Prayers for the People of Nepal

Call for Prayers for the People of Nepal

Following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake this weekend in Nepal that claimed thousands of lives and thousands more injured, the World Methodist Council Social Justice & International Affairs Committee issuedthis statement on behalf of the World Methodist Council.

27/04/2015

A message from Malcolm and Cati Ramsay, Mission Partners in Kathmandu

Dear Everyone,

As all of you will undoubtedly know, Nepal was hit by a violent and prolonged earthquake measuring 7.8 on Saturday 25th April. The epicentre was midway between Kathmandu and Pokhara. Only 24 hours earlier, the entire expatriate staff of UMN had travelled from Kathmandu, Tansen and Okhaldunga to Pokhara for UMN’s annual four day retreat which the two of us were leading.

The earthquake and successive aftershocks, including one measuring 6.7 yesterday, Sunday, have had a devastating effect on the country. As we write (Monday afternoon), the death toll has exceeded 3,000 and is still rising as rescue operations continue. We are profoundly grateful that we ourselves, along with the other UMN staff, are all unharmed physically. However we’re all extremely shaken by what has happened and find the continuing aftershocks both alarming and unsettling. The challenge is balancing our relief at being alive with our heartfelt grief at the catastrophic consequences for so many people here.

UMN has sent two doctors to join a medical camp near the epicentre, while the rest of the Tansen staff returned this morning to the hospital. Even as we write this, UMN is taking part in urgent discussions as to how best to participate in the Aid and Relief work that has now begun. We don’t yet know how many will be able to return to Kathmandu tomorrow, but the two of us have been asked to travel early tomorrow morning (Tuesday), so that we can be in Kathmandu as soon as possible to provide a listening ear to those feeling traumatised by the earthquake.

We are deeply touched by the scores of emails we have already received, expressing people’s concern and prayers. The internet has been unreliable and this, coupled with the fact that we feel physically and emotionally drained, means that we can’t reply to each one individually – for now at least. Every single email has made a tremendous difference. Thank you.

Several texts have also arrived but mysteriously with random UK numbers attached instead of the sender’s name. This has often made it impossible to know who they’re from. If you text us please include your name even if you know you’re already in our Contacts list!

With lots of love and prayers from us both,

Malcolm and Cati

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I am sure that you will all be watching the traumatic news about Nepal, in whichever country you live, and such is the severity of this disastrous earthquake I make no apologies for including regular updates/information in my daily blog.

Please pray for everyone who has lost their homes, their possessions and even their lives…….

May our Father God bless them mightily.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

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Prayers For Church Bombing Victims in Lahore, Pakistan

The World Methodist Council offers prayer and comfort for the people of Lahore, Pakistan, following the bombings near two Christian churches that killed at least 14 people recently.

In a statement made yesterday, Bishop Ivan Abrahams, General Secretary of the World Methodist Council said, “All peace loving people need to strongly condemn these cowardly orchestrated attacks on innocent worshipers. We cannot remain silent but harness all the spiritual resources of faith communities to make this world more like God’s design for it.”

The World Methodist Council encourages each of its Member Churches and all Christians to pray for the victims, their families, and the communities in which these violent acts took place, and urges its Member Churches to renew their commitment to the ecumenical call for just peace and inter-religious dialogue while seeking God’s help to “guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:79, RSV).

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The World Methodist Council Condems Attack On Charlie Hebdo

The World Methodist Council strongly condemns the attack on the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Wednesday.

In a statement General Secretary Ivan Abrahams said:

“Two days after the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the world remains in shock of the senseless and wanton violence that occurred.

This violence serves as an affront to freedom, human rights and the security of all people . The World Methodist Council is strongly opposed any form of violence and the use religion to justify it. During this time of soul-searching and grief, I ask that we pray for those injured as well as for the families of those senselessly gunned down.

Furthermore, I ask that we make a fresh commitment to work for the realization of just peace in 2015. ”

Let’s give Peace a chance!

With many PEACEFUL blessings

Geoffrey

A Christmas Message from the General Secretary of the World Methodist Council

Amidst the hustle and bustle, the trappings and wrapping of gifts, it will be good to pause and reflect on the reason for the Christmas season. Let us remember what really happened on that “silent and holy night” as well as that first Christmas morn. The trappings were a stable and manger in Bethlehem, the wrappings were swaddling clothes and the gift – Jesus Christ, the Son of God made flesh.

The night was far from “silent” or “holy” as Herod in his search for the Christ-child ordered the slaughter of the innocent. (Matthew 2:16) It was this act of genocide that caused Mary, Joseph and the child to flee and become refugees in Egypt.

As we recall the Christmas story it reminds us to practise true hospitality, to welcome strangers and exiles. The call to welcome the stranger is not optional or conditional but rather a Biblical imperative. “Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured” (Hebrews 13:1-3). When we welcome strangers, opening our hearts and our doors we will often be transformed in the process.

This year has seen millions of people throughout the world forcefully displaced because of war, human rights violations, political and religious persecution, poverty or environmental destruction. In many instances the experience of most asylum seekers/refugees is one of abuse, harassment, exploitation and marginalization which amount to a new form of slavery.

The true Christmas story is about hospitality, humility, service and hope born out of despair. If we don’t have Christmas in our hearts we will never find it in “wrappings or trappings” no matter how beautiful and valuable the gifts. The real gift is that; “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light…….A child is born to us, a son is given to us and he will be our ruler. He will be called, “Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:2, 6)

I pray that we will all make a commitment to biblical holiness, justice and peace by being the difference that we want to see in the world.

May the joy of the angels, the perseverance of the wise men, the obedience of Mary and Joseph, and the peace of the Christ-child be yours this Christmas and in the days to come.

Shalom,

Ivan M Abrahams
General Secretary of the World Methodist Council