June 2013: Pray for the Mennonite Brethren Church of Chocó on the west coast of Colombia, and participants in the Weaving Hope agricultural project. On May 10, 2013, many participants of this project lost most, if not all, of their crops as a result of aerial fumigation by the Colombian Government. Weaving Hope is an alternative crops project run by the regional Mennonite Brethren Church supporting over 200 families in the cultivation and processing of food crops such as rice and cacao (for making chocolate), providing an alternative to illicit crops- peace building and community development all at once. This fumigation has left the livelihood of many families destroyed. The Mennonite Brethren Church is seeking to call out those responsible and find government compensation for those whose crops were destroyed, and asking for prayer and solidarity from the global Anabaptist family. Click here to read their statement.
May 2013: Praise God for congregations that are embracing the conviction that peace is integral to the gospel. For example, the Anabaptist Mennonite Church of Buenos Aires, in the bulletin for its 19 May Pentecost celebration, included the Mennonite World Conference peace poster. “In addition to celebrating the festival of Pentecost,” wrote Luis Maria Alman Bornes, “we have seen it important to also reflect about peace…. It seemed to us that this poster should not just occupy a central place in our physical worship space, but also that we should be conscious of the profound message that it communicates, and we can do this by making it central also to our liturgy.”
May 2013: Praise God for the members of the Mennonite World Conference Executive Committee, which will meet in Akron, Pennsylvania 23-28 May 2013 to review program plans for the coming year. The committee includes two representatives from each continental region (click here for list of names). Pray for them as they seek to strengthen links between churches in their region and the global Anabaptist community of churches.
May 2013: Pray for the Mennonite Church in the neighborhood of Sabillón Cruz in the Chamelecón area of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. In early April one of the leaders of the youth group was killed, according to police by one of the groups trying to take control of the area. The house of pastor José Fernández was searched by police, and he was forcibly detained for a few hours and treated roughly by police. The Mennonite church is accompanying him by registering the incident with the Human Rights office, and hopes to publically denounce this as an act of aggression to one of their pastors. This is a very difficult situation for this church community, those who have stayed and for the 54 church members have fled the neighbourhood fearing for their lives. Pray for these brothers and sisters, that the Lord helps them and provides for their needs. To read the entire letter from Alfredo Cárcamo click here.
April 2013: Kyong-Jung Kim, MWC General Council member from the Jesus Village Church in South Korea, an associate member of MWC, is asking our church family to join in prayer for Korea. During this time of rising tension between North and South Korea, pray for God's mercy and revelation to bring reconciliation and unity for both governments, and also pray that both governments, and those of neighbouring countries, do not get involved in provocative/military actions that lead to evil. Pray for the Christian churches that they may unify their voice to pray and act for peace. Click here to read Kyong-Jung Kim’s message. Photo Kyong-Jung Kim, taken March 2013 from Korean Anabaptist Center office window.
April 2013: Pray for the people affected by the severe flooding that occurred on 2-3 April 2013 in La Plata and Buenos Aires, Argentina. According to early reports, there were 59 fatalities, and in La Plata nearly 25 percent of the homes were damaged. Pray for congregations of Iglesia Evangélica Menonita and Alianza Evangélica Menonita as they remember the call of Jesus to love their neighbours as themselves by standing together with the people affected and bringing donations of clothing, cleaning supplies, food and water. They are joining with their associates in the Federation of Evangelical churches of Argentina (FAIE) in providing supplies to those affected and if you would like to send donations, please contact FAIE at email@example.com. Photo from FAIE.
April 2013: Pray for the family and friends of Lisa Christano, a member of the GKMI Church in Kudus, Indonesia, who passed away on Easter Sunday, 31 March. She was the wife of Charles Christano who served as Mennonite World Conference president from 1978-1984. Also pray for the family and friends of Mario Mendez, a member of the Mennonite Church Casa Horeb in Guatemala, who passed away on 6 April, 2013. He was the husband of Leonor de Mendez, who was on the MWC executive committee from 1990-1997. May our God of peace comfort these families in this time.
April 2013: Pray for PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. as they work for peace in the Philippines. They are a Mennonite peace and reconciliation consulting group, belonging to the Integrated Mennonite Church Philippines, a member church of Mennonite World Conference. PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. is affiliated with the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches and administered by Mennonite Church Canada. Pray for peace among Christians and Muslims in the Philippines, and that the Sabah Crisis (click here for more information) will not be used to derail the peace talks between Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Thanks be to God that the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches has publicly expressed its concern to preserve the gains of the peace talks and to publicly support the continued dialogue. Photo from peacebuilderscommunity.org
March 2013: Brethren in Christ, Yamanota Fukuin Church, is inviting the global church to pray for the victims, survivors and all the related people of Tohoku Earthquake (which struck Japan on March 11, 2011) and to pray for world peace. They called everyone to pray with them for 5 minutes at 11:45 am on Sunday, 10 March 2013 to create a ring of prayers around the earth. More information about this "ring of prayers" is available here.
February 2013: Praise God for answered prayers, that Amán and Rosa Guillen, partners in mission in Tierra Nueva, Mexico, were reunited after he had been kidnapped by armed men while they were hiking. Unfortunately, incidents like this are frequent in Mexico. Pray for the Mennonite churches in the North regions, in this case, Chihuahua, and for the development of new missions with a culture of peace. (Click here to read the entire letter shared by Ofelia García de Pedroza.)
February 2013: Pray for the Mennonite Church of Congo (Communauté Mennonite au Congo) as they come to the aid of inmates at the Tshikapa prison in DR Congo. This prison has become a place to die, rather than incarceration or education of prisoners, as almost every month there is at least one death due to malnutrition. Prisoners are very poorly fed and sleep on the ground. The Mennonite Church of Congo has decided to help the prisoners of Tshikapa with food and other necessities on the last Sunday of every month, and appeal to any fellow Christians who would also like to help these prisoners, created in God’s image, to contact Pastor Joly Birakara Ilowa at the following email address: . He is one of the MWC General Council members from his church.
February 2013: Praise God for the 9,500 congregations around the world that identify themselves as “Mennonite” or “Brethren in Christ” or “Anabaptist” and that are seeking to be agents of God’s peace in their contexts. The Mennonite World Conference Peace Commission has prepared a peace poster that can assist these congregations in their witness to peace that is based in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
February 2013: Pray for Lynn Roth of Harrisonburg, VA, who began as Mennonite World Conference North American Representative in January 2013. Part of his responsibility is to organize a prayer network for the next MWC Assembly to be held in Harrisburg, PA July 21-26, 2015. Pray also for Liesa Unger, MWC Chief International Events Coordinator and Howard Good, National Coordinator as they work on plans for the 2015 Assembly.
February 2013: Praise God for the opportunities that Mennonite World Conference has to dialogue with other worldwide Christian communions, to share Anabaptist understandings, to learn from other traditions and to discern together what Jesus' prayer for unity in John 17 means for Christians in our time. See reports of recent dialogues on the MWC website.
February 2013: Through a website called Injustice in Panama, Mennonites in Panama are asking for prayer to help bring resolution to a longstanding dispute focused on land claims of the indigenous Wounaan community. (Click here for more details.) The website notes progress made in January 2013 meetings involving the Wounaan leadership and political leaders and requests prayer for wisdom and objectivity on the part of government officials and for strength, patience and solidarity by the advocates for the Wounaan “so as to be a good witness at all times.” The website was established by members of Iglesia Evangélica Unida Hermanos Menonitas, a member church of Mennonite World Conference.