Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Partners Blog: "Grocery shopping on Hamra"

Steve and Oddny Gumaer started Partners Relief and Development in response to the needs of refugees and displaced people from Burma. Their mission is to demonstrate, through holistic action, God’s love to children and communities made vulnerable by war in Burma.

Partners Photo
Grocery shopping on Hamra

My jog along the beach walkway downtown Beirut was over and I was walking back to our guesthouse. Suddenly I heard a small tap on my shoulder. I turned around and next to me was a small child, with long, a little matted hair, and very dirty clothes. She stretched her hand out for me to put something into it ...

read the rest of this post ...




Partners Relief and Development is a registered charity in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States. "We’re a small, grassroots nonprofit passionate about making a big impact in communities affected by conflict and oppression, demonstrating God’s love to children and giving them the opportunity to live free, full lives." For more information aboput Partners, visit their website at partners.ngo/

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,

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,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
Matthew 25:35, ESV

This week as our president signs executive orders on various immigration and refugee-related matters, please join me in praying for the heart and soul of our nation to reflect the values engraved on the Statue of Liberty and enshrined in the teachings of the religion our nation's leaders so often reference. It seems nearly impossible to write this sort of email and not be seen by someone as getting too political, so I will keep my words few. This I know: Our leaders need great wisdom, courage, bravery and insightful vision in order to navigate the line between closing our borders in an effort to protect our nation and being a place of refuge for the world's most vulnerable children and their families. Please join me in praying for them.

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

INDIA // Compassion International Faces Eviction from India
"Compassion employs 6,000 workers in India who provide aid to children living in extreme poverty. It has worked in India since 1968 and is the largest humanitarian presence in the second most populated country in the world-providing $50 million in annual relief funds. But India is cracking down on foreign NGOs based on fears that groups are using humanitarian work to mask evangelization efforts. Those fears have prompted the government to block the inflow of relief dollars. Without a change in policy, Compassion has less than 3 weeks of funds left to continue operations within India."
Please pray the Indian government reconsiders Compassion's application so that it can continue serving the 145,000 Indian children they currently have enrolled in their programs. If they are forced to shutter their Indian operations, please pray for the estimated 80 percent of the children they serve who they think might fall through the cracks and not receive proper nutrition or other basic needs.
Read more here ...

STORY OF HOPE

NIGERIA // Education Offers Hope of Healing Rifts Sown by Nigeria's Boko Haram
"When Boko Haram militants stormed his home in northeast Nigeria three years ago, 13-year-old Grema Mohammed was forced to watch as they killed his father. Now, sitting in a classroom where the pupils are practising their greetings in English, Mohammed quietly works alongside children of the jihadist group which shot dead his father. "I am friends with everybody, it doesn't matter who their father is," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as his classmates chanted: 'I'm fine, thanks, and you?' in unison. "I feel sorry for my classmates, because what happened to me (losing his father) has happened to many of them," he said at Future Prowess, a unique primary school in Borno state which welcomes orphans and struggling children, even those born to Boko Haram fighters. Boko Haram, whose name means 'Western education is sinful' in the local Hausa language, seven years ago launched a bloody campaign to carve out an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria.

The insurgency has killed more than 15,000 people and forced some two million to flee their homes. It has also deprived millions of children of an education and torn apart communities.

Ensuring children are in school, and encouraging communities to overcome the suspicion and stigma often directed at the offspring of the jihadists, is key to healing the rifts sown by Boko Haram, said Future Prowess' headteacher Suleiman Aliyu. "When some mothers complained and asked why we were enrolling Boko Haram children, I said: 'Should we exclude them, and allow them to follow in the footsteps their fathers? No'." "We tell the children: 'Whatever tragedy has happened to you, it is not the end of your life'," Aliyu said."
Praise God for this unification and reconciliation effort! Blessed are the peacemakers -- and educating children in such circumstances is certainly an exercise in generational peacemaking. Please pray for families who depend on their children to be wage-earners or laborers to overcome the financial obstacles necessary to continue educating their children. Also pray for the protection of the schools, which are known targets of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Read more here ...

DISPLACED NOT MISPLACED

LEBANON // Syrian Refugee Children Reduced to Selling on Beiruit's Streets to Feed Their Families
After a little-known insurgent group attacked 3 border posts in Rakhine State, Myanmar back in October, killing 9 police "With more than 90% of refugees in Lebanon short of food and facing cuts to aid, desperate families often rely on their children to boost income." "Save the Children is working with families and young people, helping themto protect themselves against exploitation in the labour market. 'We understand that in poor communities, child labour is expected,' says a Save the Children spokesperson. 'But we try to work with the parents, teaching them the importance of education, even if a child has to work. We don't want to see a lost generation.'"
Please pray for these families to have enough food to eat. Pray the children are protected from traffickers and criminals as they work. Pray for the aid organizations to receive the funding they need to help families maintain adequate nutrition. And for NGO's trying to work with families, please pray they can successfully help parents walk the line between educating their children and feeding the family.
Read more here ...

Praying with you,

Carrie

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153

* This is a phrase we have borrowed, with permission, from our friends at Partner's Relief and Development.


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 ... "Carlson leads at Mackey Chapel"

OA Photo by Mark Sterkel
• Former OC tennis coach now ‘coaching Christians’

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


MIDLAND, TEXAS - Having been a tennis coach and head of the physical and health education department at Odessa College for 23 years, the Rev. Karin Carlson sees a parallel between that career and her role as a minister at the First United Methodist Church< and Mackey Chapel UMC ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

Monday, January 30, 2017

From @chinaaid : "Xinjiang woman receives three-year sentence for holding Bible study"

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.

Xinjiang woman receives three-year sentence for holding Bible study
Distributed by ChinaAid, January, 2017 ...

CAA Photo
ILI KAZAKH AUTONOMOUS PREFECTURE, XINJIANG, CHINA – A local court in China’s western Xinjiang sentenced a Christian woman to three years in prison on Friday for holding a Bible study.

Ma Huichao, who was taken into police custody along with four other Christians when officials claimed their Bible study met without government approval, stood trial in mid-November for “gathering a crowd to disturb public order." ...

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,

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,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
Matthew 25:35, ESV

This week as our president signs executive orders on various immigration and refugee-related matters, please join me in praying for the heart and soul of our nation to reflect the values engraved on the Statue of Liberty and enshrined in the teachings of the religion our nation's leaders so often reference. It seems nearly impossible to write this sort of email and not be seen by someone as getting too political, so I will keep my words few. This I know: Our leaders need great wisdom, courage, bravery and insightful vision in order to navigate the line between closing our borders in an effort to protect our nation and being a place of refuge for the world's most vulnerable children and their families. Please join me in praying for them.

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

INDIA // Compassion International Faces Eviction from India
"Compassion employs 6,000 workers in India who provide aid to children living in extreme poverty. It has worked in India since 1968 and is the largest humanitarian presence in the second most populated country in the world-providing $50 million in annual relief funds. But India is cracking down on foreign NGOs based on fears that groups are using humanitarian work to mask evangelization efforts. Those fears have prompted the government to block the inflow of relief dollars. Without a change in policy, Compassion has less than 3 weeks of funds left to continue operations within India."
Please pray the Indian government reconsiders Compassion's application so that it can continue serving the 145,000 Indian children they currently have enrolled in their programs. If they are forced to shutter their Indian operations, please pray for the estimated 80 percent of the children they serve who they think might fall through the cracks and not receive proper nutrition or other basic needs.
Read more here ...

STORY OF HOPE

NIGERIA // Education Offers Hope of Healing Rifts Sown by Nigeria's Boko Haram
"When Boko Haram militants stormed his home in northeast Nigeria three years ago, 13-year-old Grema Mohammed was forced to watch as they killed his father. Now, sitting in a classroom where the pupils are practising their greetings in English, Mohammed quietly works alongside children of the jihadist group which shot dead his father. "I am friends with everybody, it doesn't matter who their father is," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as his classmates chanted: 'I'm fine, thanks, and you?' in unison. "I feel sorry for my classmates, because what happened to me (losing his father) has happened to many of them," he said at Future Prowess, a unique primary school in Borno state which welcomes orphans and struggling children, even those born to Boko Haram fighters. Boko Haram, whose name means 'Western education is sinful' in the local Hausa language, seven years ago launched a bloody campaign to carve out an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria.

The insurgency has killed more than 15,000 people and forced some two million to flee their homes. It has also deprived millions of children of an education and torn apart communities.

Ensuring children are in school, and encouraging communities to overcome the suspicion and stigma often directed at the offspring of the jihadists, is key to healing the rifts sown by Boko Haram, said Future Prowess' headteacher Suleiman Aliyu. "When some mothers complained and asked why we were enrolling Boko Haram children, I said: 'Should we exclude them, and allow them to follow in the footsteps their fathers? No'." "We tell the children: 'Whatever tragedy has happened to you, it is not the end of your life'," Aliyu said."
Praise God for this unification and reconciliation effort! Blessed are the peacemakers -- and educating children in such circumstances is certainly an exercise in generational peacemaking. Please pray for families who depend on their children to be wage-earners or laborers to overcome the financial obstacles necessary to continue educating their children. Also pray for the protection of the schools, which are known targets of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Read more here ...

DISPLACED NOT MISPLACED

LEBANON // Syrian Refugee Children Reduced to Selling on Beiruit's Streets to Feed Their Families
After a little-known insurgent group attacked 3 border posts in Rakhine State, Myanmar back in October, killing 9 police "With more than 90% of refugees in Lebanon short of food and facing cuts to aid, desperate families often rely on their children to boost income." "Save the Children is working with families and young people, helping themto protect themselves against exploitation in the labour market. 'We understand that in poor communities, child labour is expected,' says a Save the Children spokesperson. 'But we try to work with the parents, teaching them the importance of education, even if a child has to work. We don't want to see a lost generation.'"
Please pray for these families to have enough food to eat. Pray the children are protected from traffickers and criminals as they work. Pray for the aid organizations to receive the funding they need to help families maintain adequate nutrition. And for NGO's trying to work with families, please pray they can successfully help parents walk the line between educating their children and feeding the family.
Read more here ...

Praying with you,

Carrie

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153

* This is a phrase we have borrowed, with permission, from our friends at Partner's Relief and Development.


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 ... "Keller reviews missions"

OA Photo by Mark Sterkel
• Hard workers sharpened perspective

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


MIDLAND, TEXAS - Mission work is a stringent challenge that tests young ministers, says the Rev. Wayne Keller, who was a missionary in Brazil and led missions in East Texas and the Permian Basin ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

Sunday, January 29, 2017

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.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 29, 2017

PRESBYTERIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY - When the 110,000 American citizens and immigrants of Japanese descent living on the West Coast were taken without due process into ten “Relocation Camps” by the federal government in the first year of the US’ involvement in World War II, they set about immediately organizing places of worship through which to seek solace and strength ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

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.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 28, 2017

PARENTING - Who could be more vulnerable than a young girl in first-century Palestine, unmarried, and told that she is soon to be the mother of the Son of God? Who could feel more helpless than a young man who discovers that his soon-to-be wife has been made pregnant through the Holy Spirit? The Nativity story is full of vulnerability, reflecting the delicate nature of life and how small we humans really are amid the powers of poverty, corrupt oligarchy, and societal expectations. And yet, this is how God’s Word comes to us ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, January 27, 2017

From @FWMission ...Friday Story: "He likes to go to school"

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.

FWM Photo
Friday Story: "He likes to go to school"

Ma Hao is in fifth grade.

His school is over a half-mile away from his home, in a small town in rural China. Since Ma Hao cannot walk— a lack of oxygen during his birth caused his legs to grow weak– his mother had been carrying him everywhere: to the bathroom, to places down the street, and all the way to and from school. She had been Ma Hao’s only mobility aid for the first 13 years of his life.

Imagine the excitement Ma Hao and his family felt when they learned they’d receive a free wheelchair ...

read the rest of this story ...

In the News ... "From nightclub to church"

OA Photo by Mark Sterkel
• Work should be done by July 1; first Sunday services by the end of the month

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - The Texas stars, the tractor, the tornado and other art works are coming off the fa├žade of the Texas-size Graham Central Station nightclub at 4240 Preston Smith Road, to make way for an equally big church ...

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.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 27, 2017

PRESBYTERIAN GIVING CATALOG - Retired Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) pastor the Rev. Rex Wentzel, ordained in 1959, wanted to stay active in the church after he left full-time parish ministry. So like many other retired clergy, he offered his service as a supply preacher for congregations when pastors were ill, on leave or on vacation. But Wentzel wasn’t in it for the money; rather he thought it was an ideal way to promote mission in the congregations he visited ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

FBR Report: "Mosul December 2016: Food, Fuel, and Love."

The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) is a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement. They bring help, hope and love to people in the war zones of Burma (Myanmar). Ethnic pro-democracy groups send teams to be trained, supplied and sent into the areas under attack to provide emergency assistance and human rights documentation. Together with other groups, the teams work to serve people in need.



FBR Photo
Mosul December 2016: Food, Fuel, and Love.

Dear all, thanks for the support and prayers as the mission continues in Mosul. As the Iraqi army resupplies and regroups for the next assault to push to the Tigris River our team has continued the food distribution and medical support for the army and civilians. Thanks to the support of some wonderful friends we have begun to distribute kerosene to the civilians whose area has been liberated ...

CLICK HERE to read the rest of this FBR Report ...

CLICK HERE to learn how YOU can get involved in FBR and its mission ...

In the News ... "Good Samaritan looking for the owner of a lost Bible"

KWES Photo
• Found at the Andrews post office, on the front desk

By Jolina Okazaki, Multimedia Journalist
KWES-TV

ANDREWS, TEXAS - A good Samaritan found a Bible and is looking for its rightful owner.

"If this was my Bible and I'm so attached to it and it was given to me at an early age that I've practically wore out, I'd want it back," said Jody, the Andrews woman who found the Bible.

It was found at the Andrews post office on the front desk where it was left for about a week. The only clues had signatures from 2013 by members of a church called FaithBridge in Spring, Texas. The notes inside are addressed to the name, Austin ...

 • read/watch the rest of this KWES 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.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 26, 2017

LEBANON - Unable to focus on their education while they work long shifts for less than minimum wage, teenagers in Beirut are vulnerable to abuse, with little hope of escape. Thanks to the Kurkjian family and your ongoing gifts, the Jinishian Memorial Program (JMP) has created a safe space where teens can study, get counseling and take part in vocational training to work toward their dreams and grow in the confidence of knowing they are loved by God ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Grace in Nicaragua ... "Living, learning in Esteli"

All this week, members of Grace Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas, will be part of a mission team in Nicaragua, partnering with the the Presbyterian Hunger Program and Equal Exchange, getting a first-hand look at the coffee farming business in Nicaragua. The trip will provide Presbyterians who are involved or interested in fair trade to see how it works and meet face-to-face with those who grow the coffee.



Late this wed night having just returned from Esteli area 5 hours north via van ride. Spent 2nights with hosts at their homes in a small village of coffee growers. Believe me, we know a lot now about coffee growing and prep for sale/export.

Slept on mats or small mattresses 2nights. Beans, rice, chicken, tortillas (hand-made) just about all three meals a day. This picture is the house Judy and I stayed at which was nicer than many.

Photo by Craig Brown
Very gracious hosts with very little. No flush toilets but they did have a couple of light bulbs per house. Started hand making the tortillas each morning about 4:30.

Roosters spoke their chorus about 1am and then in full glory and for a full hour around 4:30. Generally a good time to wring a neck but enjoyed our bed too much to cut a life short.

Yesterday we walked about a mile and a half or so round trip to pick coffee cherries ... yes, cherries. I don't think we'll be hired any time soon.

Spent a few hours at the secondary coop today and learned how to 'cup' ... more on that later.

Bedtime now. Breakfast is late tomorrow at 7 am.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers

In the News ... "Part 1: A look inside the world of human trafficking "

KOSA Photo
• With Dr. Greg Romine of Romine Ministries

Staff Report
KOSA-TV


MIDLAND/ODESSA, TEXAS - It’s the number one industry in the world and one of the most dangerous for our children.

CBS 7 News and Dr. Richard Bartlett take you inside the world of human trafficking and the statistics speak for themselves.

About 60 million people are involved in some sort of human trafficking and about half of those people are children.

According to Dr. Greg Romine, about 1.2 million children are taken each year.

Romine is part of an organization that rescues children who were kidnapped and forced into human trafficking. Last year, Romine rescued more than a thousand children from the crime.

“It is happening right before our very eyes,” Dr. Greg Romine said.

Romine has safe houses located in both the United States and the Philippines ...

Watch Part 1 of this KOSA report 


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,

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, 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,

I write these emails the week before you receive them, and last week when I was preparing the email, I didn't realize MLK Day was coming up so quickly. So this week I'm sharing something I meant to share last week -- a little belated MLK Day Celebration, if you will. It's a story I heard on a This American Life episode entitled "Kid Logic" on NPR the other week... and it stunned me with its beautiful "childish" simplicity. We have so much to learn from the child-like faith of our youngest brothers and sisters. Especially, I think, in the way they can sometimes so clearly see matters of justice and compassion and empathy and friendship and intuitively understand some of Jesus' most socially-upending messages.

"Well, it all began at Christmas two years ago when my daughter was four-years-old. And it was the first time that she had ever asked about what did this holiday mean. And so I explained to her that this was celebrating the birth of Jesus. And she want to know more about that, and we went out and bought a kid's Bible and had these readings at night. She loved them-- wanted to know everything about Jesus.

So we read a lot about his birth and about his teaching. And she would ask constantly what that phrase was. And I would explain to her that it was, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And we would talk about those old words and what that all meant.

And then one day we were driving past a big church, and out front was an enormous crucifix. She said, who is that? And I guess I'd never really told that part of the story, so I had to sort of, yeah, well, that's Jesus, and I forgot to tell you the ending. Yeah. Well, you know, he ran afoul of the Roman government. This message that he had was so radical and unnerving to the prevailing authorities of the time that they had to kill him. They came to the conclusion that he would have to die. That message was too troublesome.

It was about a month later after that Christmas. We'd gone through the whole story of what Christmas meant. It was mid-January, and her preschool celebrates the same holidays as the local schools, so Martin Luther King Day was off. So I knocked off work that day and I decided we'd play, and I take her out to lunch. And we were sitting in there and right on the table where we happened to plop down was the art section of the local newspaper.

And there, big his life, was a huge drawing by like a 10-year-old kid from the local schools of Martin Luther King. And she said, who's that? And I said, well, as it happens, that's Martin Luther King, and he's why you're not in school today. So we're celebrating his birthday. This is the day we celebrate his life. And she said, so who was he? I said, well, he was a preacher. And she looks up at me and goes, for Jesus? And I said yeah. Yeah, actually he was, but there was another thing that he was really famous for, which is that he had a message.

And you're trying to say this to a four-year-old. This is the first time they ever hear anything so you're just very careful about how you phrase everything. So I said, well, yeah, he was a preacher and he had a message. She said, what was his message? And I said, he said that you should treat everybody the same no matter what they look like. She thought about that for a minute, and she said, well, that's what Jesus said.

And I said, yeah, I guess it is. You know, I never thought of it that way, but yeah. And that is sort of like do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And she thought for a minute and looked at me and said, did they kill him, too?"

This week, please join me in praying for the following matters:

Getty Images Photo
NEPAL // Nepali Girl Banished for Menstruating Dies in Makeshift Shed
This Saturday, January 17 is the Women's March in Washington and in at least 57 other countries. While the phrase "women's rights" can be a contentious and hot-button phrase, there are many issues that we can all agree are wrong. Take the practice of 'Chhaupadi' in Nepal. Literally translated as "untouchable being," this outlawed practice still happens in rural areas with some estimates saying nearly 95 percent of women in certain rural areas practice it. Menstruating girls and women are shunned and forced to live in sheds during their period, unable to eat normal food, attend school, interact with other family members, or have access to the household. Last month, a 15-year-old girl died due to suffocation after she lit a fire in a poorly ventilated shed to stay warm while she went to sleep.
Please pray for this practice to become socially unacceptable. Pray for brave women and families to stand up against it, challenging the status quo and changing the social traditions. And for the women and girls who continue to practice this, please pray for their safety and protection.
Read more here ...

STORY OF HOPE

USA // Notorious Sex Trafficking Website Shuts Down its 'Adult Services' Section
In what is being seen as a major victory by anti-sex trafficking advocates, the notorious website backpage.com has officially shut down it's adult services ads. The Ringer recently called the site "a breeding ground for child rape" and for years, lawmakers and law enforcement agencies have been attempting to close it and go after the people who run it. Backpage is essentially a Craigslist-like online classifies site, but its critics say that its "adult services" allowed users to essentially solicit prostitution through thinly veiled ads all while the site made millions." According to the New York Times, the site "is implicated in almost three-quarters of the reports of child trafficking" in the country. After years of avoiding legal action, the pressure finally worked and this method for abusing children has been stopped. Praise God for this victory!
Please pray the legal action holds and that another alternative doesn't immediate spring up in its absence. And while this is a major anti-trafficking victory, there are still thousands of victims caught in trafficking rings. Please pray for their safety, freedom, restoration, and healing.
Read more here ...

DISPLACED NOT MISPLACED

MYANMAR // Rohingya Tell of Rape, Fire and Death in Myanmar
After a little-known insurgent group attacked 3 border posts in Rakhine State, Myanmar back in October, killing 9 police officers, the Myanmar government responded with massive force, sending an estimated 65,000 Rohingya fleeing across the border to Bangladesh. Human rights watch groups report "the military entered villages in northern Rakhine State shooting at random, set houses on fire with rocket launchers, and systematically raped girls and women. At least 1,500 homes were razed, according to an analysis of satellite images by Human Rights Watch." The Rohingya have been described as "the world's most friendless people," but we know they are seen, known, and loved by God. Please pray for these families as they try to flee violence. Pray for the children caught in the crossfire or those who have experienced police brutality and rape. Pray for organizations like Partner's Relief and Development and FortifyRights who seek to meet their needs and draw attention to their plight.
Pray for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her government to take notice and stop the mistreatment. The winner of a Nobel Peace Prize and long-time critic of Myanmar's brutality towards its many ethnic groups, she has been largely silent on the treatment of the Rohingya, much to the surprise of many supporters. Pray for the other nations of the world to know how to respond and turn these friendless people into supported people. Finally pray that in the midst of the abuse and mistreatment, the Rohingya do not become easy targets for radicalization.
Read more here ...

Praying with you,

Carrie

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153

* This is a phrase we have borrowed, with permission, from our friends at Partner's Relief and Development.


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.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 25, 2017

THEOLOGY, PASSION AND JUSTICE - When it comes to conversations about church, most of us imagine sitting around a table and engaging face-to-face. Maybe we’re in a church basement, conference center, coffee shop, or local bar. But lately Presbyterians have been gathering for a weekly conversation around their phones or computers, using Twitter and a common hashtag. These online conversations can take place on a couch at home while kids are playing, at a computer on a desk at work, or on a smartphone while waiting in line at the grocery store ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Partners Blog: "Lessons I learned from my week in Beirut: Tuesday"

Steve and Oddny Gumaer started Partners Relief and Development in response to the needs of refugees and displaced people from Burma. Their mission is to demonstrate, through holistic action, God’s love to children and communities made vulnerable by war in Burma.

Partners Photo
Lessons I learned from my week in Beirut: Tuesday

Even if he has lost everything, a father likes to give good gifts to his children. Which is why I lugged home a package of dried figs and sugared almonds and lentils and I don’t even know what else, and will mail it this snowy morning to a daughter her father hasn’t seen since he sent her to America at the beginning of the war in Syria ...

read the rest of this post ...




Partners Relief and Development is a registered charity in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States. "We’re a small, grassroots nonprofit passionate about making a big impact in communities affected by conflict and oppression, demonstrating God’s love to children and giving them the opportunity to live free, full lives." For more information aboput Partners, visit their website at partners.ngo/

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,

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,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

I write these emails the week before you receive them, and last week when I was preparing the email, I didn't realize MLK Day was coming up so quickly. So this week I'm sharing something I meant to share last week -- a little belated MLK Day Celebration, if you will. It's a story I heard on a This American Life episode entitled "Kid Logic" on NPR the other week... and it stunned me with its beautiful "childish" simplicity. We have so much to learn from the child-like faith of our youngest brothers and sisters. Especially, I think, in the way they can sometimes so clearly see matters of justice and compassion and empathy and friendship and intuitively understand some of Jesus' most socially-upending messages.

"Well, it all began at Christmas two years ago when my daughter was four-years-old. And it was the first time that she had ever asked about what did this holiday mean. And so I explained to her that this was celebrating the birth of Jesus. And she want to know more about that, and we went out and bought a kid's Bible and had these readings at night. She loved them-- wanted to know everything about Jesus.

So we read a lot about his birth and about his teaching. And she would ask constantly what that phrase was. And I would explain to her that it was, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And we would talk about those old words and what that all meant.

And then one day we were driving past a big church, and out front was an enormous crucifix. She said, who is that? And I guess I'd never really told that part of the story, so I had to sort of, yeah, well, that's Jesus, and I forgot to tell you the ending. Yeah. Well, you know, he ran afoul of the Roman government. This message that he had was so radical and unnerving to the prevailing authorities of the time that they had to kill him. They came to the conclusion that he would have to die. That message was too troublesome.

It was about a month later after that Christmas. We'd gone through the whole story of what Christmas meant. It was mid-January, and her preschool celebrates the same holidays as the local schools, so Martin Luther King Day was off. So I knocked off work that day and I decided we'd play, and I take her out to lunch. And we were sitting in there and right on the table where we happened to plop down was the art section of the local newspaper.

And there, big his life, was a huge drawing by like a 10-year-old kid from the local schools of Martin Luther King. And she said, who's that? And I said, well, as it happens, that's Martin Luther King, and he's why you're not in school today. So we're celebrating his birthday. This is the day we celebrate his life. And she said, so who was he? I said, well, he was a preacher. And she looks up at me and goes, for Jesus? And I said yeah. Yeah, actually he was, but there was another thing that he was really famous for, which is that he had a message.

And you're trying to say this to a four-year-old. This is the first time they ever hear anything so you're just very careful about how you phrase everything. So I said, well, yeah, he was a preacher and he had a message. She said, what was his message? And I said, he said that you should treat everybody the same no matter what they look like. She thought about that for a minute, and she said, well, that's what Jesus said.

And I said, yeah, I guess it is. You know, I never thought of it that way, but yeah. And that is sort of like do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And she thought for a minute and looked at me and said, did they kill him, too?"

This week, please join me in praying for the following matters:

Getty Images Photo
NEPAL // Nepali Girl Banished for Menstruating Dies in Makeshift Shed
This Saturday, January 17 is the Women's March in Washington and in at least 57 other countries. While the phrase "women's rights" can be a contentious and hot-button phrase, there are many issues that we can all agree are wrong. Take the practice of 'Chhaupadi' in Nepal. Literally translated as "untouchable being," this outlawed practice still happens in rural areas with some estimates saying nearly 95 percent of women in certain rural areas practice it. Menstruating girls and women are shunned and forced to live in sheds during their period, unable to eat normal food, attend school, interact with other family members, or have access to the household. Last month, a 15-year-old girl died due to suffocation after she lit a fire in a poorly ventilated shed to stay warm while she went to sleep.
Please pray for this practice to become socially unacceptable. Pray for brave women and families to stand up against it, challenging the status quo and changing the social traditions. And for the women and girls who continue to practice this, please pray for their safety and protection.
Read more here ...

STORY OF HOPE

USA // Notorious Sex Trafficking Website Shuts Down its 'Adult Services' Section
In what is being seen as a major victory by anti-sex trafficking advocates, the notorious website backpage.com has officially shut down it's adult services ads. The Ringer recently called the site "a breeding ground for child rape" and for years, lawmakers and law enforcement agencies have been attempting to close it and go after the people who run it. Backpage is essentially a Craigslist-like online classifies site, but its critics say that its "adult services" allowed users to essentially solicit prostitution through thinly veiled ads all while the site made millions." According to the New York Times, the site "is implicated in almost three-quarters of the reports of child trafficking" in the country. After years of avoiding legal action, the pressure finally worked and this method for abusing children has been stopped. Praise God for this victory!
Please pray the legal action holds and that another alternative doesn't immediate spring up in its absence. And while this is a major anti-trafficking victory, there are still thousands of victims caught in trafficking rings. Please pray for their safety, freedom, restoration, and healing.
Read more here ...

DISPLACED NOT MISPLACED

MYANMAR // Rohingya Tell of Rape, Fire and Death in Myanmar
After a little-known insurgent group attacked 3 border posts in Rakhine State, Myanmar back in October, killing 9 police officers, the Myanmar government responded with massive force, sending an estimated 65,000 Rohingya fleeing across the border to Bangladesh. Human rights watch groups report "the military entered villages in northern Rakhine State shooting at random, set houses on fire with rocket launchers, and systematically raped girls and women. At least 1,500 homes were razed, according to an analysis of satellite images by Human Rights Watch." The Rohingya have been described as "the world's most friendless people," but we know they are seen, known, and loved by God. Please pray for these families as they try to flee violence. Pray for the children caught in the crossfire or those who have experienced police brutality and rape. Pray for organizations like Partner's Relief and Development and FortifyRights who seek to meet their needs and draw attention to their plight.
Pray for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her government to take notice and stop the mistreatment. The winner of a Nobel Peace Prize and long-time critic of Myanmar's brutality towards its many ethnic groups, she has been largely silent on the treatment of the Rohingya, much to the surprise of many supporters. Pray for the other nations of the world to know how to respond and turn these friendless people into supported people. Finally pray that in the midst of the abuse and mistreatment, the Rohingya do not become easy targets for radicalization.
Read more here ...

Praying with you,

Carrie

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153

* This is a phrase we have borrowed, with permission, from our friends at Partner's Relief and Development.


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 ... "87-year-old shares life lessons"

OA Photo by Jacob Ford
• The Rev. Tatum has been a minister since the mid-’70s

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - The Rev. W.M. “Bill” Tatum got started in the ministry as a Gospel singer with no interest in becoming a full-time pastor, but God’s call for him to do so was so strong that he eventually followed it, serving at churches in Kermit and Monahans until taking the pulpit at Mount Zion Baptist Church more than three decades ago ...

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.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 24, 2017

MARYVILLE COLLEGE - Maryville College, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-related school in Tennessee, is one of 82 institutions nationwide that has received funding as part of the Lilly Endowment Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes. It is the only PC(USA)-related school awarded the grant. The $433,152 grant will help the college establish Maryville Adventures in Studying Theology (MAST) and continue its long history of youth leadership development ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, January 23, 2017

From @chinaaid : "Zhang Kai released after two-day disappearance"

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.

Zhang Kai released after two-day disappearance
Distributed by ChinaAid, December, 2017 ...

China Aid Photo
HOHHOT, INNER MONGOLIA, CHINA – After spending two days in police custody, Christian human rights lawyer Zhang Kai was allowed to return to his parents’ home in China’s northern Inner Mongolia yesterday.

On the morning of Dec. 27, officials from various public security bureaus from across the country summoned him to his local police station ...

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,

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,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

I write these emails the week before you receive them, and last week when I was preparing the email, I didn't realize MLK Day was coming up so quickly. So this week I'm sharing something I meant to share last week -- a little belated MLK Day Celebration, if you will. It's a story I heard on a This American Life episode entitled "Kid Logic" on NPR the other week... and it stunned me with its beautiful "childish" simplicity. We have so much to learn from the child-like faith of our youngest brothers and sisters. Especially, I think, in the way they can sometimes so clearly see matters of justice and compassion and empathy and friendship and intuitively understand some of Jesus' most socially-upending messages.

"Well, it all began at Christmas two years ago when my daughter was four-years-old. And it was the first time that she had ever asked about what did this holiday mean. And so I explained to her that this was celebrating the birth of Jesus. And she want to know more about that, and we went out and bought a kid's Bible and had these readings at night. She loved them-- wanted to know everything about Jesus.

So we read a lot about his birth and about his teaching. And she would ask constantly what that phrase was. And I would explain to her that it was, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And we would talk about those old words and what that all meant.

And then one day we were driving past a big church, and out front was an enormous crucifix. She said, who is that? And I guess I'd never really told that part of the story, so I had to sort of, yeah, well, that's Jesus, and I forgot to tell you the ending. Yeah. Well, you know, he ran afoul of the Roman government. This message that he had was so radical and unnerving to the prevailing authorities of the time that they had to kill him. They came to the conclusion that he would have to die. That message was too troublesome.

It was about a month later after that Christmas. We'd gone through the whole story of what Christmas meant. It was mid-January, and her preschool celebrates the same holidays as the local schools, so Martin Luther King Day was off. So I knocked off work that day and I decided we'd play, and I take her out to lunch. And we were sitting in there and right on the table where we happened to plop down was the art section of the local newspaper.

And there, big his life, was a huge drawing by like a 10-year-old kid from the local schools of Martin Luther King. And she said, who's that? And I said, well, as it happens, that's Martin Luther King, and he's why you're not in school today. So we're celebrating his birthday. This is the day we celebrate his life. And she said, so who was he? I said, well, he was a preacher. And she looks up at me and goes, for Jesus? And I said yeah. Yeah, actually he was, but there was another thing that he was really famous for, which is that he had a message.

And you're trying to say this to a four-year-old. This is the first time they ever hear anything so you're just very careful about how you phrase everything. So I said, well, yeah, he was a preacher and he had a message. She said, what was his message? And I said, he said that you should treat everybody the same no matter what they look like. She thought about that for a minute, and she said, well, that's what Jesus said.

And I said, yeah, I guess it is. You know, I never thought of it that way, but yeah. And that is sort of like do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And she thought for a minute and looked at me and said, did they kill him, too?"

This week, please join me in praying for the following matters:

Getty Images Photo
NEPAL // Nepali Girl Banished for Menstruating Dies in Makeshift Shed
This Saturday, January 17 is the Women's March in Washington and in at least 57 other countries. While the phrase "women's rights" can be a contentious and hot-button phrase, there are many issues that we can all agree are wrong. Take the practice of 'Chhaupadi' in Nepal. Literally translated as "untouchable being," this outlawed practice still happens in rural areas with some estimates saying nearly 95 percent of women in certain rural areas practice it. Menstruating girls and women are shunned and forced to live in sheds during their period, unable to eat normal food, attend school, interact with other family members, or have access to the household. Last month, a 15-year-old girl died due to suffocation after she lit a fire in a poorly ventilated shed to stay warm while she went to sleep.
Please pray for this practice to become socially unacceptable. Pray for brave women and families to stand up against it, challenging the status quo and changing the social traditions. And for the women and girls who continue to practice this, please pray for their safety and protection.
Read more here ...

STORY OF HOPE

USA // Notorious Sex Trafficking Website Shuts Down its 'Adult Services' Section
In what is being seen as a major victory by anti-sex trafficking advocates, the notorious website backpage.com has officially shut down it's adult services ads. The Ringer recently called the site "a breeding ground for child rape" and for years, lawmakers and law enforcement agencies have been attempting to close it and go after the people who run it. Backpage is essentially a Craigslist-like online classifies site, but its critics say that its "adult services" allowed users to essentially solicit prostitution through thinly veiled ads all while the site made millions." According to the New York Times, the site "is implicated in almost three-quarters of the reports of child trafficking" in the country. After years of avoiding legal action, the pressure finally worked and this method for abusing children has been stopped. Praise God for this victory!
Please pray the legal action holds and that another alternative doesn't immediate spring up in its absence. And while this is a major anti-trafficking victory, there are still thousands of victims caught in trafficking rings. Please pray for their safety, freedom, restoration, and healing.
Read more here ...

DISPLACED NOT MISPLACED

MYANMAR // Rohingya Tell of Rape, Fire and Death in Myanmar
After a little-known insurgent group attacked 3 border posts in Rakhine State, Myanmar back in October, killing 9 police officers, the Myanmar government responded with massive force, sending an estimated 65,000 Rohingya fleeing across the border to Bangladesh. Human rights watch groups report "the military entered villages in northern Rakhine State shooting at random, set houses on fire with rocket launchers, and systematically raped girls and women. At least 1,500 homes were razed, according to an analysis of satellite images by Human Rights Watch." The Rohingya have been described as "the world's most friendless people," but we know they are seen, known, and loved by God. Please pray for these families as they try to flee violence. Pray for the children caught in the crossfire or those who have experienced police brutality and rape. Pray for organizations like Partner's Relief and Development and FortifyRights who seek to meet their needs and draw attention to their plight.
Pray for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her government to take notice and stop the mistreatment. The winner of a Nobel Peace Prize and long-time critic of Myanmar's brutality towards its many ethnic groups, she has been largely silent on the treatment of the Rohingya, much to the surprise of many supporters. Pray for the other nations of the world to know how to respond and turn these friendless people into supported people. Finally pray that in the midst of the abuse and mistreatment, the Rohingya do not become easy targets for radicalization.
Read more here ...

Praying with you,

Carrie

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153

* This is a phrase we have borrowed, with permission, from our friends at Partner's Relief and Development.


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