Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Scarlet Threads Blog ... "Some musings from the shopkeeper"


Scarlet Threads is a compassionate boutique, specializing in fairly-traded handmade aprons and wire art. We're working to transform the lives of rural men & women across the globe through dignified and safe employment opportunities. You can be a part of our vision by purchasing one of our beautiful products! www.scarletthreads.org



Some musings from the shopkeeper

It’s been a while ... There’ve been some wonderful and insightful things going on and I want to fill you in!

Since coming on board with Scarlet Threads last April, I have been learning the ins and outs of shopkeeping. Previously, I have spent a career as a Mom and Wife, and as a Physical Therapist Assistant in the realm of Home Health Care/Geriatrics. So, shopkeeping is a whole new ball game for me. My husband, Gene, and I have become pretty proficient in sorting and organizing our merchandise, filling orders, communicating with our customers, and ordering new stuff. Well, maybe not proficient, but we’re getting better at these things as each month passes. We’re also making connections with people who travel to China and Ethiopia so that we can get the handmade products from our beloved artisans back to the U.S. and into our customer’s hands and homes.

Read the rest of this post ... 

In the News ... "GOOD NEWS: 5th Graders Buy a Cow for a Family in Need Overseas"

HI Photo
• Hope to keep program going past holidays, help more families

Stephanie Sobic, Reporter
KMID-TV


MIDLAND, TEXAS - An old proverb goes as this..."Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". With that in mind, one 5th grade class in the Basin honoring that philosophy by reading!

Down the quiet halls of Trinity school of Midland is a 5th grade class made up of 42 students. The group of students responsible for providing for a family they've never met before ...

read/watch the rest of this KMID report


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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 31, 2016

PRESBYTERY OF THE INLAND NORTHWEST, IDAHO - The piercing sound of sirens filled the night sky that was bright with an eerie orange glow. Hot embers cooled and turned to ash as they floated through the air, covering the ground like snowflakes—a strange sight for mid-August 2015 in the town of Kamiah, Idaho, where a wildfire was encroaching on area homes. Responding to a frantic knock at the door, a pastor greeted a young couple with their two small boys and two large dogs in tow, a look of terror and worry etched on their faces. They had been ordered to evacuate their home. Wind gusts were spreading the fire, which had resulted from lightning strikes several days earlier. The couple did not know where to go or what to do, so they went to their church. Within minutes other church members began arriving with similar stories ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, May 30, 2016

From @chinaaid : " Henan church wins rights to land where pastor's wife was killed"

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.



Henan church wins rights to land where pastor's wife was killed
Distributed by ChinaAid, April, 2016 ...
CAA Photo

ZHUMADIAN, HENAN, CHINA – On April 25, less than two weeks after a Christian woman died from being buried alive at a forced church demolition, local authorities ruled that the disputed land where the incident took place belongs to the church and its pastor for use as a religious site ...

more on this story from China Aid



On Memorial Day ...

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following first appeared on February 3, 2014, in my ArchaeoTexture Blog.



 Did you know that that the first Sunday of February is "Four Chaplains Day" - a kind of Memorial Day - in the United States?


No? Well, you're not alone. The 71st anniversary of that fateful night when four U.S. Army chaplains gave their lives that others might live, caused barely a ripple this year. It has come and gone quietly, and largely unmarked ... including by yours truly.

And I might have remained ignorant fo the fact were it not for a stop by Wikipedia's home page, where I perused their "This Day in History" column. A link in that column took me to a Wikipedia page where I learned that, in 1988, the United States Congress established February 3 as "Four Chaplains Day." And get this ... Congress acted unanimously in doing so ....ah, those were the good ol' days!

The page went on to note that some state or city officials commemorate the day with official proclamations, sometimes including the order that flags fly at half-mast in memory of the fallen chaplains. In some cases, official proclamations establish observances at other times: for example, North Dakota legislation requests that the Governor issue an annual proclamation establishing the first Sunday in February as "Four Chaplains Sunday."

Notice the frequent use use of some variation or another of the word "some."


The day is also observed as the "Day of the Dorchester Chaplains" in the lectionary cycle of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. And there are memorials to the four chaplains - one Catholic, two Protestant, and one Jewish - in a variety of media around the country ... stained glass windows, stone monuments, postage stamps, building and chapel names ... and wax ... at least once upon a time.

I was reminded of a visit my family made to Washington, D.C. back in the sixties, while my father was posted to nearby Quantico, Virginia. One of our stops that day was to the National Historic Wax Museum. I don't recall the other exhibits ... but I remember the one devoted to the four chaplains, their commitment to their faith and their answer to their calling. It was a large exhibit, with the movement and noise that suggested a ship at sea, all set in a pool of water. The display - and the museum itself - is long gone. But I did find a picture ... ya gotta love the internet!



It is reported by the Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation that during the early morning hours of February 3, 1943, at 12:55 a.m., the USAT Dorchester was torpedoed by a German submarine in the North Atlantic. The torpedo knocked out the Dorchester's electrical system, leaving the ship dark. Panic set in among the men on board, many of them trapped below decks.

The foundation reports goes on to note that the chaplains sought to calm the men and organize an orderly evacuation of the ship, and helped guide wounded men to safety. As life jackets were passed out to the men, the supply ran out before each man had one. The chaplains removed their own life jackets and gave them to others. They helped as many men as they could into lifeboats, and then linked arms and, saying prayers and singing hymns, went down with the ship.

As I post this, there's less than five hours left of Four Chaplains Day 2014. Yet there's something about their story that could be/should be observed, cherished and shared with others throughout the year. May we never find ourselves in the desperate situation they faced ... but may we have at least a small portion of their courage, their love and their devotion for whatever life brings us.

Signs of Summer ... 1st Baptist - Midland

It's summer time ... and time for Vacation Bible School at area churches ... here's one for First Baptist Church of Midland ... for more information, you may contact FBC-Midland at (432) 683-0600, or info@fbc-midland.org ...


... and help me out here ... if you see a yard sign for a West Texas church's VBS, get a photo of it and email it to me at westtexasmissioner@gmauil.com ... THANKS!

In the News ... "Carry the Load comes through Midland on way to Memorial Day observance"

MRT Photo by Erin Stone
• Nonprofit’s mission is preserving holiday’s true meaning

Erin Stone, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - Former Navy SEAL Clint Bruce was at a Memorial Day barbecue years ago, surrounded by friends and family, when he realized the day meant something much different to him than to them. For some it was just a day off; for others it was a great day for sales. For Bruce -- who had deployments both before and after 9/11 -- it was a time remember his friends who had died.
>br /> He put a rock in his pack for each friend he had lost and started to walk. As he walked around White Rock Lake in Dallas, he encountered an older veteran, who asked him with understanding, “Son, who are you carrying?”

Thus, Carry the Load, a nonprofit organization with the mission of preserving the true meaning of Memorial Day, was born in 2011 ...

 • read the rest of this MRT report

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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 30, 2016

PRESBYTERY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - In order to strengthen congregational vitality and to enhance mission, the Presbytery of Chicago has partnered with Faith in Place to provide environmental justice resources. Faith in Place inspires people of diverse faiths throughout Illinois to care for the earth through education, connection and advocacy, and has joined national efforts as the Illinois affiliate of Interfaith Power and Light. Services are offered to congregations in four program areas: energy and climate change, sustainable food and land use, water preservation, and advocacy ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

From "I Am Second" ... Janine Turner



From an early age Janine Turner wanted to be part of the show business world. Modeling, dancing, singing and acting were a big part of her formative years, which eventually moved her to New York City in pursuit of a serious acting career. She had ambition, drive, and visions of success. But along the way came rejection— thousands of times- in auditions and tryouts. Somehow she had to deal with it to survive.

Janine first tried dealing with it through alcohol. This caused numerous issues, including the breakup of an engagement, until she discovered she was a blackout drinker and became sober at age 23. Then facing another deep hole of rejection at age 27, she remembered just who was in control of her life and career. At her lowest moment, God shined on her, a vignette in time she has never forgotten and spurs her on today.



Inspiring the Revolution of Second
 

I Am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others. Actors. Athletes. Musicians. Business leaders. Drug addicts. Your next-door neighbor. People like you. The authentic stories on iamsecond.com provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled. You’ll discover people who’ve tried to go it alone and have failed. Find the hope, peace, and fulfillment they found. Be Second.

You are here for a reason. We all have needs and could use some help. Talk to us. Call, chat, or email. 24 hours a day.

Go a step further ... talk with the people in your life. Spread the revolution of Second. Share the videos with friends. Gather a group of friends to discuss the films. Start an I am Second group.

Volunteer at concerts. Serve through I am Second community service events. Organize your own I am Second events. Sign up for an I am Second Expedition to help people in other countries. Check out Live Second for other opportunities. Connect with us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

I am Second is designed to help people discover their purpose in life. Have you discovered yours?

To find out more about the people and leadership team behind I Am Second you can check out Who We Are.

Invitation to mission, from Mercy Trips Healthcare Outreach

Partnering with local healthcare workers and churches in medically underserved countries, Odessa, Texas-based Mercy Trips Healthcare Outreach provides free medical clinics and surgical care as an outreach of Christian love for our fellow man.



To all Mercy Trips Supporters, Team Members and Future Team members,

We are excited to announce that we are offering a summer trip this year to the Fort Portal area in Western Uganda. We are planning to field both a village/clinic team and a surgical team to serve these lovely people again.

The Dates for the trip are Saturday July 23 - Friday August 5.

The cost should be close to $4000.00 but the final amount depends on the airfare cost.

Thus we need to quickly find out how many are able to join us, in order to determine if we will be able to use a group rate for airfare.

As usual please feel free to forward this to anyone you know that might be interested.

You can private message us if you are interested in receiving more info!

We no longer have valid email addresses for some of you that follow us on FB -- If you did not receive an email from us about this trip and would like to in the future -- PM your email address to us.

Please reply by email to info@mercytrips.org if you are interested in joining us as a team member this summer.

Blessings
Mercy Trips Healthcare Outreach
P.O. Box 13795
Odessa, TX 79768

visit Mercy Trips' Facebook page

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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 29, 2016

MINUTE FOR MISSION: MEDICAL BENEVOLENCE FOUNDATION - A young mother tends to her chores, as she helplessly watches her child lying listless on his mat. Without immunization, this precious life may end up a statistic. This scenario plays out every day in remote villages of developing countries around the world. It is why MBF exists—partnering with individuals and churches in the United States to build sustainable health-care systems in developing countries, proclaim the gospel and serve the most vulnerable populations ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

In the News ... “Former NFL quarterback to visit Renew Life Church"

Courtesy Photo
• "I feel called to share the gospel and preach."

Trent Johnson, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - From Keith Null’s starring quarterback role at West Texas A&M to his NFL career which began in 2009 when he was drafted to the St. Louis Rams, football played a big role in his life. He would go on to join the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers.

Then he went from the gridiron to God ...

... He ventures to Midland this weekend to deliver his message as the guest speaker at Renew Life on Sunday ...

 • read the rest of this MRT report

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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 28, 2016

PRESBYTERY OF MISSISSIPPI - Larry Coleman has been the sexton at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, for some 38 years. He was in his early 20s when he came to Briarwood and for years has enabled the ministry of the congregation in many ways. Four years after he started working at Briarwood, he became a bus driver for the Jackson Public Schools. It was then that the damp chill of a Southern winter gave rise to an informal ministry that unfolded in a special way ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, May 27, 2016

From @FWMission ...Friday Story: "Changing a Future Together"

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.

Friday Story: "Changing a Future Together"

Greetings, and Happy Friday!

As a recent wheelchair distribution in China wrapped up, a thirteen-year-old boy in his new GEN_2 wheelchair seemed upset. One of our partners from Henan Disabled Person’s Federation (HDPF) went over to check on him, and his story spilled out.

Tao JingTao’s legs are paralyzed, and his father struggles to make ends meet. By the time Tao was in second grade, they could no longer afford to send him to school. Ever since Tao has been confined to their house ...

read the rest of this story ...

FWM Photo

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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 27, 2016

LOS RANCHOS PRESBYTERY, CALIFORNIA - A few years ago, the Jarjours, a family who had recently relocated to Orange County from the Syrian city of Homs, visited our church. Soon our congregation began hearing about the crisis in Syria and looked for ways to become involved. I made connection with the pastor of their home church, and we began exchanging emails. At the same time, Los Ranchos Presbytery asked that I represent us all at the convening of the Syria-Lebanon Partnership Network in Louisville. So in April 2014, I attended with Arfan Jarjour, the patriarch of the family from Syria. From that has come a partnership between our congregation and the Presbyterian churches in Homs and another Syrian city, Meharde ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 26, 2016

PRESBYTERY OF PLAINS AND PEAKS, COLORADO - In 2016 the Presbytery of Plains and Peaks will celebrate 70 years of outdoor recreational ministry at Highlands Presbyterian Camp and Retreat Center.

Since 1946, campers have enjoyed worshiping God, growing in faith and making lifelong friendships in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. This summer, campers will explore “Fearless Faith, Courage in Community” ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

WAW Wednesday ... Be a Part of Team 100

"The Word at Work is a ministry that mobilizes churches and individuals to answer God's call to minister to those in need," writes Rev. Tim Tam, Director of the Amarillo, Texas-based ministry. "Through our relationships, God reveals needs and opportunities for service. As we come along side the poor, new friendships develop and doors for ministry open. As we serve, God provides the resources to supply for the needs he reveals."


Be a Part of Team 100

Hello Friends,

God is Amazing. How do we know it? Because we have seen people partner with one another to accomplish life changing results in the lives of children, men, women, families and for entire communities. And it’s not just the communities in Belize that are transformed. Every community is transformed because when one is helped all of us are helped. When one child gains hope, we all gain hope. When one community experiences the Gospel in fresh and meaningful ways, we all share in that experience.

I am personally grateful to God for every team member, mission team, and church who has been willing to sacrifice to Be the Word at Work. I am also grateful to the five missionaries (Mollie, Tim, Kenny, Chepito, and Jo) that join me in planning, organizing and facilitating people from the U.S. and Belize to join together as teams. As you all know their work is tireless and filled with the Spirit.

In the next couple of weeks you will be reading about TWAW TEAM 100. I want to ask everyone who receives this email to consider joining TEAM 100. It is vital to help us work efficiently, effectively and without distraction.

What does it mean to be a member of TEAM 100?

We are asking everyone who reads this message to commit to contributing $100 twice each year (May and November) toward the operations budget of The Word at Work.

By joining TEAM 100 each of you will make it possible for our operations team of 6 to be funded throughout the year. You may not know that 100% of the funds TWAW receives that are related to a project/ministry/trip go directly to that project. All our operations funds come from generous donors who know about our need and contribute. I write this to you today, because I know that more people would like to join in helping us fulfill our vision.

I invite you to pray and ask God’s guidance about joining TEAM 100 which will help us keep our operations funded, so that we can keep our eyes on the ball, and help people from Belize and all over the United States BE THE WORD AT WORK.

Thanks for Being the Word at Work, and for joining TEAM 100 - watch for a link to make your gift easily next week!

Thanks for being the Word at Work!

tt (Tim Tam)
The Word at Work

ps: Our Ministry Associate team gathers school supplies, toys, and stuffed animals through out the year ... we've discovered blankets are an ongoing need as well, so please be saving them, too. Click here to learn more about becoming a TW@W Ministry Associate, or get in touch with Tim Hagen for more information!



EDITOR'S NOTE: Speaking from my own first-hand experience - working side-by-side with Tim, Kenny and our brothers and sisters in Belize - won't you give thoughtful, prayerful consideration to supporting the efforts of Tim, the Word At Work staff and their partners? Please please fill out this Commitment Card and return it to their office!

Also, remember that you can follow The Word At Work on their Facebook page!


Equal Exchange Blog ... "A Fair Trade Story"

Equal Exchange's mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through our success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world.


A Fair Trade Story

In honor of World Fair Trade Day, our friends at the Fair World Project have created this excellent 4-minute video that tells the story of authentic fair trade: what it’s about; why it’s important to support organized small farmer co-operatives; and how we, consumers-citizens, can begin to take back our food system ...

CLICK HERE to read the rest of this post



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. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we 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,

I look forward to our prayer time together this Wednesday at 11:30, 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,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

Today I watched my little 5-year-old daughter stand on a stage in our church sanctuary. Long, blonde pig-tails poking out from beneath her graduation cap, she stood with the rest of her pre-Kindergarten class and proudly participated in a recognition ceremony and program. The music teacher started playing the first few familiar chords of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and the children's sweet voices rose in unison:

Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I'll be
In this world, I can be
Anything I want to be
Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I'll be

As a mom, I sat there with my eyes glued to my sweet girl. How have 5 years gone so quickly? I remember the moment the doctor announced "It's a girl!" and laid her on my chest for the first time. That feels like yesterday. And I thought for a moment about how everyone tells me that it will feel like tomorrow when I'm watching her walk down the aisle for her high school graduation. Like any mama, I want to slow the years down. But at the same time, I'm so grateful to be at this place and in this moment.

Because as a citizen of the Kingdom of God, I cannot think only of my child. I can't help but think about all the other 5-year-olds around the world whose lives look so different.

I think about sweet little girls who are in hospital wards; their blonde pig-tails a distant memory. I think about their little arms poked with IVs pumping scary-sounding chemicals into their tiny little bodies; the chemicals far less scary than the tumors they fight.

I think about a little 5-year-old boy named Muhammad who lives with his mom in a camp for the Rohingya in Burma. His mom sold their ration card to pay off the human traffickers holding her husband, but the traffickers still didn't release her husband and he still died. Now little Muhammed is slowly starving.

I think about 5-year-old Syrian refugees who have only known a lifetime of conflict. I think about the fact that they want to be art teachers and pilots and queens and mamas, just like my little girl. I wonder, has anyone taught them to sing a little song about how they can be anything they want to be? Or does that feel too implausible to the frantic grownups trying to patch together a safe life for their families out of the chaos.


As I think about all of this, I'm reminded of a line from another sweet children's song. He's got the whole world in His hands. Scripture tells us that He knows the number of hairs on our head and He has our names engraved on the palms of His hands. And I can picture Him looking down on this spinning planet of ours - a blur of green and blue and white - and somehow He still sees each and every one of us. He sees every 5-year-old. He sees the one standing on a stage graduating from preschool to the applause of her family and friends, and He sees the one sitting in a cold corner of an orphanage all alone. He sees the little boy jumping on a trampoline and staring at the clouds, and He sees the one stacking bricks in a brick kiln for hour after hour.

He sees and He knows, and He's got the whole world in His hands.

Holy Spirit, help us to pray when we just don't have the words. We trust you and we know that you are good and that you love each of your children. God, It's hard to understand why you allow some to suffer so much, while others have every opportunity imaginable. But in spite of what we see, we trust that you are working to bring restoration and hope to this hurting and broken world. Father, as we are your children, please empower us to love and serve your littlest children. We know they are your treasures, and you are especially fond of each of them. Give us eyes to see what hurts them and the courage not to turn away. Jesus, give us hearts that are broken for what breaks yours. May we carry these children in our hearts, lifting them up to you.

Sincerely,

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

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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 25, 2016

GHANA - A letter from mission co-worker Ingrid Reneau Walls:

Even when expected and necessary, change is not easy because inevitably it means loss—and gain(s) too. Unfortunately, the gains are not as readily discerned as the loss because they usually come as we embrace shalom within the loss. Mission reassignment from serving in South Sudan to Akropong, Ghana, has been a languishing change for me because my heart had embraced the unique South Sudanese people and the place of South Sudan. The South Sudanese people are unique because they are the “salt of the earth,” whose needs are dire, even as opportunities for transformation are constant ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Reports From Lulwanda ... Program Coordinator's Report for April 2016

Natalie Rolfe serves Lulwanda Children's Home in Uganda as program coordinator: organizing and coordinating the programs of the Home, school, and clinic; overseeing sponsor connection and relationships (on the side of the children); and hosting American visitors that come to the Home.

April, 2016

There were few days in April that passed without rain. And when it rains, it is usually a huge downpour. But it also usually works like clockwork- rain starts about 3:30pm and lasts for about an hour. Then the sun comes out again. This has been helpful for all the new pineapples, yams and other things that are being planted.

The students have reached the middle of their school term and have been focused on mid-term exams. This is also the month that a group of Lulwanda Aunties, Uncles, and younger siblings visited each of the secondary boarding schools that our older children are attending ...

read the rest of Rolfe's April, 2016 report

enjoy a April, 2016 photo album


LCH Photo

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. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we 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,

I look forward to our prayer time together this Wednesday at 11:30, 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,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

Today I watched my little 5-year-old daughter stand on a stage in our church sanctuary. Long, blonde pig-tails poking out from beneath her graduation cap, she stood with the rest of her pre-Kindergarten class and proudly participated in a recognition ceremony and program. The music teacher started playing the first few familiar chords of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and the children's sweet voices rose in unison:

Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I'll be
In this world, I can be
Anything I want to be
Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I'll be

As a mom, I sat there with my eyes glued to my sweet girl. How have 5 years gone so quickly? I remember the moment the doctor announced "It's a girl!" and laid her on my chest for the first time. That feels like yesterday. And I thought for a moment about how everyone tells me that it will feel like tomorrow when I'm watching her walk down the aisle for her high school graduation. Like any mama, I want to slow the years down. But at the same time, I'm so grateful to be at this place and in this moment.

Because as a citizen of the Kingdom of God, I cannot think only of my child. I can't help but think about all the other 5-year-olds around the world whose lives look so different.

I think about sweet little girls who are in hospital wards; their blonde pig-tails a distant memory. I think about their little arms poked with IVs pumping scary-sounding chemicals into their tiny little bodies; the chemicals far less scary than the tumors they fight.

I think about a little 5-year-old boy named Muhammad who lives with his mom in a camp for the Rohingya in Burma. His mom sold their ration card to pay off the human traffickers holding her husband, but the traffickers still didn't release her husband and he still died. Now little Muhammed is slowly starving.

I think about 5-year-old Syrian refugees who have only known a lifetime of conflict. I think about the fact that they want to be art teachers and pilots and queens and mamas, just like my little girl. I wonder, has anyone taught them to sing a little song about how they can be anything they want to be? Or does that feel too implausible to the frantic grownups trying to patch together a safe life for their families out of the chaos.


As I think about all of this, I'm reminded of a line from another sweet children's song. He's got the whole world in His hands. Scripture tells us that He knows the number of hairs on our head and He has our names engraved on the palms of His hands. And I can picture Him looking down on this spinning planet of ours - a blur of green and blue and white - and somehow He still sees each and every one of us. He sees every 5-year-old. He sees the one standing on a stage graduating from preschool to the applause of her family and friends, and He sees the one sitting in a cold corner of an orphanage all alone. He sees the little boy jumping on a trampoline and staring at the clouds, and He sees the one stacking bricks in a brick kiln for hour after hour.

He sees and He knows, and He's got the whole world in His hands.

Holy Spirit, help us to pray when we just don't have the words. We trust you and we know that you are good and that you love each of your children. God, It's hard to understand why you allow some to suffer so much, while others have every opportunity imaginable. But in spite of what we see, we trust that you are working to bring restoration and hope to this hurting and broken world. Father, as we are your children, please empower us to love and serve your littlest children. We know they are your treasures, and you are especially fond of each of them. Give us eyes to see what hurts them and the courage not to turn away. Jesus, give us hearts that are broken for what breaks yours. May we carry these children in our hearts, lifting them up to you.

Sincerely,

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 ... "Pastor heads to El Paso"

OA Photo by Edyta Blaszczyk
• Meandering journey all makes sense, he says

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


CRANE, TEXAS - The Rev. Dr. Scott Meador’s journey here was a circuitous one after he gave up the ambition of being a lawyer, became a Church of the Nazarene minister and worked as a missionary in Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Romania.

But now as he and his family prepare for a new church in El Paso, Meador says it all makes sense. “Looking back 30 years, if someone had told me I’d be pastoring the First United Methodist Church in Crane, I would’ve said they were crazy,” he said ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 24, 2016

HOLSTON PRESBYTERY, TENNESSEE - The Old Sew n Sews, our quilting group at Hopewell Presbyterian Church, had been in existence just long enough to complete our first baby quilt when a question arose: Did we want to take a hiatus for the summer since vacations would make consistent attendance difficult, or was there another option? We realized that there was indeed another option: we found patterns and pictures online for pillowcase dresses—cute little dresses, easy to sew, with no buttonholes or zippers required. There would even be jobs for those who didn’t sew, such as cutting, ironing and measuring ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, May 23, 2016

From @chinaaid : "Authorities charge church with illegal construction, demolish church and cross"

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.



CAA Photo
Authorities charge church with illegal construction, demolish church and cross
Distributed by ChinaAid, April, 2016 ...

WENZHOU, ZHEJIANG, CHINA – Authorities in China’s coastal Zhejiang province demolished a church building on April 13, after reportedly claiming that the church’s cross was positioned too high. A demolition team consisting of several dozen people tore down Island Head Christian Church in the city of Wenzhou, declaring that the building was illegally constructed. Church leaders and other attendees resisted the demolition at first, but relented after officials threatened the protesters ...

more on this story from China Aid



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. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we 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,

I look forward to our prayer time together this Wednesday at 11:30, 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,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

Today I watched my little 5-year-old daughter stand on a stage in our church sanctuary. Long, blonde pig-tails poking out from beneath her graduation cap, she stood with the rest of her pre-Kindergarten class and proudly participated in a recognition ceremony and program. The music teacher started playing the first few familiar chords of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and the children's sweet voices rose in unison:

Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I'll be
In this world, I can be
Anything I want to be
Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I'll be

As a mom, I sat there with my eyes glued to my sweet girl. How have 5 years gone so quickly? I remember the moment the doctor announced "It's a girl!" and laid her on my chest for the first time. That feels like yesterday. And I thought for a moment about how everyone tells me that it will feel like tomorrow when I'm watching her walk down the aisle for her high school graduation. Like any mama, I want to slow the years down. But at the same time, I'm so grateful to be at this place and in this moment.

Because as a citizen of the Kingdom of God, I cannot think only of my child. I can't help but think about all the other 5-year-olds around the world whose lives look so different.

I think about sweet little girls who are in hospital wards; their blonde pig-tails a distant memory. I think about their little arms poked with IVs pumping scary-sounding chemicals into their tiny little bodies; the chemicals far less scary than the tumors they fight.

I think about a little 5-year-old boy named Muhammad who lives with his mom in a camp for the Rohingya in Burma. His mom sold their ration card to pay off the human traffickers holding her husband, but the traffickers still didn't release her husband and he still died. Now little Muhammed is slowly starving.

I think about 5-year-old Syrian refugees who have only known a lifetime of conflict. I think about the fact that they want to be art teachers and pilots and queens and mamas, just like my little girl. I wonder, has anyone taught them to sing a little song about how they can be anything they want to be? Or does that feel too implausible to the frantic grownups trying to patch together a safe life for their families out of the chaos.


As I think about all of this, I'm reminded of a line from another sweet children's song. He's got the whole world in His hands. Scripture tells us that He knows the number of hairs on our head and He has our names engraved on the palms of His hands. And I can picture Him looking down on this spinning planet of ours - a blur of green and blue and white - and somehow He still sees each and every one of us. He sees every 5-year-old. He sees the one standing on a stage graduating from preschool to the applause of her family and friends, and He sees the one sitting in a cold corner of an orphanage all alone. He sees the little boy jumping on a trampoline and staring at the clouds, and He sees the one stacking bricks in a brick kiln for hour after hour.

He sees and He knows, and He's got the whole world in His hands.

Holy Spirit, help us to pray when we just don't have the words. We trust you and we know that you are good and that you love each of your children. God, It's hard to understand why you allow some to suffer so much, while others have every opportunity imaginable. But in spite of what we see, we trust that you are working to bring restoration and hope to this hurting and broken world. Father, as we are your children, please empower us to love and serve your littlest children. We know they are your treasures, and you are especially fond of each of them. Give us eyes to see what hurts them and the courage not to turn away. Jesus, give us hearts that are broken for what breaks yours. May we carry these children in our hearts, lifting them up to you.

Sincerely,

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 ... "Christ-centered 'Just Say Know' event scheduled in June"

• Make sure kids are well-informed about how to make good choices

By Ruth Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - Following a long tradition of providing Christ-centered sexual education to youngsters, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will host “Just Say Know” June 3 and 4 at the church, 601 N. Lee Ave.

Led by Linda and Richard Goddard of CLER Ministries, the program is aimed at seventh and eighth graders, the Rev. Dawn Weaks said. Weaks is the co-lead pastor with her husband Joe ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 23, 2016

PRESBYTERY OF BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - It’s all about intentional, simple living and service. Learning about locally grown produce like romanesco (similar to cauliflower) and donut peaches. Learning to mesh your lifestyle with your roommates’ as together you grow spiritually. Learning about joy from service to others. Learning to love a new congregation of Presbyterians in a part of the country you don’t know. Learning to trust God as you think and pray about your career and future ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

From "I Am Second" ... Darrell Waltrip



"I could've been dead." Racing at unprecedented speeds to win was the singular focus of Darrell Waltrip. At the peak of his career, he won two consecutive championships. "I was at the top of my game. We were unbeatable." And while he may have been the best on the track, NASCAR fans hated his ego and it bothered him.

Sure of the dangers in racing, Waltrip never believed it would happen to him. It did. And one accident on the track drove him to seeking out a more definitive purpose in life. His story reflects the importance of humility even if you are the best.



Inspiring the Revolution of Second
 

I Am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others. Actors. Athletes. Musicians. Business leaders. Drug addicts. Your next-door neighbor. People like you. The authentic stories on iamsecond.com provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled. You’ll discover people who’ve tried to go it alone and have failed. Find the hope, peace, and fulfillment they found. Be Second.

You are here for a reason. We all have needs and could use some help. Talk to us. Call, chat, or email. 24 hours a day.

Go a step further ... talk with the people in your life. Spread the revolution of Second. Share the videos with friends. Gather a group of friends to discuss the films. Start an I am Second group.

Volunteer at concerts. Serve through I am Second community service events. Organize your own I am Second events. Sign up for an I am Second Expedition to help people in other countries. Check out Live Second for other opportunities. Connect with us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

I am Second is designed to help people discover their purpose in life. Have you discovered yours?

To find out more about the people and leadership team behind I Am Second you can check out Who We Are.

Invitation to mission, from Mercy Trips Healthcare Outreach

Partnering with local healthcare workers and churches in medically underserved countries, Odessa, Texas-based Mercy Trips Healthcare Outreach provides free medical clinics and surgical care as an outreach of Christian love for our fellow man.



To all Mercy Trips Supporters, Team Members and Future Team members,

We are excited to announce that we are offering a summer trip this year to the Fort Portal area in Western Uganda. We are planning to field both a village/clinic team and a surgical team to serve these lovely people again.

The Dates for the trip are Saturday July 23 - Friday August 5.

The cost should be close to $4000.00 but the final amount depends on the airfare cost.

Thus we need to quickly find out how many are able to join us, in order to determine if we will be able to use a group rate for airfare.

As usual please feel free to forward this to anyone you know that might be interested.

You can private message us if you are interested in receiving more info!

We no longer have valid email addresses for some of you that follow us on FB -- If you did not receive an email from us about this trip and would like to in the future -- PM your email address to us.

Please reply by email to info@mercytrips.org if you are interested in joining us as a team member this summer.

Blessings
Mercy Trips Healthcare Outreach
P.O. Box 13795
Odessa, TX 79768

visit Mercy Trips' Facebook page

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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 22, 2016

MINUTE FOR MISSION: INTERCULTURAL CHURCH SUNDAY - Intercultural Church Sunday is a time to celebrate God’s diverse, transformed community. In the beginnings of the multicultural church movement, people of different cultures came together and, with excitement and courage, began creating multicultural community. They sought to understand differences in cultures other than their own. Yet, even though other cultures were present, the dominant culture prevailed, and other cultures accommodated to the major culture ...

CLICK HERE to read more.