Wednesday, April 5, 2017

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,


Dear Intercessors,

A couple of weeks ago, our school district voted to close a local elementary campus due to multiple years of failing to meet minimum state performance standards. As you might imagine, the decision was not without controversy and many conflicting opinions on what would be best for the students and families served by Crockett Elementary. This week, I spoke with the director of Kaleidoscope Ministries, a local non-profit working in Crockett's neighborhood which seeks to serve children and families who attend this and other neighborhood schools through a "two-fold approach that includes one-on-one mentoring and targeted small group programs. Kaleidoscope builds relationships one person at a time. We take a close look at the unique needs of each individual and then tailor a plan to meet four specific areas of need: Spiritual, relational, educational and physical."

Lynn Rogers, the director, shared several specific areas we can be praying for the children, families, and teachers impacted by this closure:
Please pray these children do not internalize the message that they attend a "failing school" as a message that means they are incapable of achieving great things academically.
Please pray for the teachers on the campus who face shepherding their students through the remainder of the school year knowing that everyone will be dispersed next year and that they will also be looking for new teaching jobs.
Pray the teachers would be able to maintain high morale, even in the face of a lot of uncertainty.
Pray for the families who need to register their children for new schools. Pray these families can successfully navigate a system that many of them do not completely understand.
Pray for our community to begin looking at new ways we can come alongside our school district and help more children succeed.
Pray for churches in our community to take more seriously the call to "love our neighbors as ourselves," and look for practical ways we can get involved in mentoring families affected by generational poverty; families who may not understand the middle class social norms that are required to successfully navigate so many systems in society.

In addition to praying for this local ministry and our schools, I'd like to invite you to pray for these areas of global concern this week:

YEMEN // Child marriage soars in Yemen as famine looms - UN
Reuters Photo by Khaled Abdullah
"Child marriage has soared in Yemen as families struggle to feed their children amid a conflict that has left the country on the brink of famine, the U.N. children's agency said on Monday. More than two thirds of girls in Yemen are married off before they reach 18, compared to half of girls before the conflict escalated, UNICEF said in a report to mark the second anniversary of the war. It said parents struggling with deepening poverty were increasingly marrying off their daughters to reduce costs and the number of mouths to feed or because they believed a husband's family could offer better protection. Around 80 percent of families in Yemen are in debt or are borrowing money to feed their children, the agency said."
Learn more here ...
There are many implications to war and famine that we might not anticipate, and an upswing in child marriage is certainly one for me. Please pray for these girls -- pray they are protected from abuse and neglect and further trauma. Pray that families find other ways to feed their children; and ask God to comfort those parents faced with unimaginable choices. Pray for political conflicts creating this war and man-made famine to be resolved, and lift up aid groups working in the area who are trying to bring in adequate supplies and food.

PHILIPPINES // Tech advances fuel rise in online sex abuse of children in Philippines - charity
Reuters Photo by Romeo Ranoco
"Technological advances, including the spread of high-speed internet, have fuelled a surge in the Philippines of the sexual abuse of children as young as one years old in front of a live webcam, an anti-slavery group said. Victims of this crime are often much younger than those trapped in other forms of modern slavery, said International Justice Mission (IJM), which started a campaign this week to raise awareness about cybersex trafficking. ... The United Nations children's agency UNICEF estimates 1.8 million children are trafficked into the sex trade every year - but this does not include cybersex trafficking. The Philippines national police receive well over 2,000 referrals of potential online exploitation of children a month, according to the IJM. The Philippine Department of Justice reported more than 8,000 referrals from the U.S.-based National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the first four months of 2015. IJM, whose campaign is called #NotOnMyScreen, said cybersex trafficking is a relatively low risk crime since it is committed in private in the home."
Learn more here ...
Though we have heard IJM talking about this issue for many months, let's join them in praying for their campaign to raise awareness of this issue outside of their normal circle of supporters to be effective. And pray for the authorities in both the Philippines and around the world to find new ways to get ahead of this abuse and shut down the market. Finally, pray for the thousands of children currently being victimized in the Philippines. God is their protector; join me in praying for Him to guard their hearts and minds even as they endure abuse.

NIGERIA // 'School is good': the boy who refused to let Boko Haram deny him education

Not even loosing his arm to a discarded Boko Haram bomb can hold this 12-year-old boy back. Watch this inspiring video and join me in praising God for the indomitable spirit of children and the way they so easily spring back to hope.

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

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