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Prayer News 14 July 2017

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” John 17:15 (NIV)

Asia

Philippines: Eric and Sandra Read

Please pray for mission partners Eric and Sandra Read who are based in the Philippines. They have developed an organic farm to help support their work financially, and live in a rural community and seek to live out the gospel in all areas of their life. They are building relationships with churches and starting some teaching in a local seminary.

They write:

  • “Please pray for the situation in Marawi, for the army to be able to defeat the rebels and for the people being held by them.The Marawi crisis is an ongoing armed conflict that started on 23 May between Philippine government security forces and affiliated militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. 
  • Pray for Bernard as he starts working with us. He is a former student from the seminary, and will start at the beginning of August. One of his first jobs will be to visit the various government departments who may be able to assist with regard to the various training requests. 
  • Finally, please pray for wisdom in conducting the trainings and that they will be of benefit to the trainees.”   
     

Asia (and worldwide): Local partner programme

The CMS local partner impact assessment has just revealed that the impact of the programme has been “beyond that which was planned” and that there are some excellent and exciting potential local partners waiting to be released to fulfil their calling.

However, with a reduction in funding, please pray that new funding would become available to keep and take on new local partners.

Latin America

Guatemala: Rosalie Balfour

Please continue to pray for mission partner Rosalie Balfour who had been receiving treatment for her bone infection in Mexico City. She has now flown back to Guatemala with her husband Mark.

Mark writes: “Please do pray for our re-entry to life back in Guatemala – as we look again to do some study at Spanish school. Pray also for us to find a place to live in Guatemala City as we look to move there toward the end of August to start working with Mi Arca.

“Pray for wisdom as we look to recuperate as well from this time – especially for Rosalie who will continue to be taking medicine for a while yet and for complete healing for her. We need wisdom about taking holiday (not hospital) time this year, when and where to take it.

“Finally, please can you pray for Duncan and the Mi Arca team as they deal with the aftermath of the very sad death of Gerson, a young man living on the streets to whom they (especially Duncan) have given so much love and care over the years.”

Northern Argentina: David and Shelley Stokes

David and Shelley Stokes are mission partners living and working in Northern Argentina. David visits and encourages church leaders and helps develop sustainable patterns of training for new leaders. Shelley works mainly with Wichí women, encouraging them to love the Lord and their neighbours.

They write with thanks and prayer requests:

  • “Give thanks for the two training courses held this year and pray for the students in their ongoing development 
  • Pray for AMARE (the Mothers' Union in Northern Argentina) to provide help and encouragement for women struggling with family problems, especially with young people 
  • Pray for clear vision for the use of the old mission centre in Juarez. 
  • Pray for strength and wisdom for Nick [Drayson] and the assistant bishops and the development of good teamwork 
  • Pray for us as we complete our period here and plan for our forthcoming time in the UK.”

Europe, Middle East and North Africa

Middle East: Prayer for peace

Please pray for the situation in Iraq, Syria and Israel/Palestine and especially for peace and calmness, for people to be able to go back to their homes and for the gospel to be heard and to be spread amongst non believers.

Britain: CMS forMission training

Please pray for all those participating on the CMS forMission training from 17-28 July. During the first week the group will be hosted at Newbigin House in Winson Green, Birmingham.

Please pray for the group who are preparing to go on short term placements to Nepal, Uganda, Brazil, and East Africa; for our hosts Ash and Angie Barker, and for CMS staff members Isaac Frisby, Susanne Haehnel and Colin Smith who will be leading the fortnight.

Iran: Christian converts sent to prison for propagating house churches and promoting “Zionist Christianity”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports that Christian converts Yousef Nadarkhani, Mohammadreza Omidi, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Saheb Fadaie have been given 10-year prison sentences for propagating house churches and promoting “Zionist Christianity”.

Yousef and Mohammadreza have also been sentenced to two years’ exile, Yousef in Nik Shahr and Mohammadreza in Borazjan. Both of these locations are in the south of the country, far away from their families in Rasht.

The verdict was dated 24 June but was received by the lawyer for the four men on 6 July. The lawyer will appeal on their behalf, and the appeal must be lodged within 20 days of receipt of the verdict.

Yasser, Saheb and Mohammadreza were arrested on 13 May 2016, with their pastor, Yousef, as they were celebrating communion. Yasser, Saheb and Mohammadreza were also charged with consumption of alcohol because they drank communion wine, and on 10 September they were each sentenced to 80 lashes. Their appeal against the sentence of 80 lashes remains outstanding.

Please pray that:

  • The appeal against the verdict will be successful 
  • The four men will be acquitted 
  • The sentence of 80 lashes will also be overturned 
  • The Revolutionary Court and judges will stop intimidating Christian converts, and will respect the right of all in Iran to freedom of religion 
  • All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow him.   

Britain: Michael Green

Please continue to pray for the health of mission partner Michael Green who has been unwell for the past few months. He is working as an evangelist and offering discipleship and care for Middle Easterners in Ipswich, Suffolk, as well as training the church in engagement with Muslims.

There has been some breakthrough of late in his health, for which we thank the Lord, but please pray for full healing.

Britain: Clean For Good

Please pray for new ethical cleaning company Clean For Good who are partially funded by CMS. They have won one client contract, but please pray they would win some more! Pray also for Catherine Pearson as she leads this work.

Britain: Pioneer courses starting in September

Please do pray for the Pioneer team as it goes through a recruitment process for new students to start studying this September. It is not too late for people to send in their applications forms.

The team offer three routes to complete the Certificate in Theology, Mission and Ministry (which are a focus on pioneer ministry, a focus on youth, and a focus on Children and Family) a diploma, a degree, and an MA in Mission, Ministry and Theology. All are accredited by Durham University.

Please pray for the team at this busy time, and for those considering Pioneer study. If you are interested in attending or know someone who might be, then please visit this page or email pioneer@churchmissionsociety.org

Middle East: Sara Afshari

Please pray for mission partner Sara Afshari as she discerns the future. Thank the Lord for her hard work on her PhD. She has just submitted her thesis, so please pray for this and for her in general.

Britain: CMS pension scheme valuation

Give thanks that the CMS pension scheme valuation was signed off at the last board meeting on June 19 ahead of schedule. Please pray that the shortfall would reduce in the intervening three-year period until the next valuation.

Britain: CMS trustees board meeting

Please pray for the forthcoming CMS trustee board meeting on 27-28 July, at All Nations Christian College in Hertfordshire. Pray for wisdom, discernment and a lightness of soul.

Africa

Uganda: Jenny Ottewell

On Friday, 7 July, Paul Thaxter, CMS director of international mission, was privileged to attend Jenny Ottewell’s funeral at St Thomas’ Kendal and writes about that day:

“The church was full of people and praise for this remarkable Christian. Many CMS members and friends were there, each with their own radiant testimony of Jenny, and how God was glorified through a good and faithful servant. I commented in the service that Jenny embodied all four of CMS’s values – pioneering, relational, faithful and evangelistic – and that CMS are deeply appreciative of her life and ministry. Praise God that tributes came from bishops in Uganda along with a moving written tribute by His Grace, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali. Jenny, with her fantastic Uganda teams and colleagues, helped provide Christian education to children and youth who have now become many of the leaders in the second largest province within the Anglican Communion.”

Give thanks for Jenny’s life and pray for the ongoing work in Uganda with children and youth. Give thanks also, that the legacy of her work is continuing with Rev Richard Rukundo, serving as the children’s ministry coordinator in Church of Uganda. He is a CMS local partner

South Sudan: An update

Please continue to hold South Sudan in our prayers. CMS trustee, Jane Shaw, writes with a brief update:

“The main prayer this week is a continuing prayer for refugees, who have fled from their homes in and from South Sudan. Many are facing acute hunger and even starvation. Across Eastern Africa and the Horn of Africa, refugee numbers have grown to 4.4 million, 3 million of them in the last eight months, and the number is expected to increase. Causes include drought and failed harvests, conflict and insecurity, and economic shocks.

“Recent rainfall is not enough to compensate for delayed onset, and 5.5 million South Sudanese are expected to be ‘severely food insecure’ this month. There is also a 50-60 per cent probability of an El-Nino effect in the autumn, which would affect Ethiopia, northern Kenya, western Uganda and south-west South Sudan. About two million are displaced within South Sudan and 1.9 million have fled the country; UNICEF reports that two million children alone have been forced to leave home. And of the 10,000 cases of cholera currently reported, the majority are children. Pray for children and their families, and for all caught up in conflict and driven to leave everything – and for the relief agencies faced with the enormous task of feeding them all.”