Blessed are the peacemakers
The Peace & Global Witness Offering unites Presbyterians everywhere reaching out to people across the globe who long for peace and reconciliation. Shaping a foundation for peace starts with honest conversations and shared experiences. When we share, we carry each other’s burdens, advocate for one another, and share each other’s hopes. Some Presbyterians from the United States and our church partners in Madagascar shared just such an experience this past year through a travel study seminar.
Connecting to the worldwide church
Madagascar is an island nation 250 miles off Africa’s east coast. Due in part to years of unsustainable development practices and government instability, the Malagasy people suffer from poverty and malnutrition. Despite this, the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar’s efforts to alleviate hunger and promote democracy offered much hope to celebrate. “The church there is so alive—it is active and caring, and they encouraged us to be more faithful,” says Lucy Janjigian (say JAN-JIG-IAN), of Los Altos, California.
At Ivato (say EE-VA-TO) Seminary, student Ravo Vonialisoa. (say RA-VO VON-E-AH-LEE-SO-A) shared that her goal in ministry is to “bring new ideas and new life to the churches I serve and a new life to the nation.” Her resolve was strengthened by her Presbyterian visitors. “I realize now that the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar is not alone. I will share this with the churches I serve so they know that there are many churches around the world praying for us,” she says. “I feel a greater connection to the worldwide church.”
Participants in the travel study seminar were captivated by the agricultural, educational, and healthcare ministries that our partner church and our mission co-workers do together. They clearly saw the Malagasy church’s struggle for human rights and democracy. Now these witnesses are calling on us to deepen our commitment to active peacemaking, through advocacy efforts to end extractive development practices and promote democracy and respect for human rights.
Half of the offering is used by the national church to witness for peace in Madagascar and other troubled places around the world. Twenty five percent is retained by your congregation for local ministries of peacemaking, and another 25 percent is used by mid councils for these ministries on the regional level.
Let Us Pray
God of all people, we give thanks for vibrant, growing churches like the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar. Bless them as they work for a more just and peaceful country. May we see that the struggles of brothers and sisters around the world are also our struggles. Yet move us beyond mere sentimentality toward action in your name. Amen.
For more information and resources related to the Pentecost offering, visit presbyterianmission.org/peace-global.
This post is based on the Minute for Mission script which can be found on our website as a script.
Please give generously to the Offering:
- Through your congregation
- Text PEACE to 20222 to give $10
- Donate online