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Prayer News 18 August 2017

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1: 1-3 (NIV)

Asia

Northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh: Flooding and landslides

Please pray for the areas of northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh which have been devastated in the past few days as a result of flooding and landslides.

The Guardian newspaper writes: “Millions of people have been displaced across the region, and 245 people are recorded to have been killed by collapsed buildings or by drowning.

“In Nepal, incessant rain has flooded hundreds of villages leaving 110 people dead. The government has come under fire for not responding fast enough to the disaster.

“As security forces scrambled to rescue those marooned on rooftops and helicopters distributed food and water to the worst-hit districts yesterday, the home ministry spokesman Ram Krishna Subedi said relief supplies were being mobilised as soon as possible. Elephants were deployed to help rescue those stranded following three days of torrential rain, including 700 tourists in the popular town of Chitwan.

“Across Nepal’s southern border, 13 districts have been hit by severe flooding in the Indian state of Bihar, leaving 41 people dead.”

Please pray that the relief efforts can get food, tents, water filters, bed sheets and other essential items to all those affected as soon as possible.

Pakistan: Mission partner F

A mission partner, F, based in Pakistan writes with an urgent prayer request:

“I received a very nasty bite from a cat I was trying to rescue. Please pray for healing.”

India: Christian Medical College (CMC)

Please pray for Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore, India. The Indian government has recently decided to impose one centralised test and to allocate places in all medical colleges, whether public or private, based only on that. This would remove discretion or any other criteria which have traditionally been used by private colleges. 

CMC has trained Christian doctors and nurses for over a hundred years with an emphasis on mission and their graduates have thus been much more likely than most typical Indian doctors to stay and serve in India rather than emigrate to earn more money. They have also been much more willing to serve in rural areas, where the needs are greatest but the rewards are less. However, their admissions policy includes a Scripture test and interviews candidates to see whether they have a heart for a medical career as a Christian missionary. Its students are also expected to serve a “bond” – after qualifying, to work in a Christian mission hospital, often in a remote area, for a couple of years. It’s becoming an increasing problem for CMC as their undergraduate admissions have been delayed and under the government’s new rules, most new students would not be Christian.

However, various colleges, including CMC, have taken this issue to court. The issue is due to be heard next month. Please pray for this process.

India: Mar Thoma Church

The Mar Thoma Church, based in Kerala, south India, is celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of its presence in the UK and Europe with a number of events, including a family conference which ends with a special service on Sunday 27 August. CMS’s executive leader, Philip Mounstephen will be attending and speaking. Pray for his input, and pray too that this ancient church will be increasingly confident in its mission calling in the western context.

Latin America

Guatemala: Azaria Spencer

Mission partner Azaria Spencer, who is newly working with street children and young people at risk in Guatemala City, writes asking for prayer for:

  • “I would appreciate prayers as I study Spanish in Antigua, the town/city in Guatemala not the island! 
  • Please give thanks for my safe arrival and a fantastic welcome. 
  • Please pray as I settle in and adjust, but also for family and friends as they adjust to me being here too. 
  • Pray for all those I am meeting and building relationships with, especially all those connected to Mi Arca and Street Kids Direct! May God be glorified in it all!”

Brazil: Debora and Levi Santana

Mission partners Debora and Levi Santana (with Nicolas and Olivia), who have just arrived in Goiania, write asking for prayer for:

  • “Nicolas’s new school. 
  • Our meetings with various people in the coming weeks, as we seek to become familiar with the city and what is being provided for people on the streets. 
  • Our move to our new place by the end of August.”

Brazil: Jess and Mark Simpson

Jess and Mark Simpson, mission partners in Rio, Brazil, write asking for prayer for:

  • “Integrating new arrivals at Christ Church 
  • For breakthroughs with our relationship with the British Commonwealth Society and the British School to enable us to reach out to all English-speakers in Rio without partiality.
  • For progress on the building in Magé and raising up more leadership. 
  • Developing links with the Street Church and Word Made Flesh project, to make an impact on the lives of families living on (or connected to) the streets. 
  • For our relationship with the local Anglican diocese and the new bishop, Eduardo.”

Europe, Middle East and North Africa

Britain: Peter Hyatt

We have heard that last weekend, Peter Hyatt (a trustee of CMS) had a severe cycling accident whilst on holiday in Canada. He came off a bike and suffered fractures of ribs and other bones, a collapsed lung, and has had to have, in addition, a hip replacement due to multiple fractures to his hip bones. His wife Jenny tells us that he is recovering from his hip operation and friends have travelled for eight hours to be with her at this time.

Please hold Peter and Jenny in your prayers.

Two mission partners based in Spain

Please pray for two mission partners who are based in Spain but who travel across North Africa regularly for their work. They write asking for prayer:

  • “The leadership course went well. We had 21 leaders serving in different nations with us for six weeks. Over the weeks, participants learned new tools to lead their teams, ministries and themselves more effectively. Many participate in the course at a time of transition, so it is a key time to walk alongside them. It is great to have this continuity of relationship with those who took part and we’d love you to pray for good, lasting fruit in the lives of the leaders and teams involved. 
  • The abduction crisis of a team member in Africa is ongoing. This requires many hours of extra meetings and we continue to trust for a positive outcome for the person involved and his family. Please pray for a safe return for him and for God’s good and redemptive purposes to be fulfilled in ways beyond what we can imagine. 
  • Pray for us as we prayerfully figure out what it looks like to offer our unique contributions and yet maintain a sense of being called into ministry as a couple.”

Africa

Ethiopia: Prayer for the people working in the diocese

In the Diocese of Egypt is the area diocese of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. This was led by Bishop Grant LeMarquand, with his wife Wendy. Sadly, for health reasons, they have resigned. Please pray for mission partner Rosemary Burke, who is the area diocese administrative secretary as this will mean more responsibilities for her. Pray also for the clergy of the diocese, and for mission partners Chris and Suzy Wilson teaching in Gambella.

A year ago, the dean of the theological college in Gambella had to resign also for health reasons and they are still seeking a new dean. Please pray for this and for the right people to lead the area diocese in the future.

Uganda: Potter’s Village

Please pray for Potter’s Village (a child crisis and medical centre) in Kisoro, South West Uganda. We have just heard from the people running it, Mike and Sue Hughes, who write asking for prayer for:

  • “A team from Marple arrives this weekend. Please pray for safe travelling, good health and that they would have an enriching time visiting the diocese and helping at Potter’s Village. 
  • A Memorandum of Understanding between Potter’s Village and the district has been drafted. It might enable us to receive additional help from the government. At present, the document is being considered by the diocese. Please pray that it will be dealt with swiftly. 
  • Pray also for Nicci Maxwell, as she prepares to come back to the UK. Nicci is seeking God’s guidance for future mission service. Pray for God’s direction to be clear.”   

Burundi: The Anglican Church

We thank God for the Anglican Church in Burundi and the growth in the church which has led to the creation of the Diocese of Buhiga and the Diocese of Rutana. We give thanks also for the consecration of Rev Pontien Ribakare as Bishop of the new Diocese of Rutana, Rev Seth Ndayirukiye as Bishop of the Diocese of Matana, Rev Evariste Nijimbere as Bishop of the new Diocese of Buhiga and Rev Aimé Joseph Kimararungu who is to be Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Gitega. These celebrations will take place on 19, 20 and 27 August. Please pray for them all.

South Sudan: An update

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

“In a meeting with the German foreign minister last Thursday, President Kiir informed him that the Peace Agreement has been ‘mostly’ implemented, and that the National Dialogue is open to all. In a separate meeting with traditional Dinka leaders, he said that peace and stability will be achieved through two tracks – the national dialogue, and the reunification of SPLM leaders, supported by the [IGAD] regional revitalisation force. ‘The situation in this young nation has become embarrassing’ he said; however, he still refuses to accept any new peace talks which include opposition members. Pray for a genuine desire for peace in all parties, and for effective action to secure stability and security.”