King of Prussia, PA, October 13, 2023
As the conflict in the Middle East escalates, International Ministries (IM) urgently requests prayers for peace across Israel, Gaza, and the surrounding area.
Together, along with the European Baptist Federation and Baptist World Alliance, we mourn with those who have lost loved ones, and we lift up prayers for peace and justice. Even during suffering and conflict, God’s light and faithfulness remain. We urge our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to be peacemakers who reject any restrictions on human rights based on geography, ethnicity, or faith. As the hands and feet of Jesus, we unequivocally denounce terrorism and all acts of violence that target innocent civilians.
“The developing tragedy in Israel and Gaza breaks our hearts as we learn of the violence against innocent civilians and anticipate a growing number of casualties,” says Charles Jones, Area Director for Europe, the Middle East, and Liberia. “Please join us in praying for God’s intervention, comfort for those who mourn, and a transformed commitment to peace and justice in this troubled land – the land of our Savior’s birth and life.”
We pray for protection, peace, and comfort over our local partners in this region, including the Association of Baptist Churches in Israel, Bethlehem Bible College, Christian Mission to Gaza, and Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development. We thank God for the safety of our global servants Melanie Baggao and Dan and Sarah Chetti, who serve in this area.
Let us stand together with those suffering in this time of complexity and violence. Our partners in the region have shared the following calls for prayer:
•Pray for lasting peace, hope, security, and freedom for the entire region.
•Pray for God’s comfort to be with those who are grieving lost loved ones.
•Pray for healing for those who have been wounded during the conflict.
•Pray for the safety and liberation of those who are being held hostage.
•Pray for wisdom and discernment during the facilitation of a peace mediation process.
•Pray for wisdom and discernment for the leaders.
•Pray for unity in God’s church.
•Pray for God to use Christians as witnesses of his love.
•Pray that Christians around the world will give generously to local partners who will holistically minister to people in this region.
Please also pray for IM’s local colleagues, global servants, and for the people they serve as we continue to monitor the developing situation. In the words of the prophet Micah, we hope to “act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly” (6:8) in pursuit of restorative peace and justice for all people.
World Relief Officer Lisa Rothenberger shares, “We are witnessing the mounting humanitarian needs on both sides of this conflict, and the coming days and weeks will determine the level of destruction in this region. What we know for sure is that there already is and will be an enormous human need for months and years to come. War creates a great need for physical rebuilding of homes, schools, medical facilities, and other infrastructure. It also leaves behind extraordinary psychological impact on families, communities, and entire countries. Working with our local partners in response to the needs they identify, we will respond and steward all funds to meet the needs of the innocent civilians regardless of location.”
Those who wish to directly support IM’s local partners that provide humanitarian relief in the Middle East can do so through their American Baptist church, through giving online, or by sending checks directly to International Ministries. Please designate your contributions “OGHS–Middle East Relief” on the memo line of your check.
Checks sent directly to International Ministries should be made payable to “International Ministries” and mailed to:
International Ministries Attn: Gifts Processing 1003 W 9th Avenue, Ste A King of Prussia, PA 19406
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) is administered by the World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA. The Committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work, and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing the distribution of the annual OGHS offering received by churches.
International Ministries, also known as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, works cross-culturally to invite people to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to proclaim, through both word and deed, God’s reign of justice, peace and abundant life for all creation.