A prayer for the Sunday of the Resurrection of Our Lord

God of the resurrection, we step forward in faith, trusting that you go with us into the future. Calm our anxieties, help us to recognize that you are wherever we may be.  Urge us towards lives of gratitude and generosity that the new life we have experienced in you is extended to all.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

(Contributed by Rev. Tyler Gingrich, Youth Engagement Coordinator for CLWR)

Your support makes a big difference for Syrian refugees

Muhammad Jasim Rwaisha feels his family is much safer now that locks have been installed on his shelter. A proper sewage system will also make a big difference for the health of his family. CLWR/K.Schroeder

Muhammad Jasim Rwaisha feels his family is much safer now that locks have been installed on his home. A new toilet and water tanks will also make a big difference for the health of his family.
CLWR/K.Schroeder

Last Sunday, I traveled to northern Jordan to visit Syrian refugee families whose homes had been rehabilitated through the support of Canadian Lutherans and the Canadian government.

Many Syrian families who have fled the war are living in run-down or makeshift shelters without basic services like water and electricity, simply because they can’t find decent, affordable places to live.

I met Muhammad Jasim Rwaisha, along with two of his four grandchildren. One of his grandchildren was orphaned as a result of the civil war in Syria. Thirteen people (three families) live in this home, including a beautiful baby girl who was only 10 days old.

Muhammad said that before the renovations, he couldn’t sleep because they did not have doors that locked so he feared for his family’s safety and the security of their belongings. Without proper doors and windows, their living space was very noisy.

It is amazing what a difference a seemingly small change made for this family. Their home also underwent more significant renovations such as work on the electrical and sewage systems and installation of a new toilet and water tanks; however, it was the locks on the doors that meant the most to Muhammad.

- by Kristy Schroeder, CLWR program officer. Kristy has been visiting Jordan, seeing how Canadian Lutherans are making a difference for Syrian refugees.

A prayer for the week of Palm/Passion Sunday

Passionate God, lead us through times of pain and suffering.  You are with us always, and you satisfy the needs of all.  Work through us so that we might bear the burdens of our neighbours – near and far – and bring about your reign of justice in the world.  We pray in the name of the Saving One, Jesus Christ. Amen

Contributed by Rev. Tyler Gingrich (CLWR’s Youth Engagement Coordinator)

A prayer for the week of the fifth Sunday of Lent

God of life, in our times of despair, you call us to new places, giving us hope.  Draw us into life in you, and give us the courage to connect with others who may be in need of your hopeful word in their lives.  May our living reflect the abundance you desire for all.  In Christ’s name we pray. Amen

Gospel: John 11:1-45

Contributed by Rev. Tyler Gingrich (CLWR’s Youth Engagement Coordinator)

A prayer for the week of Fourth Sunday in Lent

Healing God,

Even with perfect vision, we can be blind to your healing and saving grace. Heal our blindness. Help us to see you clearly in our lives. Open our eyes to see the truth of who we are – your beloved daughters and sons. With new eyes help us to lead people toward your gift of faith, and toward serving our brothers and sisters who suffer because of the blindness of others. We ask these things through your Son, Jesus Christ,

Amen.

Thanks to Pastor Jason Zinko (Redeemer Lutheran Church, Brandon, MB)

Your March news from CLWR

Click here to read the full news briefs for March 2014! For easier printing and posting in your church, download a PDF version here.

Contents: 

Change is possible for Syrian refugee families

Canadian Olympic speed skater Cindy Klassen joined us on a visit to the Al Ahmed family. Here she is with two of the daughters. CLWR/T.Brook

A big step forward for girls and women in sports

Cindy with Palestinian women soccer players

Nicaraguan communities benefit from your support

Jenn with Santos from the mission centre crsm

A vision of dignified care for the elderly

doctor and patient high ressm

Missions in Nicaragua

Earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to join a small group from Faith Lutheran Church in Kitchener on their mission trip to Nicaragua.  The trip lasted a week, from March 6-14 and provided a wonderful opportunity to witness firsthand the work that Canadian Lutheran World Relief and Canadian Lutherans are doing in Nicaragua in partnership with Lutheran Church–Canada, and to see other programs supported by LCC congregations in Canada.

The first couple of days, we helped to paint a church in Telica called the Iglesia Redentor y San Pablo.  This church was constructed with funding from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kitchener and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Elmira.  That Sunday, we had service in the newly painted church and Pastor Maximo gave a sermon.

Deaconess Jeryll (wife of Pastor Maximo) and CLWR's Jenn Ardon after a day of painting. Photo:  J. Ardon/CLWR

Deaconess Jeryll (wife of Pastor Maximo) and CLWR’s Jenn Ardon after a day of painting. Photo: J. Ardon/CLWR

Iglesia Redentor y San Pablo all painted.  Photo:  J. Ardon/CLWR

Iglesia Redentor y San Pablo all painted. Photo: J. Ardon/CLWR

The women in the group then spent 3 days with over 40 deaconesses as they held a training workshop at the ILSN Mission Center in Chinandega.  The deaconesses put together the 3-day workshop which looked at the themes of domestic abuse, divorce and forgiveness.   The deaconesses are the backbone of their church communities and they are often short of resources; so this training was a way for them to support each other.  In the end, we taught them interaction games, but they taught us Canadians about their community struggles and their own strength to overcome so much with the limitations they have.

Day one of the Deaconesses training workshops in the Sewing School at the Mission Center in Chinandega.  Photo:  J. Ardon/CLW

Day one of the Deaconesses training workshops in the Sewing School at the Mission Center in Chinandega. Photo: J. Ardon/CLW

The deaconesses are also responsible for Sunday School classes and teach Vacation Bible School (VBS) to 25 children from the poorest communities in Nicaragua, to which CLWR provides scholarships through the support of Canadian Lutherans.  The scholarships include the required school uniform, shoes, backpack and school supplies.

Deaconess Carmen teaches elementary school on weekdays, Sunday School and VBS.  Photo:  J. Ardon/CLWR

Deaconess Carmen teaches elementary school on weekdays, Sunday School and VBS. Photo: J. Ardon/CLWR

While at the Mission Center I was able to look at the Medical/Dental Clinic and spoke with staff.  Unfortunately, the doctor was away in the USA and the dentist was not working the week I was down because the dental equipment needed repair and so there were no appointments.  I was able to speak with staff, however, about how the dental clinic and the VBS were a huge help in the communities.   The clinics operate once a week, on Thursday.  Medical patients are asked to give a symbolic donation of C$10 (about $0.33 CDN). If they are not able to afford it, they are still given service and all required medications for free. The dental clinic patients are asked to pay C$100 for dental services (about $3.32 CDN).

Lorena standing in front of the Medical/Dental Clinic where she had a tooth extraction.

Lorena standing in front of the Medical/Dental Clinic where she had a tooth extraction.  Photo:  J. Ardon/CLWR

On our last day, we went to Rancheria where I was able to meet with Pr. Marvin Donaire, the president of the Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Nicaragua (Lutheran Church Synod of Nicaragua). I was also able to help with the feeding program run by the ILSN and coordinated by one of the deaconesses, Lisbeth.  Many LCC congregations across Canada support this program.  I also saw the Rancheria Medical Center which is publicly funded and receives donations from Canadians as well.

Deaconess Lisbeth oversees the ILSN feeding program in Rancheria, an impoverished community.  Photo:  J. Ardon/CLWR

Deaconess Lisbeth oversees the ILSN feeding program in Rancheria, an impoverished community. Photo: J. Ardon/CLWR

About 30 children enjoying a hearty lunch.  The program usually feeds about 100 children a day.  They come at different times depending on school.  Photo:  J. Ardon/CLWR

Children from Rancheria enjoying a hearty lunch. The program usually feeds about 100 children a day who come at different times depending on school. Photo: J. Ardon/CLWR

CLWR's Jenn Ardon with Pr. Marvin Donaire, President of the ILSN in Rancheria.   Photo:  J. Ardon/CLWR

CLWR’s Jenn Ardon with Pr. Marvin Donaire, President of the ILSN in Rancheria. Photo: J. Ardon/CLWR

I am very grateful for the experience and the opportunity to meet such lovely people.  Please pray for the wonderful work being done by CLWR, LCC and the ILSN in Nicaragua.

You can view more pictures here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/clwr/sets/72157642497190824/

 

Jennifer Ardon, CLWR Church Liaison and Volunteer Coordinator (Waterloo, Ontario)