15th April 2018

Christian Concern for One World April 15 - 21


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CCOW Weekly Prayer

15 to 21 April 2018




This week's topics:



* Street Children


* Tearfund

* Prayers for Syria



Testimony to the power of faith in Christ to transform and heal ... the gift and challenge of being 'children of God' ... Christ himself explaining the importance of his death and resurrection - source of peace and forgiveness. These are the themes of the Revised Common Lectionary readings <http://bit.ly/2ELwjLF> for the week. They're themes that give hope of transformation for people and situations. Thank God for that hope!



Street Children



"We don’t want help, charity, pity. Governments should work with the community to give us rights. We’re not asking for charity. I want to become someone to fend for myself"


"[People] should give us a chance to use our gifts and talents to achieve our dreams"


"Give us the opportunity to change our story" (Quotations taken from UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, General comment no 21 on children in street situations, para 1)



This past Thursday, 12 April, was the International Day for Street Children. The Consortium for Street Children <http://bit.ly/2vjedkK> used the occasion to draw attention to the ways in which street children are often denied rights and services that countries' other citizens take for granted ... and to press governments around the world to implement "four steps to equality" for street children. The four steps <http://bit.ly/2qB8KAa> are based on the UN's General Comment on Children in Street Situations (text <http://bit.ly/2qvWvEM> , child-friendly version <http://bit.ly/2GZUXhy> ) which recommends a child-rights approach to government strategies and initiatives.



The steps* that the charities involved are asking governments to take are:



* commit to equality - recognising that street children have the same rights as everyone else and reflecting that in the law

* protect every child - protecting street children from violence and abuse ... and ensuring children have access to justice when they are harmed

* provide access to services - enabling street children to access the same essential services (such as hospitals or schools) as every other child so that they can reach their full potential

* create new solutions - delivering specialised services and opportunities that tune into the unique challenges of life for street children and their unique needs and talents


Please pray:


* that street children - and all children - will have equal rights in law and not face discrimination


* for the safety of children in street situations around the world. Pray that they - and all children - will be protected from all who seek to abuse or exploit them


* that governments will ensure that children in street situations - and all children everywhere - can access essential services that they need in order to realise their potential. Pray that these services will be of a sufficient quality to enable those who use them to flourish.


* for initiatives that reach out especially to street children and (where relevant) their families. Pray for discernment for individuals, businesses, charities and governments seeking to help street children, and for wisdom and courage for street children and those working alongside them in dangerous situations.

* that street children will know that they are precious, made in the image and likeness of God, and will encounter the love of God in those around them



Further Resources for Prayer and Action



* "We were invisible. The government didn't acknowledge us .... people didn't acknowledge who we were. We didn't have any rights .... The four steps to equality matters because street children's lives matters." Hear from Pamella <http://bit.ly/2GYvZ27> , an entrepreneur who was born on the streets of Rio, explaining why she's an ambassador for the Consortium for Street Children, and why its work matters.


* Take a look at the work of Toybox <http://bit.ly/2HlbRq1> (prayer guide <http://bit.ly/2GX19a1> ), Amos Street Child <http://bit.ly/2qxHfaF> (video from New Generation Burundi <http://bit.ly/2HBa8ea> , an Amos partner) and Viva Network <http://bit.ly/2HnlSD3> . Could you pray for them regularly?



*slightly edited for clarity






Tearfund turns 50 this year - and this weekend as part of the festivities, Songs of Praise will focus on their work <https://bbc.in/2JKHyHL> .



We've worked alongside Tearfund on advocacy for 25 of those years and give thanks for the faith, wisdom, love and courage of the many Tearfund staff members and partners we've met along the way. We give thanks, too, for the many ways in which Tearfund's advocacy has helped to change policies so that they help people in poverty, and for the ongoing work that Tearfund and their partners are doing to build movements for change here in the UK and worldwide to tackle major issues like food security, waste, and climate change.



In both its humanitarian and its development endeavours, Tearfund tries to work wherever possible with and through the local church. It explains that <http://bit.ly/2GYJtur> "this is because, as a Christian NGO, Tearfund considers itself to have a specific calling to work alongside local communities of Christians to help bring transformation to the lives of those living in poverty. Whilst acknowledging that the church is a flawed human institution, and that no one is beyond reproach, Tearfund believes that, at its best, the church is an organisation with the potential to help reshape the lives of the communities it serves across the world."



You can read more about the rationale for this decision in Tearfund's 'Integral, Inspirational and Influential' report <http://bit.ly/2H1inz0> . And if you'd like an overview of all Tearfund's work, from disaster relief to long-term work on water and sanitation to advocacy to shifting attitudes on gender-based violence, take a look at this recent annual report and impact assessment <http://bit.ly/2HFasZr> . It's inspiring and informative reading.



Please pray:


* in thanksgiving for God's works of transformation and healing throughout time


* in thanksgiving for the generosity of those who have contributed - through prayer, finance, work for the agency or campaigning action - to Tearfund's work over the past fifty years

* that Tearfund's leaders and all staff and partners may know God's guidance as they look towards the future and may have the wisdom, love and courage to respond to situations as God would have them respond.

* for the local church throughout the world, that it may truly be Good News for the poor

* that the work of Tearfund and its partners may be a profound witness to Christ



Further Resources for Prayer and Action


* Each week this year, Tearfund is focusing on a different country in which it's worked, " celebrating God’s provision and power to transform, and praying for each of these nations." This piece <http://bit.ly/2H15Onk> talks about, and gives prayer points for, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Could you pray for a country each week alongside Tearfund?

* "Beauty for brokenness" <http://bit.ly/2H1EhlC> was written for Tearfund's 25th anniversary. Listen to it via the link, or read the words ... and listen to Graham Kendrick <http://bit.ly/2GYJbUy> , who wrote the song, talking about its origin. What moves you?


* On May 27th, Tearfund is asking churches to pray using a prayer written by Justin Welby and other resources <http://bit.ly/2qx20nE> . Could you join in?






Prayers for Syria


* From Archbishop Angaelos <https://twitter.com/BishopAngaelos/status/985051367210446850> , Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London: "We pray for a world without persecution, aggression, oppression, war, or war to end war; a world in which the innocent and vulnerable are not killed, and leaders do not need to deliberate divisive decisions of action and inaction to protect them...a world truly loving all its own"


* From Pope Francis <http://bit.ly/2H1WTlB> (issued last week, relating to chemical attacks): " Let us pray for all the deceased, for the wounded, for the families that suffer ... nothing can justify the use of such instruments of extermination against defenseless people and populations. Let us pray that the political and military men responsible may choose another way, that of negotiation, the only one that can lead to a peace that’s not that of death and of destruction."


* From Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury <http://bit.ly/2H2IHbQ> :


"A Prayer For All Caught Up In The War In Syria:


Lord of all power and might, wisdom and love,

You gave your only Son to live with the suffering and poor, to die for our sins and rise from the dead so that we may live.

In your hands justice is perfect, and mercy and righteousness meet.

We pray for all caught up in the war in Syria; for the innocent who are poisoned by its weapons and bereaved or wounded by its violence,

for those serving in our armed forces, for those who make decisions and order actions.

Be merciful to the people of Syria, bring justice in their suffering, and let new life arise where there is now destruction and fear.

We pray these prayers in the name of your risen Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen

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