one of the roughly 12,000 Texas kids in long-term foster care, a system that often leaves children more damaged than when they arrive. For Jean, selling sex seemed like a safer bet.
Read more here ...

As you learn more about the crisis of sex trafficking and its victims, please pray for the children's protection, restoration, and healing. Pray for state agencies, private non-profit organizations, churches and community organizations to know how to best respond. Pray for more specially-equipped foster families who can make a difference, one child at a time.

GHANA // 24 Boys Rescued on Lake Volta

"Early in the morning of January 24, IJM and Ghanaian authorities prepared for a rescue operation. The sun rose over the calm waters of Lake Volta, one of the world's largest manmade lakes. The team was abuzz with anticipation. Everyone was ready for the day's mission: rescue the boys.

These boys used their small bodies every day to dive into deep water to untangle nets for their masters. It was dangerous, back-breaking labor, made worse by violent abuse and lack of food and sleep. They dreamed of their families whom they could not see. But today would be the day this would end. Right before 6:30a.m., eight boats launched off the shores to look for them. When we found them, most were scared-the boys didn't know what was happening. As we pulled them into our boats, the Ghanaian commander instructed his unit to arrest the suspected boatmasters, 16 in all. The boys were now free! 24 boys were rescued; the youngest was 7 years old. Three had malaria. Several had injuries from work and abuse. We quickly reassured them that they were now free and safe. When this new reality sunk in, many began to clap and sing. The youngest boy felt safe enough to fall asleep. That night, for the first time in a long while, they slept in warm beds."

Praise God for this successful rescue! Even as we celebrate their freedom, let's join IJM in praying for the full restoration and healing and for the thousands of other boys working on the lake.

Read more here ...

IJM Photo
Praying with you,


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

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