The devastation in Haiti is heart-breaking and there are many worthwhile organizations providing aid to the Haitians.
God be with these families – those who have lost friends and family members to death and those who are wounded (with medical help lacking and much needed), and the other terrible results because of this earthquake.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is already taking donations through a special phone line, 0370 60 60 900, and through its website http://www.dec.org.uk, and tomorrow it expects to launch a television appeal.
A spokesman said major UK broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Al-Jazeera have agreed to broadcast the appeal.
A DEC spokesman said giving money was the best way to help so supplies could be purchased as close as possible to the disaster area and sent straight to those in need.
He said, where possible, emergency supplies would be bought in areas of Haiti which are not affected by the disaster.
If that was not possible, aid agencies would turn to the Dominican Republic and then the US.
Some aid agencies have already started trying to help those in affected areas but the spokesman said: ‘The aid effort isn’t on the scale that’s required and we need people’s help to scale it up urgently.’
Money raised from DEC’s Haiti Earthquake Appeal will support the efforts of the DEC’s members, which are the major UK aid agencies.
The 13 member agencies are Action Aid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, Care International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.
Bertin Meance, from HelpAge International, said: ‘This is definitely the biggest disaster that Haiti has to face in more than 200 years.
‘The situation is indescribable. A few images remain in my mind – thousands of people are homeless and will need temporary shelters.
‘They are all gathered in public squares. Some are afraid to return to their homes. Some do not have homes to return to.
‘There are reports of looting. Many people, including older people, are traumatised because this is
the first time that most living Haitians are experiencing an earthquake.
‘The extent of losses of human lives is leaving many people traumatised.
As well as tens of thousands of homes, hospitals and schools were also destroyed.
Henri Nouwen writes that
Prayer is the bridge between our conscious and unconscious lives. Often there is a large abyss between our thoughts, words, and actions, and the many images that emerge in our daydreams and night dreams. To pray is to connect these two sides of our lives by going to the place where God dwells. Prayer is “soul work” because our souls are those sacred centers where all is one and where God is with us in the most intimate way.
Thus, we must pray without ceasing so that we can become truly whole and holy.
Lord Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd of the sheep, you gather the lambs in your arms and carry them in your bosom: We commend to your loving care Tyler. Relieve Tyler’s pain, guard him from all danger and illness, restore to him your gifts of gladness and strength, and raise Tyler up to a life of service to you. Hear us, we pray, for your dear Name’s sake. Amen.
Thanksgiving by Edgar Albert Guest
An’ eatin’ an’ laughin’ with folks of your choice;
An’ kissin’ the girls an’ declarin’ that they
Are growin’ more beautiful day after day;
Chattin’ an’ braggin’ a bit with the men,
Buildin’ the old family circle again;
Livin’ the wholesome an’ old-fashioned cheer,
Just for awhile at the end of the year.
Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
And under the old roof we gather once more
Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
Mother’s a little bit grayer, that’s all.
Father’s a little bit older, but still
Ready to romp an’ to laugh with a will.
Here we are back at the table again
Tellin’ our stories as women an’ men.Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;
Oh, but we’re grateful an’ glad to be there.
Home from the east land an’ home from the west,
Home with the folks that are dearest an’ best.
Out of the sham of the cities afar
We’ve come for a time to be just what we are.
Here we can talk of ourselves an’ be frank,
Forgettin’ position an’ station an’ rank.
Give me the end of the year an’ its fun
When most of the plannin’ an’ toilin’ is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin’ with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An’ I’ll put soul in my Thanksgivin’ prayers.
Attend Sunday School? Why?
Some people are of the opinion that Sunday School is only for children. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sunday School provides an important place for many things in the lives of adult believers.
The writer of Hebrews knew the importance of believers gathering together and staying in close touch with one another – not only for worship, but also to encourage one another in lifestyle. The first-century Christians were persecuted by the outside world, and they needed the strength, encouragement, and sense of belonging that come from being part of the group. An uncommon bond and unusual strength can be attained by joining together as a spiritual community.
The need for the strength of fellowship is no different today. Being a member of a Bible study group can encourage believers in their relationship to Christ, but it also can increase the bond a believer has with other believers.
A Place of Strength
“And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Heb. 10:24-25, Holman CSB).
A Place of Knowledge
“When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said to Him, ‘You know that I love You.’ ‘Feed My lambs,’ He told him” (John 21:15, Holman CSB).
Jesus admonished Peter three times to feed His sheep as an act of love. How important it is for all who wear the title “Christian” to live out what they believe. If we love the Lord, then we need to obey the Lord. To obey the Lord we need to know His Word for us. Studying the Bible – God’s Word – is essential to faith.The more we understand that Word for ourselves, the more confidently we can obey His commission to “feed” others.
An active and vibrant Bible study class will challenge you to become more proficient in God’s Word.
A Place of Belonging
“Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality” (Rom. 12: 12-13, Holman CSB).
Paul reminds us that to follow Jesus is be joyful, patient, faithful, and to practice hospitality. He knew that believers needed fellowship with one another. When believers spend time together, they begin to know one another. Knowing people’s names, their family members, and occupation will lead you to be more apt to pray and care for those families and encourage them in times of need.
A Place of Prayer
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful” (James 5:16, Holman CSB).
Prayer is vital to a believer’s life. Corporate prayer within the Bible study class is vital too. Use a large board to record prayer requests from class members. Record requests not just for those who are sick and dying, but place other expressions of concern.
Believers gain great strength and comfort when they see that Christ answers prayer in such a dramatic way.
A Place of Service
“Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not [only] for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3-4, Holman CSB).
We are told over and over in Scripture to share our faith with others so that those who do not know Christ might have the privilege of meeting Him. We should seize all opportunity to express God’s love. That love can be expressed through prayer, words of encouragement, and acts of compassion. A believer can act alone to address the needs of another, but a special feeling bubbles within when a person joins with others to help someone in need, to offer hope, or to pray for others.
Thomas Merton on Prayer
It’s a risky thing to pray and the danger is that our very prayers get between God and us. The great thing in prayer is not to pray, but to go directly to God…. at the very root of your existence, you are in constant and immediate contact with the infinite power of God.
There is no such thing as a kind of prayer in which you do absolutely nothing. If you are doing nothing you are not praying.
Prayer is the movement of trust, of gratitude, of adoration, or of sorrow, that places us before God, seeing both Him and ourselves in the light of His infinite truth, and moves us to ask Him for the mercy, the spiritual strength, the material help, that we all need.
The man whose prayer is so pure that he never asks God for anything does not know who God is, and does not know who he is himself: for he does not know his own need of God.
All true prayer somehow confesses our absolute dependence on the Lord of life and death. It is, therefore, a deep and vital contact with Him whom we know not only as Lord but as Father. It is when we pray truly that we really are. Our being is brought to a high perfection by this.
The work of the spiritual father consists not so much in teaching us a secret and infallible method for attaining to esoteric experiences, but in showing us how to recognize God’s grace and his will, how to be humble and patient, how to develop insight into our own difficulties, and how to remove the main obstacles keeping us from becoming men of prayer.
…The activity of the Spirit within us becomes more and more important as we progress in the life of interior prayer. It is true that our own efforts remain necessary, at least as long as they are not entirely superseded by the action of God “in us and without us” (according to a traditional expression). But more and more our efforts attain a new orientation: instead of being directed towards ends we have chosen ourselves, instead of being measured by the profit and pleasure we judge they will produce, they are more and more directed to an obedient and cooperative submission to grace, which implies first of all an increasingly attentive and receptive attitude toward the hidden action of the Holy Spirit. It is precisely the function of meditation, in the sense in which we speak of it here, to bring us to this attitude of awareness and receptivity. It also gives us strength and hope, along with a deep awareness of the value of interior silence in which the mystery of God’s love is made clear to us.
O Lord, our God, we beseech your protection and care of the soldiers of armor. Give them courage to accept their task and skill and fortitude to carry out their mission. As they defend may you grant them the knowledge that you, O. God Most High are their shield. Amen. CH CPT Joseph J. Kraintz, Jr., Ft. Knox
We salute our veterans and ask protection for our soldiers who are now serving.