A CLWR prayer for Transfiguration Sunday

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O God, we stand in awe at the transfiguration of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Words escape us at the majesty of your presence and the ways in which you make yourself known to us. You are present in the stars and the aurora borealis, in the mountains and forests, in the oceans and rivers, in bread and wine, and water and the Word. Your greatness is more than we can comprehend. And we, like the disciples, are sometimes terrified, for with you nothing is impossible, there is nowhere we can go where we are separate from you. You see our sin and weakness and still choose to call us children of God. Forgive us and restore to all creatures and creation the peace and wholeness you desire, so that war and violence, sin and brokenness may give way to your most holy, infinite, and brilliant light, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 
Gospel: Luke 9: 28-36 Jesus is transfigured on the mountain.
 
Thanks to Pastor Fran Schmidt for contributing CLWR’s prayer for Transfiguration Sunday.

A CLWR prayer for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany

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God’s expectation fulfilled, help us to see your glory as it continues to be lived and revealed in the world. Help us to hear your call to reach out to those who need to hear and be touched by your Word of love. And may we always be surprised by where you appear in us and for us. Amen

Thanks to Pastor Stewart Miller, from Trinity Lutheran Church in Estevan, Saskatchewan, for contributing CLWR’s prayer for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany.

A CLWR prayer for the Third Sunday of Epiphany

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God of hope revealed, you have knit us together by your love to become your body in the world. May we each use the gifts you have given us to work for new life and hope incarnate. May our lives preach Good News to a world imprisoned in brokenness.

Thanks to Pastor Stewart Miller, from Trinity Lutheran Church in Estevan, Saskatchewan, for contributing CLWR’s prayer for the Third Sunday of Epiphany.

Safer and healthier living conditions for Syrian refugee families

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Fazia and several of her children and grandchildren. Shelter repairs have created safer and healthier living conditions for this Syrian refugee family. Photo: CLWR/J.Clark

Tarek* and Fazia* now feel much safer under their own roof, thanks to your support.

The Syrian couple, along with their five children, their daughter-in-law and three grandchildren, live in a small dwelling in northern Jordan.

Although they have found safety from the violence that has overtaken Syria, they faced a different kind of danger in the refuge they have found in Jordan.

Sections of their roof were almost on the verge of collapse, electrical problems made fire a threat and water coming in the house created mold which made the children sick. Moving wasn’t a good option. Demand for housing is high, and because Syrians aren’t legally allowed to work in Jordan, most refugee families have little income to pay for repairs or a better place to stay. Nevertheless, the repairs for this family’s house were desperately needed.

Tarek showed us what your financial support and funding from the Canadian government had done to improve living conditions for his family. The roof was repaired and so was the wiring, and a water heater was installed to make safe water easily accessible. Over 700 shelters received similar kinds of repairs, depending on need.

Tarek and Fazia are thankful for the help! The children are healthier now and the whole family feels much more secure.

Your support for Syrian refugees in Jordan is implemented by Lutheran World Federation–Jordan.

*not their real names

 

“Rising from the ashes” into a better future

Ahmed Abonsi farmer irrigation

Ahmed evocatively says the changes in his life have been like “rising from ash.”

Ato Ahmed Nuru Mohammed supports 16 people, including nine children and other extended family members who live with him. In the past, it was always a struggle to feed everyone. Because the climate in Abonsi, Ethiopia, is so hot and dry, he was always on the move, herding his livestock to find food and water. When he tried to plant food crops, the seasonal rains were not enough to grow them and the traditional irrigation canals he used were repeatedly washed away by floods.

“I was miserable… [whenever I] come back to Abonsi, I try to cultivate crops, hoping I might get lucky to harvest a crop this time.”

Thanks to your support, Ahmed and 300 other families have received some much-needed relief. An irrigation project came to Abonsi, supported by you and Canadian Foodgrains Bank, and implemented by our Ethiopian partners at Support for Sustainable Development (SSD), who work closely with the community on the ground. Concrete irrigation canals and other infrastructure were built to provide a secure source of water for growing food. Community members like Ahmed received food for helping construct the canals and training on irrigated agriculture to learn effective techniques for caring for their crops.

“Even though the food we get from the [food-for-work] program was enough to feed my family, I was anxiously waiting for the project to complete the irrigation structures that convey water to my plot.”

Now, Ahmed is cultivating his land twice a year, growing healthy crops of maize, sesame, Mung beans and haricot beans.

“Thanks to SSD, my life has changed. Currently, there is no food shortage in my family. [We eat] three times a day and for the children there is no restriction. They can get whatever they want at any time.”

The maize is eaten at home, but he sold his latest sesame and Mung bean harvests for 31,600 birr (over $2,000 Canadian).

“I have never got this amount of product and cash in my life. I have started leading stable life. I have sent all my children to school. I have the capacity to fulfill what they need for their education. Thanks to SSD, I will continue closely working with the project, listen to their advice and training to work for better life than what I am now.’’

 

 

 

 

A CLWR prayer for the Second Sunday of Epiphany

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God of joy revealed, as the miracle of your grace brought the renewal of hope and joy to the Wedding in Cana, inspire us to become a source of joy reborn to those imprisoned in sorrow and feeling forsaken. May we work with you for that day when your abundance overflows to all people.

A CLWR prayer for the Second Sunday of Epiphany. Thanks to Pastor Stewart Miller, of Trinity Lutheran Church in Estevan, SK, for contributing.

Kids helping kids at Messiah Lutheran, Camrose

What an inspiring group of kids. Last spring, the Sunday School at Messiah Lutheran Church in Camrose honoured one of their fellow students, Shelby Hasselbohm, by raising $250 to help sick children. Eight-year-old Shelby is in treatment for leukemia. The funds they raised went to help children needing dialysis treatment for kidney disease at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem.

Marlys Sorenson, Children’s Ministry Coordinator, explains how they did it:

In April and May 2015, our Sunday School (called KidFEST – FEST stands for Faith Education and Son [or Servant] Training) decided to participate in an offering project to support CLWR’s Care for a Child gift in the Gifts from the Heart catalogue. This gift supports a child needing dialysis treatment for kidney disease at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem. Our KidFEST did this in honour of one of our own students, Shelby Hasselbohm, age 8, who was diagnosed with leukemia in December and has been going to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton for regular treatments since then.

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Members of KidFEST with their quarter folders. Shelby is in the black hat. Photo by Marlys Sorenson

We collected money by putting quarters on “quarter folders” (similar to the dime folders we used to use in Lent many years ago). Folders were given out to each family, or individuals, each month, and when they were full they were brought to church and placed in our offering basket. Each one is $10 when filled up. Shelby, her older sister Hannah, her younger brother Jakob, her mom and I took all the quarters off at the Hasselbohm home!

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Removing all the quarters at the Hasselbohm house!

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A completed quarter folder.

We are pleased to send you our donation of $250 to help one child receive dialysis treatment. I am enclosing a cheque in that amount (not the bag of quarters!). May God bless that dear child.

-Marlys Sorenson

God bless Shelby and her family and everyone at KidFEST. Thank you for making a difference for children in need of life-saving health care.