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OSJ Prayers | March 2017

OSJ Prayers: March 23, 2017

Electricity in Gaza

The 2014 conflict in Gaza left the main power plant there damaged. The facility was designed to serve the area in and around the city of Gaza, where roughly half of Gaza Strip residents live. According to an Israeli human rights organization, electricity blackouts in Gaza last from 8 to 12 hours each day, and sometimes have reached 20 hours. This prevents water pumps and wells from operating on a regular schedule, leading to water contamination and forcing Gazans to rely on trucked-in bottled water. The situation has also left hospitals unable to provide needed care.

God, we pray for the emergent need for reliable power in Gaza. And we remain focused on the greater hopes for justice to come to the suffering Palestinian people and for peace between Israel and Palestine to be achieved.

World Water Crisis

The United Nations warns that one in four of the world's children will be living in areas with extremely limited water resources by 2040 as a result of climate change. Within the next two decades, 600 million children will be in regions with extreme water stress, with a lot of competition for the available supply. The poorest and most disadvantaged will suffer most.

Provider God, we offer a prayer for the basic necessity of water. We confess our fear that there will not be enough to meet the needs of all people, especially children. Work among powerful people, we pray, and empower with wisdom and compassion those who can change regulations and create laws that can help turn the tide of the global crisis of climate change.

Update: Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

The government commission that is overseeing the national inquiry into the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada is doing data collection now, gathering the names of missing family members into a database. Many are concerned with how this is being done, however — to date, there are just 122 family members' names in the commission's database, despite other databases in Canada estimating the number at well over 1,000. The commission stated that it is up to families to register the names, but many are saying that information is not widely known. Activists feel there should be advocates in remote communities to relay information and provide assistance.

For the grieving and frustrated families of these women and girls, we offer our prayers. Bring comfort and hope, Lord—but even more, we pray that the commission may find answers to this deeply disturbing trend that has for so long gone unaddressed. We pray for good governance, effective strategies, and an overall handling of this situation that sends the clear message that Indigenous women and girls have value equal to that of all others in Canadian society, and that their lives and deaths matter.

First Official Climate Refugees in the U.S.

Last month the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $52 million for the Isle de Jean Charles tribe, currently located in Louisiana, to relocate to a “resilient and historically contextual community.” Since 1950, the tribe has lost 98 percent of its land to rising sea levels along with coastal erosion and flooding. Experts suspect the island will be completely submerged within 50 years.

God, we give thanks that there has been a solution for this tribe so that they might be afforded hope and a future. We lament that all of us have contributed — through complacency, silence, consumption — to the near total loss of the home these people have known. We pray for all who are displaced because of climate change, and we plead, Lord, for a serious response from the world’s leaders to the threats posed to the world’s most marginalized people.

Lights for Gaza Campaign

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) has launched the Lights for Gaza campaign. CMEP, in partnership with Rebuilding Alliance, is raising funds to send compact inflatable solar-powered Luci Lights into Gaza. It is a simple way to send a needed resource into Gaza and to directly advocate on behalf of people living there. With every $25 donation to Lights for Gaza, CMEP staff will have one advocacy meeting in Washington, D.C., for Gaza. For more information, see www.cmep.org/lights.

Justice Mobilizing and Advocacy Fellow

Our office is hiring! If you are interested in faith, policy, and social justice, apply for our Justice Mobilizing and Advocacy Fellowship! The deadline to apply is April 3, 2017. The fellowship is a one-year full-time paid position offered to recent college or university graduates. The conferred fellow helps our office develop and assist in timely and effective advocacy and mobilizing strategies relating to selected issues of U.S. and Canadian policies, especially those that benefit people who are poor and oppressed. She or he will gain invaluable hands-on experience in real world advocacy and in faith-based mobilizing. Click here to apply now!

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