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Lutheran Disaster Response

Sudan: Sounding the Trumpet

Sudan referendum comes to a close. ACT/DCA/Nils Cristensen

Voting in South Sudan concluded this past weekend, possibly marking the birth of Africa’s newest country.  An article published by the ACT Alliance accounts the story of Anglican Bishop Paul Yugusuk and his pledge to be last person to vote at his station.  “And once I have cast my vote, I’ll blow my trumpet to mark the end of slavery and oppression in southern Sudan.”

While the voting was overall very peaceful, painful memories were revived this week as 10 southerners were killed as they tried to move from the north, a low point in a referendum week otherwise dominated by hope and joy. The killings also reminded everyone that while the voting process appeared to have been successful, a very complicated, difficult and dangerous period still lay ahead for all of Sudan, regardless of the outcome.

Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro recounted how the church led southerners in 101 days of peace prayers up to the referendum – a prayer for a change in our hearts and a prayer for a change in Sudan, he said.

Pointing to a mock ballot box placed at the alter, the archbishop promised the congregation he would pray at the ballot box for continued peace every day until July 9, the day the six year-long peace agreement between north and south Sudan expires.

Click here to read the full article.

Please continue prayer petitions for peace and security for those in Sudan.  Click here for Worship Resources from the ELCA.

Peace ~ Megan

Moscow Metro Bombings

At least 38 people have been reported killed in twin explosions at stations on Moscow’s metro rail system, reports Al Jazeera.  The first blast took place at the Lubyanka station in the center of the city.  A spokeswoman for Russia’s emergencies ministry, told the news sources; “The blast hit the second carriage of a metro train that stopped at Lubyanka, at 07:56 (03:56 GMT).”  The headquarters of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), successor to the Soviet-era KGB, is located just above Lubyanka station.

A second blast followed at Park Kultury in the southwest of the city.  Moscow authorities believe that the explosions were carried out by two female suicide bombers wearing explosive belts.

ELCA Global Mission has had a long standing relationship with the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy (MPC), an international, interdenominational Christian ministry serving the English-speaking community of Moscow. The Chaplaincy was established in 1962 by the National Council of Churches of Christ of the U.S.A. and today has many social ministries serving vulnerable groups in Moscow including refugees, students, elderly and the poor. ELCA Global Mission currently supports the work of MPC soup kitchens, serving more than 200 people a day, five days a week.

Rev. Robert Bronkema, chaplain at the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy, sent the following message early this morning:

We just got news of the bombing on the metro subways stations. So far we have not received any notice of MPC members who have been affected by the blasts but have not been able to contact a number of them. Please keep MPC in your prayers during this time and especially all of the bombing victims and their families.

The blasts occurred on the red line which is the line that we use fairly much on a daily basis. It is also the line where the foreign student university is located and I know of one group of students who were on the line during the blast, but quite a ways away from the actual blast.

We continue to try to reach all of our community. We had to close one of our Soup Kitchens for the day, Kuznetsky Most, which was exactly at the station where the first bomb went off. All the other ministries are running.

May we continue to hold our brothers and sister in Russia in our Holy Week prayers. We pray for those who have died and been wounded. We pray for families and care givers. We pray that we may all turn away from violence and respect the dignity of the other.

Prayers & Hymns in Haiti

People hold candles during a mass in the shadows of the ruins of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which was devastated in a January 12 earthquake. Paul Jeffrey ACT Alliance




It has been one month of suffering since the earthquake in Haiti. In Port-au-Prince and other parts of Haiti, individuals and families affected commemorated the tragedy this weekend. In churches and public spaces tens and tens of thousands gathered to share their grief, prayers and hope for days ahead.  ELCA Disaster Response, through the ACT Alliance, is supporting many of these families that gathered recently in hymn and prayer. 


I invite you to view a slide-show of this at: Prayers & Hymns in Haiti