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Prayer for peace in the Middle East

Saturday 21 October 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Local, National


Prayer for peace in the Middle East
Families around Rarotonga gathered for the Middle East pray for peace service. Photo: LOSIRENE LACANIVALU / 23102024 / 23102025

A special prayer was held at Terevete Park in Avarua on Wednesday where 200-300 people gathered to pray for peace in the Middle East as the Israel-Hamas war rages on.

Celebration Church’s Pastor Jonathan Cargill, including Paul Kauri, lead pastor at The Arepua Gateway Assembly of God Church and other church leaders, led the prayer and worship team.

Also present was Minister for Education Vaine (Mac) Mokoroa and Rarotonga lawyer and former parliamentarian Norman George.

Cargill said the prayer was an initiative to get everyone in Rarotonga together to pray for peace for those in the Middle East.

“Politics aside, it’s a Christian perspective, we are praying for peace for all nations. This is not about Israel versus Palestine but for Israel and Palestine.”

Cargill referred to the book of Psalm 122:6 “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.”

He said while Jerusalem is the only city mentioned in the Bible for believers to pray for, they do go out to pray for others, adding “Christ is the prince of peace”.

Kora Petuela Kora and his wife Nancy Newnham-Kora, who led the 20-member Celebration Church Rarotonga team to observe the Feast of the Tabernacle in Israel earlier this month, were among the first group of Cook Islanders who returned home safely last week.

The remaining Cook Islands residents made it out of Israel earlier this week and have started arriving into Rarotonga.

Recounting his experience when the war broke out on October 7 – after the Palestinian militant group Hamaslaunched an unprecedented fatal attack on Israel killing hundreds of people and Israel retaliated conducting airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, killing hundreds of Palestinians – Kora said: “We’re thinking we’re safe. I don’t think so, I don’t think so. I think about what happened a week ago in Israel, it’s going to happen to us later on, and that’s why it’s an important part of our life is to stand (in prayer).”

He added that during their time in Israel he was not moved by emotion but prayed for the Lord to give him faith so they could pray fervently for His people.

“We felt the presence of God since leaving Raro and got to Israel. Everything that I found was that God was protecting us every time.”