Wednesday, February 24, 2016

25/2/2016 English

A Bedouin school was demolished by Israeli forces early Sunday morning in the Jahalin Bedouin encampment near occupied East Jerusalem. This was the only school in the Bedouin community, and provided education to 60 students in grades 1 and 2. Not only was the structure destroyed, but all items within the school were also confiscated, including student’s records and files, which will make it difficult for families to transfer their children to other schools.

Lord of all, you said to let the little children come to you, yet in this place sometimes it feels like you are not to be found. Our heads are dizzy from the effort of trying to understand why those who are the most innocent and young must also be the ones to suffer at the hands of violence. Grant strength to these children and their families, God, as they struggle against these injustices.

Lord, in your mercy…

There has been a dramatic increase in the demolishing of Palestinian homes in 2016 by Israel. In just the first six weeks of this year, 293 homes have been destroyed, in comparison to the 447 that were demolished within the whole of 2015. This is an average of 49 homes demolished per week. Over 480 Palestinians have been made homeless from these demolitions, including 220 children. The majority of these demolitions occur because the families are denied permits to build on their own land, others are demolished as collective punishment.

God of mercy, we mourn with these families the loss of their homes, their possessions, their sense of security and safety. We ask that you make your presence known to them, and shelter them with your love as they pick up the pieces of their lives and attempt to rebuild again. We pray, too, for an end to the unjust policy that allows for this destruction to continue.

Lord, in your mercy…

The United States and Russia agreed on a cease-fire in Syria, to take effect this weekend. Though the terms of the agreement are still fragile, this agreement provides hope that the bloodshed and violence might soon come to an end.

Lord, we rejoice at this long-awaited agreement, and ask that you send your Holy Spirit to influence and guide those with the power to make it succeed. Be with all of those who have fled Syria as refugees, and also with those who still remain there living in fear.

Lord, in your mercy…

The Sabeel office in Nazareth is taking 50 people on a trip to Biqei’a and Hurfeish to meet with Christian and Druze communities there and visit churches in the area. Also, Sabeel Jerusalem is currently recruiting facilitators to train for an upcoming Bible study program.

God, we give you thanks for the active, growing Sabeel communities. Please be with those participating in these programs, and allow them to continue learning more about you.
Lord, in your mercy…

We pray alongside the World Council of Churches for the countries of Italy, Malta, Portugal, and Spain.

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