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Justice Prayers - August 21st

Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long. Psalm 25:5 

Cuts to Poverty-Focused Programs in Canada

Child-care and health-care advocates are concerned with municipal funding cuts that have been announced in Ottawa for next year. Programs providing children's breakfast, vaccinations and water quality testing, and child-care may be jeopardized by the cuts, and the organizations who facilitate those resources are now face uncertainty and stress as they discern how to move forward. 

God, for the families and the people who rely on these programs, we offer our prayers. Help them to find ways to meet these critical needs. Give the leaders who are responsible for the budgets and programs and communities impacted the wisdom and resources they need to respond. And give all our political leaders a heart for those who don't have enough, and a sense that governing with justice means prioritizing the needs of the poor and marginalized.

Migrant Rescue Boat Stranded off Italy

The medical and psychological condition of people onboard a rescue boat anchored off the Italian island of Lampedusa for 18 days has reached breaking point, doctors have said. The vessel, operated a Spanish charity, has been refused permission to dock Italy’s leaders. A group of doctors who visited the vessel last week said sanitary and hygienic conditions were very poor and the boat was not fit to hold such a large number of people. Spain and five other EU countries last week offered to take the migrants, but until they disembark the distribution plan could not be set in motion.

God, for the people aboard this boat, and the desperation and hopelessness they must feel, we offer our prayers. We pray for Italy’s leaders’ hearts to change. We pray for those who are trying to offer help. And we pray for the continued situations of violence, poverty, and suffering that compel people to migrate. Bring hope, bring hospitality, bring healing, Lord. 

Rohingya Refugees Offered Return

Bangladesh will work with the United Nations refugee agency to determine if more than 3,000 Rohingya refugees will accept Myanmar’s offer to return home, nearly a year after a major repatriation plan failed. More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Rakhine for camps in Bangladesh after a military-led crackdown in August 2017 the United Nations has said was perpetrated with “genocidal intent.” Many refugees refuse to go back, fearing more violence.

For the traumatized people, who are at the mercy of so many powerful people having closed-door talks, we offer our prayers. May those in power remember the dignity and importance of each human life they discuss. We pray for hopeful, durable solutions to the unsustainable suffering of the Rohingya people.

School Bus Becomes a Classroom for Kids at U.S. Border

In the border city of Tijuana, in a dirt parking lot adjoining a migrant shelter, there is a an offer of a rare chance at school to Central American and Mexican children. For most of the several dozen who have passed through the schoolbus-turned-classroom since it began in mid-July, education was a distant dream in the weeks or months since their parents decided to uproot and head north to seek refuge or a better life. The bus is part of a nonprofit initiative to provide instruction, social skills, and safety to children who are living in a precarious context.

God, thank you for people who do something — who have ideas, an implement them, and change lives. We see you in these signs of hope, life, and dignity. For all those waiting at the U.S. border for a fair hearing and the possibility of safety, we offer our heartfelt prayers.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Rise for Refuge Event: West Michigan

West Michigan has a long history of welcoming refugees. In response to policy proposals and changes, we will "Rise For Refuge" to advocate for policy change and reaffirm our commitment to refugees and asylum-seekers in West Michigan as part of a nationwide day of action.  Saturday August 24, 10am-12pm.  For more details and to RSVP see the Facebook event page.  

Sharing Stories: Mary Robinson, Climate Change, and Us

The complete series is now avaliable on the Do Justice blog.


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