Setting the Context Myanmar, Thailand and Trafficking in Persons
Call to Prayer
“Comfort, oh comfort my people,”
says your God.
“Speak softly and tenderly to God’s people,
and make it very clear
That she has been punished enough and more than enough,
and now it’s over and done with.”
Come now! Let us prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road straight and smooth,
a highway fit for our God.
(Is 40: adapted)
O Lord, you who understands the pain and trauma of being sold by those close to you, draw us into your presence as we gather this morning. Turn our hearts to becoming agents of transformation during this season and beyond. Speak to us through word and song we pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Scripture Genesis 16:7, 8, 13a, b.
The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness along the road to Shur. The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?” … Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me!”
- Why is the pain from the betrayal of intimate relationship more unbearable?
- What can we do to avoid inflicting slavery on others?
- How do we frame a message of hope from Hagar’s story to share with the enslaved or trafficked?
Liturgist: God bringing light and banishing fear,
we light this candle as a sign of our hope in you.
We light this candle as a sign of support for women and girls,
who are abused, kidnapped, raped, murdered, mutilated;
for girls who are forced into marriage at young age,
for those who have to sell their bodies and those in poverty.
We light this candle as a sign of our willingness to be your light in the world,
to speak out for those women and to care for their well-being.
We light this candle to remember before you
the peoples of Myanmar and Thailand,
their abundant land, their painful history.
We bring before you the people whose stories remain untold.
Spirit of compassion,
who hears the cries of all those who suffer from war, famine, and violence,
ALL: be with the women around the world whose bodies, lives,
and families are torn apart by sexual violence.
L: Spirit of love, who sees the brutality and mutilation
that have become daily realities for trafficked women, men and children,
ALL: bring healing to their bodies, their minds, and their spirits.
Rouse them to live and not give in to despair and fear.
L: Spirit of justice, who calls us to see, hear,
and respond to the injustice and suffering caused by sexual violence,
ALL: embolden us to speak out against those who
would use rape as a weapon of war or as a bartering tool.
L: Spirit of oneness, who seeks to reconcile all which is broken in this world,
ALL: unify us as we work to bring an end to violence
against women and girls around the globe.
(Rev. Nangula Kathindi, 2018; adapted with permission)
Lord’s Prayer (in our heart languages)
Blessing (Numbers 6:24-26 in Kayan Dialect)
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.