Saturday, May 16
The mother of five children is known to me only as a mother of five: a category rather than a name; one human being almost invisible among the throng of refugees coming into Ethiopia from South Sudan . She is the mother of five children among a thousand other mothers with numerous children.
As this mother made her way to Ethiopia, Rachel and I were traveling with the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus West Gambela Bethel Synod (WGBS) to Tirgol, located on the western border, to attend the first synod council meeting ever held there. The meeting was also a celebration of the successful peace and reconciliation work of WGBS members in the region. Their successful journey along the Akobo River, in which they held prayer services to lift the curse of violence in various communities, had provided opportunity for Jakany and Lou Nuer elders to be reconciled. Christian faith was the foundation for the exchange of forgiveness and, in turn, the renewal of life along the river.
But violence meanwhile continued to shatter South Sudan. The mother of five arrived at the church compound exhausted, dehydrated, and malnourished after a month of walking from Malakal. With compassion, the women of the church approached her and were able to help her get registered as a refugee. The mother of five received the plastic band identifying her as one of thousands of refugees forced to walk away from all that was familiar and ordinary. In faith, she came to the church with hope that, through their compassion and love, they would come to know her as Mary and embrace her as a sister likewise clinging to the promises of God.
—Rev. Michael Weller, PC(USA) regional liaison for the Horn of Africa
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
Rev. Michael Weller, regional liaison for the Horn of Africa, Presbyterian World Mission • Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY): Gwenyth Haspels, nurse, Rev. John Haspels, evangelist, Brenda Stelle, English teacher, Bethel Evangelical Secondary School, Rev. Stephen Stelle, instructor, Gidada Bible School, Rachel Weller, clinics and CHE facilitator/regional administrator • Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology: Marilyn Hansen, communications, Rev. Dr. Richard Hansen, systematic theology professor
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Read: Luke 4:18–19
Lord, open my heart to the presence of your Spirit. Reveal the ways in which your word as promise is actualized in the words and deeds of this day. Amen.