C. O. M. E.
Community Outreach for the Missing Everywhere
Immanuel Baptist Church has begun a new community outreach service to remember missing people. This service will consist of reading the names of missing people brought to our attention, praying for them and their families. We will light a candle to symbolize our unity in holding out a light for them. We would encourage you to share with us in prayer and bring to our attention the names of your loved ones who are missing. We hope this will be an encouragement for all.
WHO ARE THE MISSING?
Many thousands of years ago, in the Book of Job we find an adequate description of the Homeless and Missing:
Job 24:7-8 KJV “They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold. (8) They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter.”
Jesus as well gives a description of how He can identify with the Homeless and Missing:
Luke 9:58 KJV Jesus said unto him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”
The National Crime and Information Center tells us this:
The National Crime Information Center’s (NCIC) Missing Person File was implemented in 1975. Records in the Missing Person File are retained indefinitely, until the individual is located, or the record is canceled by the entering agency. The Missing Person File contains records for individuals reported missing who:
· have a proven physical or mental disability (Disability – EMD),
· are missing under circumstances indicating that they may be in physical danger (Endangered – EME),
· are missing after a catastrophe (Catastrophe Victim – EMV),
· are missing under circumstances indicating their disappearance may not have been voluntary
· (Involuntary – EMI),
· are under the age of 21 and do not meet the above criteria (Juvenile – EMJ),
· or are 21 and older and do not meet any of the above criteria but for whom there is a reasonable concern for their safety (Other – EMO).
Thus, the missing cover a large variety of people of all ages, sexes, ethnicity, backgrounds and sociological settings.
WHY A COMMUNITY MEETING LIKE THIS?
One reason we created this event was primarily to offer hope and encouragement for any who have loved ones missing.
· The Missing is a group that knows no racial, ethnic or gender distinction. For people from all walks of life have been touched by this sadness.
The Missing include women and men
Some young and some old.
The Missing may be family or friend
Who has a story that must be told.
Another reason we created this event was to bring a great awareness of how large, how broad and inclusive this group of people are.
Statistics on Missing
As of December 31, 2013, NCIC contained 84,136 active missing person records. Juveniles under the age of 18 account for 33,849 (40.2 %) of the records and 9,706 (11.5 %) were for juveniles between the ages of 18 and 20. *
One more final reason we created this event is to give hope to the missing themselves.
· There may be those who are missing simple because they wish not to be found. Many felt unloved and unwanted and so, they disappeared. They need to know that they are missed and they are loved.
· There may be some who have been abducted, taken against their will, who just possibly may hear of an event like this and even though they are held against their will, they’ll know that friends and loved ones have not given up.
We offer Hope by sharing Jesus. He is a friend like no other. He has plainly stated that… Jesus said:
“I will not leave you comfortless”
“I will be with you always…”
“I will never leave thee or forsake thee…”
When a person knows Christ and has received the gift of everlasting life, then as Jesus said, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
The first act of Jesus when He came to earth was to seek the missing:
Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Jesus is still seeking the lost today. He cares for you and He is calling out to you today, “Come unto me…. I will give you rest!”
Friend if you or a loved one is homeless, separated, lonely, afraid… be assured that nothing takes God by surprise and He loses no one.
Isa 41:17 “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.”
Prayer for Homeless and Missing People
We pray today for all of the missing, the homeless and neglected people.
We pray for them all: men, women, boys and girls who are in any situation where they find themselves separated from loved ones, afraid, hopeless and alone.
Some sleep on park benches, some in bus stations, some under bridges, some on cold concrete; some just hardly sleep at all.
Some live in allies, some in wooded areas, some in shelters, some in cardboard boxes; some just barely live at all.
We pray for their safety and sanity. We pray for their wellbeing mentally, emotionally and physically. These people have families, they have souls, and they have been created in YOUR image.
We ask Father that You would ease the pains from empty and malnourished stomachs. We ask that You would provide warmth for their naked or rag clad bodies. We ask that You guide them to proper shelter, healthy food, but most of all back into the presence of those who love and miss them.
Father, may they come to realize that although they may feel unloved and unwanted, that they are loved and wanted by you Heavenly Father.
May they come to realize that there is hope, there is a better way, and there is a better place.
We ask Father that you would keep us mindful of how YOU have blessed us, and “O but for the grace of God, so go we!” We ask Father that you would cause us to be grateful people and never take for granted the multiplied blessings you have bestowed upon us. Blessings of a warm comfortable bed, of healthy food, and a roof over our head and clothing on our bodies. Blessings of family and friends who love us. May we pray the same blessing upon these people as well.
Father, we pray for all these people, wherever they be and in whatsoever state they may be in… in the name of Jesus, Amen
Written by Loyd C Taylor, Sr.