Thursday, January 22, 2009

22/1/09 - English

We thank God for the present cease-fire in Gaza. After 22 days of violence, this tenuous truce is a very welcome development. In the past three weeks, 100,000 people were driven from their homes, fifty United Nations facilities were attacked, 24,000 houses were flattened or damaged, more than 5,300 people were injured, and 1,300 people died. We pray that the lack of electricity, drinking water, and sewage treatment does not lead to public health crises.

We pray for Sabeel’s prayer service for the people of Gaza that will be held this Friday in Haifa. We pray that this will be a hallowed time for commemorating the dead, comforting the living, and petitioning God for a just peace.

We pray that the Gaza cease-fire does not lead to a cessation of international interest in Palestine/Israel. We pray that investigations of alleged war-crimes by the Israeli military take place and that the world helps Gazans rebuild their society and economy. We hope that the world remembers that Gaza is not simply a humanitarian crisis, it is also a crisis of justice. For a lasting peace, Israel must end its siege and occupation of Gaza.

We ask for an end to the cholera epidemic sweeping across Zimbabwe. With 43,000 infected, more than 2,100 dead and a dictator in place that refuses assistance from the outside world, the situation is becoming very desperate. We pray that God will affect change in this country and in the heart of Robert Mugabe.

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