Friday, January 19, 2018

From @FWMission ...Friday Story: "How one wheelchair would help over 7,000 people"

Founded in 2001, Free Wheelchair Mission is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing wheelchairs for the impoverished disabled in developing nations. Headquartered in Irvine, California, FWM works around the world in partnership with a vast network of humanitarian, faith-based and government organizations, sending wheelchairs to hundreds of thousands of disabled people, providing not only the gift of mobility, but of dignity, independence, and hope.



FWM Photo
Friday Story: "How one wheelchair would help over 7,000 people"

Francis Mugwanya, founder and director of Father’s Heart Mobility Ministry in Uganda, recently visited our office and shared this holiday message of gratitude to you ...

read the rest of this story ...

In the News ... "Abilene's retiring herald, Bill Brant: Count on what he said"

ARN Photo by Ronald W. Erdrich
• Realized many believers didn't know how to talk about their faith

By Loretta Fulton, Reporter
Abilene Reporter-News

ABILENE, TEXAS - With a background in radio and communications, it’s not surprising that Bill Brant realized the organization he has led since 2007 needed a new name, one that would connect better the younger generations.

“Herald of Truth” suited the radio, print and television ministry just fine when it was started in Abilene in 1952 as an outreach of Highland Avenue Church of Christ ...

read the rest of this ARN report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat [“is truly hidden”]—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.

From The Weight of Glory
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.

Photo by Randy Hobson
Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 19, 2018

PC(USA)'S NATIONAL OFFICES - At a recent community reception in his honor, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson II pledged that “we’re moving out of [the Presbyterian Center] because there’s a need to get out into the community to make partners so people’s lives are better” ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

FBR Report: "A Celebration of Thanks for 20 Years of the Hard Way"

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 Photo
A Celebration of Thanks for 20 Years of the Hard Way

Dear friends,

Twenty years ago, as thousands of Karen people fled attacks of the Burma Army, the first FBR mission was launched: Dave Eubank went to the front with a few backpacks of medicine and met thousands of people fleeing from Burma; in that group was Eliya a Karen medic. Eliya joined Dave and together they found and cared for families who had just run from their homes and were hiding in dense jungle, with survival their first and immediate hope. Some were shot or had stepped on landmines and many were sick. Dave and Eliya coming through the jungle with medicine, guidance and prayer provided those people they met with help, hope and love. And so the first FBR mission happened, a small spot of light in a dark situation – but the light is not overcome by the darkness ...

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

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



Free Burma Ranger, the film ...

This film, currently in production, chronicles the journey of an American family bringing aid to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people caught in Burma's war zones, a bloody conflict that is one of the longest-running civil war's in the world.

Learn more about the film, and hour YOUR donation can help complete its production ...

In the News ... "Abilene churches to miss pastors bound for new pastures"

ARN Photo by Nellie Doneva
“We are a healthy, vibrant, growing community.”

By Loretta Fulton, Reporter
Abilene Reporter-News

ABILENE, TEXAS - Two of Abilene’s higher profile churches, First Christian and Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, will be searching for new ministers.

Don Wilson, pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in downtown Abilene since 2008, left at the end of November for First Christian Church in McKinney.

Luke Back, rector at Heavenly Rest since 2010, will leave at the end of February to become rector of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, Illinois, a part of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago ...

read the rest of this ARN report ...

ARN Photo by Ronald W. Erdrich

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

Screwtape offers ways to cleverly exploit the Patient’s dry spell:

But there is an even better way of exploiting the trough; I mean through the patient’s own thoughts about it. As always, the first step is to keep knowledge out of his mind. Do not let him suspect the law of undulation. Let him assume that the first ardours of his conversion might have been expected to last, and ought to have lasted, forever, and that his present dryness is an equally permanent condition. Having once got this misconception well fixed in his head, you may then proceed in various ways. It all depends on whether your man is of the desponding type who can be tempted to despair, or of the wishful-thinking type who can be assured that all is well. The former type is getting rare among the humans. If your patient should happen to belong to it, everything is easy. You have only got to keep him out of the way of experienced Christians (an easy task nowadays), to direct his attention to the appropriate passages in scripture, and then to set him to work on the desperate design of recovering his old feelings by sheer will-power, and the game is ours. If he is of the more hopeful type your job is to make him acquiesce in the present low temperature of his spirit and gradually become content with it, persuading himself that it is not so low after all. In a week or two you will be making him doubt whether the first days of his Christianity were not, perhaps, a little excessive. Talk to him about ‘moderation in all things’. If you can once get him to the point of thinking that ‘religion is all very well up to a point’, you can feel quite happy about his soul. A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all—and more amusing.

From The Screwtape Letters
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.

Courtesy Photo
Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 18, 2018

JINISHIAN MEMORIAL PROGRAM - Longtime partners, supporters, current and former staff, and donors gathered recently to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Jinishian Memorial Program ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

In the News ... “Midland Ministerial Alliance elects new president"


• Alliance meets second Tuesday of the month

Staff Report
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - The Rev. Jorge Romero, senior pastor of The Gathering, a Church of the Nazarene congregation, is assuming the presidency of the Midland Ministerial Alliance. He is replacing the Rev. Larry Long, senior pastor of Fellowship Community Church ...

 • read the rest of this MRT 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,

We will be meeting this Wednesday - TODAY - at 11:00 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. I hope you can join us!

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



The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:9-10

Dear Intercessors,

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed... even the forgotten and left-behind children in Myanmar. The Lord is a stronghold in times of trouble... even as the ground gives way in mudslides. The Lord doesn't forsake those who seek him... even little girls married-to-soon to abusive men who lock them away and treat them as objects.

Can I be honest and say that even typing that out feels a little preposterous and un-accepting of reality. Sort of like I've put my fingers in my ears and started shouting, "I can't hear you!" in the face of news I don't want to get. Do the forgotten children in Myanmar know that the Lord is a refuge? Do children who lost their homes, pets, and maybe even parents in the California mudslides this week trust that the Lord is a stronghold when the ground is quite literally giving way? Do little sub-Saharan African girls trust that God hasn't forsaken them even when it seems everyone else has? Most certainly, some do not.

And we know that children continue to die daily of starvation and lack of medicine. Children loose everything in natural disasters. Little girls loose their innocence at the hands of older men. And yet... And yet...

We trust that God is still a refuge. Still a stronghold. Still refuses to ever forsake His children. Even when circumstances don't make sense and we can't see the light of day, He is there. Let's cling stubbornly to the truth of His goodness and presence in this broken and fallen world.

This week, I'd like to invite you to join me in praying for the following matters:

AP Photo by Dar Yasin
MYANMAR // Rohingya children left stranded amid garbage and muck in Myanmar

"Tens of thousands of Rohingya children have been left "trapped and almost forgotten" in remote, squalid camps and isolated villages in Myanmar's Rakhine state, the UN has said. Stringent restrictions on the movement of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine, which have worsened amid the increased violence over the past 15 months, have left an estimated 60,000 children stranded, in need of aid, and suffering from "high levels of toxic fear", said Unicef, the UN children's agency. The UN's top human rights official has described Myanmar's treatment of its Rohingya population as a 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing.'" Read more here ...

The situation in Myanmar and neighboring Bangladesh only seems to grow more and more desperate for the Rohingya people, especially children. Please pray for children struggling under "toxic fear," deplorable living conditions, and hunger and disease.

Reuters Photo by Pius Sawa
UGANDA // African refugees help girls learn to avoid abuse, early marriage
"In western Uganda's Kyangwali refugee settlement, Tamari Mutesi teaches tailoring to young women who do not go to school. The initiative she works with aims to combat violence against young single mothers and other refugee girls, including those mistreated by their husbands, by helping them gain economic independence." ... "According to UNESCO, many African girls only receive five years of schooling, while 9 million girls between the ages of six and 11 will never go to school at all in sub-Saharan Africa." Read more here ...

Praise God for these efforts to empower girls to protect them from abuse and violence. Please pray for the 9 million girls who remain uneducated in sub-Saharan Africa... education and safety go hand-in-hand, so when girls are deprived of an education they also are often deprived of safety. Pray for God's protection and for more opportunities to arise.

SBCFD Photo by Mike Eliason
CALIFORNIA // Natural Disaster Victims and Surivors
"For children in southern California, the last few weeks have been a traumatic mix of raging wildfires and harrowing mudslides. As of Thursday, Jan 11, afternoon, "at least 17 people are dead, another eight are missing and over two dozen are injured in California from weather-related incidents, according to Santa Barbara County officials. The southern part of the state has been drenched with heavy rain just weeks after several fires scorched the area. Flash flooding, debris flow and mudslides are punishing the communities hit hard by the Thomas and La Tuna fires, prompting "dozens and dozens" of rescues on the ground, a spokesperson from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department told ABC News." Read more here ...

Please pray for children who have lost their homes and family members to the natural disasters of the last few weeks. Like any natural disaster, the impact of the residual fear and trauma caused be these events can be life-long and life-altering. Please pray for healthy coping methods and strong community and national support.

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

TO ARTHUR GREEVES, who had just ended an unhealthy friendship with a boy: On doing the right thing; and on the blessing of friendship.

29 December 1935

As regards your news—sympathy and congratulations. Sympathy on the wrench of parting and the gap it will leave: congratulations on having done the right thing and made a sacrifice. The chief consolation at such times, I think, is that the result, however unpleasant, must be a kind of relief after the period of saying ‘Shall I really have to—no I won’t—and yet perhaps I’d better.’ There is always some peace in having submitted to the right. Don’t spoil it by worrying about the results, if you can help it. It is not your business to succeed (no one can be sure of that) but to do right: when you have done so, the rest lies with God. . . .

I don’t think you exaggerate at all in your account of how it feels. After all—though our novels now ignore it—friendship is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief happiness of life. If I had to give a piece of advice to a young man about a place to live, I think I should say, ‘sacrifice almost everything to live where you can be near your friends.’ I know I am very fortunate in that respect, and you much less so. But even for me, it would make a great difference if you (and one or two others) lived in Oxford.

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.

Photo by Jeff Lawrence
Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 17, 2018

BIBLE EXPLORATIONS - The announcement of a baby’s birth can tell you a lot about the parents.

Techy parents send out emails. Photographer parents send beautiful pictures. Artistic parents send out creative announcements. Traditionalist parents send out formal announcements on card stock. Royals like Prince William and Kate Middleton waited a few months before landing their son, Prince George, on the cover of celebrity gossip glossy Vanity Fair a few years ago.

Then there’s Jesus ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Partners Blog: "And it's another day we can’t presume to have"

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.

Partners Photo
And it's another day we can’t presume to have

And it’s another day we can’t presume to have
because it’s far too easy to die out there ...

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,

We will be meeting this Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. I hope you can join us!

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



The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:9-10

Dear Intercessors,

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed... even the forgotten and left-behind children in Myanmar. The Lord is a stronghold in times of trouble... even as the ground gives way in mudslides. The Lord doesn't forsake those who seek him... even little girls married-to-soon to abusive men who lock them away and treat them as objects.

Can I be honest and say that even typing that out feels a little preposterous and un-accepting of reality. Sort of like I've put my fingers in my ears and started shouting, "I can't hear you!" in the face of news I don't want to get. Do the forgotten children in Myanmar know that the Lord is a refuge? Do children who lost their homes, pets, and maybe even parents in the California mudslides this week trust that the Lord is a stronghold when the ground is quite literally giving way? Do little sub-Saharan African girls trust that God hasn't forsaken them even when it seems everyone else has? Most certainly, some do not.

And we know that children continue to die daily of starvation and lack of medicine. Children loose everything in natural disasters. Little girls loose their innocence at the hands of older men. And yet... And yet...

We trust that God is still a refuge. Still a stronghold. Still refuses to ever forsake His children. Even when circumstances don't make sense and we can't see the light of day, He is there. Let's cling stubbornly to the truth of His goodness and presence in this broken and fallen world.

This week, I'd like to invite you to join me in praying for the following matters:

AP Photo by Dar Yasin
MYANMAR // Rohingya children left stranded amid garbage and muck in Myanmar

"Tens of thousands of Rohingya children have been left "trapped and almost forgotten" in remote, squalid camps and isolated villages in Myanmar's Rakhine state, the UN has said. Stringent restrictions on the movement of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine, which have worsened amid the increased violence over the past 15 months, have left an estimated 60,000 children stranded, in need of aid, and suffering from "high levels of toxic fear", said Unicef, the UN children's agency. The UN's top human rights official has described Myanmar's treatment of its Rohingya population as a 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing.'" Read more here ...

The situation in Myanmar and neighboring Bangladesh only seems to grow more and more desperate for the Rohingya people, especially children. Please pray for children struggling under "toxic fear," deplorable living conditions, and hunger and disease.

Reuters Photo by Pius Sawa
UGANDA // African refugees help girls learn to avoid abuse, early marriage
"In western Uganda's Kyangwali refugee settlement, Tamari Mutesi teaches tailoring to young women who do not go to school. The initiative she works with aims to combat violence against young single mothers and other refugee girls, including those mistreated by their husbands, by helping them gain economic independence." ... "According to UNESCO, many African girls only receive five years of schooling, while 9 million girls between the ages of six and 11 will never go to school at all in sub-Saharan Africa." Read more here ...

Praise God for these efforts to empower girls to protect them from abuse and violence. Please pray for the 9 million girls who remain uneducated in sub-Saharan Africa... education and safety go hand-in-hand, so when girls are deprived of an education they also are often deprived of safety. Pray for God's protection and for more opportunities to arise.

SBCFD Photo by Mike Eliason
CALIFORNIA // Natural Disaster Victims and Surivors
"For children in southern California, the last few weeks have been a traumatic mix of raging wildfires and harrowing mudslides. As of Thursday, Jan 11, afternoon, "at least 17 people are dead, another eight are missing and over two dozen are injured in California from weather-related incidents, according to Santa Barbara County officials. The southern part of the state has been drenched with heavy rain just weeks after several fires scorched the area. Flash flooding, debris flow and mudslides are punishing the communities hit hard by the Thomas and La Tuna fires, prompting "dozens and dozens" of rescues on the ground, a spokesperson from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department told ABC News." Read more here ...

Please pray for children who have lost their homes and family members to the natural disasters of the last few weeks. Like any natural disaster, the impact of the residual fear and trauma caused be these events can be life-long and life-altering. Please pray for healthy coping methods and strong community and national support.

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 ... "Church adds science to Christianity"

OA Photo by Mark Sterkel
• Lay speaker says spiritual, physical worlds ‘not necessarily separate’

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - Recently celebrating its 20th anniversary in Odessa, the Unity of West Texas Church is following the 128-year-old principles of its Missouri founders to promote a consanguinity of Christian and scientific understanding.

Noting that the Unity Movement “is not Christian science,” lay speaker Janie Garms said it doesn’t ask its members to leave the church they’re from. “We’re supportive of all religions,” she said ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

If the world exists not chiefly that we may love God but that God may love us, yet that very fact, on a deeper level, is so for our sakes. If He who in Himself can lack nothing chooses to need us, it is because we need to be needed. Before and behind all the relations of God to man, as we now learn them from Christianity, yawns the abyss of a Divine act of pure giving—the election of man, from nonentity, to be the beloved of God, and therefore (in some sense) the needed and desired of God, who but for that act needs and desires nothing, since He eternally has, and is, all goodness. And that act is for our sakes. It is good for us to know love; and best for us to know the love of the best object, God. But to know it as a love in which we were primarily the wooers and God the wooed, in which we sought and He was found, in which His conformity to our needs, not ours to His, came first, would be to know it in a form false to the very nature of things. For we are only creatures: our role must always be that of patient to agent, female to male, mirror to light, echo to voice. Our highest activity must be response, not initiative. To experience the love of God in a true, and not an illusory form, is therefore to experience it as our surrender to His demand, our conformity to His desire: to experience it in the opposite way is, as it were, a solecism against the grammar of being.

From The Problem of Pain
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.

Courtesy Photo
Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 16, 2018

SYNOD OF THE COVENANT - For nearly three decades the Synod of the Covenant (Michigan and Ohio) has participated in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Mission to the USA program. The synod began participating in the effort, which links congregations in the synod with mission partners, in 1989 ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, January 15, 2018

From @chinaaid : "Wife of imprisoned writer and rights defender flees China with her son"

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.

ChinaAid Photo
Wife of imprisoned writer and rights defender flees China with her son
Distributed by ChinaAid, December, 2017 ...

MIDLAND, TEXAS – The wife of an imprisoned writer and human rights defender has escaped China and has safely landed in the United States after a rescue operation.

Li Aijie, the wife of imprisoned netizen writer and human rights activist Zhang Haitao, successfully fled China with her son after threats against them became too great to withstand ...

more on this story from China Aid



In the News ... "IMA to host annual symposium"


• January 20 at Bethel Missionary Baptist

Staff Report
Odessa American


MIDLAND, TEXAS - Interdenominational Ministers Alliance of Midland has scheduled the seventh annual Community Education Symposium from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 20 at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, 410 S. Calhoun St., Midland ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

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,

We will be meeting this Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. I hope you can join us!

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



The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:9-10

Dear Intercessors,

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed... even the forgotten and left-behind children in Myanmar. The Lord is a stronghold in times of trouble... even as the ground gives way in mudslides. The Lord doesn't forsake those who seek him... even little girls married-to-soon to abusive men who lock them away and treat them as objects.

Can I be honest and say that even typing that out feels a little preposterous and un-accepting of reality. Sort of like I've put my fingers in my ears and started shouting, "I can't hear you!" in the face of news I don't want to get. Do the forgotten children in Myanmar know that the Lord is a refuge? Do children who lost their homes, pets, and maybe even parents in the California mudslides this week trust that the Lord is a stronghold when the ground is quite literally giving way? Do little sub-Saharan African girls trust that God hasn't forsaken them even when it seems everyone else has? Most certainly, some do not.

And we know that children continue to die daily of starvation and lack of medicine. Children loose everything in natural disasters. Little girls loose their innocence at the hands of older men. And yet... And yet...

We trust that God is still a refuge. Still a stronghold. Still refuses to ever forsake His children. Even when circumstances don't make sense and we can't see the light of day, He is there. Let's cling stubbornly to the truth of His goodness and presence in this broken and fallen world.

This week, I'd like to invite you to join me in praying for the following matters:

AP Photo by Dar Yasin
MYANMAR // Rohingya children left stranded amid garbage and muck in Myanmar

"Tens of thousands of Rohingya children have been left "trapped and almost forgotten" in remote, squalid camps and isolated villages in Myanmar's Rakhine state, the UN has said. Stringent restrictions on the movement of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine, which have worsened amid the increased violence over the past 15 months, have left an estimated 60,000 children stranded, in need of aid, and suffering from "high levels of toxic fear", said Unicef, the UN children's agency. The UN's top human rights official has described Myanmar's treatment of its Rohingya population as a 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing.'" Read more here ...

The situation in Myanmar and neighboring Bangladesh only seems to grow more and more desperate for the Rohingya people, especially children. Please pray for children struggling under "toxic fear," deplorable living conditions, and hunger and disease.

Reuters Photo by Pius Sawa
UGANDA // African refugees help girls learn to avoid abuse, early marriage
"In western Uganda's Kyangwali refugee settlement, Tamari Mutesi teaches tailoring to young women who do not go to school. The initiative she works with aims to combat violence against young single mothers and other refugee girls, including those mistreated by their husbands, by helping them gain economic independence." ... "According to UNESCO, many African girls only receive five years of schooling, while 9 million girls between the ages of six and 11 will never go to school at all in sub-Saharan Africa." Read more here ...

Praise God for these efforts to empower girls to protect them from abuse and violence. Please pray for the 9 million girls who remain uneducated in sub-Saharan Africa... education and safety go hand-in-hand, so when girls are deprived of an education they also are often deprived of safety. Pray for God's protection and for more opportunities to arise.

SBCFD Photo by Mike Eliason
CALIFORNIA // Natural Disaster Victims and Surivors
"For children in southern California, the last few weeks have been a traumatic mix of raging wildfires and harrowing mudslides. As of Thursday, Jan 11, afternoon, "at least 17 people are dead, another eight are missing and over two dozen are injured in California from weather-related incidents, according to Santa Barbara County officials. The southern part of the state has been drenched with heavy rain just weeks after several fires scorched the area. Flash flooding, debris flow and mudslides are punishing the communities hit hard by the Thomas and La Tuna fires, prompting "dozens and dozens" of rescues on the ground, a spokesperson from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department told ABC News." Read more here ...

Please pray for children who have lost their homes and family members to the natural disasters of the last few weeks. Like any natural disaster, the impact of the residual fear and trauma caused be these events can be life-long and life-altering. Please pray for healthy coping methods and strong community and national support.

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 ... "No protesters in sight, as Texas mall unveils 10 Commandments monument"

Contributed Photo
• Have inspired numerous comments on the blogosphere

By Kimberly Winston, Special Contributor
San Angelo Standard-Times


LEWISVILLE, TEXAS - Ten Commandment monuments erected in Alabama, Oklahoma and New Mexico have brought lawsuits and removals.

But when an 800-pound granite tablet engraved with “Thou shalts” and “Thou shalt nots” went up in a suburban Dallas shopping mall just before New Year’s, not a protester was in sight.

The difference, of course, is location, location, location ...

read the rest of this SAST report

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

“I cannot set myself to any work or sport today, Jewel,” said the King. “I can think of nothing but this wonderful news. Think you we shall hear more of it today?”

“They are the most wonderful tidings ever heard in our days or our fathers’ or our grandfathers’ days, Sire,” said Jewel, “if they are true.”

“How can they choose but be true?” said the King. “It is more than a week ago that the first birds came flying over us saying, Aslan is here, Aslan has come to Narnia again. And after that it was the squirrels. They had not seen him, but they said it was certain he was in the woods. Then came the Stag. He said he had seen him with his own eyes, a great way off, by moonlight, in Lantern Waste. Then came that dark Man with the beard, the merchant from Calormen. The Calormenes care nothing for Aslan as we do; but the man spoke of it as a thing beyond doubt. And there was the Badger last night; he too had seen Aslan.”

“Indeed, Sire,” answered Jewel, “I believe it all. If I seem not to, it is only that my joy is too great to let my belief settle itself. It is almost too beautiful to believe.”

“Yes,” said the King with a great sigh, almost a shiver, of delight. “It is beyond all that I ever hoped for in all my life.”

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.

Painting by Giovanni Battista Salvi
Today in the Mission Yearbook: January 15, 2018

MARY, JESUS' MOTHER - If anyone has the right to think she had an extra-special connection to Jesus, it’s Mary. After all, she carried him in her body, birthed him in the stable and nourished him with her breast milk. As he grew up and engaged his ministry, she scolded him when he disappeared, commanded him at Cana, stayed with him when he hung on the cross and rejoiced in him when he rose again ...

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going.

When a young man who has been going to church in a routine way honestly realises that he does not believe in Christianity and stops going—provided he does it for honesty’s sake and not just to annoy his parents—the spirit of Christ is probably nearer to him then than it ever was before.

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: January 14, 2018

MINUTE FOR MISSION: RACE RELATIONS SUNDAY - If your mother is white and your father is African-American, what race are you ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

In the News ... "San Angelo Faith Briefs"


• This weekend, and in the week ahead

Staff Report
San Angelo Standard Times


SAN ANGELO, TEXAS - From the Standard-Times, news of special events and programs from Concho Valley houses of faith ...

read the rest of this SAST report

In the News ... "Abilene Church News"


• Special services for the season

Staff Report
Abilene Reporter-News

ABILENE, TEXAS - From the Reporter-News, news of services, special events and programs from Abilene-area houses of faith ...

read the rest of this ARN report ...

In the News ... Catholic high school opening pushed back

• School to partner with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for launch

By Ruth Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - Having adjusted its opening date, Holy Cross Catholic High School is raising funds and searching for a head of school ahead of its planned opening in fall 2019 ...

read the rest of this OA report ...



What:
Enrichment sessions for stakeholders of the new Catholic high school, Holy Cross Catholic High School.

When and where:
4:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Ann’s School library, 2000 W. Texas Ave., Midland;
10 a.m. Monday at St. Mary’s Central Catholic School, 1703 Adams Ave., Odessa; and
1 p.m. Monday at St. Ann’s School library

In the News ... "Odessa Church News"

Courtesy Photo
• Today and in the days ahead, in Odessa-area houses of worship

Staff Report
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - Coming events include worship services, classes, Bible studies, community outreach, mission opportunities and more ...

read the rest of this OA report ...