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Women and children at a Child Friendly Space in a Rohingya camp

At a Child Friendly Space in the Rohingya camp in Kutupalong, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, February 2019.

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Intercessions

Give thanks for:

  • those who live with a sense of being valuable in God’s sight, even if they officially lack a nationality
  • those who reach out to stateless people, making them feel at home, and addressing the dilemmas they face.

Pray for:

  • an end to the discrimination and marginalization that lead to some people being stateless
  • those who lack support and feel they are in limbo while being stateless
  • churches and other organizations to reach out to provide stateless people with what they need to live
  • governments and international organizations to change policies and practices so that all people feel they belong somewhere.

 

Prayers

Prayer on waiting

Lord Jesus, I am tired.
Tired of waiting to be able to live normally,
tired of being chased,
tired of hiding and living in constant fear of being caught,
tired of being discriminated against and looked down upon,
tired of being taken advantage of and, at times,
a victim of abuse.
Corrupt systems and injustices have thrown me into a box,
where all I can do is to wait.
I am tired of waiting, Lord.
So Father, come in my restlessness.
Come in my hopelessness and bitterness.
Help me to be hopeful, joyful, and faithful.
Holy Spirit, help me to be resourceful, creative, and to grow in this place
that you have placed me.
It’s hard to see what your plan is for me,
but help me to see beyond my circumstances.
Remind me daily that I’m walking towards eternity,
where I can be home at last.

(Graceila Griffith, Philippines, after a conversation in 2014 with Thomas, a student in a refugee camp in Thailand)

 

Hunger will die

We, a wandering people,
journey on, looking for refuge.
Our fellow peoples
do not understand our anguish.
Our children are foreigners,
always hungry for bread.

Hunger will die,
when we all, industrious as ants,
planting potatoes,
shall dance for joy.

Hunger will die,
when the red maize shall flourish
on mother earth,
when the custard apples
will make the soul of our children sweet,
when we shall all dream
in a vast expanse of green farmland,
when we all accept one another,
and, conversing together,
become an everlasting garden.

(The author is a member of the Christian Community of Displaced Persons, at the Peruvian Art Workshop, 1996. In: Stormy seas we brave © 1998 WCC, p. 107)

When lives are lost and families are split,
Lord, comfort those who mourn.
Where homes are crushed and dreams destroyed,
give shelter to the vulnerable.
When people flee and hope departs,
bring calm amid the fear.
Where panic rules and courage fails,
restore strength to all who carry on.
And when people cry out,
Lord, open our ears to hear,
our minds to comprehend
and our hearts to respond with all compassion.

(From a prayer service at the Ecumenical Centre chapel.)

 

 

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