God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgement, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:16b-19
Flooding in Sri Lanka
Clergy in Sri Lanka have been urged to prepare their churches and church halls to provide refuge for people displaced by serious flooding in the country’s Southern and Sabaragamuwa regions. This morning (Wednesday) Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre said that 202 people had died as a result of the devastating floods and landslides caused by severe rains which have hit the country since Friday when Cyclone Mora hit the island (ACNS).
Our strategic partner LEADS (evangelical development charity) reported last week: “Navatcholai village in Trincomalee District, has been affected by strong winds causing considerable damage to temporary shelters housing war returnees. In Ratnapura District, some families have already been displayed due to floods or moved to safer locations due to the threat of landslides in areas including LEADS Project Sites of Haldola, Marapana and Devalegama. Fifty-eight families consisting of 220 individuals have already been affected by the heavy rains.
Asia Gateway training
Please pray for the AsiaGateway Training from 3-30 June led by AsiaCMS with mission partner Berdine van den Toren along with her husband Benno (professor of Intercultural Studies at Protestant Theological University, Groningen) as senior trainers in residence: 23 students are on the inter-cultural engagement with nine from Malaysia and 14 from six countries in Asia and also from the UK. Among the highlights of the training will be interfaith engagements and dialogue with Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim religious leaders, as well as visit to ministry among Orang Asli local original peoples of Malaysia.
Philippines – martial law imposed on island
The Filipino island of Mindanao is now under martial law, due to the ongoing battle with rebels in Marawi City. Please do pray for a swift resolution to the battle and for the civilians affected, particularly a number of Christians have been captured for use as human shields.
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Egypt: prayers for Coptic Christians
Do continue to hold our Coptic brothers and sisters in your prayers following another devastating attack last Friday. Pray for their protection – we may also give thanks for their Christlike responses to these attacks. Do read the extraordinary statement by Bishop Angaelos if you haven’t already.
Jerusalem Evangelistic Outreach
From local partner Rami Fellemon at JEO: “Please join us in prayer for Mona, a divorced mom with 2 children who accepted Jesus in her life. Mona is growing in faith despite her hardships and society’s look toward her. We are proud of her as she started sharing the love of Christ with others around her by joining the field team visits. Last week she joined 10 family visits in her village to build relationships and learn more about the ministry of Jesus.”
Ukraine: Alison Giblett
Give thanks for a week of activity in Lvov for Alison, teaching the Genesis process (enabling healing from self-destructive behaviours) to a rehab centre and church group along with her colleague Volodya. During the week Alison was also asked to share in two Sunday services tomorrow, to teach in an evening meeting at a Catholic church and to lead a home group. Please pray for all those involved, that this will bear much fruit in healed lives.
Iranian Christians on trial
Middle East Concern report Iranian Christians’ request for prayer for Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz and Amin Nader Afshar. They and other Christians were arrested on 26 December 2014 at a Christmas celebration at Pastor Victor’s home. After they were bailed, their court hearing was set for April this year, though Amin had been arrested again in 2016 and remains in Evin prison in Tehran, with another believer, Hadi Askari, arrested at the same time (three others, including Pastor Victor’s son, were also arrested and bailed).
The April hearing could not be concluded in Amin’s case because the judge had not provided all necessary documents to the defendant’s lawyer. It was agreed that the lawyer would meet the judge at a later date after she had examined the documents. As the cases of Pastor Victor and Amin are linked, no verdict was issued.
Give thanks for this meeting and pray that the judge would reject all the charges.
Reconnecting with a Ugandan school
This Saturday evening, 3 June, Barbara and Tim Oakley are representing CMS at a London dinner being given by past students from Busoga College, Mwiri, a secondary school in Uganda. The school was started by CMS in 1911, and at this dinner they especially want to appreciate and reconnect with their ‘founder mission’. Pray for Barbara and Tim that they will be inspirational in helping to revitalise the Christian vision of the school’s founders updated for the 21st century.
Thanksgiving for conference for leaders of South Sudan
CMS-Africa’s Rev Dennis Tongoi was the keynote speaker at a just-concluded special seminar for church leaders and their colleagues in public service under the theme: “Those who know their God shall be strong and do great exploits” (Daniel 11:32). The seminar, held in Juba on 13 May brought together South Sudanese political leaders. Dennis spoke on good governance and the role of a biblical worldview on the transformation of a nation. Pray for peace and stability in South Sudan, and for more opportunities for training and discipleship of the people, both in-country and in the diaspora.
DRC: Fourth death recorded in latest Ebola outbreak
A fourth person is reported to have died in an Ebola outbreak in DR Congo, a spokesman from the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday. Since 12 May when the outbreak was declared in north-eastern Bas-Uele province, 37 suspected cases are being monitored. Of these suspected cases, two were confirmed in the laboratory and three were regarded as probable Ebola cases. Community health agents are monitoring another 400 people.
Pray that this latest outbreak will be contained and will not cause panic and untold economic hardship to an already strained population in Congo, which already has 2.2 million internally displaced people.
Tanzania: community empowerment sows seeds
Paul Kibona, a local partner with CMS-Africa in Tanzania thanks God for the visit he made last week to Kondoa: “We had a very successful ministry, meeting with pastors, training women in soap making programme and distribution of water filters in non-Christian communities. We also had a chance visit a police station and schools in the Kondoa area. Pray also for the coming VISION Conference (part of the Samaritan Strategy to empower churches to serve their communities using the resources they already have) in Kondoa next week for pastors, church leaders and some community leaders. Pray also for the seed planted in the hearts of these communities to grow, that they may know Jesus Christ.
CMS-Africa trainer grieving
Pray for the family of Meshack Oduke, a major trainer and resource person for Samaritan Strategy Africa and other CMS-Africa training programmes. Meshack has trained widely in the eastern African countries, and organised several seed projects, one of which grew to become a serious secondary school, Shilce Secondary School. This has been a model of holistic community transformation undergirded by a biblical worldview. Meshack is grieving, having just lost his younger brother, Alex Khalonyere, in a tragic road accident. Let us pray for Alex’s widow, Rose Imbwaga and his young eight-month old daughter, Darren Zawadi as they learn to live without a dear husband and father.
Argentina: speaking up on deforestation
We are very grateful for those of you who prayed for mission partner Andrew Leake as he presented his book on deforestation to the Legislature in Salta on 10 May. As might be expected in Salta, nothing quite happened as expected, but the end product was positive. As a result of practical problems, the presentation was moved to a smaller room with just two legislators – but these included the president of the legislature Dr Godoy, who made notes during Andrew’s talk, and committed himself to requesting a formal report on deforestation from the executive branch of government. Please pray this happens.
Peru: serving children in need
Give thanks for the work of Isabel Montoya (wife of our local partner Anderson Sanchez) who runs two schools and child day-care centres with a total of 107 children between 2 and 11 years. An example of their work: “One four year old girl stays in the child day-care centre at Christ the Redeemer until 5pm. From there she goes to the home of one of the teachers, since her mother who is a single parent works at a house and then goes out to work at 6pm. They live alone, accommodated in the house of a friend of the mother. The child entered the centre with malnutrition and Is now in the process of recovery, since we took her to the health centre, and she is feeding and taking medicine each day.” Give thanks and pray for this girl and others in similar situations.
Colombia: inspiring students
Stephany Díaz is a student of mission associate Christopher Hays in Medellin, Colombia. She says, “Ever since I came to know the Lord, I have felt a strong call and love for the service of God and others…. I help in my church as a youth leader, and in a local foundation I also do some social work with the impoverished people of Medellín. After I graduate, I hope to do a master’s degree and dedicate myself to training youth leaders, as well as providing more professional support in an organisation that works on behalf of the most marginalised members of our society.” Give thanks for Stephany and for Christopher’s work in training her and many more like her for future ministry.