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Nov 2023 Update: ESOL update, Guide to Lament, Families Facing Conflict at Christmas

Christmas is coming, but some will not be able to enjoy a peaceful time of the year. Read on to learn how we can practice lament and pray for them. Also, Jenni and Keith Bedford give an update on their 3 month ESOL course that was just run.

A Practical Guide to Lament

In these darkest hours, would you join us in the practice of lament as a guide for our prayers and a call to action? Join us. One night this week, please use the guide below as a part of your meal prayer. May our collective cries for mercy ascend to the heavens. Thank you.


We deeply mourn …

the immense suffering where lives are lost, and fear fills the air. Our hearts ache for the deaths of thousands of innocent lives, including many children, women, journalists, and aid workers. We lament for the wounded, the kidnapped, and the displaced.

We cry out …

for those whose homes have been destroyed and those who have been forced to flee, for families torn apart and fractured, and for those feeling forgotten, abandoned, and trapped in their own land, and the withholding of essential supplies from those already in hardship.

We implore …

the international community to work earnestly toward a ceasefire and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It is a time for collective action and a renewed commitment to peace, justice, and the well-being of all who call this troubled region home.

We pray …

for healing for all who are affected; may they find solace and peace in their distress, and may God’s loving presence provide them with the strength and resilience to overcome trauma. We also seek strength and wisdom for the dedicated peacebuilders who strive to build bridges amidst the chaos.

We lament …

the pain and loss we’ve endured, may we remember that it is precisely in these moments that the call for peace grows stronger. Our shared desire for peace unites us. Together, we refuse to let hatred and violence define us. Our collective strength and compassion will guide us towards a brighter future where Palestinians and Israelis live peacefully side by side.

Together, we can be instruments of peace in the hands of the Prince of Peace, working toward a more peaceful and just society. Your prayers, voice, and actions are crucial in these dark times, and we are grateful for your partnership in our mission.

We call out for peace!

Rula Khoury Mansour, PhD
Founder and Director
Nazareth Center for Peace Studies

ESOL: Jenni & Keith Bedford Update

It was a challenge condensing a three-month English course into one month, particularly given the different levels of the students. However, feedback from students was positive. They enjoyed a more interactive style of learning and appreciated the spiritual input from our reading focus on John Stott’s “the Radical Disciple’. We were encouraged by progress, particularly when we compared initial marks with their final test results.

We left with great memories, ongoing friendships and a desire to return.

We then went on to Shillong in North East India to teach a TESOL course with a group of trainees who are preparing to teach English in different parts of the world.

Over the two months away we were very conscious of being upheld in prayer. We had no sickness and energy levels were good. We had several opportunities to pray with students who were experiencing difficulties.

Looking forward to 2024 – We still need teachers for the following opportunities:

  • Nepal for one month in June
  • Yangon – One teacher needed for Team 2 (late-March to late-April)

Please contact us if you or anyone you know is interested.

Prayer needs

  • Continue to pray for the political situation in Myanmar – fighting has intensified in many areas and economic sanctions are causing hardship for many.
  • Pray for Sri Lankan pastors, many of whom experience persecution from the Buddhist majority in their villages.

Families Facing Conflict at Christmas

To help you focus on what to pray for, please read the points below from each guest speaker:

Yohanna Katanacho

  • The conflict has led to a war which has experienced massacres on both sides. Pray for those who have lost friends and relations
  • Pray for suffering families as they seek to deal with the loss of parents, children, and homes
  • We thank God that hope is not an illusion. Pray that the light (of the first Christmas) will bring an end to the darkness
  • For provision; students are not able to pay their tuition, which places an extra burden on the college

Rula Mansour

  • There is a sense of desperation, fear, and anger
  • Loss of children and women 
  • Pray for justice, hope and the presence of God that is exemplified in the first Christmas
  • Safety for our students and faculty as the travel and minister
  • Wisdom on how to speak truthfully and lovingly during such a difficult situation

Taras Dyatlik

  • Pray for those who are still displaced by the war and the added challenges winter brings
  • That decision-makers hear God’s voice
  • That the church in Ukraine and Russia will be a voice of peace within an environment of conflict

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