A CLWR prayer for the Second Sunday of Lent

Second Sunday in Lent

God of life, help us ever to remember that Jesus’ journey to the cross was to save a world in need.

When you call us to take up our cross, you invite us into that mission.

Give us ready hands and hearts filled with compassion that we are always ready to serve those in need. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Thanks to Rev. Joanna Miller (Zion Lutheran Church & St. James Lutheran Church in Philipsburg, ON & Baden, ON) for contributing this week’s prayer.

Your February news from CLWR

Yasmin is a graduate of the Vocational Training Program run by the Lutheran World Federation in Jerusalem. She's helping to support her family through her job a secretary at United Motor Trade. M.Brown/LWF Jerusalem

Yasmin is a graduate of the Vocational Training Program run by the Lutheran World Federation in Jerusalem. She’s helping to support her family through her job a secretary at United Motor Trade. M.Brown/LWF Jerusalem

Read the briefs online HERE.

For easy printing and posting, download a PDF version of this newsletter HERE.


“Education is key, and these youth want to use it.”

Supporting those affected by Ebola

Worship resource available now: Earth Day 2015

VIDEO: Sights, sounds and voices from the Kakuma Refugee Camp

Welcome to Patricia!

“Education is key, and these youth want to use it”

vocational training, Palestine, job training Palestinian young adults, Lutheran World Federation Jerusalem

Yousef has opened a metal workshop in Ash-Shuyuk and provides employment to his brother. Photo by LWF Jerusalem/T. Montgomery

You are helping young men and women afford the training they need to get jobs, support themselves and their families and give back to their community.

These young adults include Yousef, Jasim, Qusai and Yasmin. Read their stories by clicking here.

Almost a quarter of the people in the Palestinian Territories live below the poverty line, and opportunities for job training and employment are severely limited by the ongoing conflict with Israel.

The goal of the Vocational Training Program in Jerusalem and the West Bank, run by the Lutheran World Federation, is to give Palestinian young adults training that’s relevant to the job market, and helps them contribute positively to their society.

This training is provided in part through your donations to the “Train a Carpenter” gift in our Gifts from the Heart catalogue (or the “Tools and Texts” gift in previous catalogues).

Many of these students, like Yousef and Jasim, have gone on to start their own businesses, employ other people and take on other students as apprentices.

“It gave me hope to look into the eyes of the young people,” said Rev. Martin Junge, general secretary for the Lutheran World Federation.

“While I recognized in some of them the pain of violence, loss and conflict, I saw in all of them a determination, a real thirst for a life in dignity: earning their own salaries, finding a place in society, contributing to build the social and political fabric of their society.”

“That’s why they are learning in the VTC, even when traveling long distances, or sometimes spending hours at checkpoints: education is the key and these youth want to use it.”

- Read about Yousef, Jasim, Jihad, Qusai and Yasmin and see photos by clicking here. Story provided courtesy of the Lutheran World Federation

A CLWR prayer for the First Sunday in Lent

First Sunday in Lent

Wilderness God, as we journey into places unknown, remind us of those who have little bread to eat, little clothing to wear, and sometimes no place to lay their heads.

May our prayers, our resources, and our gathering hold all people in our hearts, that we may work towards the mending of creation, and justice in the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(Mark 1:9-15)

Thanks to Rev. Tyler Gingrich, CLWR’s Youth Engagement Coordinator, for contributing this week’s prayer. 

From the front lines: Nursing Palestinians back to health

Nursing at Augusta Victoria Hospital bring Tasneem Waleed Tarayrah joy. Photo Rev. Deborah Ann Taylor

Nursing at Augusta Victoria Hospital bring Tasneem Waleed Tarayrah joy. Photo Rev. Deborah Ann Taylor

Tasneem Waleed Tarayrah: Nurse, East Jerusalem

Wearing her white uniform and a brown hijab, Tasneem Waleed Tarayrah sits on a bench near the nurses’ station at Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH). She has been on the job since 7 a.m. and has earned a brief respite. The corridor in which she sits overlooks a courtyard where blooming trees and the peaceful songs of birds belie the war-torn reality of the Holy Land; an oasis of calm in a land of turmoil.

As we begin to talk, a young patient flies down the hallway and stops on a dime by her knee. She leans forward and listens with rapt attention as he relays with five-year-old intensity some tidbit of breaking news, trivial in comparison to that broadcast in the adult world of airwaves and Internet, but of immense importance in the world of little boys. Her smile warms as she listens, her hand resting gently on his shoulder. His message delivered, he darts away as quickly as he came.

Tasneem has nursing in her genes. Her father, sisters, brothers and uncles are medical professionals. Growing up amid doctors and pharmacists, she found support and encouragement to pursue her own career in medicine. Upon completing her training at Hebron University, Tasneem began a master’s degree in anesthesiology through AVH. Here, she works and studies under the guidance of William Hadweh, the director of nursing.


The 100-kilometre journey from her home in Hebron to work is a complicated one. On weeks when she is scheduled for the 3 to 11 p.m. shift, she leaves her home at 8 a.m.

Two taxis and one bus ride later, she arrives at a checkpoint separating the West Bank from Israeli-controlled Jerusalem. Here, Tasneem and the other Palestinian passengers must leave the bus and stand in line for 30 or 40 minutes while soldiers examine their documents and approve or disallow each person’s entry into the city that Muslims, Christians and Jews call holy. She is uneasy in the presence of the soldiers and their guns, in these days when tension between Israelis and Hamas runs especially high.

Because of the long commute, Tasneem remains in the hospital residence during her four-day work week. She’ll then log another three days at a hospital in Nablus. Then it will be back to Augusta Victoria for another four days of work.

“Sometimes I will go for a month before I am able to go to Hebron to see my family,” she says.

Tasneem always arrives at the nursing station an hour ahead of time to study patient charts. The work ahead of her is both physically and mentally demanding. Aside from two scheduled breaks and time for lunch, she is on the go from the beginning of her shift until its conclusion. It is emotionally draining, requiring that she be in constant contact with suffering people, but the challenges bring her a sense of satisfaction.

“When the shift finishes, I am very tired, but I am happy because I’m doing my work.”


At AVH, most nurses are men, but the difficulties she encounters as a woman in a typically male profession are offset by the deep sense of collegiality and support she experiences at the hospital. It is that sense of mutual concern for patients that brings joy to her work.

“Augusta Victoria is different than other hospitals I have worked in. There is a love for the patients here and respect for them. When our patients are happy and say to me, ‘thank you,’ that is what gives me happiness in my work.”

Her face lights up as she speaks. Her dream for Augusta Victoria? “More patients! Because I love Augusta Victoria! It is the best place for patients and for nurses, too.”


Tasneem’s final act of the day will be to update patient charts for the shift that follows her. She will note what treatments remain to be done and record the information pertinent to the medical needs of her patients. As evening falls, she will retire to her room and face the greatest challenge of her day—the fear that rises when one is alone in a hostile and uncertain place.

“Yesterday, I worked the evening shift. I finished at 11 p.m. and in my room I listened to the gunshots. I am far from my family and I am afraid. I am feeling very sad. Every minute I am feeling that I will die. From violence. I live always aware that I could die. With my family I am not afraid and when I am with my colleagues I am not afraid and when I am working with our patients I am not afraid. But when my shift finishes and I go to my room to sleep—there when I need to rest— I can’t. It will be 4 a.m., but I can’t rest.”

Tasneem dreams of a day when she can go to work without fear and fall asleep without the sounds of violence. Her studies give her courage and her work a sense of fulfillment and meaning as she waits and hopes for peace in the land she loves.

The hope of peace is a treasured commodity in these troubled days. For patients at Augusta Victoria Hospital, hope takes tangible form in a young woman in a white uniform and brown hijab who pauses amid her daily routine to listen with rapt attention to the excited chatter of a little boy in a hospital corridor.

May hope abound. May there be peace at last.

by Pastor Deborah Ann Taylor

from CLWR’s Fall 2014 Partnership newsletter

A CLWR prayer for Transfiguration of our Lord

Transfiguration of our Lord-3

Transfiguring God, you came among us and showed us acceptance and love like we hadn’t seen before.

In Jesus, you took us to a mountaintop place, and you reminded us that following Jesus means journeying with people in life: in times of elation to which some might want to cling, but also in those times when life can be a desert, valley-place.

Raise us up to new life, and point us to the one whose life is your Word incarnate, Jesus Christ. Amen

(Mark 9:2-9)

Thanks to Rev. Tyler Gingrich, CLWR’s Youth Engagement Coordinator, for contributing this week’s prayer.