“Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty, I’m singing joyful praise to God. I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Saviour God. Counting on God’s rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I’m king of the mountain!” Habakkuk 3:17-19 (The Message)
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Britain: Grenfell Tower
Please pray for all those affected by the terrible fire that occurred this week in North Kensington in London, especially those families grieving lost loved ones.
As of Thursday lunchtime, 17 people have died after a huge fire engulfed Grenfell Tower, a west London tower block, in the early hours of Wednesday. The London Ambulance Service says 78 people have been treated in six hospitals – St Mary’s, Chelsea and Westminster, Royal Free, St Thomas’, Charing Cross Hospital and King’s College Hospital. Thirty-seven patients remain in hospital of which 17 are in critical care.
The Bishop of Huntingdon, David Thomson, wrote a prayer below:
hear our prayer for those
who have agonised and died
suffered and been scarred
are bewildered and bereaved
at Grenfell Tower.
We give thanks for our emergency services
and all who are offering care and support.
We pray that new homes will be quickly found for those affected,
and that your healing Spirit will be with them in the days ahead,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Britain: CMS Wales conference
Please pray for the CMS Wales and Borders [residential] weekend conference starting today (16 June). The conference has a Latin American focus; mission director for Latin America, Henry Scriven, is the lead speaker along with mission partners Levi Santana (Brazil) and Tim Curtis (Paraguay). Mission partner Ann-Marie Wilson will also be speaking, giving an update on her work.
Please pray that the weekend will be a great time of learning, prayer and fellowship and that people will leave encouraged and wanting to go deeper with their own mission contexts.
Lebanon: Phil and Sylvie Good
Phil and Sylvie Good are new mission partners in training who are preparing to go out to work in Beirut, Lebanon. They write with a news update and a request for prayer:
“We fly today to Lebanon to meet people who we will be working with once we move there. Please pray for our trip and for the building of relationships. We are also hoping to meet up with some of the other CMS people in Beirut.”
Britain: Partnership for Missional Church
This Friday and Saturday (16-17 June) the Reading Area cluster of churches engaged in the Partnership for Missional Church (PMC) process meets. Pray that the Holy Spirit will be doing the work he alone can do in bringing renewal, refreshment, spiritual wisdom and insight to those Christian communities and their members taking part.
For more information on PMC, please see this page.
Sri Lanka: Response to the severe flooding
Please continue to pray for the nation of Sri Lanka and its people, recovering from the floods that are severely affecting the country.
Our strategic partner LEADS (an evangelical development charity) wrote to us earlier this week with some good news! They have managed to help 5138 families so far, providing much needed access to water, temporary shelters, hygiene packs, water pumping motors and bedding. LEADS also has a Facebook page with up to date news on etc, which can be found here.
Taiwan: Catherine Lee
Mission partner Catherine Lee writes asking for prayer for:
- "Good health – for my parents and myself, and for safety in travel.
- The outreach ministry of English classes in schools, church, university and the local community.
- Bishop David J. H. Lai, our clergy and church members of the Diocese of Taiwan, and for all our many visitors.
- Opportunities to share the gospel, for people willing to take the good news out into our communities, and for open hearts and minds to receive Christ.
- Wisdom and good judgement for Taiwan’s TV and media, and for all Taiwan’s political, civil and religious leaders in an insecure, unstable and increasingly intolerant world."
Chile: Alf and Hilary Cooper
Please pray for mission partners Alf and Hilary Cooper who are based in Chile. They write:
“Alf has finished his book ‘Out of the Palace’ which tells the tale of the four years he spent working as chaplain to the president. In an election year in Chile where the ‘values’ issues are still very powerfully felt, the book could be an important step in helping shift the arguments. Please pray that Alf will this month find the right publisher for the book and that people are blessed through reading it.”
Peru: Meeting of bishops
Give thanks for the successful meeting of the bishops of South America in Lima. Please pray for the follow up and the ongoing discipleship programmes in the different dioceses across the country.
Uruguay: New bishop needed
Please pray for the appointment of a new bishop for the Diocese of Uruguay after the retirement, this summer, of bishop Michael Pollesel.
South Sudan: John Malow
Pray for CMS-Africa local partner John Malow who was attacked by soldiers in Juba last week. He was travelling home after visiting a friend when he was stopped at a checkpoint and brutally beaten and his leg broken.
We thank God that his life was spared and pray that God will fill his heart with love and forgiveness and that he recovers physically and emotionally.
Uganda: Malcolm Pritchard
Pray for mission partner Malcolm Pritchard who has travelled to Uganda to begin his ministry with the Diocese of Northern Uganda, teaching at the Archbishop Janani Luwum Theological College.
Currently he is in Entebbe waiting to clear his freight, mainly theological books for the college. Pray that the clearance happens quickly. Pray also that Malcolm can settle in very quickly and establish good relationships.
DR Congo: Rev Bisoke Balikenga
Please pray for local partner Rev Bisoke Balikenga who recently travelled to Rwanda for meetings with the Anglican Alliance and Bishop Desire of Goma Diocese. Please pray for safe travels and fruitful meetings.
Pray also for his work in DR Congo as he wants to visit all the dioceses, including the new ones like Kamango and Goma where they badly need advice on how to successfully build a youth department.
Uganda: Potter’s Village
We have just heard from Dr Nicci Maxwell, a short termer with CMS, who is working at The Potter’s Village (a child crisis and medical centre) in Kisoro, South West Uganda. She writes with prayer requests and thanks:
- “Give thanks for all that God has done and is doing in the care of baby Alex. Give praise for a successful septostomy operation and for his miraculous provision to cover the huge cost of this care. Please pray that any further obstacles to Alex travelling to Germany for his surgery will be quickly overcome.
- Give thanks for a rapidly growing network of contacts and acquaintances in and around Kisoro as well as some very encouraging friendships with local people that have been growing stronger in the past few months.
- Give thanks for decisions made about some aspects of my future. I know that God is directing my steps and I’m very thankful for that.
- Please pray for wisdom in how I use my time. I am conscious that there is still so much I would like to do in the limited time I have left and I need to prioritise things carefully.
- Finally, please pray for the right balance of work and rest to continue as I remain the only doctor here for another two months.”
South Sudan: An update
Please continue to hold South Sudan in our prayers. CMS trustee, Jane Shaw, writes with an update:
“An extraordinary summit meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to consider the South Sudan situation opened in Addis Ababa this week. Presidents Bashir (Sudan) and Museveni (Uganda) are among those attending, but not President Kiir, who says he has ‘other commitments’ and has sent his First Vice President. Pray that the meeting will somehow be effective in progressing the Peace Agreement and securing a working ceasefire.
“There has been more fighting in Upper Nile, and a serious attack on a convoy on the Juba-Nimule road (to Uganda), with 40 dead including two senior army officers, and many injured. Murle tribesmen in Bor West County have attacked a house, killed one child, injured two others, and abducted a five-year old child and some goats. The head of UNMISS, David Shearer, has been in Jonglei discussing with the governor and local authorities how to stop such cattle-rustling and child abduction between Murle and Dinka. Pray for an end to the seemingly unceasing cycle of violence and revenge.
“Maridi apparently remains peaceful, but there is still no electricity or internet, and very little fuel in town. Pray for Bishop Justin, the diocesan staff and the Mothers’ Union, still looking after the victims of last year’s fuel tanker explosion, and pray for CMS mission partner Lynn Treneary, teaching at the Chaima Christian Institute and recently licensed as a lay minister at the cathedral.
“Another 6,000 refugees from South Sudan have arrived in South Darfur, needing shelter because the rains have started. Sudan has over 417,000 South Sudanese refugees (since December 2013). Many more refugees are in huge camps in Northern Uganda. Pray for their welfare, and for the agencies trying to care for them – the UN appeal for their Response Programme is still 86 per cent unfunded. Displaced people in the Catholic cathedral compound at Wau are receiving no food rations; the rations were cut by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), but there has been no distribution at all for the last two months. Pray for people still in their own towns but living in fear, and dependent on others for everything.”