1 PRAY WITH THE WORLD CHURCH PRAYERS AND REFLECTIONS FROM THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION 7 October February 2019
2 This prayer diary comes to you free of charge. If you would like to make a donation to cover the costs you can do so here Your generous donations ensure we can continue to provide this prayer resource. For more information about USPG, visit Please contact us to order bulk copies of this prayer diary for your church. USPG, Harling House, Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0BS ISSN Registered charity number You are welcome to use this publication for public worship. Please note that the views expressed do not necessarily represent the official position of USPG.
3 SHARING IN GOD S MISSION WORLDWIDE USPG is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential and champion justice. Our work is underpinned by four values: We are faithful in seeking to serve the churches and communities of the Anglican Communion. We are radical in taking risks and reflecting theologically on our broken world in order to challenge injustice. We stand in solidarity with our partner churches as they respond to God s call. We respect context and we work across cultures for the benefit of all people, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, age or beliefs. These four values are underpinned by prayer. Day by day, members of the USPG family around the world join together in praying for our partners and their role in God s mission. This booklet, containing contributions from our global partners, enables us to join in this movement of daily prayer. Thank you for praying and sharing in God s mission worldwide. The Revd Canon Richard Bartlett Director of Mission Engagement, USPG
4 7 13 OCTOBER DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA Extract from a talk given at USPG Conference 2018 by Archbishop Albert Chama of the Province of Central Africa. Zambia has wealth in terms of minerals, especially copper. You d think we could prosper by ourselves, but this is not the case. The end of colonial rule saw roles handed to indigenous Africans but we had little experience of governance and limited resources. Our hope of freedom and prosperity vanished. Indeed, the price of copper has remained in the hands of outside buyers, so Zambia s wealth is determined by forces beyond our control. So how can we address this huge challenge? We need to be left to find our own way of doing things, but we need Anglicans in the west to accompany us and empower us with resources that will make us financially sustainable for mission in our context. One idea of the Zambian church has been to create peer workshops for sharing ideas about investment and business. We are not experts, but we learn. One initiative is a shopping mall in Lusaka: the church had land and we found a developer to build and operate the mall, creating local jobs, while we receive the rent. We hope that one day we ll prosper as a whole country.
5 Sunday 7 October: 19 th Sunday After Trinity Holy God, you call us to live as a family of love, where each is respected and gives to the common good. Form your global church into one body, with many members working together in your mission for the world. Monday 8 Give thanks for the Anglican Church in Zambia as it seeks to inspire communities to develop initiatives and businesses for better livelihoods (see article). Tuesday 9 Pray that Zambia s politicians might seek to tackle poverty through developing their own capacities, skills and resources, rather than turning to outside help. Wednesday 10 Pray that governments, agencies and faith groups might tackle development issues in ways that honour and respect all people. Thursday 11 Pray for communities throughout Africa that are struggling to access health care, education and employment. Friday 12 Pray that Anglican Churches throughout Africa might find inspiration and guidance in God as they seek to work for the welfare of all in society. Saturday 13 Give thanks for the work of USPG in listening to churches in Africa and supporting them in ways that benefit their local mission.
6 14 20 OCTOBER A REFLECTION FROM GREECE Article by the Revd Deacon Christine Saccali, who is the Anglican Church in Greece s Refugee Response Facilitator. There are currently around 60,000 displaced people in Greece. Most will remain in Greece and are beginning the difficult process of integrating into their new communities. Others are in limbo waiting up to 18 months for asylum, relocation or reunification with other family members in Europe, including the UK. With European countries tightening their borders we are seeing an increasing number of refugees and migrants attempting more dangerous routes into Europe. For example, many are now crossing from Turkey to Greece via the Evros river. The Anglican Church in Athens, with USPG, is supporting the charity MedIn, which runs hostels for Unaccompanied Minors. Specifically, we fund a lawyer and a child psychiatrist. We are also helping to fund an initiative of Apostoli (part of the Greek Orthodox Church) to provide refugees who wish to remain in Greece with Greek and English language qualifications so they can find jobs or enter Greece s education system. Meanwhile, the Anglican Church in Athens is exploring how to provide recreational and emotional support, including trauma counselling. Many agencies are withdrawing from Greece so our presence is increasingly important.
7 Sunday 14 October: 20 th Sunday After Trinity O God, who made your home among us in Jesus of Nazareth, we pray for those who have been forced from their homes and now live as migrants and refugees. Bless them and all who work to bring them relief, comfort and a new home. Monday 15 Pray for refugees in Greece who have fled war or persecution in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. Tuesday 16 Give thanks for the support of USPG and the Anglican Church in Athens for programmes that reach out to refugees and migrants. Wednesday 17 Give thanks for the charity MedIn which is providing care for unaccompanied refugee minors in Athens, with the support of USPG. Thursday 18: Luke the Evangelist Give thanks for the charity Apostoli as it seeks to provide refugees with language skills that will help them to access employment and education. Friday 19 Pray for an end to crises in the Middle East and around the world that are forcing people to flee their homes. Saturday 20 Give thanks for co-operation among churches and faith-based organisations in Greece as they collectively reach out to refugees.
8 21 27 OCTOBER A REFLECTION FROM PALESTINE Article adapted from a report issued by Suhaila Tarazi, Director General of the Anglican-run Ahli Arab Hospital, in Palestine, after the Israeli military attacked Palestinian protesters in Gaza. On 14 May 2018, 58 people lost their lives and more than 2,700 were injured, 1,360 of them from live ammunition. The level of bloodshed in this protest had not been experienced in Gaza for more than three years. Ahli Arab Hospital implemented an emergency response and received trauma cases while configuring an emergency wing with 24 additional beds and new staff. Staff were put on extended shifts. Surgeons treated serious wounds and complex injuries. Doctors and nurses worked nonstop to meet the crushing flow of the injured and traumatised. Ahli is a humanitarian institution belonging to the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. It stands as a powerful witness in this place of desperation and unimaginable horror. Background: Palestinians had been holding peaceful demonstrations prior to the shootings. But tempers flared on 14 May the day USA opened its embassy in Jerusalem and the day before Nakba ( catastrophe ) when Palestinians commemorate the hundreds of thousands displaced following the foundation of the Israeli state on 14 May 1948.
9 Sunday 21 October: 21 st Sunday After Trinity O God, we pray for the land called holy, that justice, peace and respect may prevail between Israeli and Palestinian; Jew, Muslim and Christian, and that your image may be recognised in all. Monday 22 Give thanks for the work of the USPG-supported Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, as it reaches out to people of all faiths (see article). Tuesday 23 Give thanks for all peace and human rights activists in Israel and Palestine. Pray that their struggle and commitment might be a ray of hope. Wednesday 24 Pray that politicians and decision-makers in the Holy Land and around the world would work with empathy, wisdom and integrity to end 50 years of occupation in Palestine. Thursday 25 Pray that the church in the Holy Land and around the world might attempt new things in their attempts to obtain justice and security for all. Friday 26 Pray for understanding, peace and co-operation among faith communities, in the Holy Land and around the world. Saturday 27 Pray that the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem might be strengthened in its witness to the healing power of Christ.
10 28 OCTOBER 3 NOVEMBER A REFLECTION FROM MYANMAR Article taken from a report issued by the Church of Myanmar s Health Programme team. Daw Ma Nyo, 58, is a volunteer health worker in Ywar Thit, a rural village in the Diocese of Toungoo. Everyone calls her Aunty Nyo. Aunty Nyo married a Christian man with whom she had two daughters and two sons. For many years Aunty Nyo served her village as a health worker and traditional birth attendant, receiving regular training from the diocese. Then her life changed. First her children got married and left home, then her husband passed away. Aunty Nyo started struggling to earn a living and her house fell into disrepair so she moved in with one of her sons in another village, which made it difficult to continue her health work. Then Toungoo Diocese started a programme to provide volunteer health workers with loans to develop income generation activities. Aunty Nyo received a loan and bought a piglet. A year later she sold the grown pig and with the profit she rebuilt her house and bought another piglet. She said: Now I have doors in my house so I can live in my home and go around the village to see to the health needs of the people. I m so grateful.
11 Sunday 28 October: Simon and Jude, Apostles Lord, you call us to serve one another in your name. Thank you for those who give of themselves in your service. May we be inspired to act, witness and love, that through us your world may be transformed. Monday 29 Pray for volunteer health worker Daw Ma Nyo as she endeavours to earn an income while providing medical care in her village (see article). Tuesday 30 Give thanks for USPG s support for the Church of Myanmar s health care programme, which is reaching rural communities with little access to medical facilities. Wednesday 31 Give thanks for the Anglican Church of Myanmar s dedication to the gospel. Pray for strength and wisdom for all church leaders. Thursday 1 November: All Saints Day Pray for wisdom for Myanmar s government, under the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Pray for peace and reconciliation in areas of Myanmar where people are in conflict. Friday 2 Pray for the people of Myanmar as they respond to flooding and destruction caused by climate change. Saturday 3 Pray for priests training at Holy Cross Theological College in Yangon and St Peter s Theological Seminary in Toungoo.
12 4 10 NOVEMBER A REFLECTION FROM MALAYSIA Article edited from a talk given at USPG Conference 2018 by Bishop Donald Jute, Diocese of Kuching in the Anglican Province of South East Asia. In the eyes of the world and Malaysian Muslims, Malaysia is an Islamic State so life is not easy for the church. We strive, but we are struggling: many churches, including my own, have been set on fire and stones have been thrown at us; a pastor was kidnapped and he is still missing we know this was the work of the previous government. Islamisation in the country is real it is happening in universities, colleges and schools. Young people are lured to convert to Islam with the prospect of having their tuition fees paid and this is backed by the government. In church, we are not allowed to say God s name in the national language. Even so, the church is growing. In Kuching Diocese, we have grown from 20 to 40 parishes, with around 650 worship centres. However, we have only 72 clergy, so this needs some focus. We especially need youth pastors due to a large number of young people in church. Happily, there are signs of change: on 9 May we managed to vote out a very corrupt government.
13 Sunday 4 November: 4th Sunday Before Advent O God, you have made us all in your own image: protect the people of Malaysia at this time of political change. Strengthen your church to grow in depth and number, and play a full part as salt and light in Malaysian culture. Monday 5 Pray for safety and courage for Christians in Malaysia who face persecution as a minority religion in the country. Tuesday 6 Pray for strength and wisdom for churches in Malaysia who face restrictions on how they can worship and live out their faith. Wednesday 7 Give thanks for the commitment of the Anglican Church in Malaysia as it seeks to share God s love despite facing persecution and oppression. Thursday 8 Pray for wisdom for clergy and church leaders who have a huge task in ministering to Malaysia s congregations, including many young people. Pray that new leaders might come forward. Friday 9 Pray that children in Malaysia might grow up with the freedom to choose their faith without fear of attack. Saturday 10 Give thanks for a new government in Malaysia pray that the country s new leaders might seek peace and justice for all.
14 11 17 NOVEMBER A REFLECTION FROM PAKISTAN Extract from a talk given at USPG Conference 2018 by the Revd Dr Pervaiz Sultan, Principal of St Thomas Theological College, Karachi, Pakistan. The Church of Pakistan is becoming increasingly involved in inter-faith work and social harmony, with church leaders showing more openness to issues not previously discussed, such as having a response to terrorist attacks and visiting different religious spaces. In 1997, there was a huge attack on the Christian village of Shantinagar. But rather than respond with hostility, the church established a centre of reconciliation in a nearby town and opened a library of peace so people could read Christian literature. Then, in 2012, there was an attack on St Paul s Church, Peshawar with about 100 people killed and hundreds injured. This was handled carefully by the church leadership. The church kept things under control. Many churches have been attacked, but the Christian community has shown a spirit of peace. There is still a long way to go for peace, but the church is committed to this goal. Religious and theological studies can offer answers and, provided we listen to God s voice, there is every potential that peace can be established, so we continue to play our part.
15 Sunday 11 November: 3 rd Sunday Before Advent O God of justice, we cry out for those who are denied justice, and for all who are persecuted because of their faith. Protect them, turn the hearts of those who persecute them, and bring in your kingdom of justice and peace in all places. Monday 12 Pray for safety for Christians and other religious minority groups in Pakistan who face daily threats and persecution. Tuesday 13 Pray for safety for peace-makers in Pakistan as they seek to build bridges between communities of different faiths. Wednesday 14 Give thanks for friendships and working alliances between people of different faiths and pray for tolerance among the faith communities. Thursday 15 Pray for wisdom and courage for the leaders of the Church of Pakistan as they seek welfare and justice for the vulnerable. Friday 16 Pray for safety for young women and girls from Christian communities in Pakistan, some of whom have faced unspeakable abuse. Saturday 17 Pray for an end to the misuse of the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan, which has seen many people of all faiths falsely accused, imprisoned and even killed.
16 18 24 NOVEMBER A REFLECTION FROM ZIMBABWE This is Mutorendamwa s story. It was collected by the Church of Zimbabwe s Stigma Reduction programme team. In 2016 I was diagnosed with HIV. I struggled to believe it and thought about suicide. But I came to my senses when my mother, who belonged to a Stigma Reduction support group, gave me counselling. She told me many people were living positively despite having HIV and I realised my life wasn t over. I went to the clinic and was given anti-retroviral treatment [which combats the effects of HIV]. As time went by, I began to accept my status and was living healthily because I stuck to my medication and a balanced diet. Last December, I disclosed my HIV status during a church meeting. I didn t expect to, but I got emotional and just said it out loud. I noticed some didn t believe me, but others accepted me because of the lessons we have received from the Stigma Reduction programme. We have been enlightened about how HIV is transmitted and how to take care of someone who is HIV-positive. I like the teachings and want to learn more so I can teach others. I have also joined a support group at the Anglican church and we have started a chicken farming project which is helping us to pay for our basic needs.
17 Sunday 18 November: 2 nd Sunday Before Advent Lord, you reach out to the suffering with compassion. We lay before you all people living with HIV. Inspire those who are researching a cure, and help sufferers know their worth as your children. Monday 19 Give thanks that Mutorendamwa was able to find hope after facing rejection due to her HIV-positive status (see article). Tuesday 20 Pray for an end to the stigma that leads to people with HIV in Zimbabwe and around the world being abused or mistreated. Wednesday 21 Give thanks for the USPG-supported Stigma Reduction programme of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe which helps those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. Thursday 22 Pray for openness and sensitivity in all churches so that those with HIV might feel welcome and accepted in God s eyes. Friday 23 Pray for Zimbabwe s public health care system, which is under enormous strain due to a lack of resources. Saturday 24 Pray for political leaders in Zimbabwe, following this year s elections, that they might promote peace, equality and justice.
18 25 NOVEMBER 1 DECEMBER 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE From 25 November to 10 December, the 16 Days of Activism calls for an end to violence against women and girls. This week, Agnes describes how she has been supported by Zambia Anglican Council s Gender Justice Project. I live in Chofwe village. I m married with six children. In 2010, my husband married a second wife, leaving me with no support. If he came home I would ask him for food for our children, but he would beat me. I endured the beatings in this polygamous marriage. Then, in 2014, we had a good harvest on our smallholding. We sold maize to the Farmers Relief Agency, but my husband gave the money to his second wife. When I asked him about it, he beat me so much I nearly died. My neighbours informed the local Gender Action Group and they took me to hospital. The group helped me to contact the police. I said I wanted him disciplined, so they kept him in prison two days and he was given counselling. He then apologised and promised never to beat me again he said he didn t know what he was doing and even divorced his second wife. Now he has joined the Gender Action Group and we are at peace.
19 Sunday 25 November: Christ the King / International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women Loving God, you long for us to live in peace, we grieve with you for the violence in our world. Help us to protect the vulnerable and all who suffer, offering with love a safe place to all in need. Monday 26 Pray for Agnes (see article) and other women around the world who face hardship. Tuesday 27 Give thanks for Zambia Anglican Council s USPG-supported gender justice programme which seeks to empower women and combat violence. Wednesday 28 Pray that women and girls in Zambia might know God s love and protection. Thursday 29 Pray for women in all communities and in all cultures who are vulnerable. Pray that they might know God s love and protections. Friday 30: Andrew the Apostle Pray that girls in all countries might have access to health care, education and employment opportunities. Saturday 1 December: World AIDS Day Pray that in their sexual relations, men and women might be kind to one another and not use physical intimacy as a form of violence.
20 2 8 DECEMBER 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE Extract from a talk given at USPG Conference 2018 by Jessica Richard, co-ordinator for Campaigns & Advocacy, Church of South India (CSI). One of the CSI s successful campaigns involves the girl child. In India, the girl child s right to live is not a given: female foeticide and infanticide is practised in many parts [estimates suggest hundreds of female foetuses and new-borns are killed every day]. Now, thanks to campaigners like CSI, girls are starting to march in the streets to assert their right to live. Our girl child campaign trains congregations on children s rights and abuse. We encourage churches to report cases of abuse to the state child helpline. We also run a campaign in schools and communities. We try to create spaces in which children can speak openly about abuse. We include children from all backgrounds, including street children and children with disabilities. The children take this knowledge back to their families and this initiates conversations about the rights of girls and we hope this will help society move towards the greater social inclusion of girls. This girl child campaign has been supported by USPG, for which we are very thankful.
21 Sunday 2 December: 1 st Sunday of Advent Lord Jesus, born of the blessed Virgin Mary, pour your blessings on all women and children today, especially those who face discrimination and violence. Reveal to them their worth and dignity before you. Monday 3 Pray for an end to attitudes in India and around the world that label women and girls as inferior to men. Tuesday 4 Pray for safety and protection for girls in India who, even in the womb, face the threat of death due to cultural attitudes. Wednesday 5 Give thanks for the efforts of the Church of South India to end the abuse of girls from all cultures and backgrounds. Thursday 6 Pray that Anglican Churches around the world might become beacons of hope in standing up for the rights of women. Friday 7 Give thanks for the support of UPSG for gender justice programmes run by churches in the Anglican Communion in Asia and Africa. Saturday 8 Pray for understanding among men and women so that we might see each other as created by God and deserving of a full life.
22 Britain & Ireland: Give thanks for support for mission. PRAY WITH THE WORLD CHURCH 7 October February 2019 Zambia: Pray for an end to violence against women Brazil: Give thanks for the church s support for women s rights. Greece: Pray for church work to support refugees and migrants. Zimbabwe: Pray for the HIV Stigma Reduction programme.
23 Israel & Palestine: Pray for peace and human rights activists. Pakistan: Pray for peace between different faith communities. India: Pray for girls who are targeted even before birth. Bangladesh: Pray for church work in marginalised communities. Myanmar: Pray for health workers in rural communities. Philippines: Pray for safety for indigenous communities. Sri Lanka: Pray for church work in tea plantation communities. Malaysia: Pray for safety for Christians who face persecution. Madagascar: Pray for communities affected by climate change. Malawi: Pray for efforts to encourage girls to stay in school.
24 9 15 DECEMBER 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE Article by Paulo Ueti, a bible scholar and theologian in the Anglican Church of Brazil. Christianity in Brazil might be pervasive, but this has not stopped violence increasing. In particular, women and girls are being abused, raped, beaten and murdered. According to statistics, the so-called traditional family is the most dangerous place, with women often being attacked by their current or former partners. And this abuse often goes unpunished. The Episcopal Anglican Church in Brazil is committed to overcoming gender violence. Years ago, the church stated that gender violence is not only a crime but also a sin which our baptism calls us to struggle against every day. The church has a safe house in northern Brazil, Noeli dos Santos, which runs sensitisation training for all dioceses. In addition, the Anglican Service for Diaconia and Development is partnering with other organisations to advocate for rights and combat violence. Let s join together in prayer and support gender justice because when one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers.
25 Sunday 9 December: 2 nd Sunday of Advent O God, who spoke through the prophets, telling forth against the evils of society. Inspire your church today to stand up, speak out and bring in your kingdom of justice, peace and inclusion. Monday 10 December: Human Rights Day Pray for a world in which women and girls might enjoy the same freedoms and rights as men. Tuesday 11 Give thanks for the efforts of the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil in reaching out to women and others who face discrimination. Wednesday 12 Pray that the appointment of the Rt Revd Marinez Rosa dos S Bassotto as Brazil s first woman bishop might spearhead an end to violence and discrimination against women in Brazil. Thursday 13 Pray that all men and women might learn to question traditional ideas that devalue women. Friday 14 Give thanks that women in many countries are now able to access opportunities in education and employment that were previously denied them. Saturday 15 Pray that the Anglican Communion might be a pioneer among churches in championing the rights of women.
26 16 22 DECEMBER A REFLECTION FROM BANGLADESH Article by Paul Senoy Sarkar, Programme Officer for SHALOM, which is the development organisation of the Church of Bangladesh. Pulin, 55 years old, lives in Ramdever Par village, close to Jobarpar. He and his family live on a small homestead with a vegetable garden, a small fish pond, and poultry in one corner. When we visited Pulin, he was busy collecting vegetables from his garden to take to market. Last year, SHALOM provided him with training in vegetable cultivation, rearing hens and ducks, and fish farming. He was also put in contact with the local Agriculture and Fisheries Office, from which he can receive advice and instruction as he needs. Now Pulin is able to get a good price when he sells his vegetables, fish, ducks and chickens at market, which means his family has security in terms of livelihood, food and nutrition. Pulin is even able to share vegetables with his neighbour. Pulin said: SHALOM changed my life. I am very thankful to SHALOM. Before, I did not have proper training and practice in agriculture. But now I have trained in agriculture, especially how to make the most of the market: I get a fair price when I sell my produce. This makes me happy.
27 Sunday 16 December: 3 rd Sunday of Advent O God, who comforts the afflicted and heals the broken, we pray for the work of SHALOM in the Church of Bangladesh. Through its work, may your kingdom of justice and peace be established amongst the communities it serves. Monday 17 Pray for Pulin (see article) as he continues to train and develop his livelihood skills with the support of the Church of Bangladesh s USPG-supported Shalom programme. Tuesday 18 Pray for wisdom and encouragement for the Church of Bangladesh as it seeks to share God s love with those who are vulnerable or marginalised. Wednesday 19 Pray for strength for church leaders in Bangladesh s three dioceses: Dhaka, Kushtia and the recently established Diocese of Barisal. Thursday 20 Pray for all minority faith groups in Bangladesh, especially the Hindu community, which is often a target for political and religious violence. Friday 21 Pray that the Christian community might be able to contribute as salt and light in Bangladesh s political situation. Saturday 22 In this Advent season, in remembering the Nativity, give thanks for USPG-supported maternity health programmes run by the Church of Bangladesh.
28 23 29 DECEMBER A REFLECTION ON ANGLICAN HERITAGE Article by Bishop Dato Dr Charles Samuel, Suffragan Bishop in the Diocese of West Malaysia. Anglicanism in Malaya (now Malaysia) began with the arrival of the British India Company in Construction of the first Anglican church, St George the Martyr in Penang was completed in 1818 and the first service was held on Christmas Day. At first, church services were mainly attended by prominent British families and army personnel. However, SPG [now USPG] and other Christian organisations took an interest in spreading the gospel and the church opened its doors to the community, so that Anglicanism became a living denomination. The early pioneers did not know what would come of the seed they had planted. But now we can see how that seed of faith has grown and spread so that today we have a thriving Anglican presence not only in Malaysia, but throughout East Asia and South East Asia. The Anglican Church and the other traditional denominations are the better known churches in Malaysia and they are well respected. And, in a country where Christians face forms of silent persecution, it is important to note that the Christian community is united, which is a testament to our faith and an acknowledgement that we are a family in Christ.
29 Sunday 23 December: 4 th Sunday of Advent Loving Father, as we celebrate the birth of your Son, Emmanuel, God with us, Jesus our Saviour, So we pray for Christians the world over. May we be renewed in faith, hope and love. Monday 24 Give thanks for 200 years of the Anglican Church in Malaysia and for its influence throughout the Anglican Communion. Tuesday 25: Christmas Day On this day, give thanks for the precious gift of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. May all people know healing through his love. Wednesday 26: Stephen, deacon, first martyr Give thanks that so many in our Anglican tradition are dedicating their lives to sharing God s love around the world. Thursday 27: John, Apostle and Evangelist Give thanks for the pioneering work of Christians who offer themselves in service as the hands and feet of Christ. Friday 28: Holy Innocents Pray that the church might continue to learn from mistakes made in mission, even where local lives and traditions have been lost. Saturday 29 Pray that Anglicans might learn from our brothers and sisters around the world so that we might grow in our faith.
30 30 DECEMBER 5 JANUARY 2019 A REFLECTION FROM INDIA This article telling Sakalmoni s story is taken from a report issued by the Church of North India (CNI). Some years ago, Sakalmoni, now 70, lost her sight in one eye. She was collecting wood in the jungle near her home in Bhangadali village when she got soil in her eye and the eye became infected. She was taken for an operation but, despite medical intervention, she slowly lost sight in that eye. Last summer, her village was visited by eye specialists as part of a programme called Community Approach for Rural Development (CAFORD), set up by the CNI-run Khristiya Seva Niketan Hospital. An eye specialist found Sakalmoni had a cataract in her good eye and she was advised to have an operation immediately to save the sight in this eye. Understandably, remembering the trauma of her previous experience, Sakalmoni was afraid to undergo another eye operation in case it turned out badly once again. However, after a lot of convincing, Sakalmoni finally agreed to go ahead. The cataract was successfully removed so she can now see clearly out of that eye. Furthermore, after investigating the damaged eye, the specialist said a further procedure would restore the vision in that eye also. Sakalmoni is now very happy and much more confident.
31 Sunday 30 December: 1 st Sunday of Christmas Holy God, your only son was born homeless. Fill us with compassion for all in need today. Bless your church as it works for dignity, healing and peace. and provoke us to respond to him, your most generous gift. Monday 31 Give thanks that Sakalmoni s eyesight has been restored (see article). Pray for Sakalmoni and her family. Tuesday 1 January 2019: Naming and Circumcision of Jesus Give thanks for the Church of North India s commitment to supporting health care in rural communities through initiatives such as the USPG-supported CAFORD programme (see article). Wednesday 2 Pray for marginalised communities in India, some of which face persecution from extremist groups. Pray that they might know God s presence and protection. Thursday 3 Pray that those in positions of authority in India might support the well-being of all citizens, regardless of caste. Friday 4 Pray for the church throughout India as it seeks to promote peace and justice for poor marginalised groups, including Dalits and Adivasis. Saturday 5 Pray for the Churches of South India and North India. Give thanks for programmes in health care, gender empowerment and community development, supported by USPG.
32 6 12 JANUARY A REFLECTION FROM THE PHILIPPINES Article researched by USPG staff. Up to 17 million of the Philippines 100-million population belong to 100-plus indigenous ethnic groups, each with its own language and customs. The culture of these indigenous groups is founded on a deep respect for the environment, but their traditional way of life is under threat due to aggressive mining and agriculture. The Philippines is the world s fifth most mineral-rich country, but most of the population is excluded from any economic benefit. Rather, those profiting are large-scale agribusiness and multinational mining companies. The practices of these companies have caused environmental degradation and led to human rights violations, including the eviction of indigenous communities from their ancestral lands. The Most Revd Rhee Timbang, Obispo Maximo of the Philippine Independent Church, said: There is a great need to put [indigenous communities] in the limelight otherwise the state and its security forces will persecute them, kill their leaders, and displace them from, and plunder, their ancestral lands. Churches and human rights groups, with support from USPG, are risking their lives by standing alongside indigenous communities and calling for justice.
33 Sunday 6 January: Epiphany Creator of the heavens, who led the Magi by a star To visit the Christ Child, and worship him. Bless all who lead in your church today, that your church may prosper and grow in faith and action. Monday 7 Pray for indigenous communities in the Philippines as they face persecution, including forced evictions from ancestral lands. Tuesday 8 Give thanks for human rights activists in the Philippines, including church members, as they oppose the injustices faced by indigenous communities. Wednesday 9 Pray that churches in Britain and Ireland might engage more deeply with issues of justice in the Philippines and around the world. Thursday 10 Give thanks for USPG s partnership with churches in the Philippines as we stand together to support those on the margins. Friday 11 Pray for an end to indiscriminate mining in the Philippines which takes wealth out of the country while destroying the land and livelihoods of rural communities. Saturday 12 Pray for peace in the Philippines and for a government that seeks welfare for all, not an elite minority.
34 13 19 JANUARY USPG IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND Reflection by USPG volunteer Helen Dawe, from York, who visited Malawi with USPG. It was moving to see the historic sites where Livingstone had been and to see the tree under which the anti-slavery treaty had been signed and to realise that faith and social action have always been integrated. Indeed, the churches I visited were an integral part of village life, with the clergy having a central role in helping people to develop their skills. There is a growing understanding that the Church of Malawi needs to become self-supporting, rather than reliant on overseas aid. However, I realised I find it difficult not to see myself in the role of provider. For example, when some church volunteers said how difficult it was to keep their paperwork dry, my impulse was to organise a collection of book-bags for them in the UK. Instead, the challenge for me is to realise how much more powerful and life-enhancing it is when these communities are enabled to identify and meet their own challenges and this is exactly what the Church of Malawi (supported by USPG) is trying to do. Rather than seeing myself as a provider, I recall meeting a village Mothers Union group laughing and dancing together and feeling one in Christ.
35 Sunday 13 January: Baptism of Christ Help us Lord to remember, at the beginning of this year, that you will journey with us in all we do. Thank you for others whom you send to travel with us. Bless us all with your wisdom and love. Monday 14 Give thanks that Helen Dawe was able to learn new things about mission and share with others (see article). Tuesday 15 Give thanks for USPG initiatives that enable church-goers to witness the life of the church worldwide. Wednesday 16 Give thanks for USPG Volunteers who help to promote the work of USPG and the world church. Thursday 17 Pray that churches in Britain and Ireland will attempt bold things in mission. Friday 18 Give thanks for churches and dioceses in Britain and Ireland whose support for USPG is helping to extend global mission. Saturday 19 Pray for an increase in financial support for USPG so we can increase our vital work. Through our Partners In Mission scheme, you can fund the Church of Malawi s support for girls education.
36 20 26 JANUARY MADAGASCAR Article by the Rt Revd Samitiana Jhonson Razafindralambo, Assistant Bishop of Toliara, Madagascar. Madagascar is one of the world s most vulnerable countries as far as climate change phenomena are concerned. Southern Madagascar experiences frequent drought, while the northeast of the island is exposed to cyclones and heavy rainfall. There is extreme poverty in coastal and rural areas where climate change has damaged agriculture, fishing and livestock. This has resulted in heavy migration to urban areas, which is outpacing municipal capacities to respond. And all of this comes on top of years of political turmoil. In response, the Anglican Church has established a fiveyear plan, with a focus on resilience and risk reduction. At our first workshop, in July, we noted that community life is still strong and concluded there is an opportunity to encourage people to be more engaged, according to their abilities. To begin, every local Anglican community is to create a Salt and Light department, in collaboration with other denominations, to make use of local available talents to educate people. Quick wins could include counteracting cultural taboos in some tribes regarding the use of latrines.
37 Sunday 20 January: 3 rd Sunday of Epiphany Creating God, you have invited us to be co-creators with you and to care for your Creation. We repent of our neglect and ask that you help us to be responsible stewards of Creation, and to work together for the preservation of the earth. Monday 21 Pray for communities in Madagascar s coastal and rural areas where climate change and extreme weather has impacted on fishing and farming. Tuesday 22 Pray for the Anglican Church in Madagascar as it works with communities to help them find ways to respond to climate change. Wednesday 23 Pray that Madagascar s political leaders might have the wisdom and resources to support the welfare of all. Thursday 24 Give thanks for the mission of the church in Madagascar as it seeks to support communities and harness their skills. Friday 25: Conversion of Paul Pray that governments around the world might take more seriously the impact of climate change and take action. Saturday 26 Pray that Anglicans around the world might be inspired to increase their efforts to combat climate change.
38 27 JANUARY 2 FEBRUARY A FOCUS ON CLEAN WATER Article adapted from report by the Church of the Province of Myanmar on its WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) programme. Villages in Shwebonthar and Shwebonsu, in Yangon Diocese, said many households were vulnerable to water insecurity, particularly older people, people with disabilities and womenonly households. In these villages, the USPG-supported WASH programme is set to benefit 2,423 people, from 468 households, who will gain access to safe drinking water and education on sanitation. Most of the villagers come from the Karen ethnic group including Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Baptists, Muslims and Buddhists and are very united. Before the project started, a WASH committee was formed in each village and they were given training and funding. In Shwebonthar village, the committee bought building materials and organised transportation and the construction of a new water system and a water tank. Villagers joined in by volunteering to dig the land and help lay foundations. In addition to the construction work, awareness training was delivered on general hygiene, dental hygiene, and creating a clean environment. The programme will now carry out similar work in Shwebonsu village.
39 Sunday 27 January: 4 th Sunday of Epiphany Holy God, you are the wellspring of life, the eternal source of living water. Inspire your church to passionately work to provide for that basic need of clean water and sanitation for all your children. Monday 28 Give thanks that the communities of Shwebonthar and Shwebonsu, in Yangon Diocese, Myanmar, are gaining access to clean water (see article). Tuesday 29 Give thanks for the USPG-supported WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) programme of the Church of Myanmar. Wednesday 30 Pray for the sustainable use of water around the world so that water doesn t become a commodity that belongs to the rich. Thursday 31 Give thanks for those who are working to create sustainable solutions to water crises worldwide. Pray for equal access to clean water for all people. Friday 1 February Pray for regular and abundant rainfall in cities and villages that are experiencing drought around the world. Saturday 2: Presentation of Christ in the Temple Pray that all people might know that if we seek Jesus rivers of living water shall flow out of our hearts (John 7:37).
40 3 9 FEBRUARY A REFLECTION FROM SRI LANKA Article based on a report by the USPG-supported Estate Community Development Mission, which was set up by the Church of Ceylon to support tea plantation communities. Before, parents lacked interest in their children s education and encouraged them to work on the tea plantation instead of going to school. But at a recent celebration on Templestowe plantation, the parents decorated the nursery school and built a stage for their children to perform. Clearly, the parents had become enthusiastic supporters of their children s education! Children are taught to be independent and encouraged to pursue their studies so they can realise their dreams. At nursey school the children become talented and helpful individuals. Such is the story of three eager children at Kahawaththa Preschool: Ms Yashmitha, Ms Sangavipriya and Ms Janarthani. They not only learn their alphabets but also assist their classmates by trying to teach them in their own little way, sometimes holding their friends hands to help them write. The teachers, while not professionally qualified, are also very dedicated. When there is a lapse of attendance, they go to the child s home and convince the parents to keep sending their child to school, assuring them that, no matter the difficulty, the child will be cared for.
41 Sunday 3 February: 5 th Sunday before Lent Even as the water falls on dry tea leaves, and brings out their flavour, so may your spirit fall on us and renew us, so that we may bring refreshment and joy to others. A prayer from Sri Lanka Monday 4 Give thanks for the USPG-supported work of the Church of Ceylon among Sri Lanka s tea plantation communities. Tuesday 5 Pray for the Church of Ceylon s support for human rights and children s education. Wednesday 6 Pray that all children from marginalised communities in Sri Lanka might have access to education. Thursday 7 Pray for an end to poverty in Sri Lanka and for the well-being of all communities. Friday 8 Pray for Sri Lanka and other low-lying countries that are vulnerable to rising sea levels due to climate change. Saturday 9 Pray for peace among Tamil, Sinhalese and others following the country s civil war, which ended in Through our Partners In Mission scheme, you can fund the Church of Ceylon s mission to tea plantations.
42 10 16 FEBRUARY A REFLECTION FROM MALAWI A Church of Malawi programme, supported by USPG, is training rural households in farming. Report by programme co-ordinator Tamara Khisimisi Lwanda. Kayoyo and Msomba are parishes in the mountains. Most families here rely on subsistence farming and earn a little money selling surplus produce at market. Good harvests are rare because the soil has lost its nutrients due to deforestation and households cannot afford to buy fertiliser. Before our intervention, most households grew only maize and were harvesting very little. Many people were chronically hungry and some children, especially girls, were being taken out of school to work to supplement the family income. The Anglican Church of Malawi identified vulnerable households. In demonstration gardens they learned how to make compost manure using animal waste and ash and other ingredients. Daniel was very happy with the training. He made his own compost. He had previously struggled to buy fertiliser, but now he could save money and spend it on household needs. He is now assured of a good harvest. He said: It helps because even those in the community who weren t at the training sessions, they still hear about these ideas. I m expecting to have enough food to feed my family.
43 Sunday 10 February: 4 th Sunday before Lent Generous God, we thank you for your provision of a full life to us and all your children. Help us to use all that you have provided wisely that all may receive sufficiently from your bountiful earth. Monday 11 Give thanks that the USPG-supported community programme run by the Church of Malawi is helping many households. Tuesday 12 Pray that families in rural communities in Malawi might find the means to support themselves so that life can be more than a struggle to survive. Wednesday 13 Give thanks for the holistic mission of the Church in Malawi as it seeks to support people of all ages in mind, body and spirit. Thursday 14 Give thanks that the Anglican Church of Malawi is supporting girls so they are inspired to stay in school and receive an education. Friday 15 Pray for programmes in Malawi that seek to prevent deforestation and soil degradation. Saturday 16 Give thanks for the work of the Church in Malawi as it seeks to share God s love with vulnerable and marginalised communities.
44 USPG is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential, and champion justice. Founded 1701.