Monday, November 4
Through the continuing cycles of violence and destruction following the 2003 war, there is the “still, small voice” of the church. Though two Presbyterian churches have had to close because danger and intimidation have driven away their members, the story of five faithful Presbyterian communities—in Mosul, Kirkuk, Baghdad, and Basrah—continues. It is the story of an elder kidnapped from his home and martyred. It is the story of bombs planted outside a church’s gate and, thankfully, discovered. It is a story of families separated when children are sent abroad for safety’s sake or refugee protocols take some family members but not others. It is a story of numbers—of a church of 750 families that now has 250, of Iraqi pastors driven away so that only one remains.
Despite these circumstances that might encourage it to “hunker down” and not attract attention to itself, the Presbyterian church in Iraq is reaching out in Christ’s name by running medical clinics, ministering to women in prison, and opening orphanages, preschools and eldercare facilities—in other words, by giving witness to the Way, the Truth, and the Life that is Jesus Christ. And these are the stories we need to hear, so that we can partner with, pray for, and learn from these followers of Christ who share the family surname Presbyterian.
Let us join in prayer for:
The Presbyterian Churches of Iraq: Rev. Haitham Jazrawi, moderator, Elder Yousif Al-Saka, general secretary • Middle East Council of Churches Relief Program, Baghdad • Assyrian Presbyterian Church in Baghdad • Evangelical Church (Presbyterian Church) in Baghdad: Elder Yousif al-Saka, lay leader • Evangelical Church (Presbyterian Church) in Basra: Elder Zuhair Fathalla, M.D., lay leader • Evangelical Church (Presbyterian Church) in Kirkuk: Rev. Haithem Jazrawi, pastor • Evangelical Church (Presbyterian Church) in Mousul: lay leaders • The Armenian Apostolic Church: Archbishop Avak Assadourian, prelate
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Cecelia Siebert, PILP
Rev. Peter Sime, BOP
Let us pray
Our Father in heaven, may the Presbyterian Church in Iraq find courage and comfort in the daily reminder that you are a God who assures his children: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you” (Isa. 43:1–2). In Christ’s name. Amen.