June 2017: Pray for Institut Biblique Kalonda (Kalonda Bible Institute), a Mennonite Bible college in DR Congo. To avoid violence, classes were moved to Tshikapa Welcome Centre of the Communauté Mennonite au Congo, but transportation for students and professors was a challenge. “Despite all the uncertainties, [including travelling through three government checkpoints that demanded payment]” says Rod Hollinger-Janzen, executive coordinator of Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission, as of 1 June 2017, the final 3 weeks of classes will take place on the Kalonda campus. “Director Bercy Mundedi (profiled here) is trying valiantly to keep the school going,” says Hollinger-Janzen, particularly for third-year students who are weeks ago from graduating.
Pray for strength and grace for Pastor Mundedi as she deals with all of the uncertainties of the moment, and as she feels the weight of responsibility for the welfare of the students. Pray for safety for the Institut Biblique Kalonda community. Praise God that a campus security guard, abducted 31 May 2017, was returned a few days later, beaten, but alive.
May 2017: In all areas of the world, people are on the move – fleeing violence, leaving behind environmental destruction or sacrificing the known in hopes of better opportunities. Lord, may your church be a beacon of hospitality to those in transit or landing in a new home. May we extend our arms in welcome to the strangers among us in the same spirit of love with which you welcomed us. “The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34).
May 2017: “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17). As we celebrate Pentecost, thank you, Lord, for your promised Holy Spirit who teaches, comforts (John 14:26) and empower us (Acts 1:8). Filled with your presence, may we proclaim the in-breaking reign of God in our words and actions to those who are near and far.
May 2017: Pray that our churches yearn for and seek true transformative discipleship and relationship. May we expand our understandings of right relationship with all things (shalom), so that our transformative ways of being seep out into the world around us. Pray that we would be a church that takes seriously the ways of Christ to be agents of love and action within a hurting world. These prayers for the YABs Fellowship Week 2017 are on the hearts of the Anabaptist family around the world. Praise God for the young people who will fellowship, learn and edify each other together via online tools during YABs Fellowship Week, 18–25 June. Click here for more information.
April 2017: “Please pray for our 30 congregations in particular and for all the people in the region in general,” write our brothers and sisters of the Communautés Mennonite au Congo (CMC), who reported 2 April 2017 that some 4,000 members were hiding in the forest in the Kasai-Central region where militia groups are terrorizing villages. Pastors in training at Kalonda Bible Institute are also affected, and some 1,000 people from Communauté Evangélique Mennonite congregations are reported to be in hiding to escape violence. Pray that church members – CMC demonstrates unity among at least six ethnic groups – may have the courage to be a prophetic voice of justice and a calming presence of Christ’s peace in the midst of turmoil that is both political and ethnic.
April 2017: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it,” (Psalm 24:1). We pray for wisdom as stewards of God’s creation, and repent for the consumer choices we make that cause harm to our environments. We pray for people in Peru and Colombia whose homes and lives have been devastated by flooding and landslides. In many of the Mennonite Brethren congregations in Peru, members’ homes and farms have been damaged, yet they are reaching out to help their neighbours. May God bring healing to traumatized people who now must rebuild homes and livelihoods while fighting disease risks and frustrations with inadequate government support.
April 2017: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3–5).
Floods in Latin America, violence, persecution and suffering in Africa, leadership conflicts in a number of our churches, war in the Middle East, economic crises in different countries, polarization due to our political positions, the refugee crisis, etc., etc. Yet, there is nothing so broken that God cannot fix it. May God use our global church as a means towards restoration and reconstruction in the midst of so many afflictions. May we embody the hope of the resurrection for our world today by being a global community who supports each other and transcends our economic, denominational, cultural and political differences.
April 2017: “To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, do not refuse to hear me, for if you are silent to me, I shall be like those who go down to the Pit. Hear the voice of my supplication, as I cry to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary” (Psalm 28:1–2).
Lord, we pray for the family of Mennonite Michael Sharp (USA) and Zaida Catalan (Sweden), United Nations workers who were killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo while monitoring the sanctions regime in the Kasaï Central region, and for the loved ones of the four Congolese nationals accompanying them whose status is unknown. Strengthen and uphold the church members in Congo who face violence and uncertainty.
We pray for five Mennonite pastors who are currently known to be imprisoned for their faith in another country in Africa; separated from family, they are not separated from the love of God which compels them to share the gospel.
Lord, we pray for those who persecute; for perpetrators of violence whose fear, hurt or desire for power drives them to harm others. May the spirit of God transform their hearts.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies” (2 Corinthians 4:8–10).
As followers of Jesus, may we proclaim peace to the world, “that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
Lord, have mercy.
March 2017: “I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3–5). Praise the Lord for church workers called to serve brothers and sisters around the world. Getting visas is becoming increasingly challenging in many countries; pray that God would open doors to allow this cultural exchange to continue to enrich those who go and those who welcome cross-cultural workers.
March 2017: MWC Deacons Commission secretary Henk Stenvers, who visited Anabaptist churches in Ecuador in January 2017, calls for prayer for Ecuador. The cities of Manta and Portoviejo were particularly affected by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that shook the country in April 2016, killing hundreds and injuring thousands; pray for the congregations who are bringing material aid and trauma healing strategies to assist people affected by the disaster. Pray also for members of Iglesia Evangélica Menonita Ecuatoriana (IEME) who lost homes and family in the disaster.
February 2017: We praise God for the gift of our global communion, our brothers and sisters through whom we experience the love of Jesus. This month, we rejoice that we were able to begin our 10-year celebration Renewal 2027 with a gathering in Germany. We praise God for what we have learned about our growing and changing community through the Global Anabaptist Profile and we thank God for the forthcoming translations into Spanish, French and other languages.
February 2017: We pray for students, teachers and administrators who have started a new school year in 2017 in the Global South. May God give them wisdom as they learn and teach. May they grow in the grace of Jesus Christ.
January 2017: We pray for strength and wisdom for the all young Anabaptists who are serving in the YAMEN Program around the world. In the middle of their service period, we ask God to keep shaping their lives and that they can be the hands and feet of Jesus in their service locations. We pray that they may never lose hope or motivation and that the desire to help their neighbor will increase each day. YAMEN is a joint program of Mennonite World Conference and Mennonite Central Committee. Click here to read more.
January 2017: Pray that Christians will share the gospel of hope and peace with an attitude of respect, humility, wisdom, courage, knowledge, skills and the guidance of God’s Spirit. Pray that God’s Spirit will provide a new understanding across cultural divisions, and even more, that we will learn how to live together and shape a common future. Pray that our MWC members who are suffering persecution and hardship may have courage and hope to persevere. These prayers are part of the World Fellowship Sunday worship resource for 2017. Click here to see more: www.mwc-cmm.org/worldfellowshipsunday
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