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The International Day of Peace and World Vision’s Day of Prayer

posted by September 20th, 2014

Sunday is the International Day of Peace, and we’ve been praying for six locations around the world that share a common need for peace. Learn about the situations, engage with real stories, and pray for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gaza, South Sudan, Syria and Iraq, the Central African Republic, and Central America.

Then, starting Monday, join us in daily prayer for restored relationships through and among families, governments, and the global Church. We’ll be releasing daily prayer cards available for download or online sharing in anticipation of World Vision’s Day of Prayer on October 1.

Ten Days of Prayer for Peace & Restoration

posted by September 20th, 2014

Every year on October 1, World Vision staff in nearly 100 countries set aside a Day of Prayer for the children and families we serve around the world, as well as for our supporters that make World Vision’s work possible.

This year, we hope you’ll join us, especially in praying for those most affected by conflict and violence.

Each day on the blog, from the International Day of Peace (September 21) until World Vision’s Day of Prayer (October 1), we’ll share a daily prayer for restored relationships through and among families, governments, and the global Church. You can also join us by downloading and sharing these guided prayer cards.

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Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” 

Praying for Peace: Central America

posted by September 20th, 2014

Though their conflicts differ, six locations around the world share a common need: peace. Every day this leading up to the International Day of Peace, we’ll highlight one of these six places and offer prayers for peace specific to the needs of the area.

Today, we’re focusing on Central America.

 

[the situation]

Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala are three of the top six countries with the highest murder rates in the world. Gang-associated violence has only exacerbated extreme poverty and economic instability; it’s an unforgiving, seemingly unending cycle. Children have been orphaned or left with aging grandparents, and many lack the supervision and guidance they need during formative years. Many are turning to gangs to meet their basic psychological and physical needs as a last resort.

Those who do not become members are often victims to gang activity, whether through murder, kidnapping, threats, extortion, abuse, rape, or a combination of all, a reality that is forcing thousands of children to flee their homes in search of safety. The exodus of children from these three countries is causing a large-scale humanitarian crisis throughout northern Latin America and at the U.S. border. Children are constantly at risk, whether at home or moving to another location. The children of Central America need our prayers.

[the people]

Sofía – A Story of Heartbreaking Loss

The World Vision Youth team recently met Sofía on a trip to Central America. Her life is a living nightmare. Due to threats and extortion from gangs in her area, she was forced to send her sons away to keep them from being kidnapped or killed, and she’s not sure she’ll ever see them again. Her anguish was palpable as she explained that, even after losing her boys, the threats have continued and shifted onto her 1 1/2-year-old daughter, her niece, and the house they live in. Watch her story:

Gloria – A Mother’s Concern for Her Children’s Future

Gloria, another woman the WVY team met in Central America, lives in one of the most dangerous communities of her country. Her family recently had to sell their car to build a cement wall on one side of their house to block stray bullets that would fly through the walls when gangs used telephone poles as practice targets. She fears the long-term effects such violent surroundings will have on her community’s children.

[our response]

World Vision has worked for more than four decades to address these root causes. Working on a local and national level, World Vision works to strengthen child protection systems and create community mechanisms to ensure child protection. In the United States, Mexico and Central America, World Vision is working with churches and community partners to assist children caught in the growing humanitarian crisis caused by gang violence and poverty (Also offering community solutions so the families do not have to flee).

[our prayers]

Pray for the men, women, and children affected by gang violence.

Comforting God, You promised to be with us always. Be with Your children in Central America now as they suffer persecution from those who would seek to do them harm. We ask that You would end the violence that defines their lives and replace it with Your peace. Encircle them, protect them, and be for them a place of rest and refuge in times of grief and fear.

Pray for members of the gangs.

Almighty God, to You belongs all authority and power on earth and in heaven. We pray You would change the hearts and minds of gang members persecuting the people of Central America. Heal their many wounds, comfort their hearts, forgive them, and change them, that they might know the joy of loving and serving You, turning from their ways of violence to Your ways of peace.

Pray for national and international governments to provide a way to keep children safe.

Heavenly Father, You know everyone affected by the cycle of poverty and violence in Central America, and You love them. We ask that You would use governments to restore peace to the people living in these countries, that their homes might again be safe places to live and raise families. Move in the hearts and minds of government leaders around the world to protect the children in these areas and to establish Your peace.

[your turn]

What is your prayer for the children fleeing violence in these countries?

Share your response on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook as your #puzzlepeace, and help us continue praying and celebrating tomorrow on the International Day of Peace!

Praying for Peace: Central African Republic

posted by September 19th, 2014

Though their conflicts differ, six locations around the world share a common need: peace. Every day this leading up to the International Day of Peace, we’ll highlight one of these six places and offer prayers for peace specific to the needs of the area.

Today, we’re focusing on the Central African Republic (CAR).

[the situation]

The Central African Republic (CAR) has erupted in fresh turmoil in recent months. Widespread violence has killed thousands and caused about 1 million people to flee their homes. There are more than 500,000 people displaced in the country. Another 380,000 have fled to neighboring nations, mainly to Cameroon. Reports indicate 80 percent of CAR refugees have arrived in poor physical condition and suffering from disease, while 20 percent of refugee children are severely malnourished. (more…)

Praying for Peace: Syria and Iraq

posted by September 18th, 2014

Though their conflicts differ, six locations around the world share a common need: peace. Every day this leading up to the International Day of Peace, we’ll highlight one of these six places and offer prayers for peace specific to the needs of the area.

Today, we’re focusing on Syria and Iraq.

[The Situation]

The conflict in Syria is now in its fourth year, with violence now escalating into Northern Iraq. In Syria , the conflict has already claimed more than 190,000 lives—at least 10,000 confirmed to be children. It has forced approximately 9 million people to flee their homes and 2.5 million to take refuge in neighbouring countries. In Iraq, Yazidis, Christians, and other religious and ethnic minorities are among the 1.8 million people displaced by conflict since January 2014. Displaced families are in desperate need of food, shelter, clean water, medicine, and protection. (more…)