Wednesday, June 27, 2018
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
This week, I will be out of town visiting my grandparents. My girls are eagerly looking forward to seeing their "Great Nana and Papa" and might be equally excited to see their chickens.
Faces Of Children will be meeting this Wednesday - TODAY - at 11:30 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. I hope you can join them to pray together for children in our community and around the world!
Since we will not be meeting for prayer on July 4, there will be no email next week... though I do have a special 4th of July prayer request included below!
It remains a heavy and hard week for our nation, I believe, as we continue to grapple with how to respond to the crisis on our southern border. I'm grateful for President Trump's decision this week to stop separating children from their families.
This week, may we pray for the approximately 2,000 children who remain separated from their families.
The administration has said they want to see these children reunited with their families, but many reports from front-line consular workers, volunteer attorneys, and even some immigration officials admit this might be an exceedingly difficult task, given the age of the children. "Like unscrambling an egg," one person observed.
One little 6-year-old girl whose clear and calm voice can be heard on a widespread audio recording taken at one detention center asking for someone to call her Aunt will most likely be reunited with family because she had memorized a phone number. But many are asking, "What about the children who have no such information?"
"Memorizing her aunt's phone number gave Jimena a huge advantage over many of the immigrant children who are illegally brought across the border by their families, and who are not old enough to speak, count, or even know their parents' full names. Central American consular workers and child advocates report that, under zero tolerance, once children have been physically separated from their parents, their legal cases have been bureaucratically separated as well. The children have been treated like unaccompanied minors, even as their relatives were shipped to other U.S. detention centers. Now that the policy of separating families appears to have ended, the burden of the reunification will depend in large measure on the children's abilities to provide information that will help authorities identify who, and where, their parents are." read more here ...
This week, let's pray for a bureaucratic miracle of these children being quickly reunited with their parents.
This past week was World Refugee Day. The situation of refugees around the world frankly seems to grow more and more dire. In Bangladesh, where 700,000 Rohingya have resettled, they are now entering monsoon season.
"As monsoon rains bare down on sprawling Rohingya camps in Bangladesh, the U.N. warns that some 200,000 refugees sheltering on the swampland are at risk from landslides and flooding. Half of those threatened by the rising waters and requiring relocation are children. The first rain of the season poured over the Cox's Bazar camps and informal settlements last week, inundating most roads. One child reportedly died in a landslide, according to a statement from the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF).
UNICEF estimates 900 shelters and 200 latrines were either damaged or destroyed. That toll is only expected to grow as the next few months of torrential rains and high winds lash into the tent city, which is precariously perched on landslide-prone hills denuded of trees or in flood-prone lowlands. After peak monsoon season subsides in August, cyclone season begins." read more here ...
In addition to the misery these conditions introduce to the camp, we know that disease and sickness will likely increase in the wake of these floods. Please pray for the children impacted by the flooding; pray for their parents not to lose heart and for relief groups like Partners to be able to fill in the gap.
And finally -- next week will be the 4th of July!
As we are enjoying BBQs and summertime traditions with our families, let's remember the children who don't get to see their moms or dads because their parents are actively serving in our military. Over the last few weeks, my own husband has been away full-time for work, and I've found myself growing more and more aware of how phone calls do not fill in the empty places of a child's heart... and how seeing other kids having fun with their dad at the swimming pool or getting a sno-cone together can feel like a sharp barb to a young child's heart. I'm not sure how families endure separations that last years, but I know I feel compelled to pray for the children.
Finally, in closing, I find myself thinking about how different each of these prayer requests might seem. Praying for little immigrant children in US detention... praying for Rohingya children ankle-deep in rising flood waters... praying for the children of our servicemen and women.
In our humanity, we may be tempted to try and determine whose needs are greater than others. Is the immigrant child's crisis more pressing than the Rohingya child? Or is it the other way around? After all, the water is literally rising in Bangladesh. And what about the children of service people? Their grief might not garner our headline-outrage, so does that make it less important than the others? What about the kids in our own community who are quietly neglected and injured by the ones who are supposed to protect them? Kids we don't even notice or see because it all happens behind closed doors?
I do not think this is how God sees his children. They are each precious to him and each one's grief matters just as much as the next. Each one's pain hurts his heart and each one's sorrow weighs heavy on his heart. His heart is abundantly large... making space for the needs of one of his children doesn't mean he has to carve it out from what he's allotted to someone else. That may be how it works in the economy of the world, but it's not the Kingdom of God.
This week and next, as we pray for the children in our community, may we love with that same abundant spirit and seek to make space for all God's children.
Praying with you,
Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153