More Than 4,700 Churches In Asia-Pacific Region Take Part In Habitat’s International Day Of Prayer

Show Of Support Ranges From Prayer Meetings In Thailand To Builds In Mongolia

BANGKOK, 24th December 2008: More than 4,700 churches and congregations from 13 countries in the Asia-Pacific region joined Habitat for Humanity in prayers for its ministry. India had the largest number of participants – 2,450 churches and congregations – with many Catholic dioceses showing support for Habitat’s International Day of Prayer.

The message: HFH Bangladesh national director Kelly Koch making a presentation on the International Day of Prayer to pastors and Christian leaders.

Labor of love: Church volunteers building in Mongolia during Habitat’s International Day of Prayer.

Where two or three are gathered together: HFH Thailand’s resource center in southern Surat Thani province organized a prayer meeting for churches.

Launched by Habitat’s International Board of Directors in 1983, the IDOP is a time when churches and Habitat join together to focus awareness on the problems and issues in shelter, intercede for people in need of decent shelter, and thank God for the blessings of people, organizations and resources available to serve those in need.

The Habitat programs which took part in IDOP are: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

In Indonesia, Habitat made a presentation on IDOP to about 16,000 members from more than 600 churches and congregations. The HFH Indonesia national office in Jakarta also organized a gathering of church leaders to pray for Habitat’s work.

Over in Bangladesh, 37 pastors and Christian leaders attended a prayer meeting where a presentation about Habitat’s work was made and the audience was invited to partner with Habitat to build homes with families in need. HFH Bangladesh’s volunteer program manager also delivered a message about the IDOP at the Church of Bangladesh in the capital Dhaka.

In Mongolia, church volunteers in Erdenet and Darkhan gave their time and resources in building houses. Apart from volunteer labor, the two churches in Erdenet - Jesus’ Assembly and Live Words – made a total cash donation of 45,000 tugrik (US38). In Darkhan, 19 volunteers from three churches worked with Habitat home partners on roofing works, plastering of walls, carpentry work and general cleaning. Through the volunteers’ witnessing, hope and joy were brought to the two home partner families.

Meanwhile, HFH Sri Lanka’s resource center in Matale organized a special prayer service for Habitat staff, beneficiary families and board members. Similar prayer meetings also took place with churches joining Habitat leaders in Chiang Mai and Surat Thani in the north and south of Thailand respectively.

In Fiji’s Lami Oceania Wesley Church, the prayers were led by the Sunday School children during the church service.

Over in South Korea and Nepal, pastors and church congregations also prayed for Habitat’s ministry in providing solid and secure housing for families in need. Most of the Korean pastors who participated in IDOP had supported HFH Korea in the Pastors Build in July 2008.

As a result of the IDOP campaign, the Philippine Bible Society signed a memorandum of agreement with HFH Philippines’ Greater Metro Manila affiliate to provide 2,000 Bibles for Habitat project sites. In addition, HFH Philippines’ Church Relations Committee plans to visit the churches that participated in the IDOP to get more of them to join a Habitat build.