Friday, September 22, 2017

In the News ... "Hurricane Harvey relief fundraiser by Coahoma ISD tops $2,200"

Courtesy Photo
• Effort also built character through teamwork and individual responsibility

Staff Report
KOSA-TV


COAHOMA, TEXAS - [Last] Friday night in Bulldog stadium, the Coahoma High School cheerleading squad and members of the varsity football team displayed a ceremonial $1,800 check to symbolize funds raised last week by students and staff to help with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. By the end of the game, donations had topped $2,200 ...

read the rest of this KOSA report 


In the News ... "Gardendale Fall Festival set for Sept. 23"

OA Photo by Jacob Ford
“It’s something for the Gardendale area where neighbors come and meet neighbors.”

Staff Report
Odessa American


ODESSA/GARDENDALE, TEXAS - The First Southern Baptist Church at 6849 E. Goldenrod Drive, in Gardendale will stage its fourth annual Gardendale Fall Festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 23 with 23 vendors, a Bounce House for children, a climbing wall for youths and other features ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On God

God is Goodness. He can give good, but cannot need or get it. In that sense all His love is, as it were, bottomlessly selfless by very definition; it has everything to give and nothing to receive. Hence, if God sometimes speaks as though the Impassible could suffer passion and eternal fullness could be in want, and in want of those beings on whom it bestows all from their bare existence upwards, this can mean only, if it means anything intelligible by us, that God of mere miracle has made Himself able so to hunger and created in Himself that which we can satisfy. If He requires us, the requirement is of His own choosing.

It is a poor thing to strike our colours to God when the ship is going down under us; a poor thing to come to Him as a last resort, to offer up “our own” when it is no longer worth keeping. If God were proud He would hardly have us on such terms: but He is not proud, He stoops to conquer, He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him.

From The Problem of Pain
Compiled in Words to Live By

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: September 22, 2017

JOURNEY TO FAITH - Joanna Shelton was about 5 years old when her grandmother Evie Shelton began to talk to her about Japan. Evie was born in 1889 in Oakland, California, but at the age of 3 months traveled to Japan with her parents, Presbyterian missionaries Tom and Emma Alexander ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

FBR Report: "Burma Army Raids Kasung Village"

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) and the Middle East. 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 Graphic
Burma Army Raids Kasung Village

On August 11th the Burma Army launched an unprovoked attack against civilians in Kasung Village, west of Myitkyina, Kachin State. At 1100 Burma Army soldiers began to mortar the village. At 1130 the indirect fire ceased and 200 Burma Army ground troops raided the village, spraying rifle fire at fleeing villagers. Kasung Village has no active Kachin Independence Army (KIA) installations nor military significance ...

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 ... "Big Spring Salvation Army raising money for disaster relief"

Courtesy Photo
TODAY, from 4:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Staff Report
KWES-TV

BIG SPRING, TEXAS - The Big Spring branch of the Salvation Army is hoping to raise money for disaster relief and all you need to do is bowl a few frames.

"Bowl for Disaster Relief" will take place on Thursday at the Big Spring Bowl-A-Rama.

If you're looking to have some fun and give back to a good cause, you can put in by yourself for $10 or bring the whole family in on the fun for $40.

It starts at 4 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m.

In the News ... "Catholic Charities, churches donating goods to help hurricane relief"

KWES Photo
• The call to action didn’t need a push

Eric Onyechefule, Reporter
KWES-TV

ODESSA, TEXAS - Two churches coming together as one.

“It demonstrates a spirit of charity and solidarity as fellow human beings,” said Bishop Michael Sis of San Angelo.

Parishioners from St. Anthony’s and St. Joseph’s in Odessa loaded up a trailer of much needed supplies for those who evacuated the Gulf Coast and ended up in Austin ...

 • read/watch the rest of this KWES report ...

In the News ... "St Vincent De Paul Food Pantry Looking For A New Home"

KMID Photo
• Hopeful a door will open

Haylee Brooks, Reporter
KMID-TV


ODESSA, TEXAS - A Midland food pantry is racing the clock looking for a new facility.

The building, St Vincent De Paul Food Pantry, is currently housed in will be torn down come mid-October.

The fate of the food pantry is currently up in the air ...

read/watch the rest of this KMID report

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

TO MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE: On how to rehearse for death and how to diminish fear.

17 June 1963

Pain is terrible, but surely you need not have fear as well? Can you not see death as the friend and deliverer? It means stripping off that body which is tormenting you: like taking off a hair- shirt or getting out of a dungeon. What is there to be afraid of? You have long attempted (and none of us does more) a Christian life. Your sins are confessed and absolved. Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.

Remember, though we struggle against things because we are afraid of them, it is often the other way round—we get afraid be- cause we struggle. Are you struggling, resisting? Don’t you think Our Lord says to you ‘Peace, child, peace. Relax. Let go. Underneath are the everlasting arms. Let go, I will catch you. Do you trust me so little?’

Of course, this may not be the end. Then make it a good rehearsal.

Yours (and like you a tired traveller near the journey’s end) Jack

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in Yours, Jack

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: September 21, 2017

SYNOD SCHOOL 2017 - Synod School, a ministry of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, recently drew a record 686 participants to the Buena Vista University campus. Synod School takes place every summer, as the only remaining synod school of its type within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

WAW Wednesday ... "Celebrate!"


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


WAW Wednesday: "Celebrate"

Connecting the people of God
     with causes that matter to God
          in ways that honor God

When I mention our name, “The Word at Work”, to someone new I can immediately read it on their face -- whether they are puzzled, or whether they get it. Often I have to break it down for them:

THE WORD ... The one and only ... The Word of God ... The Bible.

AT WORK ... Faith in motion ... Walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

Or as the Bible puts it:

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
James 1:22

The impact of this ministry in the short span of its existence is evidence of God’s favor. He has given us three things to focus on represented by three interlocking rings what you see in our newly redesigned logo. (Shout out to Jonathan Rollins for his great work!)

I think this is the first time for this to be published or publicly explained. There is a definite connection between our logo and our freshly crafted mission statement.

1. Connecting the people of God:

A big part of what we do is create partnerships between churches and organizations in the U.S. with churches and organizations in Belize. We emphasize partnership in Kingdom work; mutuality in ministry. I often say that mission is not a one-way stream that flows downhill from me to bless someone less fortunate. Mission does not originate with me. It comes from God and it is a stream that flows both ways. In God’s eyes we are all poor and needy -- we just suffer with different kinds of poverty be it material, spiritual, emotional, social. So whether from the U.S. or Belize, when we walk together in mission, God heals us both and He gets all the credit!

2. Causes that matter to God:

We work where God works, in places where God’s heart compels him to be most active. Those places aren’t hard-to-find. The word of God gives us the map. In Isaiah 57:15, God tells us that the main place he dwells is with the downtrodden, with the broken, with the needy. So he calls us to join him by serving in these segments of society; with the materially poor, orphans, hospitals and clinics, hospice; with those who are most vulnerable especially children, elderly, women and girls who are sexually abused or trafficked; with those who are listed in Matthew 25 as naked or hungry or those in prison.

I believe the reason we get a front row seat to so many miracles is because we are active where the Spirit of God is actively healing, restoring, setting things right.

3. Ways that honor God:

This has not always been the truth for us ... for me. My motivations were more selfish at first (doing things for my self esteem or the affirmation of others) and operating out of ignorance; trying to reinvent missions on my own. Perhaps we’ve made every mistake there is to make. Though regrettable, it now gives us a place from which we can instruct others in how to go about missions in a manner that is more helpful than hurtful.

(Pause here for a plug…..Go buy the book When Helping Hurts. How I wish I had read this in our early years.)

By and by, we learned that charitable efforts, when misapplied, can cause more harm than good; they create dependency, lower self-esteem, an internal poverty of being.

We stay mindful of the Iron Rule “Never do for others with the can do for themselves.” We concentrate on empowering rather than replacing or displacing. We’ve learned that in the absence of transparency and accountability, corruption can flourish. By and by, God is graciously making lemonade out of our lemons.


Last minute update from Belize ...

Tomorrow, September 21, our friends will celebrate Belize Independence Day! Chepito has been in Valley of Peace keeping up with all of today's festivities ...


Blessings,
Tim Tam
#wearethewordatwork




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

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


In the News ... "Rev. Bill Libby sees himself in Burns documentary"

Courtesy Photo
"Hey, there you are.”

By Brian Bethel, Contributor
Abilene Reporter-News

ABILENE, TEXAS - In the opening minutes of documentarian Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War,” the Rev. Bill Libby found a mirror into the past.

Watching the documentary with a friend, Libby, who served as a United Methodist U.S. Army chaplain with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam, saw himself, standing before a row of M-16 rifles wedged into the earth and crowned with the helmets of fellow paratroopers killed in battle near Hue, Vietnam, on May 31, 1968 ...

read the rest of this ARN report ...

McMurry University Photo

In the News ... "Family Shelter seeking donations"


• 44-bed facility for victims of family violence and their children

Staff Report
San Angelo Standard Times


SAN ANGELO, TEXAS - The San Angelo Family Shelter is seeking donations of household paper and plastic items for its emergency facility ...

read the rest of this SAST report

In the News ... "Southeast Texas still needs help"

KWES Photo
• A small donation can go a long way

By Phoenix O'Connor, MMJ Reporter
KWES-TV

ODESSA/MIDLAND, TEXAS - It has only been a few weeks since the devastation of Hurricane Harvey hit Southeast Texas.

From the Panhandle and all throughout the Permian Basin, more than 51 Rotary Clubs are collecting donations and money to help our Southeast Texas neighbors. Mark Lowe, President-elect of the Midland Rotary Club, said, "West Texas has shown to be a very giving, very compassionate area of the country."

Craig Stoker of the West Texas Food Bank wants to remind people that the food bank is in it for the long-haul ...

 • read/watch the rest of this KWES 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,

If you're in town and free, please join us to pray together on Wednesday - TODAY - at 11:00 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas.

Please note the new time. We are trying this for one semester so that we have less time conflict with the new women's Bible study that is starting on Wednesdays at 11:30.

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



He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

Dear Intercessors,

This week is full of heavy news. Perhaps nothing as headline-grabbing as a hurricane, but as I sat down to think about what has transpired the last 7 days, I found my attention turned towards the hidden and pervasive challenges facing our world. I keep picturing humanity walking through a swamp, legs sinking in, making each step more difficult than the last. For so many communities around the world, life must feel like that sort of slow slog through muck and grime. Whether its a swamp of addiction, global indifference, or the long-simmering effects of poverty, children struggle to find their way to solid ground. This week, even as we continue to pray for the survivors of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, will you also join me in praying for some of the corners and situations in the world where people's pain and sorrow go far more unnoticed and disregarded?

USA // Seven Days of Heroin

cincinnati.com Image
In one week in one region of the USA, more than 200 heroin users were jailed, 180 overdosed, 18 died and 15 babies were born addicted to heroin. Heroin and synthetic opiates kill 1 American every 16 minutes. The statistics are mind-boggling, but a team of reporters in central Ohio did a phenomenal job of making the impossible-to-understand deeply personal, chronicling one week in the lives of people caught up in the crisis. From addicts to law enforcement to foster families and prisons, they chronicled the high human and social cost of this epidemic. See the compelling report here ...

Please pray this week especially for the children who are born addicted to heroin. Pray for those children who are raised in chaotic and dangerous environments. Pray for more families who will step into fostering and adopting these children and hopefully help change the trajectory of their future.

Bangladesh and Myanmar // Rohingya Babies Dying

Associated Press Photo by Dar Yasin
More than 400 babies have been born in the no man's land between the borders of Bangladesh and Myanmar in the past 15 days as 400,000 Rohingya people have fled from the violence, house burnings and gunfire in Rakhine state. The Rohingya are trapped. Myanmar's military has blamed insurgents for the latest round of violence. The UN has called the situation a "humanitarian disaster" and aid agencies are overwhelmed. About 80% of those fleeing are women and children - and there are babies being born along the way. Caught between two countries - and welcome by neither - Suraiya Sultan, 25, is one of those new mothers. She was waiting in a 500-yard-long strip of mud when she went into labour. As her contractions increased, Border Guard Bangladesh(BGB) took her on to a boat, where she gave birth to her daughter, Ayesha, under a makeshift sari canopy. Sick and exhausted, mother and baby were taken to the Nayapara camp to seek medical assistance. Camp officer Mohd Mominul Haq said they had received many others in a similar position and that their condition was "critical". "We are trying our best to help them, but the situation is beyond our capacity," he said. Mothers have died during childbirth; others gave birth only to watch helplessly as their newborns died from sickness and poor camp conditions." Read more here ...

There are really no words to express the depth of sorrow God's heart must feels at the treatment of his children. Please pray for these mothers and fathers who are watching their newborn babies die. May we let our hearts weep with those who weep and mourn the loss of each precious life. Please pray for supernatural protection for these mothers and children, and may those who seek to help them be strengthened, empowered and have their resources miraculously multiplied before their very eyes.

GLOBAL // The First 1,000 Days

Guardian Image
We are aware of the importance of healthy food and clean water in the growth and development of children, but if you're like me, you might tend to think that even if a child has been deprived of such things, any negative impact can be remedied if we can correct the problem. But that isn't always the case. The first 1,000 days of a child's life can set a lifelong trajectory. "Good nutrition, healthcare and sanitation are crucial to a child's early development. Without these, a child's brain won't develop properly. They will have a lower IQ and they will grow up shorter than they should, a condition known as stunting." Learn more and watch a brief video here ...

Without God's healing hand at work, these problems can feel overwhelming and impossible to correct. Please pray for God to heal children from the impacts of stunting and prevent what could be generational cycles of poor education and continued poverty. Pray for groups working to provide clean water and nutritious food; pray for God to help them steward their resources wisely in order to make the most meaningful impact.

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

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On God

As a great Christian writer (George MacDonald) pointed out, every father is pleased at the baby’s first attempt to walk: no father would be satisfied with anything less than a firm, free, manly walk in a grown-up son. In the same way, he said, “God is easy to please, but hard to satisfy.”

I think every one who has some vague belief in God, until he becomes a Christian, has the idea of an exam or of a bargain in his mind. The first result of real Christianity is to blow that idea into bits. When they find it blown into bits, some people think this means that Christianity is a failure and give up. They seem to imagine that God is very simple-minded! In fact, of course, He knows all about this. One of the very things Christianity was designed to do was to blow this idea to bits. God has been waiting for the moment at which you discover that there is no question of earning a pass mark in this exam or putting Him in your debt.

Then comes another discovery. Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. So that when we talk of a man doing anything for God or giving anything to God, I will tell you what it is really like. It is like a small child going to his father and saying, “Daddy, give me sixpence to buy you a birthday present.” Of course, the father does, and he is pleased with the child’s present. It is all very nice and proper, but only an idiot would think that the father is sixpence to the good on the transaction. When a man has made these two discoveries God can really get to work. It is after this that real life begins.

From Mere Christianity
Compiled in Words to Live By

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: September 20, 2017

YOUNG ADULT VOLUNTEERS - Like many high school graduates, Mindy Vande Brake was searching for purpose in her life. The St. Cloud, Minnesota, native went to college close to home, but couldn’t settle on a major that she found exciting. She decided to get some work experience and found herself in the restaurant industry ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Partners Blog: "Relentlessly seeking the least of these"

Steve and Oddny Gumaer started Partners Relief and Development in response to the needs of refugees and displaced people from Burma, and now in the Middle East, as well. Their mission is to demonstrate, through holistic action, God’s love to children and communities made vulnerable by war in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and other conflict zones.

\
PR&D Photo
Relentlessly seeking the least of these

Even against the backdrop of flattened houses and 122-degree heat, our fearless leader Steve and our local staff member have been relentlessly seeking the least of these. On Mount Sinjar, the site of the Sinjar Massacre of 2014, they met 30 Yazidi families who have not been visited by anyone except Partners and our friends Free Burma Rangers.
Two of the girls they met could use some Good News right now ...

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. 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,

If you're in town and free, please join us to pray together on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas.

Please note the new time. We are trying this for one semester so that we have less time conflict with the new women's Bible study that is starting on Wednesdays at 11:30.

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



He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

Dear Intercessors,

This week is full of heavy news. Perhaps nothing as headline-grabbing as a hurricane, but as I sat down to think about what has transpired the last 7 days, I found my attention turned towards the hidden and pervasive challenges facing our world. I keep picturing humanity walking through a swamp, legs sinking in, making each step more difficult than the last. For so many communities around the world, life must feel like that sort of slow slog through muck and grime. Whether its a swamp of addiction, global indifference, or the long-simmering effects of poverty, children struggle to find their way to solid ground. This week, even as we continue to pray for the survivors of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, will you also join me in praying for some of the corners and situations in the world where people's pain and sorrow go far more unnoticed and disregarded?

USA // Seven Days of Heroin

cincinnati.com Image
In one week in one region of the USA, more than 200 heroin users were jailed, 180 overdosed, 18 died and 15 babies were born addicted to heroin. Heroin and synthetic opiates kill 1 American every 16 minutes. The statistics are mind-boggling, but a team of reporters in central Ohio did a phenomenal job of making the impossible-to-understand deeply personal, chronicling one week in the lives of people caught up in the crisis. From addicts to law enforcement to foster families and prisons, they chronicled the high human and social cost of this epidemic. See the compelling report here ...

Please pray this week especially for the children who are born addicted to heroin. Pray for those children who are raised in chaotic and dangerous environments. Pray for more families who will step into fostering and adopting these children and hopefully help change the trajectory of their future.

Bangladesh and Myanmar // Rohingya Babies Dying

Associated Press Photo by Dar Yasin
More than 400 babies have been born in the no man's land between the borders of Bangladesh and Myanmar in the past 15 days as 400,000 Rohingya people have fled from the violence, house burnings and gunfire in Rakhine state. The Rohingya are trapped. Myanmar's military has blamed insurgents for the latest round of violence. The UN has called the situation a "humanitarian disaster" and aid agencies are overwhelmed. About 80% of those fleeing are women and children - and there are babies being born along the way. Caught between two countries - and welcome by neither - Suraiya Sultan, 25, is one of those new mothers. She was waiting in a 500-yard-long strip of mud when she went into labour. As her contractions increased, Border Guard Bangladesh(BGB) took her on to a boat, where she gave birth to her daughter, Ayesha, under a makeshift sari canopy. Sick and exhausted, mother and baby were taken to the Nayapara camp to seek medical assistance. Camp officer Mohd Mominul Haq said they had received many others in a similar position and that their condition was "critical". "We are trying our best to help them, but the situation is beyond our capacity," he said. Mothers have died during childbirth; others gave birth only to watch helplessly as their newborns died from sickness and poor camp conditions." Read more here ...

There are really no words to express the depth of sorrow God's heart must feels at the treatment of his children. Please pray for these mothers and fathers who are watching their newborn babies die. May we let our hearts weep with those who weep and mourn the loss of each precious life. Please pray for supernatural protection for these mothers and children, and may those who seek to help them be strengthened, empowered and have their resources miraculously multiplied before their very eyes.

GLOBAL // The First 1,000 Days

Guardian Image
We are aware of the importance of healthy food and clean water in the growth and development of children, but if you're like me, you might tend to think that even if a child has been deprived of such things, any negative impact can be remedied if we can correct the problem. But that isn't always the case. The first 1,000 days of a child's life can set a lifelong trajectory. "Good nutrition, healthcare and sanitation are crucial to a child's early development. Without these, a child's brain won't develop properly. They will have a lower IQ and they will grow up shorter than they should, a condition known as stunting." Learn more and watch a brief video here ...

Without God's healing hand at work, these problems can feel overwhelming and impossible to correct. Please pray for God to heal children from the impacts of stunting and prevent what could be generational cycles of poor education and continued poverty. Pray for groups working to provide clean water and nutritious food; pray for God to help them steward their resources wisely in order to make the most meaningful impact.

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

In the News ... "Newly approved Goodwill location not welcomed by residents"

KWES Photo
• Worried about traffic, property values

By Phoenix O'Connor, MMJ Reporter
KWES-TV

MIDLAND, TEXAS - A new Goodwill retail store in Midland is not getting such a warm welcome from their future neighbors. But after a unanimous 6-0 vote from the Midland City Council, the store will open as planned.

Mike Murphy, a close resident of the new location who supports the opening, said, "I drop clothes off there pretty frequently and it’s just closer for me to go. I guess you could say."

But not everyone in the neighborhood is having that spirit ...

 • read/watch the rest of this KWES report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

[A] long valley opened ahead and great snow-mountains, now much nearer, stood up against the sky. “Further up and further in,” cried Jewel and instantly they were off again. They were out of Narnia now and up into the Western Wild which neither Tirian nor Peter nor even the Eagle had ever seen before. But the Lord Digory and the Lady Polly had. “Do you remember? Do you remember?” they said—and said it in steady voices too, without panting, though the whole party was now running faster than an arrow flies.

“What, Lord?” said Tirian. “Is it then true, as stories tell, that you two journeyed here on the very day the world was made?”

“Yes,” said Digory, “and it seems to me as if it were only yesterday.”

“And on a flying horse?” asked Tirian. “Is that part true?”

“Certainly,” said Digory. But the dogs barked, “Faster, faster!” So they ran faster and faster till it was more like flying than running, and even the Eagle overhead was going no faster than they. And they went through winding valley after winding valley and up the steep sides of hills and, faster than ever, down the other side, following the river and sometimes crossing it and skimming across mountain lakes as if they were living speedboats, till at last at the far end of one long lake which looked as blue as a turquoise, they saw a smooth green hill. Its sides were as steep as the sides of a pyramid and round the very top of it ran a green wall: but above the wall rose the branches of trees whose leaves looked like silver and their fruit like gold.

“Further up and further in!” roared the Unicorn, and no one held back. They charged straight at the foot of the hill and then found themselves running up it almost as water from a broken wave runs up a rock out at the point of some bay. Though the slope was nearly as steep as the roof of a house and the grass was smooth as a bowling green, no one slipped. Only when they had reached the very top did they slow up; that was because they found themselves facing great golden gates. And for a moment none of them was bold enough to try if the gates would open. They all felt just as they had felt about the fruit—“Dare we? Is it right? Can it be meant for us?”

But while they were standing thus a great horn, wonderfully loud and sweet, blew from somewhere inside that walled garden and the gates swung open.

From The Last Battle
Compiled in A Year with Aslan

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: September 19, 2017

THEOLOGICAL CONVERSATIONS - In the seventh installment of Theological Conversations for 2017, the Theology, Formation and Evangelism ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) presents Seeking a Correctable Conscience by John L. Thompson of Fuller Theological Seminary ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, September 18, 2017

From @chinaaid : "Christian human rights lawyer forced to confess to crimes"

The China Aid Association is a non-profit Christian organization - based in Midland, Texas - with a mission to uncover and reveal the truth about religious persecution in China, focusing especially on the unofficial church. They do this, they explain in their website, by exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused and equipping the saints to advance the kingdom of God throughout China.

CAA Photo
Christian human rights lawyer forced to confess to crimes
Distributed by ChinaAid, August, 2017 ...

CHANGSHA, HUNAN, CHINA – A Christian human rights lawyer was forced to confess to a state subversion charge yesterday and indict himself as someone who spread so-called “rumors” about the torture of another human rights attorney ...

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,

If you're in town and free, please join us to pray together on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas.

Please note the new time. We are trying this for one semester so that we have less time conflict with the new women's Bible study that is starting on Wednesdays at 11:30.

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



He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

Dear Intercessors,

This week is full of heavy news. Perhaps nothing as headline-grabbing as a hurricane, but as I sat down to think about what has transpired the last 7 days, I found my attention turned towards the hidden and pervasive challenges facing our world. I keep picturing humanity walking through a swamp, legs sinking in, making each step more difficult than the last. For so many communities around the world, life must feel like that sort of slow slog through muck and grime. Whether its a swamp of addiction, global indifference, or the long-simmering effects of poverty, children struggle to find their way to solid ground. This week, even as we continue to pray for the survivors of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, will you also join me in praying for some of the corners and situations in the world where people's pain and sorrow go far more unnoticed and disregarded?

USA // Seven Days of Heroin

cincinnati.com Image
In one week in one region of the USA, more than 200 heroin users were jailed, 180 overdosed, 18 died and 15 babies were born addicted to heroin. Heroin and synthetic opiates kill 1 American every 16 minutes. The statistics are mind-boggling, but a team of reporters in central Ohio did a phenomenal job of making the impossible-to-understand deeply personal, chronicling one week in the lives of people caught up in the crisis. From addicts to law enforcement to foster families and prisons, they chronicled the high human and social cost of this epidemic. See the compelling report here ...

Please pray this week especially for the children who are born addicted to heroin. Pray for those children who are raised in chaotic and dangerous environments. Pray for more families who will step into fostering and adopting these children and hopefully help change the trajectory of their future.

Bangladesh and Myanmar // Rohingya Babies Dying

Associated Press Photo by Dar Yasin
More than 400 babies have been born in the no man's land between the borders of Bangladesh and Myanmar in the past 15 days as 400,000 Rohingya people have fled from the violence, house burnings and gunfire in Rakhine state. The Rohingya are trapped. Myanmar's military has blamed insurgents for the latest round of violence. The UN has called the situation a "humanitarian disaster" and aid agencies are overwhelmed. About 80% of those fleeing are women and children - and there are babies being born along the way. Caught between two countries - and welcome by neither - Suraiya Sultan, 25, is one of those new mothers. She was waiting in a 500-yard-long strip of mud when she went into labour. As her contractions increased, Border Guard Bangladesh(BGB) took her on to a boat, where she gave birth to her daughter, Ayesha, under a makeshift sari canopy. Sick and exhausted, mother and baby were taken to the Nayapara camp to seek medical assistance. Camp officer Mohd Mominul Haq said they had received many others in a similar position and that their condition was "critical". "We are trying our best to help them, but the situation is beyond our capacity," he said. Mothers have died during childbirth; others gave birth only to watch helplessly as their newborns died from sickness and poor camp conditions." Read more here ...

There are really no words to express the depth of sorrow God's heart must feels at the treatment of his children. Please pray for these mothers and fathers who are watching their newborn babies die. May we let our hearts weep with those who weep and mourn the loss of each precious life. Please pray for supernatural protection for these mothers and children, and may those who seek to help them be strengthened, empowered and have their resources miraculously multiplied before their very eyes.

GLOBAL // The First 1,000 Days

Guardian Image
We are aware of the importance of healthy food and clean water in the growth and development of children, but if you're like me, you might tend to think that even if a child has been deprived of such things, any negative impact can be remedied if we can correct the problem. But that isn't always the case. The first 1,000 days of a child's life can set a lifelong trajectory. "Good nutrition, healthcare and sanitation are crucial to a child's early development. Without these, a child's brain won't develop properly. They will have a lower IQ and they will grow up shorter than they should, a condition known as stunting." Learn more and watch a brief video here ...

Without God's healing hand at work, these problems can feel overwhelming and impossible to correct. Please pray for God to heal children from the impacts of stunting and prevent what could be generational cycles of poor education and continued poverty. Pray for groups working to provide clean water and nutritious food; pray for God to help them steward their resources wisely in order to make the most meaningful impact.

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

In the News ... "LOOKING UP: What's the whole story behind your favorite verse?"

SAST Photo
• Who is God talking to?

By Kyle Hooks, Special Contributor
San Angelo Standard Times


SAN ANGELO, TEXAS - There are some Bible verses everyone knows.

John 3:16, for instance, everyone knows. Jeremiah 29:11 is another ...

read the rest of this SAST report

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

When I attempted . . . . to describe our spiritual longings, I was omitting one of their most curious characteristics. We usually notice it just as the moment of vision dies away, as the music ends, or as the land- scape loses the celestial light. . . . . For a few minutes we have had the illusion of belonging to that world. Now we wake to find that it is no such thing. We have been mere spectators. Beauty has smiled, but not to welcome us; her face was turned in our direction, but not to see us. We have not been accepted, welcomed, or taken into the dance. We may go when we please, we may stay if we can: “Nobody marks us.” A scientist may reply that since most of the things we call beautiful are inanimate, it is not very surprising that they take no notice of us. That, of course, is true. It is not the physical objects that I am speaking of, but that indescribable something of which they become for a moment the messengers. And part of the bitterness which mixes with the sweetness of that message is due to the fact that it so seldom seems to be a message intended for us, but rather something we have overheard. By bitterness I mean pain, not resentment. We should hardly dare to ask that any notice be taken of ourselves. But we pine. The sense that in this universe we are treated as strangers, the longing to be acknowledged, to meet with some response, to bridge some chasm that yawns between us and reality, is part of our inconsolable secret. And surely, from this point of view, the promise of glory, in the sense described, becomes highly relevant to our deep desire. For glory means good report with God, acceptance by God, response, acknowledgement, and welcome into the heart of things. The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

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: September 18, 2017

NEW IMMIGRANT CLERGYWOMEN'S LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE - Recent immigrants who serve as clergywomen found helpful guidance and encouraging contacts at the New Immigrant Clergywomen’s Leadership Institute last month in Daytona Beach, Florida. Female clergy from around the country gathered to collaborate and develop leadership skills to better serve their congregations and the church. Developed by PC(USA) Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries (RE&WM), Leadership Institutes are designed to help racial-ethnic, immigrant and women leaders strengthen skills and relationships, learn new ideas, be encouraged to expand personal comfort zones and receive inspiration, guidance and support from national church leaders and executives ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On Freedom (and Predestination)

Heaven will solve our problems, but not, I think, by showing us subtle reconciliations between all our apparently contradictory notions. The notions will all be knocked from under our feet. We shall see that there never was any problem.

From A Grief Observed
Compiled in Words to Live By