Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk
Program written by the
World Day of Prayer Committee of Zimbabwe for WDP 2020
The WDP 2020 program is based on Jesus’ encounter with a person who, although positioned for healing, had not acted upon the opportunities given (John 5:2-9a). Jesus asked –“Do you want to be made well?” You are faced with this life-changing question. What are you going to do? Use this opportunity to reflect with your WDP group, community and ecumenical partners. Prayer and action are what links us together around the globe.
The country of Zimbabwe continues its search for peace during its political transition. The change in government, that occurred when the WDP materials were written, continues to bring Zimbabwe to the frontlines of the media. The economy crashed the dreams of many, Mugabe died at 95 years old, protests are met with violence, and a massive cyclone has flooded some communities.
However in all moments, WDP women, churches and ecumenical organizations have not lost hope.
“Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk,” said Jesus. Our sisters from Zimbabwe are taking Jesus’ encounter to be a call to act in love for peace and reconciliation. “The action verbs suggest that we should not be afraid to act on the word of God. God is offering us the steps for personal and social transformation.” This is the time for change!
May we hear the words of this compassionate God and the Prince of Peace to act upon the healing of ourselves and our communities to bring peace and reconciliation into the world.
Build on a Strong Foundation
Program written by the
World Day of Prayer Committee of Vanuatu for WDP 2021
One of the first things we learn with Vanuatu women is that “Land to a Ni-Vanuatu is what a mother is to a baby.” The relationship with land is at the foundation of the Ni-Vanuatu identity and spiritual strength. The painting chosen to illustrate the program reflects the Vanuatu women's connection with land, culture, faith, and the islands susceptibility to natural disasters.
We listen to their voices through the worship service, which invites us to focus on the Bible story in Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus tells a story about the kingdom of heaven using the image of a house and the land on which the house is built. Choosing the land on which to build the house is an important decision for people in Vanuatu. The combination of considering the terrain and the climate is crucial in a tropical archipelago located in the South Pacific Ocean prone to earthquakes, cyclones, volcanic eruptions and rising sea levels.
In Jesus’ story, the wisdom of the builder of the house comes from hearing and acting on the word of God, which is a word of love. This is the foundation on which our sisters call us to build our homes, our nations and the world. A call of faith to be earnestly considered when responding to the prayer of commitment: “What is the house that you would build?”
The Vanuatu sisters praise God for fertile land, the sweet melody of the birds and for the sound of children. All of them together reflect their way of life and their everyday struggles with production of food, care for the environment and the education of children.
Those challenges are reasons to praise God for being the source of their strength while they pursue opportunities in education, keep children away from malnutrition and provide alternatives to young people. In receiving their voice as a gift of wisdom, we share their hope and creatively engage our communities in “Informed Prayer. Prayerful Action.”