Invitation to Prayer ... TODAY
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,
The headlines leave me breathless ...
• Nearly half of all refugees are children, says UNICEF ...
• Syrian children 'pushed to the brink' after worst atrocities since war began ...
• India's new welfare rules put rescued slaves at risk - activists ...
• Women and children being raped and slaughtered as South Sudan conflict worsens famine threatening millions ...
Tidal waves of sorrow, cruelty, and indifference seem to flood the entire world, threatening to swallow up everything in their wake. No matter where we sit - the waves wash over us like shockingly-cold waters and sometimes leave us numb.
I love the Pacific Northwest. It's a sacred place to me and the location of all of my happiest childhood moments. When I go to the Oregon coast in particular, I feel closer to God. I've often wondered why a sunny beach in Mexico doesn't have the same effect on me. Perhaps it's because in the craggy, mist-painted, chilly cliffs of the Oregon coastline, I see the immense power of a God who takes the rugged, sharp edges of life and makes them beautiful. He turns numbingly-cold waters into pools of beautiful life, filled with starfish and anemones - vibrantly alive in the harshest of places. He takes the whipping wind and saltwater spray and bends them out of His way, suddenly cutting through the dimness with shockingly bright streams of sunshine.
This world and our lives are more like the Pacific Northwest coastline and less like a tropical beach. Stretches of smooth sand broken by towering, impossible to scale cliffs. Pounding waves rather than gentle seas. Dangerous and sometimes dark, yes. But always incredibly beautiful.
So when we see the chilling headlines and feel overcome by the enormity of the waves of suffering, maybe it's time to step back and look for the beauty. In the coldest places, we will find Him. In the crashing waves, we will find Him. In the biting winds, we will find him.
• We see His beauty in children inviting other children to sit with them at lunch ...
• We see His beauty in 11 Indian boys and young men being rescued from forced labor in a small shoe factory ...
• We see His beauty in the faithful persistence of people working to help bring sex trafficking victims to freedom and restoration, even when it seems like success stories are few ...
• We see His beauty in the children and families of our church coming together to sponsor 379-and-counting chickens for families working to rebuild their lives in Iraq and Syria ...
"Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you."
Psalm 139:7-12, NIV
May we see Him everywhere -- in the crashing waves and in the rays of sunshine, in the coldest places and in the pools of life. And as we grow more aware of His unshakeable presence, may we turn our hearts to Him in prayer, carrying the children of the world with us as we go.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org