[Photo by sociotard]

Throughout my travels as I have been attending conferences and visiting ministries, I have invited folks to send me short write-ups on their ministries and, with the understanding that, as I was able, I would post them on this blog.  My hope in doing this is by no means to touch upon all ministries with a Presbyterian connection, but only to gives glimpses of the breadth and depth in which we engage in ministry around the world.

Here is one  received from from Faces of Children, an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas.

From Chris Laufer, Coordinator, Faces of Children

Three-year-old Ariana smiled shyly as she thanked me for the neon purple pencil. “Look what happens when you hold the pencil tightly in your hand, Ariana.” Her eyes widened as she saw the hot pink color appear, caused by the heat of her little hand.

Ariana and her brothers, 6-year-old Alex and 1-year-old Scotty, were playing with the color-changing pencils in the lobby, waiting for their parents to finish some business at the church. Scotty had confiscated two pencils and was busy drumming the tile floor. They seemed healthy and happy, despite the dirty clothes they wore and despite the haggard looks on their young parent’s faces.

The mother looked down at her lap—she was near tears. I saw worry and anxiety in their father’s eyes. A month before, they’d come west seeking work and hadn’t been able to find it. Now they were out of money and at the church, embarrassed to be seeking assistance to return home.

The church helped them with gift cards to buy gasoline and food. Some of us hastily put together a bag of snacks and toiletry items for the long trip back east. My heart ached for these beautiful children and their tired parents as they climbed into a car that had seen better days. What more could I do than give them some Faces of Children pencils and a few snacks? I smiled. And then I prayed. I’m still praying.

Just a few days before, I’d been handing out Faces of Children pencils at the 2009 Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women. So many people who stopped at our booth were intrigued by a ministry designed to intentionally and specifically pray for children. As we visited, their stories began to spill out of hurting and suffering children. What more, they asked, could they do to help children in their communities and across the globe? I smiled. And then I invited them to pray with us. We’re still praying.

If you would like to intercede on behalf of hurting children in your community and around the world, contact Faces of Children at info@facesofchildren.net.

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