Wednesday, February 26
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Anibal Flores is standing barefoot in a tiny church, strumming a guitar. Outside, children play, sliding through puddles—the product of rains that flooded what was meant to be only a temporary home. This is Yakye Axa, a camp in Paraguay with houses made of logs and plastic lining and a church that is also a primary school and a meeting room. It is the resistance of 67 indigenous families who for 20 years have lived here demanding the return of their ancestral territory.
Earlier this year, they finally won their battle and recovered more than 27,000 acres of land from the government. Now they are waiting for a road to be built so they can move and begin to build a new life. “We have lived through fear, desperation, hopelessness, and exhaustion,” says Flores, one of the camp’s leaders. “Unable to work and without land to cultivate to produce food, we have sacrificed our health and that of our children. Some people have died. But we never gave up, and now we have won.”
The resilience and determination of Flores and his community can be seen across the South American Chaco, which is today the second-largest forest remaining in South America (after the Amazon). His story, written by Fionuala Cregan, a young professional working as program officer for the Gran Chaco in a joint program of Church World Service and the Regional Ecumenical Advisory and Service Center (CREAS), inspires and calls us to be protagonists in showing these signs of hope.
—Humberto Shikiya, executive director, CREAS
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
University Institute ISEDET: Rev. Kathleen Griffin, professor of church history
Evangelical Church of Río de la Plata (IERP)/Reformed Churches of Argentina (IRA): Rev. Carlos Duarte, president, Rev. Sonia Skupch, general secretary, Rev. Gerardo Oberman, IRA president • Waldensian Evangelical Church of Rió de la Plata: Oscar Oudri, moderator • Church of God Association: Rev. Miguel A. Benitez, president, Rev. Jorge Julio Vaccaro, general secretary • Regional Ecumenical Advisory and Service Center (CREAS): Humberto Shikiya, executive director • University Institute ISEDET: Elsa Agüero, rector and academic dean
Presbytery of Tres Rios, with the IERP
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Susan Cohn, PMA
Patrick Cole, PMA
Let us pray
O God, pour out your Spirit on youth and young adults who, inspired by the mission of Christ, struggle daily for their dignity as sons and daughters of God, building hope for their communities. Amen.