12 days of prayer for children in Kampala, Uganda


One of MoSt Church‘s own, Darby Priest, is currently in Kampala, Uganda, ministering to some of the poorest of the poor on the planet: orphaned children who live in the city dump. Today marks the twelfth day of twelve days of prayer for Darby and the needs there in Kampala. Following is a compilation of the matters for prayer throughout the course of our Twelve Days of Prayer.

Sat., Jan. 19, 2013
Today is day 12 of our 12 days of prayer for Darby Priest & her ministry to children living in the city dump of Kampala, Uganda. * Pray for God to send more laborers into this field to assist the children in need and to build on the good work begun.

Fri., Jan. 18, 2013
Today is day 11 of 12 days of prayer for Darby Priest & her ministry to children living in the city dump of Kampala, Uganda. * Pray for the best use of the money that has been donated.

Thur., Jan. 17, 2013
Today is day 10 of 12 days of prayer for Darby Priest & her ministry to children living in the city dump of Kampala, Uganda. * Pray for the government of Uganda. * Darby says: “Uganda’s government is one of the more stable governments, but it is extremely corrupt.”

Wed., Jan. 16, 2013
Today is day 9 of 12 days of prayer for Darby Priest & her ministry to children living in the city dump of Kampala, Uganda. * Pray for the long-term staff at PCA (Peace Children Africa), for their patience, their focus, their endurance and their wisdom. * Darby says: “They are working within extremely corrupt systems. For example, there is a known woman who deals the boys the jet fuel that they sniff. The surrounding slum community knows this is going on and does nothing to stop it. If PCA reported her to the police, she may or may not be arrested. If arrested, shortly after, she would pay a bribe to be released and would then return to the community with a vengeance against PCA. The community that currently supports the work PCA does would turn against them and do many things to make their work difficult or stop it altogether.”

Tues., Jan. 15, 2013
Today is day 8 of 12 days of prayer for Darby Priest & her ministry to children living in the city dump of Kampala, Uganda. * Pray for Darby’s wisdom in navigating a culture that she is only recently familiar with. * Darby says: “My learning curve is steep, and many things that seem good at first glance, are not good upon further inspection. Many people who seem trustworthy at first, prove themselves to not be trustworthy. Only with God ordering my days can I have any hope of making a positive impact.”

Mon., Jan. 14, 2013
Today is day 7 of 12 days of prayer for Darby Priest & her ministry to children living in the city dump of Kampala, Uganda. * Pray that the children will not perpetuate the violence they see and experience; that God will preserve their hearts and break cycles of abuse and poverty. * Darby says: “The stories I hear from these children turn my blood cold. They have been exploited, attacked, arrested, starved, ignored, belittled, and accused. Pray that their hearts will be healed.”

Sun., Jan. 13, 2013
Today is day 6 of 12 days of prayer for Darby Priest & her ministry to children living in the city dump of Kampala, Uganda. * Pray that the children will be reunited with families when possible. * Darby says: “Many of the street children are not truly orphans and have one or both parents alive. Many of them have extended family who could care for them. Some children ran away from abusive situations, while others were kidnapped to be beggars employed by street lords. Some children were separated from their families during wars or in a time of crisis like an extended illness or extreme poverty. These children do not need to end up living out their days on the streets or even in an orphanage, but rather need to be returned to families who can love and care for them. Most children’s organizations in Uganda are unwilling to help in this capacity.”

Sat., Jan. 12, 2013
Today is day 5 of 12 days of prayer for Darby Priest & her ministry to children living in the city dump of Kampala, Uganda. * Pray today that these children will find a long-term connection with a positive adult role model. * This is one of the biggest influencing factors in the life of a child no matter what country they’re born in.

Fri., Jan. 11, 2013
Today is day 4 of 12 days of prayer for Darby Priest & her ministry to children living in the city dump of Kampala, Uganda. * Pray for an internal motivation within these children to change and seek a better life. * Darby says: “Lots of the boys in the slum stay high on jet fuel fumes and have no real desire to stop using this drug. Being high on jet fuel cuts their hunger pangs, assuages some of their horrific memories, and makes them a little braver to face the roaming packs of older boys who may or may not beat them up. But they stumble around in a cloud of confusion while they’re on jet fuel, and it’s very difficult to help them realize the mental damage the fumes cause. Many boys don’t have the vision or dream of how things could be better for them. Some of them also enjoy the freedom of roaming the streets and answering to no one … kind of like a ‘Lord of the Flies’ scenario. Without an internal motivation to change, there isn’t a lot we can do for them besides love them where they are and provide hot meals when possible.”

Thur., Jan. 10, 2013
Today is day 3 of 12 days of prayer for Darby Priest & her ministry to children living in the city dump of Kampala, Uganda. * Pray today that these children will be shown their inherent worth in God’s eyes for it doesn’t take long in being treated like trash to feel like trash. * Darby says: “I have had boys beg me to buy them a toothbrush and toothpaste. They have begged me to buy them some clean clothes. Many of the boys want to look neat and clean, but this is all but impossible to do when they spend their days digging through the garbage, sleeping in the dirt, and wading in sewage looking for scraps to sell.”

Wed., Jan. 9, 2013
Today is day 2 of 12 days of prayer for Darby Priest & her ministry to children living in the city dump of Kampala, Uganda. * Pray for the children’s protection at night and during the day. * Darby tells us: “In the daytime the City Council officers may come through the slum, throw kids in the back of a truck, and cart them off to what is essentially a children’s prison. I have seen this truck going down the road. I have seen children in a jail cell in the slum being held until a financial bribe was offered. I have seen the mixture of fear and disgust in the children’s eyes when the police walk by. In the night time, groups of bigger boys roam the slum looking for the smaller boys while they’re sleeping. If they find them, they will take any money or possessions they have on them. If the boy has nothing worth taking, the bigger boys beat them up to teach them a lesson.”

Tues., Jan. 8, 2013
Today is day 1 of 12 days of prayer for Darby Priest & her ministry to children living in the city dump of Kampala, Uganda. * As the children have virtually no access to healthcare, pray for their health. * Disease is ever present (typhoid, malaria, measles, HIV, ebola, Marburg, etc.). Wading in ditches and sewage leaves the children vulnerable to even more health problems. Many do not have shoes so even a small cut can become a big infection; tetanus is an enemy. Because many of them are high on drugs, they are more accident-prone, falling and hitting their head, suffering a fracture, or twisting an ankle. They live in a place that is dangerous just to navigate. Any injury on compounds their limitations and condition.

the Christ house: Luke 19


MoSt Church‘s congregational Bible reading project for 2013, The Christ House, fixes our attention on Christ Jesus as we encounter him in the New Testament. The plan is slow and steady, simple and focused: read one chapter a day and memorize one “Christ verse” on which to meditate from each book of the NT.

Today’s reading is Luke 19 and the Christ verse for Luke’s Gospel is Luke 2.11: “Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord.”

this went thru my mind (on violence)


V-for-violenceAustralia & gun control: I Went After Guns. Obama Can, Too. by John Howard

“… nothing trumps easy access to a gun. It is easier to kill 10 people with a gun than with a knife.”

Children, culture, guns, heroes, power & violence: Giving Up Chuck and the Daisy Red Ryder [required reading]

“My heroes have always been powerful. Heroes are and should be powerful, but how you define power… that makes all the difference. … The American definition of “power that solves problems” is intertwined with the cultural mystique of guns and violence. Once my definition of power changed, a few years ago, my heroes did as well …”

Christ’s cross, discipleship & violence: A Meditation on the Cross by Paul Smith [required reading]

“I’ll say it again. If you are nailed to a cross you cannot hold a gun. If your hand is wrapped around an instrument of death you cannot grasp the hand that was pierced with an instrument of death.”

Deception, fake quotations, & lies: Did Jefferson Really Say That? Why Bogus Quotations Matter in Gun Debate

* “‘The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.’ … staff ‘have not found any evidence that Thomas Jefferson said or wrote’ those words.”

Drone strikes: The Guilty Conscience of a Drone Pilot Who Killed a Child

“The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported last August that in Pakistan’s tribal areas alone, there are at least 168 credible reports of children being killed in drone strikes.”

Faith & guns: If I Can’t Take My Gun, I’m Not Going by Neal Whitlow

“Modern weapons and an individual’s right to possess them are not dealt with in scripture. All the texts dealing with warfare don’t seem to apply. However, there a few principles from the New Testament that inform my thinking on the subject.

“It is not the responsibility of God’s people to overwhelm the darkness by force of arms. We use other tools to fulfill our mission. Our weapons are truth, faith, patience, love, forgiveness, and hope. … God’s people defend the defenseless. …  Jesus calls us to abandon our compulsions of power and control. Let’s face it. A big part of the reason that Americans can’t let go of our guns is we are enamored with the feelings of power and invincibility they give us.”

Faith & nonviolence: Jesus’ Way Doesn’t Work by Tim Archer [required reading]

“The church heard Jesus’ message. They didn’t run away. They didn’t fight. They endured patiently. For more than two hundred years. They suffered. They died. They loved their enemies and prayed for them. They turned the other cheek. And they were killed for it.

“Because Jesus’ way doesn’t work. It doesn’t protect your from suffering. It doesn’t protect you from death. (well, not immediately) It doesn’t bring your enemies to their knees. It doesn’t protect the weak nor avenge the innocent. In the eyes of the world, Jesus’ way is a complete failure.

“If you’re looking for something that works, don’t look to Jesus’ teachings. But remember one thing: if you choose what makes sense to men, you’re choosing something that God despises.”

Gun control & President Obama’s plan: * The President’s Plan to Reduce Gun Violence [required reading; download the .pdf file]; * Joe Biden Addresses the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Jan. 17 [55 min. video; skip to 10 min., 20 sec. to begin]

* “Download the full text of the President’s plan.”

* Scroll down to the Opening Plenary Luncheon to find this video.

Gun control & public opinion: In Gun Control Debate, Several Options Draw Majority Support

“Fully 85% of Americans favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks, with comparable support from Republicans, Democrats and independents. Similarly, 80% support laws to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing guns, with broad support across party lines. But this bipartisan consensus breaks down when it comes to other proposals.”

Gun control & the states: * Gun Laws in the US, State by State – Interactive [very interesting & helpful]; * The Gun Challenge

* “… the majority of gun legislation in the US is enacted at the state level. That has brought broad variations across the country, with states taking different approaches to issues ranging from sales, permits, licensing, self-defence and carry laws.”

* “Inevitably, a bill like Wyoming’s has been filed in Texas.”

Guns & self-defense: * How Often Do We Use Guns in Self-Defense?

“We don’t know exactly how frequently defensive gun use occurs.”

Guns & the escalation of danger: Lessons From Guns and a Goose by Nicholas D. Kristof

“… that episode … underscores the role that guns too often play in our society: an instrument not of protection but of escalation. … One study, reported in Southern Medical Journal in 2010, found that a gun is 12 times more likely to result in the death of a household member or guest than in the death of an intruder. Another study in 1993 found that gun ownership creates nearly a threefold risk of a homicide in the owner’s household.”

Gun ownership: Why I Don’t Own a Gun by Brian Zahand

“I don’t own a gun because I don’t need one and I don’t want one. And that is perfectly acceptable. Please try to be at peace with this. As I said, I don’t own golf clubs either, and that’s bound to upset some people too.”

Gun violence & statistics:* Lack Of Up-To-Date Research Complicates Gun Debate by Carrie Johnson; * How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown? [interactive map]

* “Public health research dried up more than a decade ago after Congress restricted the use of some federal money to pay for those studies.”

* “The answer to the simple question in that headline is surprisingly hard to come by. So Slate and the Twitter feed @GunDeaths are collecting data for our crowdsourced interactive. This data is necessarily incomplete. But the more people who are paying attention, the better the data will be. You can help us draw a more complete picture of gun violence in America. If you know about a gun death in your community that isn’t represented here, please tweet @GunDeaths with a citation. (If you’re not on Twitter, you can email slatedata@gmail.com.)”

Military & prayer: How Do We Pray for the Troops? by Craig M. Watts [required reading]

“The language of public prayer should express a reality shaped by the creative and redemptive activity of God, not simply one that can be read from the pages of the newspapers or heard from the mouths of either marketers or politicians. …

“So when I stand to pray in worship I never pray that God protect our troops for the simple fact that we don’t have any troops. We do not gather as Americans who plead on behalf of national interests or partisan favor before either God or the world. We are the church. Who we are has been determined by whose we are. We are people of God. We gather as the body of Christ united with Christ’s body throughout the world. Yet I do pray for the protection of soldiers and civilians alike. I pray indiscriminately, without regard to borders because all people are creatures made by the hand of God and are so loved by God that God sent God’s only begotten Son on their behalf. May they be preserved from danger and be restored to circumstances where they can live without the threat of violence either to them or from them.”