The World Day of Prayer — a yearly occasion for prayer, community and charity crossing national borders — was celebrated at two locations in Pike County last week: at Elmwood Community Church in Louisiana on Friday, March 6 and Bethel A.M.E. Church in Paynesville on Saturday, March 7. Both services involved members of a variety of churches.

This year marks about a century since women in first Canada and then the United States gathered to mark a “day of prayer for the world.” Each year, one of 170 countries is chosen to prepare materials for a worship service to be conducted around the world.

This year, the women of Zimbabwe picked “Rise! Take your mat and walk” from the Book of John as their reading for the service. At both services a letter from the women of Zimbabwe was read. The letter reflected on the challenges facing the southern African country, including families divided by migration driven by unemployment in the country and political violence — but said they turned to their Christian faith as a source of consolation and hope.  

Both services also took offerings to support grants for groups helping women in children in the United States and around the world. At the Paynesville service a donation of goods was offered to Debbie Wheeler, of the Angel Wings Ministry of Clarksville.

Find more coverage of each celebration online at

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