Day Five: Praying for the crisis in Central African Republic

Central African Republic (CAR) is one of those countries that few people know exist. It’s rarely, if ever, covered by western media. It’s not a vacation spot. It’s simply one of those places where life is hard nearly all of the time.

CAR was already one of the poorest countries in the world when, a military coup in 2012 sparked political and ethno-religious violence that has since spiraled out of control. Almost the entire population – about 4.6 million people – has been affected by the violence.

The conflict has forced an estimated 440,000 people from their homes to seek safety in camps or with friendly communities, while more than 480,000 people have fled the country and have become refugees. Some 2.3 million people need urgent humanitarian assistance. But because of the violence, providing lifesaving humanitarian aid has been difficult and, at times, impossible.

Often communities turn to each other for help.

As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly, I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Andre and Rodrigues met in the forest. Both men were hiding their families from attacks on their communities. Andre believed he and his family of 13 could never go back to their village, so when Rodrigues determined it was safe to return to his, he invited Andre and his family to come home with him.

Rodrigues’ hospitality is mirrored by many others in his community who have taken in families who have had to flee their homes. Host families are sharing the little they have with their long-term guests, but facilities in villages are being stretched to their limits.

Today, pray for

  • the improvement of the humanitarian situation in CAR and its impact on the most vulnerable people
  • access to most affected populations, which continues to be limited due to the renewed conflict and violence against humanitarian workers
  • access to funding as limited resources are affecting the quality of the response and restoration of dignity and peace in the country.

Dear Father –

It’s easy to give out of our abundance, and yet, so often, we don’t do even that. But your Word tells us that you honored the generosity of the widow, who gave her last two coins for your work. Please honor the generosity of families like Rodrigues’ who are welcoming others even as they struggle for the basics of life themselves.  Please use his generosity to inspire and spur us to give and serve and welcome those in need around us as well – even if we have to sacrifice to do so.

In the name of Christ,

Amen

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