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World Day of Prayer

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18



Life Question: How important a role does prayer play in our lives? Why is it important

for us to have a prayer life?.



The footsteps of many women were heard around the world as March 1st heralded

'World Day of Prayer'. About 60 women were in attendance for the event at Christ

Episcopal Church in Red Wing, MN.

World Day of Prayer is a gathering of women of different cultures, traditions

and races who come together in an attitude of prayer and service to affirm

their faith in Jesus Christ and share their hopes, fears, joys, sorrows, opportunities

and needs.

The theme for this year's event was 'Stranger in a Strange Land'. Our speaker was

Barbara VonHaaren. She spoke about being a 'stranger in strange lands' such as

Turkey, the Middle East, Italy among many other locations she went to with her

husband Peter. She had said that many of the places she and Peter went to were

interesting and beautiful and added, that with the exception of a few bad encounters

that the people were all very kind and helpful. Other areas they went to however, were

not so because of the poverty in those areas. She said that she and her husband Peter

were blessed to have been able to make such trips because it widened their understanding

of the many cultures, religions, traditions and people around the world.

Two other women who were there share experience of two women. One from France and

the other from Germany and told of the hardships the women faced pulling stakes from

their respective countries to move to America, and the challenges the women faced of

creating a knew life in a country they moved to barely even knowing the language, and

received helped from people they didn't even know!

I came away from the conference with hope and respect for those who not only faced

their challenges but overcame them through their faith and the helping hands of others.

As I made the walk home, my mind, as it often does filled with thoughts.

One thought in particular stood out. As important as it is to encourage women to:

*Become aware of the whole world and not live in isolation.

*Be enriched by the faith experience of Christians of other countries and cultures.

*To take up burdens of others and pray with and for them.

*To become aware of their talents and use them in service to society.

We also need to encourage this in our fathers, brothers, sons and our young people.

We need to nurture that attitude of outreach in them and be their mentors and prayer partners so that, they too, can affirm their faith as well!




Liz Ciccone

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