Time of Hope, Faith and Inclusion: World Day of Prayer 2013
There is a saying that a prayer is a conversation with the Creator, and that when you connect yourself, your purpose and your vision to God, all things will come into being.
The World Day of Prayer (WDP) celebrates this relationship and the global network of faith it creates. This day is observed annually, on the first Friday of March, in more than 170 countries, under a single pertinent theme.
This year’s World Day of Prayer’s theme "I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me" based on the Gospel text of Matthew 25 and relating to migration, was prepared by the WDP committee in France.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, there are over 210 million migrants in the world, concentrated in different regions, depending on social, political and economical factors. The constant movement of people has resulted in citizens of the world exposed to a variety of rich cultures and extraordinary experiences.
The World YWCA, itself spans across 120 nations and takes pride in the unity of its movement amongst the diversity of its members. As it has traditionally done for many years, the World YWCA once again actively participated in organising with ecumenical partners the World Day of Prayer celebration, which took place on Friday, March 1st, in the Chapel of the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva .
From a theological perspective, the theme touched on the historical exodus of Moses and his people out of Egypt into a new promised land offering opportunities and prosperity.
The service centred around women keeping a strong focus on migration. The message unfolded through a beautiful skit relating the stories of seven women and their journey into an unknown land. The testimonies of two Filipino immigrants in Geneva were also included. Each spoke of her challenges as a foreigner and how through faith and prayer and the support of an open, loving and caring church, they overcame limitations.
Through the joyful strumming of the guitar, soft yet beautiful voices in many languages and the melodious organ, the entire congregation rose to the occasion through praise, gratitude and worship.
The World YWCA Programme Associates, Kgothatso Mokoena and Ramya Jawahar Kudekallu, felt honoured to participate in this special celebration. With the kind guidance of Ana Villanueva, World YWCA Executive Coordinator, the entire afternoon fell into harmony.
After the service, the gathering enjoyed being together and indulged in the wonderful bake sale, the proceedings of which were donated to “Witnessing Together in Geneva”,
‘Witnessing Together in Geneva is a platform of churches that stemmed from migrant communities in Geneva.
The essence of the theme for this year’s World Day of Prayer was simply that all individuals are travellers or immigrants through the journey of life. To sympathise, help and support a stranger is one of the most righteous of deeds