Sunday, April 30, 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: April 30, 2017

YOUNG ADULT VOLUNTEERS (YAVS) - Five core tenets — intentional Christian community, simple living, cross-cultural mission, leadership development and vocational discernment — resonate with participants at each of the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program’s 21 sites. To better show how YAVs engage in these principles, the YAV program has begun a series of Instagram account “takeovers,” where individual sites are allotted a 2-3-day period during which their images and stories will be featured at @yavprogram. This dedicated focus allows candidates, friends of the program and volunteers’ home communities to receive a moment-to-moment, day-to- day understanding of how YAVs live and work ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, April 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: April 29, 2017

LIBERIA - A Sierra Leone resident recently said that the drive from Kenema to the Liberian border is like riding six hours inside of a concrete mixer. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) delegates visiting the region agreed with this assessment after making the trip on the all-dirt road ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, April 28, 2017

In the News ... "Heisman Trophy winner is guest speaker at FCA event Sunday"

AP Photo by Kathy Willens
• Second Annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes Impact Awards to feature Tim Brown

Staff Report
Odessa American


MIDLAND, TEXAS - A Heisman Trophy winner will keynote the Second Annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes Impact Awards on Sunday at the Wagner Noel.

The event, board member and Vice Chair Blake Batte said, has a mission to spotlight high school student athletes who are living their lives well. “We want to honor some of these kids who are doing things right when so many of their peers are doing things wrong,” Batte 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.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: April 28, 2017

'LIVING, DYING, RISING' SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT - The Rev. Juan J. Sarmiento, associate director for mission with The Outreach Foundation, will preach opening worship and give the Tuesday morning plenary address at “Living, Dying, Rising,” the 2017 national gathering for 1001 New Worshiping Communities. ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

In the News ... “Midlander raises money for charity through her home-building guide"

Courtesy Photo
• Benefiting clean water, mosquito netting and more

Simone Jasper, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - Kristina Leigh Wiggins has guided many Texans through the home-building and remodeling processes. Now people from other areas can access her tips through a new book.

In Building Your Home: A Simple Guide to Making Good Decisions, Wiggins offers readers advice about planning their projects.

“They become overwhelmed with the stuff that goes on,” Wiggins said. “With a small house or big house, it doesn’t matter. It all has to do with decisions. They’ve got to get organized and turn it into something that’s manageable.”

Wiggins, 37, celebrated the book this month at a launch party, where she raised more than $20,000 for charity: water, a nonprofit that provides clean drinking water for people in remote areas of the world ...

 • 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.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: April 27, 2017

TIMES OF TRANSITION - You might say the transformation began with the pews.

St. John’s Presbyterian Church in San Francisco wanted to grow. So it hired the Rev. Theresa Cho as an associate pastor with the idea that her presence would help attract young Chinese families who were settling in the neighborhood. After three years, however, growth hadn’t happened in the way some people expected. ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

In the News ... “Salvation Army, Big Spring Center for Skilled Care hold fan drive"

• Seeking donations as well as applications to receive fans

Staff Report
Big Spring Herald

BIG SPRING, TEXAS - The Big Spring Salvation Army and the Big Spring Center for Skilled Care are teaming up to help our town’s older citizens beat the heat ...

 • read the rest of this BSH 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. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer ... TODAY

Hi Friends,

Thank you for joining me in prayer for the children of the world. If you can, we'd love to have you pray together with us this Wednesday - TODAY - at 11:30 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. The church is not currently offering lunch service. If you'd like to have lunch together, please bring a sack lunch and we can eat together.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

Last year we hosted the Heart Gallery, a collection of portraits of children in Texas foster care who are legally free for adoption. For 3 months the portraits hung in our church, and we each walked past them... taking in their faces, remembering their names, praying for families to step forward and claim them. I memorized their faces and their first names and tucked them into my heart, but I'm realizing only now that perhaps I didn't really see them.

Fast forward 6 months ... Every week in our church, high school students from across the street come over and file through a line and get 4 pieces of pizza, a cookie and a soda for 4 bucks. Last fall I helped serve pizza, and I tried to smile and say hello to each student that came through the line. Most came in clusters of their friends -- the football players and the artists and the girls trading makeup tips and the students with backpacks full of books. Most had managed to carve out some niche for themselves; some place they felt as though they might belong. So when the young woman came bouncing through the line, clearly by herself and disconnected from the other students, she stuck out to me. I paused a little longer and asked her name. "Kristi," she said, clutching a teddy bear to her chest. * For some reason, the memory of her standing there - smiling widely and holding that teddy bear - stuck with me.


Last week I opened a message from a local acquaintance who was asking others to pray with her for three foster children in our area waiting for adoptive families. Some of them have been waiting for more than 8 years, she wrote. I shook my head sadly and looked through the list of names: Simon, John, and Kristi. As soon as I read the name Kristi, my mind flashed back to last fall... the young woman smiling in the midst of the pizza-eating throng, innocently standing there clutching a teddy bear as her peers swirled around, most of them so focused on how to appear "cool" they wouldn't be caught dead with a teddy bear at school. There are thousands of people named Kristi, but her unmistakable bright smile came to mind. And I clicked on "Kristi" in the email.

A page opened, and I saw her staring back at me. The picture was several years outdated, and she no longer looks quite the same. Her hair is shorter now, and her face is older... 8 years is almost forever in the life of a child, after all. But as I saw the picture in the email, I realized that not only was this Kristi-who-wants-to-be-adopted the same as Kristi-who-eats-pizza-and-holds-teddy-bears, but she was also the child behind one of the faces that hung in our church for several months. I walked by her picture daily for months, and yet I didn't really see her. I didn't realize the first time I met her in the pizza line that I already knew something of her. In spite of the fact that her face hung on the walls of our church, she remained to me a "faceless foster child."

I'm grateful Kristi has found a safe place in our church. What started as weekly pizza lunches has turned into something more. She comes over every morning to get a soda and visit with our church receptionist before school starts, and in this budding relationship Kristi has found support, tenderness, and encouragement. But it is not lost on me that one of these children whose portraits hung on our church walls as we prayerfully asked what we can do to care for orphans is now walking around our building every weekday. I know God wanted me to put together all of these pieces last week. He wanted me to see the complete picture... that the portrait and the pizza girl and the child still longing for a family of her own and the girl who likes our soda fountain are all the same person. And He answered that prayerful questions about what we can do to care for orphans with a flesh and blood person walking around in our midst.

I still don't know what this means for me personally or for our church family, but I know God wanted us to see. My hurt hearts from the fact that it took me so long to really notice. But I see now. And I hope as you read this little story, you will open your heart to what God really wants you to see. It may be a child like Kristi. It may be something else entirely. But I truly believe He's asking us - inviting us - to really see.

This week, I'd like to invite you to pray for Kristi and the other children who wait for adoptive families, especially those who will soon be "emancipated." That's the official term used when a child ages out of the foster system and becomes a legal adult. Sadly, these children frequently do not have the social support networks and structures in place to succeed and often fall victim to trafficking or a life repeating the same cycles of poverty, abuse, and addiction that led them to be placed in state custody as children.

Take this story our church benevolence counselor shared this week:

I am currently assisting a different Midland High student, who, at 18, was simply abandoned by the system. She is working at a restaurant, trying to go to school, living in a motel-which consumes all of her income-getting off work at 2 AM, walking to her motel, then getting up about 6 AM to get ready to catch the EZ Rider to go to school. Her second semester grades have plummeted. Prior to being ousted-at-18, she was an excellent student. However, the foster care system did not prepare her for life on her own. She didn't know that she had an obligation to file her income taxes. So, she didn't. I'm helping her with that, too.

As we pray for children like Kristi, may God lead us to truly see, know, love, and serve them.

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13

Praying with you,

Carrie

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

* Name changed to protect her privacy.


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: April 26, 2017

PRESBYTERIAN PAN AMERICAN SCHOOL - Presbyterian Pan American School president Doug Dalglish remembers a trip he took in 2016 to Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary—when he experienced again how the school he serves is preparing young Christian leaders (grades 9-12) for the whole world ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer ... 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. The church is not currently offering lunch service. If you'd like to have lunch together, please bring a sack lunch and we can eat together.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

Last year we hosted the Heart Gallery, a collection of portraits of children in Texas foster care who are legally free for adoption. For 3 months the portraits hung in our church, and we each walked past them... taking in their faces, remembering their names, praying for families to step forward and claim them. I memorized their faces and their first names and tucked them into my heart, but I'm realizing only now that perhaps I didn't really see them.

Fast forward 6 months ... Every week in our church, high school students from across the street come over and file through a line and get 4 pieces of pizza, a cookie and a soda for 4 bucks. Last fall I helped serve pizza, and I tried to smile and say hello to each student that came through the line. Most came in clusters of their friends -- the football players and the artists and the girls trading makeup tips and the students with backpacks full of books. Most had managed to carve out some niche for themselves; some place they felt as though they might belong. So when the young woman came bouncing through the line, clearly by herself and disconnected from the other students, she stuck out to me. I paused a little longer and asked her name. "Kristi," she said, clutching a teddy bear to her chest. * For some reason, the memory of her standing there - smiling widely and holding that teddy bear - stuck with me.


Last week I opened a message from a local acquaintance who was asking others to pray with her for three foster children in our area waiting for adoptive families. Some of them have been waiting for more than 8 years, she wrote. I shook my head sadly and looked through the list of names: Simon, John, and Kristi. As soon as I read the name Kristi, my mind flashed back to last fall... the young woman smiling in the midst of the pizza-eating throng, innocently standing there clutching a teddy bear as her peers swirled around, most of them so focused on how to appear "cool" they wouldn't be caught dead with a teddy bear at school. There are thousands of people named Kristi, but her unmistakable bright smile came to mind. And I clicked on "Kristi" in the email.

A page opened, and I saw her staring back at me. The picture was several years outdated, and she no longer looks quite the same. Her hair is shorter now, and her face is older... 8 years is almost forever in the life of a child, after all. But as I saw the picture in the email, I realized that not only was this Kristi-who-wants-to-be-adopted the same as Kristi-who-eats-pizza-and-holds-teddy-bears, but she was also the child behind one of the faces that hung in our church for several months. I walked by her picture daily for months, and yet I didn't really see her. I didn't realize the first time I met her in the pizza line that I already knew something of her. In spite of the fact that her face hung on the walls of our church, she remained to me a "faceless foster child."

I'm grateful Kristi has found a safe place in our church. What started as weekly pizza lunches has turned into something more. She comes over every morning to get a soda and visit with our church receptionist before school starts, and in this budding relationship Kristi has found support, tenderness, and encouragement. But it is not lost on me that one of these children whose portraits hung on our church walls as we prayerfully asked what we can do to care for orphans is now walking around our building every weekday. I know God wanted me to put together all of these pieces last week. He wanted me to see the complete picture... that the portrait and the pizza girl and the child still longing for a family of her own and the girl who likes our soda fountain are all the same person. And He answered that prayerful questions about what we can do to care for orphans with a flesh and blood person walking around in our midst.

I still don't know what this means for me personally or for our church family, but I know God wanted us to see. My hurt hearts from the fact that it took me so long to really notice. But I see now. And I hope as you read this little story, you will open your heart to what God really wants you to see. It may be a child like Kristi. It may be something else entirely. But I truly believe He's asking us - inviting us - to really see.

This week, I'd like to invite you to pray for Kristi and the other children who wait for adoptive families, especially those who will soon be "emancipated." That's the official term used when a child ages out of the foster system and becomes a legal adult. Sadly, these children frequently do not have the social support networks and structures in place to succeed and often fall victim to trafficking or a life repeating the same cycles of poverty, abuse, and addiction that led them to be placed in state custody as children.

Take this story our church benevolence counselor shared this week:

I am currently assisting a different Midland High student, who, at 18, was simply abandoned by the system. She is working at a restaurant, trying to go to school, living in a motel-which consumes all of her income-getting off work at 2 AM, walking to her motel, then getting up about 6 AM to get ready to catch the EZ Rider to go to school. Her second semester grades have plummeted. Prior to being ousted-at-18, she was an excellent student. However, the foster care system did not prepare her for life on her own. She didn't know that she had an obligation to file her income taxes. So, she didn't. I'm helping her with that, too.

As we pray for children like Kristi, may God lead us to truly see, know, love, and serve them.

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13

Praying with you,

Carrie

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

* Name changed to protect her privacy.


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 ... “Midland College honor society holding 'Suitcase Drive'"

• Effort to benefit High Sky Children's Ranch

Terry Gilmour, Professor of Government, Phi Theta Kappa Advisor
Midland College

MIDLAND, TEXAS - We have an awesome opportunity to help children of our community in a very tangible way! For our Phi Theta Kappa College Project, we have elected to host a suitcase drive benefiting the children of High Sky Children's Ranch.

High Sky Children's Ranch is dedicated to healing abused children and promoting family wholeness within the foster care system ...

 • read the rest of this Midland College 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: April 25, 2017

SIERRA LEONE and LIBERIA - The air is thick and humid on a typical day in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Driving along the streets of this seaside community, you’ll mostly find young people peddling their wares to the motorists as the temperatures hover in the mid-90s. They’re selling everything from fruit drinks and bananas to bicycle tires and shoes. Women balance trays of neatly stacked fruits, nuts and eggs as they make their way along the sidewalks dotted with small businesses. Everyone is seeking to make a living, side-by-side every day. ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, April 24, 2017

From @chinaaid : "Christians detained for 15 days for attending 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.

Christians detained for 15 days for attending Bible study
Distributed by ChinaAid, April, 2017 ...
CAA Photo

LANGZHONG, SICHUAN, CHINA – More than 20 police officers from China’s southwestern Sichuan Province recently detained 15 Christians for attending a Bible study ...

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. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer ... 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. The church is not currently offering lunch service. If you'd like to have lunch together, please bring a sack lunch and we can eat together.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

Last year we hosted the Heart Gallery, a collection of portraits of children in Texas foster care who are legally free for adoption. For 3 months the portraits hung in our church, and we each walked past them... taking in their faces, remembering their names, praying for families to step forward and claim them. I memorized their faces and their first names and tucked them into my heart, but I'm realizing only now that perhaps I didn't really see them.

Fast forward 6 months ... Every week in our church, high school students from across the street come over and file through a line and get 4 pieces of pizza, a cookie and a soda for 4 bucks. Last fall I helped serve pizza, and I tried to smile and say hello to each student that came through the line. Most came in clusters of their friends -- the football players and the artists and the girls trading makeup tips and the students with backpacks full of books. Most had managed to carve out some niche for themselves; some place they felt as though they might belong. So when the young woman came bouncing through the line, clearly by herself and disconnected from the other students, she stuck out to me. I paused a little longer and asked her name. "Kristi," she said, clutching a teddy bear to her chest. * For some reason, the memory of her standing there - smiling widely and holding that teddy bear - stuck with me.


Last week I opened a message from a local acquaintance who was asking others to pray with her for three foster children in our area waiting for adoptive families. Some of them have been waiting for more than 8 years, she wrote. I shook my head sadly and looked through the list of names: Simon, John, and Kristi. As soon as I read the name Kristi, my mind flashed back to last fall... the young woman smiling in the midst of the pizza-eating throng, innocently standing there clutching a teddy bear as her peers swirled around, most of them so focused on how to appear "cool" they wouldn't be caught dead with a teddy bear at school. There are thousands of people named Kristi, but her unmistakable bright smile came to mind. And I clicked on "Kristi" in the email.

A page opened, and I saw her staring back at me. The picture was several years outdated, and she no longer looks quite the same. Her hair is shorter now, and her face is older... 8 years is almost forever in the life of a child, after all. But as I saw the picture in the email, I realized that not only was this Kristi-who-wants-to-be-adopted the same as Kristi-who-eats-pizza-and-holds-teddy-bears, but she was also the child behind one of the faces that hung in our church for several months. I walked by her picture daily for months, and yet I didn't really see her. I didn't realize the first time I met her in the pizza line that I already knew something of her. In spite of the fact that her face hung on the walls of our church, she remained to me a "faceless foster child."

I'm grateful Kristi has found a safe place in our church. What started as weekly pizza lunches has turned into something more. She comes over every morning to get a soda and visit with our church receptionist before school starts, and in this budding relationship Kristi has found support, tenderness, and encouragement. But it is not lost on me that one of these children whose portraits hung on our church walls as we prayerfully asked what we can do to care for orphans is now walking around our building every weekday. I know God wanted me to put together all of these pieces last week. He wanted me to see the complete picture... that the portrait and the pizza girl and the child still longing for a family of her own and the girl who likes our soda fountain are all the same person. And He answered that prayerful questions about what we can do to care for orphans with a flesh and blood person walking around in our midst.

I still don't know what this means for me personally or for our church family, but I know God wanted us to see. My hurt hearts from the fact that it took me so long to really notice. But I see now. And I hope as you read this little story, you will open your heart to what God really wants you to see. It may be a child like Kristi. It may be something else entirely. But I truly believe He's asking us - inviting us - to really see.

This week, I'd like to invite you to pray for Kristi and the other children who wait for adoptive families, especially those who will soon be "emancipated." That's the official term used when a child ages out of the foster system and becomes a legal adult. Sadly, these children frequently do not have the social support networks and structures in place to succeed and often fall victim to trafficking or a life repeating the same cycles of poverty, abuse, and addiction that led them to be placed in state custody as children.

Take this story our church benevolence counselor shared this week:

I am currently assisting a different Midland High student, who, at 18, was simply abandoned by the system. She is working at a restaurant, trying to go to school, living in a motel-which consumes all of her income-getting off work at 2 AM, walking to her motel, then getting up about 6 AM to get ready to catch the EZ Rider to go to school. Her second semester grades have plummeted. Prior to being ousted-at-18, she was an excellent student. However, the foster care system did not prepare her for life on her own. She didn't know that she had an obligation to file her income taxes. So, she didn't. I'm helping her with that, too.

As we pray for children like Kristi, may God lead us to truly see, know, love, and serve them.

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13

Praying with you,

Carrie

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

* Name changed to protect her privacy.


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 ... "McWilliams overcomes double tragedies"

OA Photo by Mark Sterkel
• FBC pastor, here since 2004, pursued accounting career until joining clergy

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - The Rev. Byron Van McWilliams went through tough times on his way to the ministry.

The 54-year-old native East Texan lost his father to a heart attack when he was 6 and his older brother to a tractor accident at 15. “People began to talk about father being in Heaven, so I started thinking about what Heaven was at a young age and came to Christ myself soon after,” 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.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: April 24, 2017

MINUTE FOR MISSION: ARMENIAN GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE DAY - The men were taken first, then the women and children were brutalized. Witnesses saw the Euphrates run red with blood, and women plunged into the river to escape the terrors of the desert march. Armenian villages throughout the Ottoman territories of 1915 were emptied in a systematic campaign to demean and destroy innocent victims. Although modern-day Turkey actively denies this genocide, historians have gathered undisputable evidence of at least a million Armenians killed and a million more dispersed from their ancient homeland ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, April 23, 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: April 23, 2017

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - As Presbyterian World Mission celebrates its 180th anniversary this year, it’s worth noting that well over 200 years ago Presbyterian Women were organizing around mission, both domestically and internationally. In fact, these “hidden figures” first put a missionary in the domestic field in 1824 ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

In the News ... "'Lady in Blue Day' Mass set for May 21"

Courtesy Photo
• Known for her evangelization of the Jumanos

Staff Report
Odessa American


SAN ANGELO, TEXAS - The 9th annual Sor María de Jesús de Ágreda/Lady in Blue celebration will be observed at 6:30 p.m. May 21, at the Christ the King Retreat Center in San Angelo. Bishop Michael J. Sis will celebrate Mass in the retreat center chapel ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

Friday, April 21, 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: April 21, 2017

"HIDDEN FIGURES" - As Presbyterian World Mission celebrates its 180th anniversary this year, it’s worth noting that well over 200 years ago Presbyterian Women were organizing around mission, both domestically and internationally. In fact, these “hidden figures” first put a missionary in the domestic field in 1824 ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

In the News ... "Losing weight a spiritual issue"

• Ministers say religious discipline often applicable to health concerns

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - Everything people do has a spiritual aspect, ministers say, including weight control.

The Revs. Steven Adair, Terry Easley, Russell Nebhut and Jackie Brem say there’s nothing easy about losing weight and keeping it off, but asking God for resolve is a good way to start ...

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: April 19, 2017


ZAMBIA - At Chasefu Theological College in Zambia, future pastors learn to tend the soil as well as nurture Christian faith.

“Chasefu’s introducing sustainable agriculture courses that will help seminary students better care for their families when they become pastors,” says Charles Johnson, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-worker who teaches the agriculture classes. He added that they will also be able to teach communities techniques to boost crop yields and reduce hunger ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Invitation to Prayer from Faces of Children ... TODAY

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer ... TODAY

Hi Friends,

Thank you for joining me in prayer for the children of the world. If you can, we'd love to have you pray together with us this Wednesday - TODAY - at 11:30 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. The church is not currently offering lunch service. If you'd like to have lunch together, please bring a sack lunch and we can eat together.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

It's been a few weeks since the story first broke, but the first-hand accounts of witnesses and survivors of the chemical attacks in Syria still seem fresh in my mind. I didn't watch the videos showing the aftermath, but even the still images won't leave me... As I tuck my little girls into bed, I think of little bodies wrapped in white cloth. When I see the picture of my brother-in-law holding his new son, I think about the picture of the grief-stricken Syrian father, clutching the lifeless bodies of his twin babies to his chest.

This world is full of too much sorrow. Too much despair. Too much hopelessness. I'm writing this note as we begin the Holy Week walk to the cross. We waved our palms and said 'hosanna' last Sunday, but now we are on the eve of a betrayal; on the eve of despair and hopelessness. And it seems fitting because this is the world we live in... teetering on the edge of despair and hopelessness with every headline. I'm grateful for the journey to the cross. I'm grateful it doesn't side-step the sorrow, the ache, the seeming defeat at the hands of a world awash in anger, hatred, and violence. We live in a day when leaders from all corners of the world beat drums of war and we pray they lead to paths of peace. In the midst of all the chaos and fear and uncertainty, I'm grateful we know the end of this story. He is risen! And the hope and promise those three words contain changes everything.

This week, I'd like to invite you to continue praying for the children of Syria ... just when it seems things can't get worse, it seems they do. As we pray for them, please also join me in praying for:

NIGERIA // Three years after Chibok, Boko Haram deploys children as suicide bombers
Three years after more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped from their dormitory by the terrorist group Boko Haram, another sinister threat to the region's children is growing dramatically - they are being made to kill themselves and others with bombs. A total of 27 children have died so far this year after detonating bombs strapped to their bodies that they were ordered to carry into markets, checkpoints and other public places. The number is almost the same as the total who died over the whole of last year, according to a new report by Unicef. Most of the time, girls are used for these attacks, though girls and boys walking alone - even very young ones - are now regarded with suspicion.
Learn more here ...
Pray for these children who fall victim to this terrorist group in such a horrific way. Pray for their families and communities as they grapple with attack-after-attack and try to find a way. Join me in asking God to protect other innocent children from being forced to end their lives and the lives of others.

AP Photo by Muhammad Sajjad
AFGHANISTAN // Polio vaccine programs resume even as distrust for foreign-run health teams remains high
After being denied access by the Taliban for 15 months, health workers this week resumed a vaccination campaign against polio in parts of Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban block on polio vaccinations left an estimated 170,000 children without inoculation, endangering a campaign that has almost eradicated the disease in Afghanistan. Days before the Taliban allowed vaccinators access, a 14-month-old girl in the Afghan province of Kunduz was found to have been paralysed by polio. Until it was blocked, leaving about 170,000 children in Kunduz province without inoculations, the scheme had almost eradicated the disabling viral disease in Afghanistan. But polio can spread quickly, with even a single case potentially enough to widen the disease's footprint. When the girl in Kunduz's Dasht-e-Archi district became the third child this year diagnosed with polio, Taliban commanders relented.
Learn more here ...
Please pray for these children who have been uprooted from stable, safe, and loving foster care homes and returned to government orphanages. Pray that the government recognizes that such broadly-applied regulations do not take into consideration the best interest of many children, especially medically fragile children. And pray for the directors and staff of these foster care programs who lost -- overnight -- children they've cared for and loved for many years. They are discouraged and uncertain what to do next.

STR/Reuters Photo
VIETNAM // Saving Hanoi's street children from abuse, hunger and self-destruction
As night falls in Hanoi, the crowds thronging around the Hoan Kiem Lake begin to dissipate. Do Duy Vi scans the crowds of teenagers hunting Pokémon on their phones, women dancing and street vendors hawking the last of their wares. "You learn to look for the signs," says Vi. "Sometimes they'll be dirty, or carrying bags of clothes. Sometimes you can tell from the way they sit." Vi is making his nightly search for destitute children sleeping on the streets of Vietnam's capital city. "They're seen as the lowest of the low. In Vietnamese they're called 'tre bui doi' - 'children of the dust'," he says. Vi, who's 29, is the chief outreach officer for Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, an Australian-founded NGO that has been working with street children in Vietnam since 2004. He has been in the job for seven years. "I used to live on the streets myself, when I was 14 and 15," he says.
Learn more here ...
Praise God that all around the world, in pockets and corners we've perhaps never heard of, there are people fighting for justice!

Praying with you,

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.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: April 19, 2017

EQUATORIAL GUINEA. AFRICA - As the plates were being cleared after dinner, we remained seated in the living room of the senator who was hosting us for the night. We were at his home in eastern Equatorial Guinea after having visited several congregations of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Equatorial Guinea and the first of three community health centers built by the church’s Women’s Association with gracious assistance from a Presbyterian Women Thank Offering ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

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. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer ... 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. The church is not currently offering lunch service. If you'd like to have lunch together, please bring a sack lunch and we can eat together.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

It's been a few weeks since the story first broke, but the first-hand accounts of witnesses and survivors of the chemical attacks in Syria still seem fresh in my mind. I didn't watch the videos showing the aftermath, but even the still images won't leave me... As I tuck my little girls into bed, I think of little bodies wrapped in white cloth. When I see the picture of my brother-in-law holding his new son, I think about the picture of the grief-stricken Syrian father, clutching the lifeless bodies of his twin babies to his chest.

This world is full of too much sorrow. Too much despair. Too much hopelessness. I'm writing this note as we begin the Holy Week walk to the cross. We waved our palms and said 'hosanna' last Sunday, but now we are on the eve of a betrayal; on the eve of despair and hopelessness. And it seems fitting because this is the world we live in... teetering on the edge of despair and hopelessness with every headline. I'm grateful for the journey to the cross. I'm grateful it doesn't side-step the sorrow, the ache, the seeming defeat at the hands of a world awash in anger, hatred, and violence. We live in a day when leaders from all corners of the world beat drums of war and we pray they lead to paths of peace. In the midst of all the chaos and fear and uncertainty, I'm grateful we know the end of this story. He is risen! And the hope and promise those three words contain changes everything.

This week, I'd like to invite you to continue praying for the children of Syria ... just when it seems things can't get worse, it seems they do. As we pray for them, please also join me in praying for:

NIGERIA // Three years after Chibok, Boko Haram deploys children as suicide bombers
Three years after more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped from their dormitory by the terrorist group Boko Haram, another sinister threat to the region's children is growing dramatically - they are being made to kill themselves and others with bombs. A total of 27 children have died so far this year after detonating bombs strapped to their bodies that they were ordered to carry into markets, checkpoints and other public places. The number is almost the same as the total who died over the whole of last year, according to a new report by Unicef. Most of the time, girls are used for these attacks, though girls and boys walking alone - even very young ones - are now regarded with suspicion.
Learn more here ...
Pray for these children who fall victim to this terrorist group in such a horrific way. Pray for their families and communities as they grapple with attack-after-attack and try to find a way. Join me in asking God to protect other innocent children from being forced to end their lives and the lives of others.

AP Photo by Muhammad Sajjad
AFGHANISTAN // Polio vaccine programs resume even as distrust for foreign-run health teams remains high
After being denied access by the Taliban for 15 months, health workers this week resumed a vaccination campaign against polio in parts of Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban block on polio vaccinations left an estimated 170,000 children without inoculation, endangering a campaign that has almost eradicated the disease in Afghanistan. Days before the Taliban allowed vaccinators access, a 14-month-old girl in the Afghan province of Kunduz was found to have been paralysed by polio. Until it was blocked, leaving about 170,000 children in Kunduz province without inoculations, the scheme had almost eradicated the disabling viral disease in Afghanistan. But polio can spread quickly, with even a single case potentially enough to widen the disease's footprint. When the girl in Kunduz's Dasht-e-Archi district became the third child this year diagnosed with polio, Taliban commanders relented.
Learn more here ...
Please pray for these children who have been uprooted from stable, safe, and loving foster care homes and returned to government orphanages. Pray that the government recognizes that such broadly-applied regulations do not take into consideration the best interest of many children, especially medically fragile children. And pray for the directors and staff of these foster care programs who lost -- overnight -- children they've cared for and loved for many years. They are discouraged and uncertain what to do next.

STR/Reuters Photo
VIETNAM // Saving Hanoi's street children from abuse, hunger and self-destruction
As night falls in Hanoi, the crowds thronging around the Hoan Kiem Lake begin to dissipate. Do Duy Vi scans the crowds of teenagers hunting Pokémon on their phones, women dancing and street vendors hawking the last of their wares. "You learn to look for the signs," says Vi. "Sometimes they'll be dirty, or carrying bags of clothes. Sometimes you can tell from the way they sit." Vi is making his nightly search for destitute children sleeping on the streets of Vietnam's capital city. "They're seen as the lowest of the low. In Vietnamese they're called 'tre bui doi' - 'children of the dust'," he says. Vi, who's 29, is the chief outreach officer for Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, an Australian-founded NGO that has been working with street children in Vietnam since 2004. He has been in the job for seven years. "I used to live on the streets myself, when I was 14 and 15," he says.
Learn more here ...
Praise God that all around the world, in pockets and corners we've perhaps never heard of, there are people fighting for justice!

Praying with you,

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.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: April 18, 2017

FELLOWSHIP COMMUNITY NATIONAL GATHERING - From Alex Absalom’s opening assertion that discipleship and mission are completely intertwined, to the Rev. Dr. M. Craig Barnes’s closing assurance that Jesus has given his disciples—then and now—the power to be his witnesses, the speakers on the opening day of The Fellowship Community National Gathering charged over 200 church leaders to more intentionally “live on mission” to make missional disciples ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, April 17, 2017

From @chinaaid : "Christian handed 10-month sentence for selling religious books"

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.

Christian handed 10-month sentence for selling religious books
Distributed by ChinaAid, March, 2017 ...

GUANGZHOU, GUANGDONG, CHINA – A court in China’s southern Guangdong Province sentenced a Christian who had printed Christian literature to 10 months in prison and handed him a fine on Monday ...

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. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer ... 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. The church is not currently offering lunch service. If you'd like to have lunch together, please bring a sack lunch and we can eat together.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

It's been a few weeks since the story first broke, but the first-hand accounts of witnesses and survivors of the chemical attacks in Syria still seem fresh in my mind. I didn't watch the videos showing the aftermath, but even the still images won't leave me... As I tuck my little girls into bed, I think of little bodies wrapped in white cloth. When I see the picture of my brother-in-law holding his new son, I think about the picture of the grief-stricken Syrian father, clutching the lifeless bodies of his twin babies to his chest.

This world is full of too much sorrow. Too much despair. Too much hopelessness. I'm writing this note as we begin the Holy Week walk to the cross. We waved our palms and said 'hosanna' last Sunday, but now we are on the eve of a betrayal; on the eve of despair and hopelessness. And it seems fitting because this is the world we live in... teetering on the edge of despair and hopelessness with every headline. I'm grateful for the journey to the cross. I'm grateful it doesn't side-step the sorrow, the ache, the seeming defeat at the hands of a world awash in anger, hatred, and violence. We live in a day when leaders from all corners of the world beat drums of war and we pray they lead to paths of peace. In the midst of all the chaos and fear and uncertainty, I'm grateful we know the end of this story. He is risen! And the hope and promise those three words contain changes everything.

This week, I'd like to invite you to continue praying for the children of Syria ... just when it seems things can't get worse, it seems they do. As we pray for them, please also join me in praying for:

NIGERIA // Three years after Chibok, Boko Haram deploys children as suicide bombers
Three years after more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped from their dormitory by the terrorist group Boko Haram, another sinister threat to the region's children is growing dramatically - they are being made to kill themselves and others with bombs. A total of 27 children have died so far this year after detonating bombs strapped to their bodies that they were ordered to carry into markets, checkpoints and other public places. The number is almost the same as the total who died over the whole of last year, according to a new report by Unicef. Most of the time, girls are used for these attacks, though girls and boys walking alone - even very young ones - are now regarded with suspicion.
Learn more here ...
Pray for these children who fall victim to this terrorist group in such a horrific way. Pray for their families and communities as they grapple with attack-after-attack and try to find a way. Join me in asking God to protect other innocent children from being forced to end their lives and the lives of others.

AP Photo by Muhammad Sajjad
AFGHANISTAN // Polio vaccine programs resume even as distrust for foreign-run health teams remains high
After being denied access by the Taliban for 15 months, health workers this week resumed a vaccination campaign against polio in parts of Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban block on polio vaccinations left an estimated 170,000 children without inoculation, endangering a campaign that has almost eradicated the disease in Afghanistan. Days before the Taliban allowed vaccinators access, a 14-month-old girl in the Afghan province of Kunduz was found to have been paralysed by polio. Until it was blocked, leaving about 170,000 children in Kunduz province without inoculations, the scheme had almost eradicated the disabling viral disease in Afghanistan. But polio can spread quickly, with even a single case potentially enough to widen the disease's footprint. When the girl in Kunduz's Dasht-e-Archi district became the third child this year diagnosed with polio, Taliban commanders relented.
Learn more here ...
Please pray for these children who have been uprooted from stable, safe, and loving foster care homes and returned to government orphanages. Pray that the government recognizes that such broadly-applied regulations do not take into consideration the best interest of many children, especially medically fragile children. And pray for the directors and staff of these foster care programs who lost -- overnight -- children they've cared for and loved for many years. They are discouraged and uncertain what to do next.

STR/Reuters Photo
VIETNAM // Saving Hanoi's street children from abuse, hunger and self-destruction
As night falls in Hanoi, the crowds thronging around the Hoan Kiem Lake begin to dissipate. Do Duy Vi scans the crowds of teenagers hunting Pokémon on their phones, women dancing and street vendors hawking the last of their wares. "You learn to look for the signs," says Vi. "Sometimes they'll be dirty, or carrying bags of clothes. Sometimes you can tell from the way they sit." Vi is making his nightly search for destitute children sleeping on the streets of Vietnam's capital city. "They're seen as the lowest of the low. In Vietnamese they're called 'tre bui doi' - 'children of the dust'," he says. Vi, who's 29, is the chief outreach officer for Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, an Australian-founded NGO that has been working with street children in Vietnam since 2004. He has been in the job for seven years. "I used to live on the streets myself, when I was 14 and 15," he says.
Learn more here ...
Praise God that all around the world, in pockets and corners we've perhaps never heard of, there are people fighting for justice!

Praying with you,

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