Prayer is a key part of our life together. Prayer occurs in various places and times as people gather.
Each Sunday, as part of our worship, the congregation are invited to take one or more prayer cards from the basket as they leave, and use these to pray for an individual (first name only), a situation or world issue. The following Sunday these are placed in a basket as our offering prayers and the cycle begins all over again. This is a key part of our prayer rhythm together.
Every Monday, during term time, we have a prayer meeting from 10am to 11am in the creche room. Come and join us!
Prayer Focus for August
This month, we feature the work of Embrace. Here below is printed an awe-inspiring story of a young woman who has, with the help of Embrace and its partner organisations, overcome many challenges. Najwa’s story is just one of many examples of how Embrace and its partners work with people in dire straits.
Please pray for everyone at Embrace and their partners who work so hard to support individuals and communities in extreme need. Please pray for Najwa and for all those who face such challenges every day in life.
We hope that you've seen the latest issue of the Embrace magazine is out now. In this issue, we shared the amazing story of a brave young woman called Najwa, who overcame all the odds to achieve her dream of getting an education.
It's such a good story, we wanted to make sure as many of our supporters as possible read it - so we've decided to share Najwa's story in this week's re:action email. Read on for her inspiring tale of courage and determination...
Najwa remembers feeling as though she was about to travel to the moon. Although the city of Mallawi was only 12km away, it was beyond anything she had ever experienced.
Going there for the first time was a daunting prospect – but also incredibly exciting. Najwa, 29, was born without sight, and like many young Egyptians with disabilities, she grew up facing limited prospects. Her family assumed she needed constant supervision, which stifled her independence.
‘My parents accepted my disability and took care of me all these years, but they did not allow me to go to school. We are a poor family and they are illiterate, and they did not want the expense of educating a blind girl.’
Najwa’s experience is far from unusual. Although it’s difficult to know exactly how many Egyptians live with a disability, there could be up to 13 million – and their abilities and talents have traditionally been overlooked. In 2018, the Egyptian government passed legislation to enshrine the rights of disabled people in education and the workplace – a historic law that has been welcomed by Egypt’s disabled community but is yet to overcome entrenched social attitudes.
Our partners at BLESS – part of the Coptic Orthodox Church – aim to improve disabled people’s access to opportunities. Najwa heard from church friends that BLESS ran a project specifically for young blind women. ‘When they told me about the project, I was dancing!’ says Najwa.
‘I wanted the chance to travel to the city, get some money in my hands, go to education classes, learn crafts, eat good food, drink juice, talk to people ...’
So that’s when Najwa set off for Mallawi for the first time. She has now been attending BLESS’s programme for four years and her life has changed. She has a mentor who helps her develop her daily living skills, and she attends seminars about employment, social issues, women’s rights and more.
Her confidence and independence have grown so much that she has become a volunteer supporting other young women, and has set up a small business selling perfume.
‘I’m not “the blind girl” any more,’ she says.
‘I’m an educated woman who can travel independently, dress well, train others and advise them on starting their own small projects. Thanks a million to everyone who has worked on this project to give me my vision of what I can achieve.’
We hope you are as inspired as we are by Najwa's story. She represents one of the many resilient and brave beneficiaries with whom our partners work to provide opportunities in the most difficult circumstances.
We’d love it if you’d consider sharing this story with those you know. It feels like everyone needs some positive good news at the moment.
To read more stories like Najwa's, download our latest Embrace magazine here:
And if you'd like to help our partners provide vital services like those which helped Najwa, you can donate to Embrace here:
With many thanks,
Embrace the Middle East
Copyright 2020 Embrace the Middle East. All rights reserved. Embrace the Middle East is a registered charity no. 1076329.