posted 16/06/2017

Rainbow Living

Two years ago Rainbow Living received a grant, from WWDP, for £5,000. They thought that you would like to see what the money went towards. This is the third assisted living house that they have opened for young people with learning disabilities . These pictures were taken on an open day just before the new residents moved in.

 

House from garden

 

Two of the young people who will be living in the house

 

Rainbow project banner on Open Day

 

John Airdrie, architect, parent of disabled boy, Rainbow Project co-founder

 

Specially equipped purpose-built bathroom

 

Garden

 

Garden

 

Two of the young people who will be living in the house

posted 15/03/2017

Joan Gledhill

This is Joan Gledhill age 97 who lives at Amlwch on Anglesey. She attended her first WWDP service in Nottingham in 1951. She carried on attending services and now nearly blinds still opens her home for committee meetings. Her involvement and encouragement are important to the committee.

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posted 07/01/2017

Margate branch lunch and strawberry tea!

We were thrilled to receive a cheque recently, for £600, from money raised by the Margate branch. They organised a lunch and strawberry tea.

What a great way of promoting WWDP!

I wonder if there are other branches who could take up this challenge and use this idea to raise funds and put WWDP on the map?

posted 14/12/2016

Workshop III in Burreli Albania

Burrell in Albania held a workshop from November24th until November 27th. There were 22 participants. Some of them were young women. They were all interested in the  topics discussed and shared testimonies too. The Bible teaching was about Mary and Martha and Advent. They also learned about staying healthy by eating good food and how to avoid infection.

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posted 28/11/2016

Maggie Pickford with the Scottish committee at Schoenstatt

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Maggie Pickford, Vice president of WWDP England with the Scottish committee at Schoenstatt. They discussed the materials from Suriname for the 2018 service. They met together for two days and Maggie led the 2nd day.

 

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Maggie was presented with a card and voucher by Suzanne Foster.

posted 07/11/2016

Burreil Albania

These pictures are from Albania where they had a workshop. Twenty five people came and they discussed several health issues and had lots of fun together.

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posted 17/10/2016

The WDP Journal 2016

The WDP Journal 2016 tells how the Day of Prayer was celebrated in different parts of the world.

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posted 27/09/2016

Emma Wilcock

Emma Wilcock

National Committee 1997 – 2010

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Emma Wilcock on Saturday 24th September 2016.

Emma served for 13 years on the National Committee, firstly as the Wesleyan Reform Union representative and then as Chairperson, President and Trustee.

We have lovely memories of Emma and our thoughts and prayers are very much with her family and friends at this time.

A fuller obituary will follow later.

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posted 23/09/2016

Burrell in Albania

In June, Burrell in Albania had their first workshop. It lasted three days. Twenty three women attended and the theme was about health and the body.

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posted 15/07/2016

Rosangela Oliveira, Executive Director of WDPIC

Rosangela Oliveira (centre) conference keynote speaker, pictured here with Kathleen Skinner (left) and Elizabeth Burroughs (right)

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posted 11/07/2016

Cuba News for July

  • In the mid-1970s, a man trekked through the Cuban countryside, distributing Christian pamphlets secretly and illegally to anyone brave enough to accept them. He was a soft-spoken, newly ordained priest whom everybody called “Father Juanito”. Sometimes, in a beaten-up jeep, he would drive out to far-flung villages to hold clandestine services.

And now he has just been installed as the Archbishop of Havana –  Juan de la Caridad Garcia.

Garcia’s record of concern for the poor, for women and children and those battling with alcoholism, is expected to take the Cuban Catholic Church in a new direction. But he pays tribute to the careful diplomatic work of his predecessor, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, who has established close links with the government and will still be on hand to help with delicate matters of negotiation.

Archbishop Garcia sums up his priorities quite simply. “The church lives the Gospel, announces the Gospel and denounces what’s wrong in order for progress to be made.”

  • The gradually improving relations between Cuba and the USA are leading to many more communications links. American Airlines is inaugurating regular flights to five Cuban cities in September this year. Other carriers including Delta, United, JetBlue, Southwest and Frontier Airlines have also received federal permission to fly to various Cuban cities.
  • A number of Christian organizations – the Luis Palau Bible Institute, the International Bible Society, the Luis Palau Association and Logos Christian University – are planning to host a historic gathering in Cuba this November that will offer ministry training to scores of local pastors. It hasn’t been easy to offer video-based or online training, because of technological difficulties, and so it is hoped that  these free, face-to-face courses will be much more effective.

Up until now, the Luis Palau Institute has managed to train only about forty leaders in Cuba, but November’s conference will bring 220 pastors together. Says Dr Carlos Barbieri (director of the Luis Palau Insitute), “”The idea is to take several teachers and have three days of intensive studies on specific topics of unique interest to Cuban pastors. We figured that if pastors cannot access the studies online, we will bring the studies directly to them.”

This would not have been possible until very recently, but the changing relationship between Cuba and the Western world has allowed more teachers to gain visas to enter Cuba, and more freedom for Christian leaders to travel internally and attend training of this kind.

  • This month the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will send Cuba a shipment of Bibles specifically designed for pastors and church leaders. Cuba is short of Bibles, and a drive to supply them began back in December 2015. So far over 28,000 have been sent, and July’s shipment (a further 14,000) is tailored to give church leaders help in using the Bible in church activities, including weddings and baptisms.

The Bibles cost $15US to produce, which is the average monthly wage of a state employee in Cuba. Pastors make on average less than $10 a month.

Revd Juan Carlos is one of the Cuban pastors who distributed the imported Bibles. Recently he was driving home, with just one Bible left, when his car was stopped by three policemen. At first he was worried, he says.

“One of the policeman came running up to the car. He said, ‘I know you already. You’re the ones who are carrying Bibles all over Cuba now.'”

The policeman then said, “”The reason I stopped you is that I know you are pastors and I’m hoping you can give me a Bible.”

They gave him the last one.

  • Cuba is not often thought of as a force for peace in the world. But recently its unusual situation has made it a neutral place where talks can take place, arguments be resolved, and hatchets buried.

After his historic meeting with the Orthodox Patriarch in Havana this February, Pope Francis told President Raul Castro, “”If Cuba keeps on being so really available like this, it could become the capital of unity.”

The Pope and Patriarch had just signed a 30-point statement of common purposes – the first joint document since the Great Schism of 1054. And on June 23rd in Havana, in the presence of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, another historic document was signed, when both sides in the bitter Colombian conflict agreed to stop fighting.

The struggle in Colombia has lasted for 52 years and has cost 200,000 lives. Six million people have been displaced and 9000 political prisoners wait to be freed. Cuba is extremely proud of its role in making this happen.

  • Ada María López Canino is one of the Damas de Blanco, the Cuban pressure group who protest peacefully by wearing white to church services each Sunday. Recently her daughter fell ill with lung problems, and was sent to hospital. Conditions were dreadful, and government agents tried to bribe Ada by offering better care for her daughter is she cooperated. She refused, unless similar care was offered to all of the children in that wing of the hospital.

Her daughter recovered, to the great surprise of the doctors. Ada reports, “She must keep seeing a pulmonologist, although the ultrasound on her lung showed nothing, along with the X-rays. The doctors asked me: ‘Lady, what did you do?’ I haven’t done anything. God has. Because my God is a living God, and also works miracles in these times.”

posted 11/07/2016

Cuba News for June

  • On May 12th Cuban poet and human-rights activist Armando Valladares received the Canterbury Medal, awarded by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, in New York. In his speech he said:

When I was 23 years old I did a very small thing. I refused to say a few words, “I’m with Fidel.” First I refused the sign on my desk that said as much, and after years of torture and watching so many fellow fighters die, either in body or in spirit, I persisted in my refusal to say the few words the regime demanded of me.

My story is proof that a seemingly small act of defiance can mean everything to the enemies of freedom. They did not keep me in jail for 22 years because my refusal to say three words meant nothing. They kept me there that long because it meant everything. 

For me to say those words would have been spiritual suicide. And though my body was in prison and abused, my soul was free and flourished. My jailers took everything from me, but they could not hijack my conscience.

Even when we have nothing, each person and only that person possesses the keys to his or her own conscience, his or her own sacred castle. In that respect, each of us, though we may not have an earthly castle or even a house, each of us is richer than a king or queen….

Beware young friends. Never compromise. Never allow the government—or anyone else—to tell you what you can or cannot believe or what you can and cannot say or what your conscience tells you to have to do.

The whole speech can be read here.

  • Seven years ago, the Mennonite churches claimed 3,400-4000 Cuban members, in 82 churches. Today there are 200 churches, and numbers have doubled to 8,426. This is despite the expulsion of some of the most outspoken and passionate Mennonite leaders from the island five years ago. (The banished leaders have gone on to plant churches in Nicaragua, Mexico and Peru.)

The Mennonite churches were forbidden to buy property or build churches, and so many congregations meet in houses. They say, “It’s very typical to have a hundred people in a house, and they have the service inside and in the backyard and around the front and sides.” Now that restrictions have been relaxed a little, a three-storey Bible school and training centre has been built which the Mennonites hope other groups will use too.

  • Cuban Baptists are improving their facilities too. Rev. Maykel Bàez Bruffau, the President of the national Baptist fellowship of Cuba, has been able to replace contaminated water storage barrels and introduce a new filtration system in the Baptist conference centre. The Cuban water supply is notoriously poor in quality, and it is hoped that this new initiative will help churches all over Cuba learn to share the Christian message more effectively.
  • Cubans are flocking in to Texas – and that is creating worries for the Catholic Church’s Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, who are expecting to assist around 3,500 Cuban migrants settle in the next few weeks. They expect two plane loads each day, carrying 150 people, but the indications are that this expectation will be swamped. Panama, Costa Rica and other Latin American countries are forcing Cuban refugees to travel on to the USA, pushing potential figures up to a daily 350.

The Cubans come into the United States from Mexico, crossing the Santa Fe International Bridge into El Paso. The Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, who say they exist to “advance justice and protect the rights of those we serve in the spirit of gospel values”, warn that their funding is inadequate to the task. DMRS, founded in 1986, is the only full-service immigration legal aid clinic serving low-income immigrants and refugees residing in the southwestern United States.

  • Cuban President Raul Castro has promised that he will leave office in 2018. He has also picked his successor: the First Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez. What will life be like for the churches under Díaz-Canel?

First signs are not encouraging. The First Vice President is sometimes described as “a hardline party apparatchik”. A member of the Politburo since 1997, he has been associated with much of the repression of Christians over the last few years, and is unlikely to change the Castro government’s attitude to the churches. However, in the present softening climate, he held a unique meeting last September with nearly a hundred representatives of different religious institutions and groupings, and claims they have a role to fulfil in the development of Cuba. He said that “prosperity is not only about economic development”, and that “material improvement does not automatically lead to the restoration of values”.

  • The Cuban Foreign Ministry has announced that Cuba and the USA are planning new cooperation agreements, to be signed over the next few months. Among the areas to be mutually addressed will be the fight against drugs, search and rescue operations, oil spill response in the Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida, seismic monitoring, plant and animal health, terrestrial protected areas, and meteorology. There are also plans for a series of high-level visits from each country to the other, to foster dialogue and understanding.
  • President Castro’s daughter Mariela – well known as an advocate for LGBT rights – led a mass march on May 14th to celebrate the Ninth National Anti-Homophobia and Transphobia Day, urging the government to move ahead with legislation permitting same-sex marriage. The march climaxed with a celebration of symbolic weddings of same-sex couples.

Cuba’s originally repressive sexual legislation has gradually been loosened. When the revolution first took place in 1959, thousands of homosexual people were sent to labour camps. And until 1993, HIV/AIDS sufferers were forcibly quarantined in state-run institutions. But by 1979, consensual homosexual relationships had been decriminalized, and in 2013 a new labour code outlawed discrimination on the basis of sexual preference. Gender identity discrimination has not yet been addressed.

  • The largest Adventist church in Cuba is Guantanamo Central Adventist, which isn’t big enough to contain the thousand or so members who turn up every Sunday. It has a lively, passionate congregation whose vibrant faith has helped Adventist numbers in Cuba to jump to 7,078 members.

And it is led by a woman.

Gilma Carbonell is 44, and a former university lecturer with a degree in Marxist philosophy and education. After her baptism into the church in 1995, she attended the Adventist seminary in Havana, and then began work as a pastor, although she is not ordained. (Many Cuban pastors, both male and female, have no ordination.) Her remarkable gifts of organization and strategic planning have resulted in aggressive church planting, quality educational work, and training of church members for responsibilities in fostering growth.

This month her work in Eastern Cuba enters a new stage as the Alto Oriente Mission, which she pioneered, becomes a “Conference” in its own right.

  • News is just filtering through of the arrest of Berta Soler, leader of the Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White). The Ladies in White are a (largely Catholic) opposition group founded in 2003 by wives and relatives of jailed dissidents. The women attend Mass each Sunday dressed in white, and then parade the streets as a silent protest. The colour white was chosen as a symbol of peace, and in 2005 the group received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from the European Parliament.

(Soler and others were forbidden to leave Cuba to accept the award, but in 2013 she was permitted to travel and receive it. Her own husband is serving a twenty-year sentence for his activist activities.)

The Damas de Blanco are not liked by the government, who regard them as a subversive group of American-backed terrorists. There have been waves of arrests in 2010, 2012, 2015 and now 2016, just hours before President Barrack Obama’s visit to Havana.

Berta Soler’s arrest came when she attended the installation of the new Archbishop of Havana on May 22nd. She is charged with assaulting a police officer, and insists that there is video evidence to prove her complete innocence. She has said however that she is willing to go to jail if necessary.

At the moment she is under a number of restrictions, including a ban on travel outside Cuba. She has been warned that if found guilty she faces a period of between three months and five years in prison.

  • In the wake of Obama’s visit to Cuba, Asian and European big business is beginning to develop its links with the island. Cuba and South Korea have never been friends (Cuba is one of just three of the 191 UN member states with which South Korea does not have diplomatic relations) but the South Korean Foreign Minister has been invited to attend a multilateral summit meeting in Havana this month. Meanwhile Japanese trading houses are also forming links: Mitsubishi, for example, has just opened Havana offices, aiming to supply Japanese medical devices and farm equipment, as well as to win orders to replace such aging facilities as power plants. Mitsubishi may also sell Cuba liquefied natural gas.

A new British renewable energy company, Havana Energy, has agreed to build a biomass power station in Cuba – the first of possibly five, each of which will cost £125 million to build. Havana Energy is headed by former Labour trade secretary Brian Wilson.

An older (and less health-promoting) British company is also interested in Cuba. Imperial Brands, the tobacco giant, is contemplating a return to Cuba to start manufacturing luxury cigars once again.

posted 17/06/2016

Meeting at Aberystwyth

On May 11th Maggie, Kathleen and Mary Judd went to Aberystwyth and met with representatives of the Welsh speaking division of Women’s World Day of Prayer.

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posted 13/05/2016

YPray? weekend King’s Park, Northampton, 29th April – 1st May

‘Great!’’ Do it again’ ‘I can’t wait for the next one!’ – just some of the comments we received after our first ever weekend for younger women. It was a very full and active couple of days. We had wonderful music and worship sessions with Helen Pollard, an excellent, innovative and thought – provoking study on the parable of the workers in the vineyard led by Ulrike Bechmann, as well as inspiring prayer and creative workshops, fun and fellowship. The photos below give a small glimpse of what went on. Will we do it again? Watch this space!

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posted 12/04/2016

Emmaus Centre

Four members of the EWNI national committee had a wonderful day at the Emmaus Centre in Dublin recently when they met up with members of the Irish and Scottish national committees. The day included worship, prayer, bible study and a sharing of ideas, as well as being a special time of fellowship.

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posted 12/04/2016

Underberg, South Africa.

Hello Committee,

I just wanted to tell you that the Women’s World Day of Prayer this year was held in my own church – Underberg Congregational Church. Underberg Congregational Church is in Underberg, in KZ Natal, South Africa.

As services are inter-denominational, we circulate around the different churches. I was reading the part of the old Granny or GoGo in Zulu. I was sitting next to a lady from the Anglican Church, who told me something very interesting. Women’s World Day of prayer started at my church!

It was started by a Mrs Cook, who worshipped there! Do you know this? This Saturday is the 120th celebration of the church and we are gathering in all of the community to celebrate with us. So, Mrs Cook must be a very important part of our history!

Best wishes,

Ann Bristow

posted 29/02/2016

Cuba is Changing!

Cuba is changing! And this last year has seen some significant changes; it has been a pivotal twelve months in Cuban history. As we have prepared for the Day of Prayer, it has been difficult to guess exactly what would be going on there when the date arrived.

So here is a summary of some of the things which have been happening; we hope it will assist you in last-minute preparations for your local service.

First, Cuba’s relationships with the USA are warming rapidly. The US has re-opened its embassy in Havana; and on March 21st and 22nd, President Obama will meet with Raul Castro, Cuba’s President, as well as other important leaders. This will be the first time an American president has visited the island since 1928. On Twitter, Obama comments, “We still have differences with the Cuban government that I will raise directly. America will always stand for human rights around the world.” This reflects the fact that there are still concerns in the West about civil liberties and democratic participation in Cuba.

But the new initiatives should bring an end to the economic embargo which has crippled the Cuban economy for more than half a century. Cleber, an American tractor firm, has already opened up for business in Cuba, and 110 flights by American airlines are now permitted every day. Internet connections are improving and credit cards are recognized. Seven leading Cuban dissidents have just been offered unexpected permission to make a trip abroad, as a sign that things are changing.

This follows last year’s freeing of several dissidents, most of whom have now settled in the United States. Ordinary Cubans who are disappointed by the speed of change in their country continue to migrate to the US; between October 2013 and December 2015, the number soared to 80,000.

Other countries are also renewing and improving their contacts with Cuba. Later in March the European Union will be holding high-level talks with Havana; Australia is negotiating greater trading opportunities; and Pakistan is discussing trade links too. Suddenly, Cuba is opening up to the rest of the world. And so, bizarrely, Communist Cuba has been chosen as the place for a historic meeting between two of the most powerful leaders in world Christianity: in Havana in February the Pope met, kissed and embraced the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church for the first time since the schism of 1054.

One of the remaining issues between Cuba and the USA is Guantanamo Bay. The infamous prison is built on Cuban land which was leased to the USA in 1903; the government of Cuba regard America’s possession of its territory as completely illegal, and gained by force. Now that President Obama is trying to have the detention facility closed (although his plans are unlikely to be approved by Congress), Cubans are watching with great interest. Only 91 prisoners are left in Guantanamo Bay.

Poverty remains a worrying problem in Cuba, and there are fears that as the dilapidation of Havana is put right, the cost of renovation will price ordinary Cubans out of living in their own capital city. In the countryside, soil degradation means that farms are struggling. The island is no longer able to feed itself, and relies on imports for 70% of its food – including, ironically, sugar.

Another worry is the Zika virus. No cases have yet been reported in Cuba, but it is almost certain that some will happen soon. 9000 troops and 200 policemen have been despatched to fumigate houses, hundreds of clinics are watching anxiously for symptoms, and quarantine wards are being hastily prepared. The World Bank estimates that Cuba stands to lose $664 million in tourist revenue this year because of the virus; that’s nearly 1% of the country’s annual income.

And so we pray this March for a changing country where signs of hope are intermingled with growing fears and worries. It’s a good time to be concerned for Cuba.

posted 09/02/2016

From Rosangela Oliveira of the International Committee for World Day of Prayer

We at WWDP would like to share this letter with you from Rosangela Oliveira of the International Committee  for World Day of Prayer:

We’re a month away from our common day of prayer. We have taken time to study the material, created ecumenical relationships to encourage the celebration, which is open to the communities, and prayed with the Cuban people.

Since the beginning of the material preparations in 2013 to the celebration in 2016, there has been a significant change in the context of the country. We are sharing with you a message from the national coordinator of the Committee in Cuba, Lic. Ormara Nolla Coa.

“The theme: “Receive children. Receive me.” greatly enriched us in preparing for the possibility of thinking like children, getting closer to their realities, receiving Jesus with the simplicity and transparency of a child, and sustaining our hope because they “are the hope of the world.”

When we were assigned this task in 2012, we could not even imagine some of the things that occurred in our country. The most important fact was when on December 17, 2014 the presidents of the United States of America and Cuba made the decision to begin talking about the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between both countries, broken since the early sixties of the last century. With the opening of embassies in Havana and Washington came the possibilities for trade, financial relation, and other measures.

Unfortunately the “Blockade” or “Embargo” and the “Cuban Adjustment Act” are still issues discussed, but to which no solution has been given, nor have we much expectation for its repeal.

We encourage the celebration of the program written by us, Christian women from around the country and different Christian denominations. As every year, we hope to live a new and enriching experience as we move through the WDP to the realities of other countries.

We pray to the Lord that in this March, through the activities undertaken, we feel more united while learning about our people who in the midst of adversity have always maintained hope and a church that has borne witness to their faithfulness to the Lord of History and Life.

posted 30/11/2015

Climate Change Summit in Paris

Please pray for the world leaders as they meet together at a landmark summit in Paris  for talks about climate change. Christian Aid and Cafod are urging ministers to ‘confront the ecological destruction before it is too late.’ The conference starts on Monday November 30th and ends on December11th.

 

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Source – bbc.co.uk – © 2015 BBC

Some nations will already be experiencing extreme weather conditions while others will be reluctant to change their energy source because of the previous financial outlay.Farming methods too will be under scrutiny.

The poverty injustice brought by pollution must be addressed. They state ‘We believe that hope lies in acting together to address the shared problems faced by humanity

posted 24/11/2015

Paris

Please keep praying for Paris, even when it is getting less media attention.

On November 13th the assault on Paris took  the lives of 129 people and 352 people were injured, as figures stand at present. Many of those injured will still be receiving hospital treatment some have had life changing injuries requiring months of rehabilitation.

Let us pray for the bereaved families trying to adjust to knowing that their loved ones will never return and people knowing that their lives are changed forever.

 

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Source – bbc.co.uk – © 2015 BBC

 

Please remember too, those in Brussels a city shutdown,waiting to see when and where the terrorists may strike again. The Belgian Prime minister has confirmed that ‘the threat is serious and imminent’. This high alert status will remain for another 6 days. Pray for people who try to continue to live normal lives under these circumstances.

posted 21/11/2015

Lois Evans

Some of you may remember Lois Evans.

Lois was on the WWDP representing the Quakers from 1988 until 1997. During that time she was editor of Together in Prayer.

Lois passed away on October 16th and her funeral took place in Liverpool on November 9th.

posted 23/10/2015

2015 Grants

We are pleased to say that the 2015 grants were allocated in September and  details may be seen in the grants section of our website.

posted 29/09/2015

Peace Pole

Elizabeth Burroughs says:

‘In St Austell on Sunday the 28th September 2015 (International Day of Prayer for Peace) we unveiled and dedicated a Peace Pole.  See http://www.maypeaceprevailonearth.org.uk/

Our Peace Pole has on it the words of the universal peace prayer:  May peace prevail on earth – in English, Cornish, Arabic and Hebrew’

In peace,
Elizabeth

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posted 18/09/2015

More News from Chile

Chile’s president’s chaplain, Reverend Alfred Cooper says that prayer saved their country from ‘much worse damage’.

This earthquake has been the worse so far in 2015 but the loss of life has been minimal.

Although tsunamis caused floods in coastal towns those alerts have now been lifted. However people remain fearful that they may recur.

Reverend Cooper asks us to pray that ‘the government will make the right decisions in terms of how to help and that we have good coordination of the relief effort’.

posted 18/09/2015

Pray for Chile

Please will you join us in praying for Chile and the surrounding countries?

There was an earthquake in Santiago today, which came from five miles underground. Buildings shook so much that people ran out into the streets. The earthquake took place at 8am and measured 8.3 magnitude. Tsunamis have been forecast for countries around the Pacific Circle. Please pray that if this happens there will be enough warning for people to escape harm and pray that any damage to homes or livelihoods will be minimal.

posted 18/09/2015

Update on Egypt

Here is some news to Inform our prayer for Egypt which started in 2014.

Release International are asking Christians in the UK and Ireland ‘to stand together with Egyptian Christians in prayer to support the suffering church and halt the exodus of Christians from Egypt.’

Christians are suffering death threats, attacks and are being driven from their own homes. The constitution has changed but particularly, in remote areas this is not yet a reality.

‘The Coptic community is the largest Christian presence in the Middle East’ but after the killing and burning of churches of 2013 and this recent violence, many Christians feel they and their families futures are too uncertain and are leaving for Europe, Canada and the States.

posted 18/09/2015

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them

Sand washed flotsam
gently offered by the ocean to the beach
there amongst the shells and seaweed
just within the young man’s reach.
Limp and lifeless, gently carried
As an offering to us all,
Melting hearts, awakening morals,
changing minds and opening eyes
to the plight of many thousands
fleeing with their shattered lives.
Like a little seed he’s buried
in the land from whence he came
but his message has been carried
and is spreading like a flame.
Love and goodwill are emerging
from the corners of our land
bringing welcome, hope and comfort,
trying hard to understand.
Germany had learned the lesson
of the world wars one and two.
They have re-addressed the balance
showing all the way to go.
Look and learn you men of violence,
Bomb and bullet may destroy temples,
homes, Palmyra, Paris
but they never can destroy
what that little lad has given us.
You’ve been beaten by a little boy.

Margie Savage Sept 2015

For Aylan

posted 18/09/2015

Prayer for Refugees

Lord of wilderness, wave and wind, you travel with the wanderers of the world.
Stay close, we pray, to all who live with loss, in terror and adrift, and spur us on to build a world where there is truly room for all.

Lord Jesus, you came among us homeless and as a refugee.
Shake our complacency, rekindle our compassion, and help us challenge our leaders to forge a common strategy that is both truly just and fair.

Prayers by Desmond Busted and Hannah Tooley

posted 07/09/2015

Prayer for Cuba

Please could you pray with us for Cuba throughout the coming months.

As news breaks it would be great to know that our WWDP branches are praying with us for greater religious freedom for Cuban Christians and that these restrictive laws may change.

While it was great to hear that The Reverend Jesus Noel Carballeda from Cuba, had been released from prison. He had been held there without a trial for six months. He was arrested and imprisoned for holding church services before he had the necessary government approval. Christian Solidarity tell us that during the previous year  there were 220 cases of religious discrimination.’

posted 19/08/2015

Prayers for Cuba

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‘Relations between Cuba and America are better now than they have been for 53 years. The cold war brought a close down but now the American Embassy has reopened Cuba is showing more interest in Christianity. For 50 years Cuba had a bible ban in place but now churches are allowed bibles and they can be sold in shops. 83,000 bibles have already been supplied from America.
Please pray that this interest in God’s word will grow and people will want to read it for themselves.

Please also pray for the pope’s visit to Cuba in September, that it will further heal relations. (We know that the pope has already been involved in getting the Americans and Cubans together for discussions.)

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posted 19/08/2015

International Reasons for Prayer

‘On Friday 7th August 2015, in Syria, 230 people were kidnapped by Islamic State. Sixty of these people were Christian and the rest seem to be Sunni Muslim. They were taken from the town of Qarytain  and nothing has been heard since about their whereabouts or whether they were kidnapped in order to demand an enormous ransom. It was only last February when 220 Assyrian  Christians were seized from their farming communities bordering the Khabur River in Hassakeh province.
Very few have been released and no details are known of the conditions in which they are being held.
Please pray that they may remain safe and restored to their community.

Recently the Daily Mail spoke of female prisoners who are traded as goods using a published price list. Nineteen girls were executed because they had disobeyed orders to sleep with ISIS fighters.
Please pray for their families in their distress and loss and that this does not happen to more young women.

Since 2011, when fighting began in Syria around 60,000 Christians have left their country.
Please pray for them wherever they are trying to establish a new life for themselves and their families and for Syria with such a diminished Christian presence.

Lastly please pray that strategies may be found for dealing with ISIS and that peace may be restored to the Middle East and that refugees may return to their own lands if that is their wish.’

posted 04/08/2015

Link Day 2015

Link Day took place on July 20th and this year we had a change of venue due to the refurbishment of Methodist House. We went to Regent Hall, Regent Circus, belonging to the the Salvation Army. It was a good place to access and we would like to thank the Salvation Army for helping to make it such a successful day.

Stella opened the day with devotions using prayers and other material from Together in Prayer and using next year’s theme. We will have to say goodbye to Stella in September as she reaches the end of her term of office. Stella has worked very hard in her role of coordinator of Preparation Days for the north. She will  be succeeded by Muriel Storehouse. It was good to be able to thank Stella collectively for all she has done.

The bible study was more interactive this year, with contributions from many people. We were given the flavour of a possible mime to accompany the bible reading. Margie Savage and Elizabeth Burroughs presented the bible study. Margie is leaving the committee too in September. Margie has been the representative for Northern Ireland and we shall miss her sense of humour and her role of editing the Together in Prayer prayers and her many other contributions.

We were given an update on Maggie Pickford’s health so we could pray for her. Maggie was unable to be with us as she was in hospital for operations for her recurring breast cancer. We have since heard that Maggie has returned home but will need further surgery. Please keep Maggie in your prayers.

Mark Wolstenholme, our speaker, took us on a lively trip to Cuba, amply  illustrated by slides and he played his trombone. He told us these prayers with us and we hope that you will use them before next year’s service.

We felt blessed by this year’s Link Day so if you were unable to attend put it in your diary for next year.

posted 17/07/2015

Stamps from the Bahamas

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Some really attractive stamps were issued by the Bahamas on the occasion of this year’s Women’s World Day of Prayer.

The fifteen cent stamp shows foot washing, the theme of this year’s bible study. The original picture was created in terracotta by Jessica Colebrooke and reminds us to continue serving others. While the fifty cent stamp is a miniature of this year’s poster. The original was painted by Chantal Bethel and the title was ‘Blessed’. Finally the sixty five cent stamp depicts a sculpture in bronze, entitled ‘The Master Key’ by Tyrone Ferguson. This was created as a result of meditating on the question ‘Do you know what I have done to you?’

What a lasting reminder of a great service!

These stamps can be obtained from:

The Bahamas Philatelic Bureau
General Post Office
PO Box N8302
Nassau
Bahamas

You will need to email The Bahamas Philatelic Bureau for full details of costs. Their address is:

bahamasphilatelic@bahamas.gov.bs

PLEASE NOTE – Unfortunately our UK office is unable to deal with any queries regarding these stamps. You will need to contact The Bahamas direct.

posted 17/07/2015

Y-Pray? Conference

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A weekend conference for young women based on prayer.

Venue: King’s Park Conference Centre, Northampton

Date: 29th April – 1st May 2016

Keynote Speaker: Revd Professor Ulrike Bechmann

Worship Leader: Helen Pollard

This new and exciting venture is being sponsored by our National WWDP Committee. As well as a full and varied programme there will be time for informal fellowship and relaxation. Come and be encouraged in your faith, explore different ways of praying and discover links with women from around the world.

For more information, please scroll down and click on the booking form picture below to print out the leaflet.

NB If you wish to pay by debit or credit card, please return the completed form to the office and then call to make your payment.

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posted 06/06/2015

World Weekend of Prayer – 6th and 7th June 2015

June 6th and 7th is the world weekend of prayer for children at risk. Their organisation tells us these worrying statistics:

‘One billion children live in poverty. 6.6 million under 5’s die from preventable causes. 15% of children are engaged in work. 1 in 10 girls marry before their 15th birthday. 57 million primary aged children are not in school. Since 2008, child poverty has increased in 23 developed world countries.’

Please join us in prayer for these children.

If you want to find out more for yourself you can do so by looking at their website:  www.worldweekendofprayer.com

posted 05/06/2015

Maundy Money

Emma Willcock, former president of WWDP, received the Maundy money this year.

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posted 14/05/2015

Nepal Update

Dear WWDP

Following the terrible news this morning that there has been another high intensity earthquake in Nepal, I just wanted to get in touch to briefly update you and the Committee on the situation.

As you will have seen in the news this morning, a further earthquake of similar intensity to that which struck Nepal just over two weeks ago has caused further devastation in the country.  At least 37 people have lost their lives and another 1,129 have suffered injuries. The global information service IHS’s Chief Economist for the Asia-Pacific region estimates that the latest earthquake could add an additional $1 billion to the costs of reconstruction in the country. There are concerns that further earthquakes could strike in the coming weeks.

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Christian Aid staff in Nepal are now trying to get supplies to the area worst hit by this second earthquake. Our Emergency Programme Officer, Yeeshu Shukla, had gone to Nepal to help co-ordinate relief efforts after the first earthquake and was in the Sindhupalchowk region, some 40 miles away from the epicentre, when the building he was in began shaking.

“For a moment, I thought that the building I was in would come down,” he said. “We rushed out. Everyone was out on the street, some of them panicking, with mothers looking for their children. There were four or five severe aftershocks and some buildings collapsed.”

Later, as he travelled towards Kathmandu, he reported that the roads were lined with people too scared to re-enter buildings. There were heaps of rubble where some structures had collapsed Yeeshu added: “Now the race is on to get clothing and other essentials to the worst hit areas. There’s a shortage of drivers, however, because many of them have returned home to be with their families.”

Christian Aid relief efforts have already reached over 40,000 of the worst affected people with items including medicines, water purification tablets, food and tarpaulins to make shelter. Our brave staff and partners will remain on the ground for the time it takes to help as many of those we as we possibly can in the wake of this second disaster.

Thank you for WWDP’s support in this time of need.

Kind regards,

Iona

Iona Bergius

Philanthropy and Partnerships

Christian Aid | www.christianaid.org.uk

posted 14/05/2015

Mediterranean Refugees

Please join us in  praying for the refugees almost daily leaving Libya’s shores for a new life in Europe. They are not just economic migrants. Many have witnessed life changing atrocities while others are living in fear of these events happening to them. In Libya, people are at risk of rape or kidnap with a view to ransom or torture. This is what causes them to trust criminal groups, with huge sums of money, to travel in leaking, vastly overcrowded boats which are like death traps.

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Already this year 1,700 people have perished making the attempt to reach Europe. That is ten times more than the number that died in the whole of 2014. Most of these have died by drowning.

Please pray with us that the leaders of European countries, who are meeting together, will find a solution to this enormous problem.

Pray also that each country will be prepared  to take their fair share of these people and provide them with a home and a safe new life for their families. Pray too for those left behind in Libya fearing for their safety.

posted 13/05/2015

Christian Aid Donation

We have received this letter and prayers from Christian Aid following our recent donation. It is very encouraging to hear the way that our donation of £5,000 is already being used.

 

Thank you very much, as always, for your continued generous support for our work to provide humanitarian support to those in desperate need.

At this time WWDP’s gift is helping us to provide assistance to 6,400 affected households in Kathmandu Valley and the surrounding districts. We are providing clean, safe drinking water through water purification units, emergency shelters, food, first aid and health clinics and other essential items. The situation in Nepal, however, remains dire. It is already one of the poorest countries in the world, with around 80% of the population depending on subsistence farming for their livelihoods. As always, the poorest have been hit hardest by this tragedy and rebuilding their lives is going to be a major, long-term endeavour. With your kind support Christian Aid and our partners will be there throughout.

Prayer points for the Nepal earthquake

  • Filled with the shock and the horror, we pray for those who are injured and for those who have lost people they love.
  • In the midst of uncertainty and fear, we pray for those who desperately wait to find out if loved ones are alive or dead; for those, now homeless, who soon need to find a way to feed themselves and their scared children.
  • As the aftershocks continue we pray for all of those whose homes, livelihoods and neighbourhoods are broken and lost, as the extent of the damage becomes clear.
  • We pray also for Christian Aid partners. As they witness the pain and suffering in the aftermath of this earthquake, give them the wisdom to know what needs to be done.

Photo: a young boy injured in the earthquake is cared for at a Christian Aid health clinic.

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Thank you for your kind support.

posted 30/04/2015

Nepal Earthquake

At the WWDP Finance Meeting it was decided that an initial donation of £5,000 would be sent to Christian Aid to help Nepal after the earthquake. The scale of the damage and the death toll is going up every day. Please will you join with us in prayer for this country and can you ask your church and your friends to join us as well as the full extent of this tragedy is realised.

Also please could you keep remembering Egypt in your prayers as life is still proving difficult there.

posted 31/01/2015

World Day of Prayer Workshop Albania

Kathleen and Maggie attended a World Day of Prayer workshop in Albania, January 23rd -25th. This was in preparation for the 2015 service praying for The Bahamas. They found it an amazing experience! The photos remind us of the Preparation Days we have visited.

Isn’t it great that the same service is relevant in such different countries!

 

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Enacting Jesus washing his disciples feet…

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posted 11/11/2014

WWDP SISTERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

When National Committee member Eileen Rhodes was on a cruise to the Faroe Islands and Iceland she had the pleasure of meeting two WWDP sisters.   Marisa Spiteri Cremona lived in Torshavn, Faroe Islands, but the only instructions Eileen had been given were that Maria was a Catholic nun working in a children’s kindergarten.   Some detective work and a long uphill walk through the town reaped a reward and they had a joyous time together.   Maria Agustsdottir from Reykjavik, Iceland and Eileen had met before at the last European Conference and so it was a very happy reunion.   Maria invited Eileen to her home to meet her family and showed her the beautiful Hallgrimskirkja (church) where Maria is the Lutheran pastor.

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E & Maria

posted 11/11/2014

NEW NATIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBER

Pictured are Eileen Rhodes, retiring United Reformed Church representative and Revd. Rosemary Shirley who has taken her place.

Eileen has served her full nine years on the Committee and says: “It has been an honour to represent the URC and a real privilege to contribute to the life and work of the WWDP. I have loved every minute!” Rosemary, who is Chaplain of the Point in View Chapel in Exmouth, Devon has had a life-long interest in the World Day of Prayer movement, at first through her mother and then as a minister’s wife, being asked to speak at services. We wish her every blessing as she begins her WWDP journey.

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posted 14/10/2014

Jean Whillis

It is with sadness that we have heard from Simon Whillis of the death of his mother Jean Whillis. Jean was the representative on the National Committee for the United Reformed Church from 1973 to 1990, becoming a Trustee in 1981. As Chairperson Jean was heavily involved in the 50th Anniversary WWDP celebrations which took place at the Albert Hall in London. Her contribution and commitment to Women’s World Day of Prayer was very much appreciated. Jean’s family are remembered in our prayers at this sad time.

posted 20/05/2014

Nepal

This was the sixth project we’d organised in Nepal – a wonderful country, full of surprises and a place where Christianity is growing. Many people are coming to faith and are keen to be mentored in various ways.

Since our return, we’ve find ourselves in occasional traffic jams… Our newfound ability to wait calmly as the queue of traffic slowly progress is a sure side-effect of our stay in Nepal! We use the time to pray for the pastor and his assistant in Odah, the village where we went to work. The team was able to engage these two men to continue the job of caring for families and installing equipment to help with everyday life.

We think fondly of the hundred or so lights we installed and which now shine in the night and illuminate villagers’ houses. We’re delighted to have been able to help create a healthier environment where the ovens have done so much to transform people’s lives. While in Nepal, we were struck by how many men, women and children were suffering from respiratory problems as a result of all the smoke in their homes. Thanks to the new ovens, the smoke has gone. We also remember how good it was to share the light of the gospel with the villagers – singing together, praying with each family, and sharing their joy before we moved on to install an oven in the next house.

Of course, there were difficult times too. Life in Nepal is inherently hard, but the situation becomes much more difficult when there’s a general strike on! The police and army were everywhere as we moved around – mainly to protect people from potential violence from political groups seeking power through intimidation.

We were aware of the heavenly hosts protecting us and opening locked doors for us. On one occasion, for example, political groups were making all kinds of threats and the police told us not to take a particular road. Our driver told us that his own family had threatened to kill him if he tried to drive us the next day! We spent a night of uncertainty, praying through the various things we’d heard. The next morning a bus arrived and about 30 men entered into discussions with the driver. These men turned out to be local representatives of the parties behind the strike. They ended up putting a big banner on the front of the bus. We had no idea what the banner said, but it somehow meant we were able to have safe passage and were able to progress towards our village!

The police also offered us protection – and, among the warring factions, men who had previously been at each other’s throats and had threatened us suddenly grasped the usefulness of our mission and came together to let us pass. Men who were used to violent confrontation on a daily basis joined forces to enable us to reach our destination! What a miracle!

As it says in Proverbs 16:7 “When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.” Our experiences really bore those words out. Similarly in 2 Kings 6:16 when the King of Israel was afraid of the superior strength of the Syrian army and Elisha had a vision which encouraged him to say to the king: “Don’t be afraid. […] Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

We’re sometimes encouraged to “dare to let go” and, for a time, we did indeed have to let go of our preconceptions, our attitudes, our agendas, our management strategies, our sense of being in control. We had to let go of everything and simply accept the answers provided by Him, Lord of heaven and earth… the only truly “fully comprehensive” insurance policy that’s worth having!

Yes, Lord, you know the path; thank you for leading us; your ways are perfect. These are not just words on paper, but a reality we can experience at any moment. He is The Way.

Our thanks go to all those who made this project possible. We know of at least 14 people who have made a profession of faith since we left Nepal. We thank the Lord for His grace and pray that He might continue to transform this part of the world day by day.

 

posted 20/05/2014

Church of England Diocese in Europe – South of France

 

Women’s World Day of Prayer in the South of France

Our congregation is part of the Church of England Diocese in Europe and people come from huge distances to worship twice a month.  There is another small English speaking house church in the area, called Simply Church, otherwise English speaking Roman Catholics attend local churches.  This made it very difficult to meet together to prepare.

Many members of the different congregations had attended services of the Women’s World Day of Prayer whilst still living in UK but this was the first time we had attempted to organise one in this part of France.

This is what was written by someone taking part:

Those of us who took part as the Egyptians, welcomed everyone to Egypt and talked of changing times, from the ancient civilization there to the recent uprising in Tahrir Square and its effects on the local people. We  became truly involved in what we were performing and enjoyed the dressing up in costume and use of symbols to emphasise the life-giving power of water.  The  story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well illustrated the spiritual dimension of water in the desert.

During a time of meditation we looked at slides of Egypt and its people and began to consider what streams in the desert might mean for our own community and who would enable them to flow.  Afterwards we interceded for the women of Egypt and all over the world, for improvements to education for women and that we ourselves might be the channels of living water to the world.

This was the first time that we ,as a church, had taken part in the Women’s World Day of Prayer and it was a great, if somewhat humbling feeling  to know that we were taking part in the same service on the same day  as other women all over the  world.  Our congregation was quite small but hopefully in future years more will join in, as the event becomes a regular occasion.  I think that all of us who took part enjoyed the afternoon, supported  and  helped one another in its preparation and gained some experience  of the life-giving water available to us all wherever we are and in whatever situation of life we find ourselves.

Jenny Morgan

 

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posted 20/05/2014

Buenos Aires

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posted 10/04/2014

Irene Fernandez

WDP Malaysia sent the news of the passing of Irene Fernandez thru founder of ‘Tenaganita’. Her work for migrant human rights was witnessed on the WDP worship service in 2012 written by women in Malaysia. Her story of perseverance inspired many communities to look for their own local stories of women fighting for justice during the DWP celebration. May her witness continue to inspire the action for justice in Malaysia and all over the world.

Unknown

posted 10/04/2014

Service in Limassol, Cyprus

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posted 31/03/2014

Albania

Report on this years service in Albania

It is with great joy that we inform you hereby about the World Day of Prayer, organized by our Church on March 7, 2014. The World Day of Prayer is a global, ecumenical movement of Christian women joined together to observe a common day of prayer each year on the first Friday of March. The motto “Informed Prayer & Prayerful Action” signifies that prayer and action are inseparable.

The theme for this year was “Streams in the Dessert”; we prayed about our Egyptian sisters, as well as challenges and difficulties they deal with daily.

As usual, we gathered in the Church, learned the long history and cultural legacy of Egypt from Merita and had the service prepared from the WDP Committee of Egypt, with the chosen Bible story about Jesus and the Samaritan woman.

It was a blessing to see and feel how beyond distance, we connect spiritually to all the sisters who joined this day in thoughts and prayers.

Attached please find pictures from the event.

May God hear our voices from the desserts in our lives!

In His love and peace,

Tirana, Albania

Lutheran and Moravian Church in Albania

Website: http://www.kishaluteranemoraviane.com/wp/

 

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posted 31/03/2014

France

Report on this years service in Riberac, France

Our 7th ecumenical bi-lingual service was held this year in the lovely (warm) chapel of Riberac Hospital. It was attended by around 50 men and women from the local English and French congregations and proceeded alternately in English and French. The singing was enjoyed by everyone and was beautifully accompanied by flute and guitar and  included  some ‘Egyptian’ style music composed especially for us.

Lin Tarrant

 

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posted 13/03/2014

Mary Smith of Preston

To those of you who knew Mary Smith of Preston or attended her preparation days, this is just to let you know that sadly she passed away on March 6th.
She had been quite poorly since christmas.

posted 04/03/2014

Letter from Rosangela Oliveira in New York

Dear WDP sisters,

We are approaching the date when we all get together around the world to pray with our sisters in Egypt. I have received some news about the study of the 2014 WDP resource material done in the preparatory workshops and how critical is to have Egypt at the center of our informed prayer and prayerful action now.

As we said in the material sent to you previously, the social and political situation of Egypt changed dramatically and quickly since the beginning of the writing process of the worship service. We appreciate your effort to keep your study and celebration up to date to the context. The listening of women’s voices renews the message that the Holy Spirit is sharing like Streams in the Desert.

We want to share with you some updated information sent by Mary Massoud, the WDP Egypt liaison and Camelia Basta, the WDPIC Middle East Regional Representative.

 

“In Egypt, we are also preparing the WDP Celebrations. We just had a wonderful Promotion Meeting at the Heliopolis headquarters of the Bible Society in Egypt, and they are definitely supporting our WDP celebrations on Friday, March 7th.

To be a writer country in the midst of all the turmoil of the last three years, has been a real challenge to our Committee. We earnestly sought the Lord’s guidance in all our early and later drafts, until we finally reached the present version that was shared with you all. 

We started by optimistically believing all the promises made by Mohammed Mursi during his early days as President elected in 2012, only to discover soon afterwards that none of the promises was meant to be kept!  It was a painful discovery.

We are deeply thankful to God who, through the Interim Government, has “turned the tide” in Egypt’s favor. We thank Him for putting us on the right track towards true democracy. We pray for continued guidance to our Interim Government in their preparations for upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections. May only those who really care for Egypt be elected, whether to Parliament or to the Presidency. And may they all be guided by God’s own wisdom in whatever decisions are taken.

The situation of women was deeply impacted as well. In today’s Egypt, educational opportunities, as well as all the professions, all cultural pursuits, and all artistic activities are open to women.  The new (recently approved) Constitution further ensures that women have a say in political life, as well as in every other area of life.  During the reign of Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood, all these liberties were in grave danger. Their notion of a woman’s role is to keep her in the home, confining her to household chores and the bringing up of children. According to them, women should not be involved in any of the professions. Girls should not go on to higher education, but should be married off at the age of 12 or 13!  We praise the Lord that none of these restrictions now holds (not even in villages), thanks to the combined efforts of enlightened contemporary Egyptian women.

The Muslim Brotherhood had tried to control every aspect of life including the Trade Unions. For example, in the Union of Engineers, they put their own leaders in charge, so that they could influence all decisions taken, including some terrible restrictions on women. A recent General Assembly of Engineers legally removed those leaders and are now preparing for new elections.

Regarding the devastating attacks by the Muslim Brothers on Churches and Christian properties, the reason behind this was to create a civil war between Christians and Muslims! Not only was this intention thwarted by the forgiving spirit of the Church, but also the effect was the exact opposite.  Instead of causing a civil war, it has brought Muslims and Christians much closer together than ever before!

Our Message to all groups around the globe celebrating WDP on March 7 is that they will help all true seekers first to find the Lord, and then to be His ambassadors to others, even as the Samaritan Woman did.

Thank you very much indeed for your prayers, which we highly value. May the Lord richly bless all your efforts to the glory of His name and the extension of His kingdom.”

 

Let’s pray together with the women of Egypt for peace. We are looking forward to receiving your reports for the 2014 Journal where you will share with us your prayers and actions like Streams in the Desert.

 

In Christ,

 

Unknown

 

Rosangela Oliveira

Executive Director

 

posted 03/03/2014

Mary Judd meeting with Dr Khalil – Egypt’s Consul General

Our WWDP administrator, Mary Judd, was asked to meet Dr Khalil, Egypt’s Consul General. He mentioned that he was very touched that the world would be praying for Egypt through the Day of Prayer service on March 7th. Dr Khalil also spoke of the important role of women in Egyptian society and how Egypt’s new constitution aims to empower women although he recognised that there are still many needs to be met.

To quote Dr Khalil, ‘Although many measures have been taken to empower Egyptian women, there are a large number of them who are still suffering from several challenges, particularly those coming from poor uneducated families. We still need all efforts, not only governmental ones but non- governmental, at both local and international levels.

In this regard I am honored to express my sincere gratitude to the Women’s World Day of Prayer  Service to dedicate this year to Egypt under the title ‘Streams in the Desert’. I wish that all the prayers addressed on the 7th of March to our beloved country will positively contribute to improving the current situation.

Finally I wish to end my intervention with those eternal words, ‘Blessed are my people Egypt’.
‘Thank you and God bless all of you!’

 

You might find some of these websites helpful in your preparation:

World Help – Pray for Egypt
http://worldhelp.net/pray-for-egypt-christians-targeted-in-attacks/
24-7 Prayer
https://www.24-7prayer.com/blog/2073
Open Doors
http://www.opendoorsuk.org/resources/worldwatch/egypt.php
BBC News
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12315833
Al Jazeera
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/egypt/
Human Rights Watch
https://www.hrw.org/middle-eastn-africa/egypt
and also
http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/egypt)

posted 27/02/2014

RESULT OF CONSULTATION ON THE NAME WOMEN’S WORLD DAY OF PRAYER

From time to time we are asked why we retain the word ‘Women’s’ in our title because people think that it gives the impression that the Day of Prayer service is only for women. Many other countries in the world use just ‘World Day of Prayer’ (WDP) for the Movement.

The National Committee consulted the branches to find out their views about omitting the word ‘Women’s’. Views were also sought through the website. Of the returns received 90% said ‘NO’ to the name change. Following this overwhelming result the National Committee voted at the Annual General Meeting in May 2013, to keep the name as WOMEN’S WORLD DAY OF PRAYER. It was also decided to hold another consultation in a few years time.

We thank everyone who participated in the consultation. The feedback and comments received  will be taken into consideration in the future.

posted 31/01/2014

Women’s Link Fellowship Day

Irish Council of Churches – North and South

Women’s Link Fellowship Day will be held on Saturday 5th April 2014 at:

The Salvation Army Centre
Dublin Road
Belfast

The theme will be ‘Were You There?’ and will be led by Mrs Helen Sloane and Mrs Jenny Robinson. The ladies of the Salvation Army will lead the opening devotions and the president of Women’s Link, Mrs Phyllis Watters will finish the day with the Epilogue.

  • Tea/coffee and registration will commence at 10am and finish by 3.30pm.
  • Delegates fee for the day will be £12/12€ which includes a light lunch.

posted 25/10/2013

Joan Motum

Joan

I am sure there will be people throughout WWDP who will remember Joan and will not know of her passing. Mary Judd and Marguerite Francis attended her memorial service 24th October 2013.

Many in the southern region would have known Joan Motum.

Joan was a long standing branch secretary and conference organiser for Tunbridge Wells. She sadly passed on the 5th October 2013 after a long illness aged 93. Joan was also a stalwart of Tunbridge Wells Baptist Church, the Baptist Union, BMS and Girl Guiding both locally and nationally. A larger than life character who will be missed.

posted 23/10/2013

FUND-RAISING

Mrs Gillian Woolger sent £334.65 from the Great Yarmouth Branch. This amount was raised by holding their annual ‘Strawberry Fayre’ which was very well supported. We thank them for their annual contribution to WWDP funds.

 

posted 23/10/2013

Service for 2014

Service for 2014 – STREAMS IN THE DESERT

Prepared by the Christian women of Egypt

Resources available from September 2013

posted 23/10/2013

SERVICE DETAILS FOR FRIDAY 7TH MARCH 2014 – EGYPT

You can now download your information for the service on Friday 7th March 2014 – even if you do not have all the information required.

In the Menu, on the left of the WWDP page place the cursor over ‘Manage Services’. You will have a choice of two options, ‘Register New User ‘ and ‘Register New Service’. You will need to register as a user before you can enter any service. Once you have registered, the next time you use the site you do not need to re-register as a ‘New User’ but can directly ‘Register New Service’

Follow the directions and click on ‘Add’.

The Moderator will check your details and if there are no queries, your entry will be accepted. Nearer the date when you have more information eg. the name of your speaker, then you can re-enter the system (using your own password that you used before) and change or add information and update the entry. This will need to be checked again by the Moderator before it is entered onto the site.

If you find that your entry is not on the site, please re-enter the site and check your entry and see whether the Moderator has withheld your information because it needs to be altered eg.the time does not seem correct PLEASE NOTE 24HOUR CLOCK.

iF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS PLEASE CONTACT THE MODERATOR (Web-Admin -WWDP) ON

webadmin@wwdp.org.uk

posted 23/10/2013

GIFT AID

We have received confirmation that the Gift Aid amount received by WWDP for 2012 is:

 £41,881.06!

 

TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE?

In recent months we have had several comments about the title of our Movement and why we include the word ‘women’s’ in it, when so many other countries don’t. As a committee we have periodically discussed this question but have always voted to keep the word ‘women’s’ in the title in solidarity with women all over the world. However, we feel that it is perhaps time to revisit this question and invite you to participate in the discussion. Below are some thoughts about staying as we are or changing our title slightly.

PROS AND CONS FOR A CHANGE OF NAME

Reasons for staying as we are:

  1. The original vision of the women who founded the Movement was for a day when women would come together to pray for the needs, firstly of those at home, and later, of those in other countries. Keeping the ‘Women’ in the title means that we are keeping faith with the women who started the Day of Prayer
  2. Women’s World Day of Prayer is specific and well recognised in church circles

  3. WDP is listed as several other things on the Internet (inc several drug projects)

  4. World Day of Prayer could easily be confused with other Days of Prayer.

  5. In some churches, the men might feel that they should play a bigger part in organising the service, leading to the women feeling marginalised
  6. In some countries WWDP is the only opportunity for women to speak out
  7. In some denominations there are few opportunities for women to draw up and lead worship apart from WWDP

  8. Many women who attend our services are happy with the name

     

Reasons for dropping the word ‘Women’:

  1. The women who began the Movement were visionaries. They would be unlikely to object (if they were here) to a change in the title that reflected the changes in modern society.

  2. The title is old-fashioned in this age of greater equality between men and women – as such it is likely to turn younger women away
  3. Internationally, most countries have dropped the ‘Women’, including countries where there is little equality for women
  4. ‘Day of Prayer’ is much more inclusive, especially as men are invited

  5. Many men see the Movement as ‘just something for the women’ so fail to take it seriously

  6. Some of the women who come to our services are unhappy with the name

Things to think about.

  1. If the word ’women’s’ is dropped from the title, how are we to describe what we are about? Please give suggestions.
  2. What consequences might arise from dropping the name? (mixed committees? mixed National Committee?)

 Alternative name options:

  • World Day of Prayer

  • World Day of Prayer – a service written and led by women
  • Others?

     

posted 23/10/2013

DETAILS OF SERVICES

Reports and pictures of the services that took place on March 1st 2013 can be found under Branch News. They are divided into the three regions of the country and are in alphabetical order.

If you would like to have your service on the website please contact the Moderator on webadmin@wwdp-natcomm.org NB Remember to send details and attach your pictures

 

posted 23/10/2013

POEMS AND PROSE ABOUT FRANCE

We are still keeping people from France in our thoughts and prayers.

Should you feel moved to write something that you think could be used by others please send it to webadmin@wwdp.org.uk and it may be placed on the web-site. Please remember to include your name. You must also state that it is copyright free (ie. you require no payment from the WWDP National Committee or anyone downloading it from the site) without this confirmation it will not be used.

Remember that the theme is ‘I was a Stranger and you Welcomed Me’

 

 

posted 16/06/2017

Rainbow Living

Two years ago Rainbow Living received a grant, from WWDP, for £5,000. They thought that you would like to see what the money went towards. This is the third assisted living house that they have opened for young people with learning disabilities . These pictures were taken on an open day just before the new residents moved in.

 

House from garden

 

Two of the young people who will be living in the house

 

Rainbow project banner on Open Day

 

John Airdrie, architect, parent of disabled boy, Rainbow Project co-founder

 

Specially equipped purpose-built bathroom

 

Garden

 

Garden

 

Two of the young people who will be living in the house

posted 15/03/2017

Joan Gledhill

This is Joan Gledhill age 97 who lives at Amlwch on Anglesey. She attended her first WWDP service in Nottingham in 1951. She carried on attending services and now nearly blinds still opens her home for committee meetings. Her involvement and encouragement are important to the committee.

Joan Gledhill IMG_7953

posted 07/01/2017

Margate branch lunch and strawberry tea!

We were thrilled to receive a cheque recently, for £600, from money raised by the Margate branch. They organised a lunch and strawberry tea.

What a great way of promoting WWDP!

I wonder if there are other branches who could take up this challenge and use this idea to raise funds and put WWDP on the map?

posted 28/11/2016

Maggie Pickford with the Scottish committee at Schoenstatt

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Maggie Pickford, Vice president of WWDP England with the Scottish committee at Schoenstatt. They discussed the materials from Suriname for the 2018 service. They met together for two days and Maggie led the 2nd day.

 

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Maggie was presented with a card and voucher by Suzanne Foster.

posted 27/09/2016

Emma Wilcock

Emma Wilcock

National Committee 1997 – 2010

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Emma Wilcock on Saturday 24th September 2016.

Emma served for 13 years on the National Committee, firstly as the Wesleyan Reform Union representative and then as Chairperson, President and Trustee.

We have lovely memories of Emma and our thoughts and prayers are very much with her family and friends at this time.

A fuller obituary will follow later.

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posted 15/07/2016

Rosangela Oliveira, Executive Director of WDPIC

Rosangela Oliveira (centre) conference keynote speaker, pictured here with Kathleen Skinner (left) and Elizabeth Burroughs (right)

Rosangela Oliveira WP_20160604_16_04_14_Pro

posted 17/06/2016

Meeting at Aberystwyth

On May 11th Maggie, Kathleen and Mary Judd went to Aberystwyth and met with representatives of the Welsh speaking division of Women’s World Day of Prayer.

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posted 12/04/2016

Emmaus Centre

Four members of the EWNI national committee had a wonderful day at the Emmaus Centre in Dublin recently when they met up with members of the Irish and Scottish national committees. The day included worship, prayer, bible study and a sharing of ideas, as well as being a special time of fellowship.

Women WDP at Emmaus 9.4.2016 (2)

posted 09/02/2016

From Rosangela Oliveira of the International Committee for World Day of Prayer

We at WWDP would like to share this letter with you from Rosangela Oliveira of the International Committee  for World Day of Prayer:

We’re a month away from our common day of prayer. We have taken time to study the material, created ecumenical relationships to encourage the celebration, which is open to the communities, and prayed with the Cuban people.

Since the beginning of the material preparations in 2013 to the celebration in 2016, there has been a significant change in the context of the country. We are sharing with you a message from the national coordinator of the Committee in Cuba, Lic. Ormara Nolla Coa.

“The theme: “Receive children. Receive me.” greatly enriched us in preparing for the possibility of thinking like children, getting closer to their realities, receiving Jesus with the simplicity and transparency of a child, and sustaining our hope because they “are the hope of the world.”

When we were assigned this task in 2012, we could not even imagine some of the things that occurred in our country. The most important fact was when on December 17, 2014 the presidents of the United States of America and Cuba made the decision to begin talking about the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between both countries, broken since the early sixties of the last century. With the opening of embassies in Havana and Washington came the possibilities for trade, financial relation, and other measures.

Unfortunately the “Blockade” or “Embargo” and the “Cuban Adjustment Act” are still issues discussed, but to which no solution has been given, nor have we much expectation for its repeal.

We encourage the celebration of the program written by us, Christian women from around the country and different Christian denominations. As every year, we hope to live a new and enriching experience as we move through the WDP to the realities of other countries.

We pray to the Lord that in this March, through the activities undertaken, we feel more united while learning about our people who in the midst of adversity have always maintained hope and a church that has borne witness to their faithfulness to the Lord of History and Life.

posted 21/11/2015

Lois Evans

Some of you may remember Lois Evans.

Lois was on the WWDP representing the Quakers from 1988 until 1997. During that time she was editor of Together in Prayer.

Lois passed away on October 16th and her funeral took place in Liverpool on November 9th.

posted 23/10/2015

2015 Grants

We are pleased to say that the 2015 grants were allocated in September and  details may be seen in the grants section of our website.

posted 29/09/2015

Peace Pole

Elizabeth Burroughs says:

‘In St Austell on Sunday the 28th September 2015 (International Day of Prayer for Peace) we unveiled and dedicated a Peace Pole.  See http://www.maypeaceprevailonearth.org.uk/

Our Peace Pole has on it the words of the universal peace prayer:  May peace prevail on earth – in English, Cornish, Arabic and Hebrew’

In peace,
Elizabeth

Preview.app Document

posted 04/08/2015

Link Day 2015

Link Day took place on July 20th and this year we had a change of venue due to the refurbishment of Methodist House. We went to Regent Hall, Regent Circus, belonging to the the Salvation Army. It was a good place to access and we would like to thank the Salvation Army for helping to make it such a successful day.

Stella opened the day with devotions using prayers and other material from Together in Prayer and using next year’s theme. We will have to say goodbye to Stella in September as she reaches the end of her term of office. Stella has worked very hard in her role of coordinator of Preparation Days for the north. She will  be succeeded by Muriel Storehouse. It was good to be able to thank Stella collectively for all she has done.

The bible study was more interactive this year, with contributions from many people. We were given the flavour of a possible mime to accompany the bible reading. Margie Savage and Elizabeth Burroughs presented the bible study. Margie is leaving the committee too in September. Margie has been the representative for Northern Ireland and we shall miss her sense of humour and her role of editing the Together in Prayer prayers and her many other contributions.

We were given an update on Maggie Pickford’s health so we could pray for her. Maggie was unable to be with us as she was in hospital for operations for her recurring breast cancer. We have since heard that Maggie has returned home but will need further surgery. Please keep Maggie in your prayers.

Mark Wolstenholme, our speaker, took us on a lively trip to Cuba, amply  illustrated by slides and he played his trombone. He told us these prayers with us and we hope that you will use them before next year’s service.

We felt blessed by this year’s Link Day so if you were unable to attend put it in your diary for next year.

posted 05/06/2015

Maundy Money

Emma Willcock, former president of WWDP, received the Maundy money this year.

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posted 11/11/2014

NEW NATIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBER

Pictured are Eileen Rhodes, retiring United Reformed Church representative and Revd. Rosemary Shirley who has taken her place.

Eileen has served her full nine years on the Committee and says: “It has been an honour to represent the URC and a real privilege to contribute to the life and work of the WWDP. I have loved every minute!” Rosemary, who is Chaplain of the Point in View Chapel in Exmouth, Devon has had a life-long interest in the World Day of Prayer movement, at first through her mother and then as a minister’s wife, being asked to speak at services. We wish her every blessing as she begins her WWDP journey.

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posted 14/10/2014

Jean Whillis

It is with sadness that we have heard from Simon Whillis of the death of his mother Jean Whillis. Jean was the representative on the National Committee for the United Reformed Church from 1973 to 1990, becoming a Trustee in 1981. As Chairperson Jean was heavily involved in the 50th Anniversary WWDP celebrations which took place at the Albert Hall in London. Her contribution and commitment to Women’s World Day of Prayer was very much appreciated. Jean’s family are remembered in our prayers at this sad time.

posted 13/03/2014

Mary Smith of Preston

To those of you who knew Mary Smith of Preston or attended her preparation days, this is just to let you know that sadly she passed away on March 6th.
She had been quite poorly since christmas.

posted 31/01/2014

Women’s Link Fellowship Day

Irish Council of Churches – North and South

Women’s Link Fellowship Day will be held on Saturday 5th April 2014 at:

The Salvation Army Centre
Dublin Road
Belfast

The theme will be ‘Were You There?’ and will be led by Mrs Helen Sloane and Mrs Jenny Robinson. The ladies of the Salvation Army will lead the opening devotions and the president of Women’s Link, Mrs Phyllis Watters will finish the day with the Epilogue.

  • Tea/coffee and registration will commence at 10am and finish by 3.30pm.
  • Delegates fee for the day will be £12/12€ which includes a light lunch.

posted 25/10/2013

Joan Motum

Joan

I am sure there will be people throughout WWDP who will remember Joan and will not know of her passing. Mary Judd and Marguerite Francis attended her memorial service 24th October 2013.

Many in the southern region would have known Joan Motum.

Joan was a long standing branch secretary and conference organiser for Tunbridge Wells. She sadly passed on the 5th October 2013 after a long illness aged 93. Joan was also a stalwart of Tunbridge Wells Baptist Church, the Baptist Union, BMS and Girl Guiding both locally and nationally. A larger than life character who will be missed.

posted 23/10/2013

FUND-RAISING

Mrs Gillian Woolger sent £334.65 from the Great Yarmouth Branch. This amount was raised by holding their annual ‘Strawberry Fayre’ which was very well supported. We thank them for their annual contribution to WWDP funds.

 

posted 23/10/2013

Service for 2014

Service for 2014 – STREAMS IN THE DESERT

Prepared by the Christian women of Egypt

Resources available from September 2013

posted 23/10/2013

SERVICE DETAILS FOR FRIDAY 7TH MARCH 2014 – EGYPT

You can now download your information for the service on Friday 7th March 2014 – even if you do not have all the information required.

In the Menu, on the left of the WWDP page place the cursor over ‘Manage Services’. You will have a choice of two options, ‘Register New User ‘ and ‘Register New Service’. You will need to register as a user before you can enter any service. Once you have registered, the next time you use the site you do not need to re-register as a ‘New User’ but can directly ‘Register New Service’

Follow the directions and click on ‘Add’.

The Moderator will check your details and if there are no queries, your entry will be accepted. Nearer the date when you have more information eg. the name of your speaker, then you can re-enter the system (using your own password that you used before) and change or add information and update the entry. This will need to be checked again by the Moderator before it is entered onto the site.

If you find that your entry is not on the site, please re-enter the site and check your entry and see whether the Moderator has withheld your information because it needs to be altered eg.the time does not seem correct PLEASE NOTE 24HOUR CLOCK.

iF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS PLEASE CONTACT THE MODERATOR (Web-Admin -WWDP) ON

webadmin@wwdp.org.uk

posted 23/10/2013

GIFT AID

We have received confirmation that the Gift Aid amount received by WWDP for 2012 is:

 £41,881.06!

 

TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE?

In recent months we have had several comments about the title of our Movement and why we include the word ‘women’s’ in it, when so many other countries don’t. As a committee we have periodically discussed this question but have always voted to keep the word ‘women’s’ in the title in solidarity with women all over the world. However, we feel that it is perhaps time to revisit this question and invite you to participate in the discussion. Below are some thoughts about staying as we are or changing our title slightly.

PROS AND CONS FOR A CHANGE OF NAME

Reasons for staying as we are:

  1. The original vision of the women who founded the Movement was for a day when women would come together to pray for the needs, firstly of those at home, and later, of those in other countries. Keeping the ‘Women’ in the title means that we are keeping faith with the women who started the Day of Prayer
  2. Women’s World Day of Prayer is specific and well recognised in church circles

  3. WDP is listed as several other things on the Internet (inc several drug projects)

  4. World Day of Prayer could easily be confused with other Days of Prayer.

  5. In some churches, the men might feel that they should play a bigger part in organising the service, leading to the women feeling marginalised
  6. In some countries WWDP is the only opportunity for women to speak out
  7. In some denominations there are few opportunities for women to draw up and lead worship apart from WWDP

  8. Many women who attend our services are happy with the name

     

Reasons for dropping the word ‘Women’:

  1. The women who began the Movement were visionaries. They would be unlikely to object (if they were here) to a change in the title that reflected the changes in modern society.

  2. The title is old-fashioned in this age of greater equality between men and women – as such it is likely to turn younger women away
  3. Internationally, most countries have dropped the ‘Women’, including countries where there is little equality for women
  4. ‘Day of Prayer’ is much more inclusive, especially as men are invited

  5. Many men see the Movement as ‘just something for the women’ so fail to take it seriously

  6. Some of the women who come to our services are unhappy with the name

Things to think about.

  1. If the word ’women’s’ is dropped from the title, how are we to describe what we are about? Please give suggestions.
  2. What consequences might arise from dropping the name? (mixed committees? mixed National Committee?)

 Alternative name options:

  • World Day of Prayer

  • World Day of Prayer – a service written and led by women
  • Others?

     

posted 23/10/2013

DETAILS OF SERVICES

Reports and pictures of the services that took place on March 1st 2013 can be found under Branch News. They are divided into the three regions of the country and are in alphabetical order.

If you would like to have your service on the website please contact the Moderator on webadmin@wwdp-natcomm.org NB Remember to send details and attach your pictures

 

posted 23/10/2013

POEMS AND PROSE ABOUT FRANCE

We are still keeping people from France in our thoughts and prayers.

Should you feel moved to write something that you think could be used by others please send it to webadmin@wwdp.org.uk and it may be placed on the web-site. Please remember to include your name. You must also state that it is copyright free (ie. you require no payment from the WWDP National Committee or anyone downloading it from the site) without this confirmation it will not be used.

Remember that the theme is ‘I was a Stranger and you Welcomed Me’

 

 

posted 14/12/2016

Workshop III in Burreli Albania

Burrell in Albania held a workshop from November24th until November 27th. There were 22 participants. Some of them were young women. They were all interested in the  topics discussed and shared testimonies too. The Bible teaching was about Mary and Martha and Advent. They also learned about staying healthy by eating good food and how to avoid infection.

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posted 07/11/2016

Burreil Albania

These pictures are from Albania where they had a workshop. Twenty five people came and they discussed several health issues and had lots of fun together.

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posted 17/10/2016

The WDP Journal 2016

The WDP Journal 2016 tells how the Day of Prayer was celebrated in different parts of the world.

wdp-journal-2016-web-1

posted 23/09/2016

Burrell in Albania

In June, Burrell in Albania had their first workshop. It lasted three days. Twenty three women attended and the theme was about health and the body.

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posted 11/07/2016

Cuba News for July

  • In the mid-1970s, a man trekked through the Cuban countryside, distributing Christian pamphlets secretly and illegally to anyone brave enough to accept them. He was a soft-spoken, newly ordained priest whom everybody called “Father Juanito”. Sometimes, in a beaten-up jeep, he would drive out to far-flung villages to hold clandestine services.

And now he has just been installed as the Archbishop of Havana –  Juan de la Caridad Garcia.

Garcia’s record of concern for the poor, for women and children and those battling with alcoholism, is expected to take the Cuban Catholic Church in a new direction. But he pays tribute to the careful diplomatic work of his predecessor, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, who has established close links with the government and will still be on hand to help with delicate matters of negotiation.

Archbishop Garcia sums up his priorities quite simply. “The church lives the Gospel, announces the Gospel and denounces what’s wrong in order for progress to be made.”

  • The gradually improving relations between Cuba and the USA are leading to many more communications links. American Airlines is inaugurating regular flights to five Cuban cities in September this year. Other carriers including Delta, United, JetBlue, Southwest and Frontier Airlines have also received federal permission to fly to various Cuban cities.
  • A number of Christian organizations – the Luis Palau Bible Institute, the International Bible Society, the Luis Palau Association and Logos Christian University – are planning to host a historic gathering in Cuba this November that will offer ministry training to scores of local pastors. It hasn’t been easy to offer video-based or online training, because of technological difficulties, and so it is hoped that  these free, face-to-face courses will be much more effective.

Up until now, the Luis Palau Institute has managed to train only about forty leaders in Cuba, but November’s conference will bring 220 pastors together. Says Dr Carlos Barbieri (director of the Luis Palau Insitute), “”The idea is to take several teachers and have three days of intensive studies on specific topics of unique interest to Cuban pastors. We figured that if pastors cannot access the studies online, we will bring the studies directly to them.”

This would not have been possible until very recently, but the changing relationship between Cuba and the Western world has allowed more teachers to gain visas to enter Cuba, and more freedom for Christian leaders to travel internally and attend training of this kind.

  • This month the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will send Cuba a shipment of Bibles specifically designed for pastors and church leaders. Cuba is short of Bibles, and a drive to supply them began back in December 2015. So far over 28,000 have been sent, and July’s shipment (a further 14,000) is tailored to give church leaders help in using the Bible in church activities, including weddings and baptisms.

The Bibles cost $15US to produce, which is the average monthly wage of a state employee in Cuba. Pastors make on average less than $10 a month.

Revd Juan Carlos is one of the Cuban pastors who distributed the imported Bibles. Recently he was driving home, with just one Bible left, when his car was stopped by three policemen. At first he was worried, he says.

“One of the policeman came running up to the car. He said, ‘I know you already. You’re the ones who are carrying Bibles all over Cuba now.'”

The policeman then said, “”The reason I stopped you is that I know you are pastors and I’m hoping you can give me a Bible.”

They gave him the last one.

  • Cuba is not often thought of as a force for peace in the world. But recently its unusual situation has made it a neutral place where talks can take place, arguments be resolved, and hatchets buried.

After his historic meeting with the Orthodox Patriarch in Havana this February, Pope Francis told President Raul Castro, “”If Cuba keeps on being so really available like this, it could become the capital of unity.”

The Pope and Patriarch had just signed a 30-point statement of common purposes – the first joint document since the Great Schism of 1054. And on June 23rd in Havana, in the presence of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, another historic document was signed, when both sides in the bitter Colombian conflict agreed to stop fighting.

The struggle in Colombia has lasted for 52 years and has cost 200,000 lives. Six million people have been displaced and 9000 political prisoners wait to be freed. Cuba is extremely proud of its role in making this happen.

  • Ada María López Canino is one of the Damas de Blanco, the Cuban pressure group who protest peacefully by wearing white to church services each Sunday. Recently her daughter fell ill with lung problems, and was sent to hospital. Conditions were dreadful, and government agents tried to bribe Ada by offering better care for her daughter is she cooperated. She refused, unless similar care was offered to all of the children in that wing of the hospital.

Her daughter recovered, to the great surprise of the doctors. Ada reports, “She must keep seeing a pulmonologist, although the ultrasound on her lung showed nothing, along with the X-rays. The doctors asked me: ‘Lady, what did you do?’ I haven’t done anything. God has. Because my God is a living God, and also works miracles in these times.”

posted 11/07/2016

Cuba News for June

  • On May 12th Cuban poet and human-rights activist Armando Valladares received the Canterbury Medal, awarded by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, in New York. In his speech he said:

When I was 23 years old I did a very small thing. I refused to say a few words, “I’m with Fidel.” First I refused the sign on my desk that said as much, and after years of torture and watching so many fellow fighters die, either in body or in spirit, I persisted in my refusal to say the few words the regime demanded of me.

My story is proof that a seemingly small act of defiance can mean everything to the enemies of freedom. They did not keep me in jail for 22 years because my refusal to say three words meant nothing. They kept me there that long because it meant everything. 

For me to say those words would have been spiritual suicide. And though my body was in prison and abused, my soul was free and flourished. My jailers took everything from me, but they could not hijack my conscience.

Even when we have nothing, each person and only that person possesses the keys to his or her own conscience, his or her own sacred castle. In that respect, each of us, though we may not have an earthly castle or even a house, each of us is richer than a king or queen….

Beware young friends. Never compromise. Never allow the government—or anyone else—to tell you what you can or cannot believe or what you can and cannot say or what your conscience tells you to have to do.

The whole speech can be read here.

  • Seven years ago, the Mennonite churches claimed 3,400-4000 Cuban members, in 82 churches. Today there are 200 churches, and numbers have doubled to 8,426. This is despite the expulsion of some of the most outspoken and passionate Mennonite leaders from the island five years ago. (The banished leaders have gone on to plant churches in Nicaragua, Mexico and Peru.)

The Mennonite churches were forbidden to buy property or build churches, and so many congregations meet in houses. They say, “It’s very typical to have a hundred people in a house, and they have the service inside and in the backyard and around the front and sides.” Now that restrictions have been relaxed a little, a three-storey Bible school and training centre has been built which the Mennonites hope other groups will use too.

  • Cuban Baptists are improving their facilities too. Rev. Maykel Bàez Bruffau, the President of the national Baptist fellowship of Cuba, has been able to replace contaminated water storage barrels and introduce a new filtration system in the Baptist conference centre. The Cuban water supply is notoriously poor in quality, and it is hoped that this new initiative will help churches all over Cuba learn to share the Christian message more effectively.
  • Cubans are flocking in to Texas – and that is creating worries for the Catholic Church’s Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, who are expecting to assist around 3,500 Cuban migrants settle in the next few weeks. They expect two plane loads each day, carrying 150 people, but the indications are that this expectation will be swamped. Panama, Costa Rica and other Latin American countries are forcing Cuban refugees to travel on to the USA, pushing potential figures up to a daily 350.

The Cubans come into the United States from Mexico, crossing the Santa Fe International Bridge into El Paso. The Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, who say they exist to “advance justice and protect the rights of those we serve in the spirit of gospel values”, warn that their funding is inadequate to the task. DMRS, founded in 1986, is the only full-service immigration legal aid clinic serving low-income immigrants and refugees residing in the southwestern United States.

  • Cuban President Raul Castro has promised that he will leave office in 2018. He has also picked his successor: the First Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez. What will life be like for the churches under Díaz-Canel?

First signs are not encouraging. The First Vice President is sometimes described as “a hardline party apparatchik”. A member of the Politburo since 1997, he has been associated with much of the repression of Christians over the last few years, and is unlikely to change the Castro government’s attitude to the churches. However, in the present softening climate, he held a unique meeting last September with nearly a hundred representatives of different religious institutions and groupings, and claims they have a role to fulfil in the development of Cuba. He said that “prosperity is not only about economic development”, and that “material improvement does not automatically lead to the restoration of values”.

  • The Cuban Foreign Ministry has announced that Cuba and the USA are planning new cooperation agreements, to be signed over the next few months. Among the areas to be mutually addressed will be the fight against drugs, search and rescue operations, oil spill response in the Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida, seismic monitoring, plant and animal health, terrestrial protected areas, and meteorology. There are also plans for a series of high-level visits from each country to the other, to foster dialogue and understanding.
  • President Castro’s daughter Mariela – well known as an advocate for LGBT rights – led a mass march on May 14th to celebrate the Ninth National Anti-Homophobia and Transphobia Day, urging the government to move ahead with legislation permitting same-sex marriage. The march climaxed with a celebration of symbolic weddings of same-sex couples.

Cuba’s originally repressive sexual legislation has gradually been loosened. When the revolution first took place in 1959, thousands of homosexual people were sent to labour camps. And until 1993, HIV/AIDS sufferers were forcibly quarantined in state-run institutions. But by 1979, consensual homosexual relationships had been decriminalized, and in 2013 a new labour code outlawed discrimination on the basis of sexual preference. Gender identity discrimination has not yet been addressed.

  • The largest Adventist church in Cuba is Guantanamo Central Adventist, which isn’t big enough to contain the thousand or so members who turn up every Sunday. It has a lively, passionate congregation whose vibrant faith has helped Adventist numbers in Cuba to jump to 7,078 members.

And it is led by a woman.

Gilma Carbonell is 44, and a former university lecturer with a degree in Marxist philosophy and education. After her baptism into the church in 1995, she attended the Adventist seminary in Havana, and then began work as a pastor, although she is not ordained. (Many Cuban pastors, both male and female, have no ordination.) Her remarkable gifts of organization and strategic planning have resulted in aggressive church planting, quality educational work, and training of church members for responsibilities in fostering growth.

This month her work in Eastern Cuba enters a new stage as the Alto Oriente Mission, which she pioneered, becomes a “Conference” in its own right.

  • News is just filtering through of the arrest of Berta Soler, leader of the Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White). The Ladies in White are a (largely Catholic) opposition group founded in 2003 by wives and relatives of jailed dissidents. The women attend Mass each Sunday dressed in white, and then parade the streets as a silent protest. The colour white was chosen as a symbol of peace, and in 2005 the group received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from the European Parliament.

(Soler and others were forbidden to leave Cuba to accept the award, but in 2013 she was permitted to travel and receive it. Her own husband is serving a twenty-year sentence for his activist activities.)

The Damas de Blanco are not liked by the government, who regard them as a subversive group of American-backed terrorists. There have been waves of arrests in 2010, 2012, 2015 and now 2016, just hours before President Barrack Obama’s visit to Havana.

Berta Soler’s arrest came when she attended the installation of the new Archbishop of Havana on May 22nd. She is charged with assaulting a police officer, and insists that there is video evidence to prove her complete innocence. She has said however that she is willing to go to jail if necessary.

At the moment she is under a number of restrictions, including a ban on travel outside Cuba. She has been warned that if found guilty she faces a period of between three months and five years in prison.

  • In the wake of Obama’s visit to Cuba, Asian and European big business is beginning to develop its links with the island. Cuba and South Korea have never been friends (Cuba is one of just three of the 191 UN member states with which South Korea does not have diplomatic relations) but the South Korean Foreign Minister has been invited to attend a multilateral summit meeting in Havana this month. Meanwhile Japanese trading houses are also forming links: Mitsubishi, for example, has just opened Havana offices, aiming to supply Japanese medical devices and farm equipment, as well as to win orders to replace such aging facilities as power plants. Mitsubishi may also sell Cuba liquefied natural gas.

A new British renewable energy company, Havana Energy, has agreed to build a biomass power station in Cuba – the first of possibly five, each of which will cost £125 million to build. Havana Energy is headed by former Labour trade secretary Brian Wilson.

An older (and less health-promoting) British company is also interested in Cuba. Imperial Brands, the tobacco giant, is contemplating a return to Cuba to start manufacturing luxury cigars once again.

posted 12/04/2016

Underberg, South Africa.

Hello Committee,

I just wanted to tell you that the Women’s World Day of Prayer this year was held in my own church – Underberg Congregational Church. Underberg Congregational Church is in Underberg, in KZ Natal, South Africa.

As services are inter-denominational, we circulate around the different churches. I was reading the part of the old Granny or GoGo in Zulu. I was sitting next to a lady from the Anglican Church, who told me something very interesting. Women’s World Day of prayer started at my church!

It was started by a Mrs Cook, who worshipped there! Do you know this? This Saturday is the 120th celebration of the church and we are gathering in all of the community to celebrate with us. So, Mrs Cook must be a very important part of our history!

Best wishes,

Ann Bristow

posted 29/02/2016

Cuba is Changing!

Cuba is changing! And this last year has seen some significant changes; it has been a pivotal twelve months in Cuban history. As we have prepared for the Day of Prayer, it has been difficult to guess exactly what would be going on there when the date arrived.

So here is a summary of some of the things which have been happening; we hope it will assist you in last-minute preparations for your local service.

First, Cuba’s relationships with the USA are warming rapidly. The US has re-opened its embassy in Havana; and on March 21st and 22nd, President Obama will meet with Raul Castro, Cuba’s President, as well as other important leaders. This will be the first time an American president has visited the island since 1928. On Twitter, Obama comments, “We still have differences with the Cuban government that I will raise directly. America will always stand for human rights around the world.” This reflects the fact that there are still concerns in the West about civil liberties and democratic participation in Cuba.

But the new initiatives should bring an end to the economic embargo which has crippled the Cuban economy for more than half a century. Cleber, an American tractor firm, has already opened up for business in Cuba, and 110 flights by American airlines are now permitted every day. Internet connections are improving and credit cards are recognized. Seven leading Cuban dissidents have just been offered unexpected permission to make a trip abroad, as a sign that things are changing.

This follows last year’s freeing of several dissidents, most of whom have now settled in the United States. Ordinary Cubans who are disappointed by the speed of change in their country continue to migrate to the US; between October 2013 and December 2015, the number soared to 80,000.

Other countries are also renewing and improving their contacts with Cuba. Later in March the European Union will be holding high-level talks with Havana; Australia is negotiating greater trading opportunities; and Pakistan is discussing trade links too. Suddenly, Cuba is opening up to the rest of the world. And so, bizarrely, Communist Cuba has been chosen as the place for a historic meeting between two of the most powerful leaders in world Christianity: in Havana in February the Pope met, kissed and embraced the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church for the first time since the schism of 1054.

One of the remaining issues between Cuba and the USA is Guantanamo Bay. The infamous prison is built on Cuban land which was leased to the USA in 1903; the government of Cuba regard America’s possession of its territory as completely illegal, and gained by force. Now that President Obama is trying to have the detention facility closed (although his plans are unlikely to be approved by Congress), Cubans are watching with great interest. Only 91 prisoners are left in Guantanamo Bay.

Poverty remains a worrying problem in Cuba, and there are fears that as the dilapidation of Havana is put right, the cost of renovation will price ordinary Cubans out of living in their own capital city. In the countryside, soil degradation means that farms are struggling. The island is no longer able to feed itself, and relies on imports for 70% of its food – including, ironically, sugar.

Another worry is the Zika virus. No cases have yet been reported in Cuba, but it is almost certain that some will happen soon. 9000 troops and 200 policemen have been despatched to fumigate houses, hundreds of clinics are watching anxiously for symptoms, and quarantine wards are being hastily prepared. The World Bank estimates that Cuba stands to lose $664 million in tourist revenue this year because of the virus; that’s nearly 1% of the country’s annual income.

And so we pray this March for a changing country where signs of hope are intermingled with growing fears and worries. It’s a good time to be concerned for Cuba.

posted 30/11/2015

Climate Change Summit in Paris

Please pray for the world leaders as they meet together at a landmark summit in Paris  for talks about climate change. Christian Aid and Cafod are urging ministers to ‘confront the ecological destruction before it is too late.’ The conference starts on Monday November 30th and ends on December11th.

 

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Source – bbc.co.uk – © 2015 BBC

Some nations will already be experiencing extreme weather conditions while others will be reluctant to change their energy source because of the previous financial outlay.Farming methods too will be under scrutiny.

The poverty injustice brought by pollution must be addressed. They state ‘We believe that hope lies in acting together to address the shared problems faced by humanity

posted 24/11/2015

Paris

Please keep praying for Paris, even when it is getting less media attention.

On November 13th the assault on Paris took  the lives of 129 people and 352 people were injured, as figures stand at present. Many of those injured will still be receiving hospital treatment some have had life changing injuries requiring months of rehabilitation.

Let us pray for the bereaved families trying to adjust to knowing that their loved ones will never return and people knowing that their lives are changed forever.

 

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Source – bbc.co.uk – © 2015 BBC

 

Please remember too, those in Brussels a city shutdown,waiting to see when and where the terrorists may strike again. The Belgian Prime minister has confirmed that ‘the threat is serious and imminent’. This high alert status will remain for another 6 days. Pray for people who try to continue to live normal lives under these circumstances.

posted 23/10/2015

2015 Grants

We are pleased to say that the 2015 grants were allocated in September and  details may be seen in the grants section of our website.

posted 18/09/2015

More News from Chile

Chile’s president’s chaplain, Reverend Alfred Cooper says that prayer saved their country from ‘much worse damage’.

This earthquake has been the worse so far in 2015 but the loss of life has been minimal.

Although tsunamis caused floods in coastal towns those alerts have now been lifted. However people remain fearful that they may recur.

Reverend Cooper asks us to pray that ‘the government will make the right decisions in terms of how to help and that we have good coordination of the relief effort’.

posted 18/09/2015

Pray for Chile

Please will you join us in praying for Chile and the surrounding countries?

There was an earthquake in Santiago today, which came from five miles underground. Buildings shook so much that people ran out into the streets. The earthquake took place at 8am and measured 8.3 magnitude. Tsunamis have been forecast for countries around the Pacific Circle. Please pray that if this happens there will be enough warning for people to escape harm and pray that any damage to homes or livelihoods will be minimal.

posted 18/09/2015

Update on Egypt

Here is some news to Inform our prayer for Egypt which started in 2014.

Release International are asking Christians in the UK and Ireland ‘to stand together with Egyptian Christians in prayer to support the suffering church and halt the exodus of Christians from Egypt.’

Christians are suffering death threats, attacks and are being driven from their own homes. The constitution has changed but particularly, in remote areas this is not yet a reality.

‘The Coptic community is the largest Christian presence in the Middle East’ but after the killing and burning of churches of 2013 and this recent violence, many Christians feel they and their families futures are too uncertain and are leaving for Europe, Canada and the States.

posted 18/09/2015

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them

Sand washed flotsam
gently offered by the ocean to the beach
there amongst the shells and seaweed
just within the young man’s reach.
Limp and lifeless, gently carried
As an offering to us all,
Melting hearts, awakening morals,
changing minds and opening eyes
to the plight of many thousands
fleeing with their shattered lives.
Like a little seed he’s buried
in the land from whence he came
but his message has been carried
and is spreading like a flame.
Love and goodwill are emerging
from the corners of our land
bringing welcome, hope and comfort,
trying hard to understand.
Germany had learned the lesson
of the world wars one and two.
They have re-addressed the balance
showing all the way to go.
Look and learn you men of violence,
Bomb and bullet may destroy temples,
homes, Palmyra, Paris
but they never can destroy
what that little lad has given us.
You’ve been beaten by a little boy.

Margie Savage Sept 2015

For Aylan

posted 18/09/2015

Prayer for Refugees

Lord of wilderness, wave and wind, you travel with the wanderers of the world.
Stay close, we pray, to all who live with loss, in terror and adrift, and spur us on to build a world where there is truly room for all.

Lord Jesus, you came among us homeless and as a refugee.
Shake our complacency, rekindle our compassion, and help us challenge our leaders to forge a common strategy that is both truly just and fair.

Prayers by Desmond Busted and Hannah Tooley

posted 07/09/2015

Prayer for Cuba

Please could you pray with us for Cuba throughout the coming months.

As news breaks it would be great to know that our WWDP branches are praying with us for greater religious freedom for Cuban Christians and that these restrictive laws may change.

While it was great to hear that The Reverend Jesus Noel Carballeda from Cuba, had been released from prison. He had been held there without a trial for six months. He was arrested and imprisoned for holding church services before he had the necessary government approval. Christian Solidarity tell us that during the previous year  there were 220 cases of religious discrimination.’

posted 19/08/2015

Prayers for Cuba

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‘Relations between Cuba and America are better now than they have been for 53 years. The cold war brought a close down but now the American Embassy has reopened Cuba is showing more interest in Christianity. For 50 years Cuba had a bible ban in place but now churches are allowed bibles and they can be sold in shops. 83,000 bibles have already been supplied from America.
Please pray that this interest in God’s word will grow and people will want to read it for themselves.

Please also pray for the pope’s visit to Cuba in September, that it will further heal relations. (We know that the pope has already been involved in getting the Americans and Cubans together for discussions.)

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posted 19/08/2015

International Reasons for Prayer

‘On Friday 7th August 2015, in Syria, 230 people were kidnapped by Islamic State. Sixty of these people were Christian and the rest seem to be Sunni Muslim. They were taken from the town of Qarytain  and nothing has been heard since about their whereabouts or whether they were kidnapped in order to demand an enormous ransom. It was only last February when 220 Assyrian  Christians were seized from their farming communities bordering the Khabur River in Hassakeh province.
Very few have been released and no details are known of the conditions in which they are being held.
Please pray that they may remain safe and restored to their community.

Recently the Daily Mail spoke of female prisoners who are traded as goods using a published price list. Nineteen girls were executed because they had disobeyed orders to sleep with ISIS fighters.
Please pray for their families in their distress and loss and that this does not happen to more young women.

Since 2011, when fighting began in Syria around 60,000 Christians have left their country.
Please pray for them wherever they are trying to establish a new life for themselves and their families and for Syria with such a diminished Christian presence.

Lastly please pray that strategies may be found for dealing with ISIS and that peace may be restored to the Middle East and that refugees may return to their own lands if that is their wish.’

posted 17/07/2015

Stamps from the Bahamas

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Some really attractive stamps were issued by the Bahamas on the occasion of this year’s Women’s World Day of Prayer.

The fifteen cent stamp shows foot washing, the theme of this year’s bible study. The original picture was created in terracotta by Jessica Colebrooke and reminds us to continue serving others. While the fifty cent stamp is a miniature of this year’s poster. The original was painted by Chantal Bethel and the title was ‘Blessed’. Finally the sixty five cent stamp depicts a sculpture in bronze, entitled ‘The Master Key’ by Tyrone Ferguson. This was created as a result of meditating on the question ‘Do you know what I have done to you?’

What a lasting reminder of a great service!

These stamps can be obtained from:

The Bahamas Philatelic Bureau
General Post Office
PO Box N8302
Nassau
Bahamas

You will need to email The Bahamas Philatelic Bureau for full details of costs. Their address is:

bahamasphilatelic@bahamas.gov.bs

PLEASE NOTE – Unfortunately our UK office is unable to deal with any queries regarding these stamps. You will need to contact The Bahamas direct.

posted 06/06/2015

World Weekend of Prayer – 6th and 7th June 2015

June 6th and 7th is the world weekend of prayer for children at risk. Their organisation tells us these worrying statistics:

‘One billion children live in poverty. 6.6 million under 5’s die from preventable causes. 15% of children are engaged in work. 1 in 10 girls marry before their 15th birthday. 57 million primary aged children are not in school. Since 2008, child poverty has increased in 23 developed world countries.’

Please join us in prayer for these children.

If you want to find out more for yourself you can do so by looking at their website:  www.worldweekendofprayer.com

posted 14/05/2015

Nepal Update

Dear WWDP

Following the terrible news this morning that there has been another high intensity earthquake in Nepal, I just wanted to get in touch to briefly update you and the Committee on the situation.

As you will have seen in the news this morning, a further earthquake of similar intensity to that which struck Nepal just over two weeks ago has caused further devastation in the country.  At least 37 people have lost their lives and another 1,129 have suffered injuries. The global information service IHS’s Chief Economist for the Asia-Pacific region estimates that the latest earthquake could add an additional $1 billion to the costs of reconstruction in the country. There are concerns that further earthquakes could strike in the coming weeks.

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Christian Aid staff in Nepal are now trying to get supplies to the area worst hit by this second earthquake. Our Emergency Programme Officer, Yeeshu Shukla, had gone to Nepal to help co-ordinate relief efforts after the first earthquake and was in the Sindhupalchowk region, some 40 miles away from the epicentre, when the building he was in began shaking.

“For a moment, I thought that the building I was in would come down,” he said. “We rushed out. Everyone was out on the street, some of them panicking, with mothers looking for their children. There were four or five severe aftershocks and some buildings collapsed.”

Later, as he travelled towards Kathmandu, he reported that the roads were lined with people too scared to re-enter buildings. There were heaps of rubble where some structures had collapsed Yeeshu added: “Now the race is on to get clothing and other essentials to the worst hit areas. There’s a shortage of drivers, however, because many of them have returned home to be with their families.”

Christian Aid relief efforts have already reached over 40,000 of the worst affected people with items including medicines, water purification tablets, food and tarpaulins to make shelter. Our brave staff and partners will remain on the ground for the time it takes to help as many of those we as we possibly can in the wake of this second disaster.

Thank you for WWDP’s support in this time of need.

Kind regards,

Iona

Iona Bergius

Philanthropy and Partnerships

Christian Aid | www.christianaid.org.uk

posted 14/05/2015

Mediterranean Refugees

Please join us in  praying for the refugees almost daily leaving Libya’s shores for a new life in Europe. They are not just economic migrants. Many have witnessed life changing atrocities while others are living in fear of these events happening to them. In Libya, people are at risk of rape or kidnap with a view to ransom or torture. This is what causes them to trust criminal groups, with huge sums of money, to travel in leaking, vastly overcrowded boats which are like death traps.

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Already this year 1,700 people have perished making the attempt to reach Europe. That is ten times more than the number that died in the whole of 2014. Most of these have died by drowning.

Please pray with us that the leaders of European countries, who are meeting together, will find a solution to this enormous problem.

Pray also that each country will be prepared  to take their fair share of these people and provide them with a home and a safe new life for their families. Pray too for those left behind in Libya fearing for their safety.

posted 13/05/2015

Christian Aid Donation

We have received this letter and prayers from Christian Aid following our recent donation. It is very encouraging to hear the way that our donation of £5,000 is already being used.

 

Thank you very much, as always, for your continued generous support for our work to provide humanitarian support to those in desperate need.

At this time WWDP’s gift is helping us to provide assistance to 6,400 affected households in Kathmandu Valley and the surrounding districts. We are providing clean, safe drinking water through water purification units, emergency shelters, food, first aid and health clinics and other essential items. The situation in Nepal, however, remains dire. It is already one of the poorest countries in the world, with around 80% of the population depending on subsistence farming for their livelihoods. As always, the poorest have been hit hardest by this tragedy and rebuilding their lives is going to be a major, long-term endeavour. With your kind support Christian Aid and our partners will be there throughout.

Prayer points for the Nepal earthquake

  • Filled with the shock and the horror, we pray for those who are injured and for those who have lost people they love.
  • In the midst of uncertainty and fear, we pray for those who desperately wait to find out if loved ones are alive or dead; for those, now homeless, who soon need to find a way to feed themselves and their scared children.
  • As the aftershocks continue we pray for all of those whose homes, livelihoods and neighbourhoods are broken and lost, as the extent of the damage becomes clear.
  • We pray also for Christian Aid partners. As they witness the pain and suffering in the aftermath of this earthquake, give them the wisdom to know what needs to be done.

Photo: a young boy injured in the earthquake is cared for at a Christian Aid health clinic.

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Thank you for your kind support.

posted 30/04/2015

Nepal Earthquake

At the WWDP Finance Meeting it was decided that an initial donation of £5,000 would be sent to Christian Aid to help Nepal after the earthquake. The scale of the damage and the death toll is going up every day. Please will you join with us in prayer for this country and can you ask your church and your friends to join us as well as the full extent of this tragedy is realised.

Also please could you keep remembering Egypt in your prayers as life is still proving difficult there.

posted 31/01/2015

World Day of Prayer Workshop Albania

Kathleen and Maggie attended a World Day of Prayer workshop in Albania, January 23rd -25th. This was in preparation for the 2015 service praying for The Bahamas. They found it an amazing experience! The photos remind us of the Preparation Days we have visited.

Isn’t it great that the same service is relevant in such different countries!

 

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Enacting Jesus washing his disciples feet…

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posted 11/11/2014

WWDP SISTERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

When National Committee member Eileen Rhodes was on a cruise to the Faroe Islands and Iceland she had the pleasure of meeting two WWDP sisters.   Marisa Spiteri Cremona lived in Torshavn, Faroe Islands, but the only instructions Eileen had been given were that Maria was a Catholic nun working in a children’s kindergarten.   Some detective work and a long uphill walk through the town reaped a reward and they had a joyous time together.   Maria Agustsdottir from Reykjavik, Iceland and Eileen had met before at the last European Conference and so it was a very happy reunion.   Maria invited Eileen to her home to meet her family and showed her the beautiful Hallgrimskirkja (church) where Maria is the Lutheran pastor.

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E & Maria

posted 20/05/2014

Nepal

This was the sixth project we’d organised in Nepal – a wonderful country, full of surprises and a place where Christianity is growing. Many people are coming to faith and are keen to be mentored in various ways.

Since our return, we’ve find ourselves in occasional traffic jams… Our newfound ability to wait calmly as the queue of traffic slowly progress is a sure side-effect of our stay in Nepal! We use the time to pray for the pastor and his assistant in Odah, the village where we went to work. The team was able to engage these two men to continue the job of caring for families and installing equipment to help with everyday life.

We think fondly of the hundred or so lights we installed and which now shine in the night and illuminate villagers’ houses. We’re delighted to have been able to help create a healthier environment where the ovens have done so much to transform people’s lives. While in Nepal, we were struck by how many men, women and children were suffering from respiratory problems as a result of all the smoke in their homes. Thanks to the new ovens, the smoke has gone. We also remember how good it was to share the light of the gospel with the villagers – singing together, praying with each family, and sharing their joy before we moved on to install an oven in the next house.

Of course, there were difficult times too. Life in Nepal is inherently hard, but the situation becomes much more difficult when there’s a general strike on! The police and army were everywhere as we moved around – mainly to protect people from potential violence from political groups seeking power through intimidation.

We were aware of the heavenly hosts protecting us and opening locked doors for us. On one occasion, for example, political groups were making all kinds of threats and the police told us not to take a particular road. Our driver told us that his own family had threatened to kill him if he tried to drive us the next day! We spent a night of uncertainty, praying through the various things we’d heard. The next morning a bus arrived and about 30 men entered into discussions with the driver. These men turned out to be local representatives of the parties behind the strike. They ended up putting a big banner on the front of the bus. We had no idea what the banner said, but it somehow meant we were able to have safe passage and were able to progress towards our village!

The police also offered us protection – and, among the warring factions, men who had previously been at each other’s throats and had threatened us suddenly grasped the usefulness of our mission and came together to let us pass. Men who were used to violent confrontation on a daily basis joined forces to enable us to reach our destination! What a miracle!

As it says in Proverbs 16:7 “When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.” Our experiences really bore those words out. Similarly in 2 Kings 6:16 when the King of Israel was afraid of the superior strength of the Syrian army and Elisha had a vision which encouraged him to say to the king: “Don’t be afraid. […] Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

We’re sometimes encouraged to “dare to let go” and, for a time, we did indeed have to let go of our preconceptions, our attitudes, our agendas, our management strategies, our sense of being in control. We had to let go of everything and simply accept the answers provided by Him, Lord of heaven and earth… the only truly “fully comprehensive” insurance policy that’s worth having!

Yes, Lord, you know the path; thank you for leading us; your ways are perfect. These are not just words on paper, but a reality we can experience at any moment. He is The Way.

Our thanks go to all those who made this project possible. We know of at least 14 people who have made a profession of faith since we left Nepal. We thank the Lord for His grace and pray that He might continue to transform this part of the world day by day.

 

posted 20/05/2014

Church of England Diocese in Europe – South of France

 

Women’s World Day of Prayer in the South of France

Our congregation is part of the Church of England Diocese in Europe and people come from huge distances to worship twice a month.  There is another small English speaking house church in the area, called Simply Church, otherwise English speaking Roman Catholics attend local churches.  This made it very difficult to meet together to prepare.

Many members of the different congregations had attended services of the Women’s World Day of Prayer whilst still living in UK but this was the first time we had attempted to organise one in this part of France.

This is what was written by someone taking part:

Those of us who took part as the Egyptians, welcomed everyone to Egypt and talked of changing times, from the ancient civilization there to the recent uprising in Tahrir Square and its effects on the local people. We  became truly involved in what we were performing and enjoyed the dressing up in costume and use of symbols to emphasise the life-giving power of water.  The  story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well illustrated the spiritual dimension of water in the desert.

During a time of meditation we looked at slides of Egypt and its people and began to consider what streams in the desert might mean for our own community and who would enable them to flow.  Afterwards we interceded for the women of Egypt and all over the world, for improvements to education for women and that we ourselves might be the channels of living water to the world.

This was the first time that we ,as a church, had taken part in the Women’s World Day of Prayer and it was a great, if somewhat humbling feeling  to know that we were taking part in the same service on the same day  as other women all over the  world.  Our congregation was quite small but hopefully in future years more will join in, as the event becomes a regular occasion.  I think that all of us who took part enjoyed the afternoon, supported  and  helped one another in its preparation and gained some experience  of the life-giving water available to us all wherever we are and in whatever situation of life we find ourselves.

Jenny Morgan

 

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posted 20/05/2014

Buenos Aires

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posted 10/04/2014

Irene Fernandez

WDP Malaysia sent the news of the passing of Irene Fernandez thru founder of ‘Tenaganita’. Her work for migrant human rights was witnessed on the WDP worship service in 2012 written by women in Malaysia. Her story of perseverance inspired many communities to look for their own local stories of women fighting for justice during the DWP celebration. May her witness continue to inspire the action for justice in Malaysia and all over the world.

Unknown

posted 10/04/2014

Service in Limassol, Cyprus

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posted 31/03/2014

Albania

Report on this years service in Albania

It is with great joy that we inform you hereby about the World Day of Prayer, organized by our Church on March 7, 2014. The World Day of Prayer is a global, ecumenical movement of Christian women joined together to observe a common day of prayer each year on the first Friday of March. The motto “Informed Prayer & Prayerful Action” signifies that prayer and action are inseparable.

The theme for this year was “Streams in the Dessert”; we prayed about our Egyptian sisters, as well as challenges and difficulties they deal with daily.

As usual, we gathered in the Church, learned the long history and cultural legacy of Egypt from Merita and had the service prepared from the WDP Committee of Egypt, with the chosen Bible story about Jesus and the Samaritan woman.

It was a blessing to see and feel how beyond distance, we connect spiritually to all the sisters who joined this day in thoughts and prayers.

Attached please find pictures from the event.

May God hear our voices from the desserts in our lives!

In His love and peace,

Tirana, Albania

Lutheran and Moravian Church in Albania

Website: http://www.kishaluteranemoraviane.com/wp/

 

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posted 31/03/2014

France

Report on this years service in Riberac, France

Our 7th ecumenical bi-lingual service was held this year in the lovely (warm) chapel of Riberac Hospital. It was attended by around 50 men and women from the local English and French congregations and proceeded alternately in English and French. The singing was enjoyed by everyone and was beautifully accompanied by flute and guitar and  included  some ‘Egyptian’ style music composed especially for us.

Lin Tarrant

 

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posted 04/03/2014

Letter from Rosangela Oliveira in New York

Dear WDP sisters,

We are approaching the date when we all get together around the world to pray with our sisters in Egypt. I have received some news about the study of the 2014 WDP resource material done in the preparatory workshops and how critical is to have Egypt at the center of our informed prayer and prayerful action now.

As we said in the material sent to you previously, the social and political situation of Egypt changed dramatically and quickly since the beginning of the writing process of the worship service. We appreciate your effort to keep your study and celebration up to date to the context. The listening of women’s voices renews the message that the Holy Spirit is sharing like Streams in the Desert.

We want to share with you some updated information sent by Mary Massoud, the WDP Egypt liaison and Camelia Basta, the WDPIC Middle East Regional Representative.

 

“In Egypt, we are also preparing the WDP Celebrations. We just had a wonderful Promotion Meeting at the Heliopolis headquarters of the Bible Society in Egypt, and they are definitely supporting our WDP celebrations on Friday, March 7th.

To be a writer country in the midst of all the turmoil of the last three years, has been a real challenge to our Committee. We earnestly sought the Lord’s guidance in all our early and later drafts, until we finally reached the present version that was shared with you all. 

We started by optimistically believing all the promises made by Mohammed Mursi during his early days as President elected in 2012, only to discover soon afterwards that none of the promises was meant to be kept!  It was a painful discovery.

We are deeply thankful to God who, through the Interim Government, has “turned the tide” in Egypt’s favor. We thank Him for putting us on the right track towards true democracy. We pray for continued guidance to our Interim Government in their preparations for upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections. May only those who really care for Egypt be elected, whether to Parliament or to the Presidency. And may they all be guided by God’s own wisdom in whatever decisions are taken.

The situation of women was deeply impacted as well. In today’s Egypt, educational opportunities, as well as all the professions, all cultural pursuits, and all artistic activities are open to women.  The new (recently approved) Constitution further ensures that women have a say in political life, as well as in every other area of life.  During the reign of Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood, all these liberties were in grave danger. Their notion of a woman’s role is to keep her in the home, confining her to household chores and the bringing up of children. According to them, women should not be involved in any of the professions. Girls should not go on to higher education, but should be married off at the age of 12 or 13!  We praise the Lord that none of these restrictions now holds (not even in villages), thanks to the combined efforts of enlightened contemporary Egyptian women.

The Muslim Brotherhood had tried to control every aspect of life including the Trade Unions. For example, in the Union of Engineers, they put their own leaders in charge, so that they could influence all decisions taken, including some terrible restrictions on women. A recent General Assembly of Engineers legally removed those leaders and are now preparing for new elections.

Regarding the devastating attacks by the Muslim Brothers on Churches and Christian properties, the reason behind this was to create a civil war between Christians and Muslims! Not only was this intention thwarted by the forgiving spirit of the Church, but also the effect was the exact opposite.  Instead of causing a civil war, it has brought Muslims and Christians much closer together than ever before!

Our Message to all groups around the globe celebrating WDP on March 7 is that they will help all true seekers first to find the Lord, and then to be His ambassadors to others, even as the Samaritan Woman did.

Thank you very much indeed for your prayers, which we highly value. May the Lord richly bless all your efforts to the glory of His name and the extension of His kingdom.”

 

Let’s pray together with the women of Egypt for peace. We are looking forward to receiving your reports for the 2014 Journal where you will share with us your prayers and actions like Streams in the Desert.

 

In Christ,

 

Unknown

 

Rosangela Oliveira

Executive Director

 

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