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Prayer News 23 June 2017

“Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless – that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.

"Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked; but he turns his back on those who do evil things.”
1 Peter 3:6-12 (The Message)

Europe, Middle East and North Africa

Britain: Grenfell Tower

Please continue to pray for all those affected by the terrible fire that occurred last week in North Kensington in London, especially those families grieving lost loved ones. As of Thursday lunchtime, police have said that a total of 79 people are either dead or missing presumed dead. 

Pray also for those in authority, that they would make wise decisions and couched in love over political expediency.

Iranian Christians on trial

We recently asked for prayer following a report by our friends Middle East Concern 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.

On the morning of Sunday 11 June, there was a second hearing in the case against these three Christian men in Tehran. Pastor Victor, Amin and Hadi were requested to attend yesterday’s hearing and did so. However, they were not permitted to defend themselves verbally and were asked to write down statements in their defence and submit these written statements to the judge.

The judge is due to give a verdict very shortly. Please pray that he will reject the charges against Pastor Victor, Amin and Hadi, and that he will acquit them all. Pray also that Amin and Hadi will be released from prison soon.

Jerusalem: Prayer for two mission partners

Please pray for two CMS mission partners D and S who are working in Jerusalem and for their work with the Anglican Church. They also write asking for prayer for:

  • Archbishop Suheil and his new ministry as president (primate) of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.
  • The staff at the Cathedral of St George’s and the diocesan office.  
  • Greater custodianship of the environment in the Holy Land, where there is little recycling.   
     

Spain: Felipe and Sarah Yanez

Please pray for mission partners Felipe and Sarah Yanez who are building bridges, bringing encouragement and sharing Christ with those whom they come into contact. Felipe supports the work of a food bank, Centro Luz, in Malaga city, and is involved in Bible studies, informal discipleship and occasional English courses in their town, Alhaurín de la Torre. Sarah runs the clothes bank at the ABC, a Christian food bank, and is on the management group for the ABC. 

They write asking for prayer:

  • “That Centro Luz will soon find a suitable van to purchase. 
  • For Christian volunteers at the ABC. 
  • For a good time of rest and renewal while in the UK this summer. 
  • For provision of a car for September/October. 
  • That our two boys will find good, Christian friends.”   

Britain: CMS Finance Committee

The CMS Finance Committee meets on Friday, 30 June. Give thanks for those who serve the community on this committee; please pray that we will be wise stewards of our resources, and ask the Lord to continue to meet our needs “according to his riches in glory”.

Asia

India: Prayer for non-believers

We have just heard from a person in mission in India who writes:

“Thank you for your steadfast prayers and partnership in helping us to spread the good news of the gospel. By the grace of God we have distributed 3,700 prayer guides in English, Hindi and Gujarati across India. Please pray that the Spirit of God would place a prayer burden upon Christians to intercede for the salvation of others, one that will bring about a great breakthrough in our gospel work. Pray also that we will see many more witnesses trained and sent out to reach the people of India.”

India: Anti-trafficking work

Please pray for two mission partners working in North India in the area of anti-trafficking. Pray especially for safety as there is currently political unrest with strikes and violence in the area in which they live, which has made it especially difficult to make phone calls, withdraw money etc. Pray that the Lord will keep them safe and continue to bless their work and especially those who are being trafficked.

Asia CMS: Prayer for a new executive director

Please continue to pray for a new executive director for Asia CMS, someone who is passionate about mission, energetic and who will bring an exciting, new vision. Pray also that they will be recruited before the end of the year.

For more information, please see this page.

Latin America

Ecuador: Jill Ball

We have just heard from Jill Ball, a CMS mission associate who writes:

“The charity that I am connected to works in Santo Domingo’s outlying areas with groups of women who receive handicraft and dressmaking classes. Santo Domingo is located 133 km west of Quito, lying in the foothills west of the Andes and is an important stopping point on the road from Quito to the Pacific Coast.

“The underlying aim is to identify and help those suffering from, or are at risk of, domestic abuse. It is estimated that 70 per cent of women in Ecuador experience domestic abuse at some time in their lives. However, many become Christians and they are able to sell the goods they have learnt to make and construct a better future for themselves and their children. We estimate that we reach over 500 women a year. It was great to see how two women I met engaged with children in the areas they work in, and we had the privilege of giving out Bible study certificates and Samaritan’s Purse boxes to over 100 children.”

Please pray for Jill and her work and for all the women that are suffering from, or are at risk of, domestic abuse.

Guatemala: Azaria Spencer

Mission partner in training Azaria Spencer who is shortly off to Guatemala writes asking for prayer for the following:

  • “Please join me in thanksgiving for all my supporting churches and friends.
  • Please pray for peace as I prepare to leave, for myself and family and friends.
  • Please pray for all the practical elements of packing and moving.
  • Please pray for my flights and safety when I travel.
  • Please pray for my language learning when I first arrive in Guatemala.
  • Please pray for all those who I am going to meet and serve with/alongside in Guatemala. 
  • May God go before me and come after me, and may he always be glorified.”

Africa

Burundi: Lizzie and Simon Guillebaud receive MBEs

Please give thanks for mission associate Simon Guillebaud and his wife Lizzie, based in Burundi, as they were both awarded MBEs in the Queen’s birthday honours list for services to Burundi.

Simon writes: “I’m so grateful to Lizzie for journeying with me through all the craziness and challenges of life out here, and we’re happy to receive the honour on behalf of all the precious sacrificial brothers and sisters we have the privilege of working alongside in Burundi. All for God’s glory!”

Please continue to pray for them both as they work with many Christian groups to share the love of Jesus with as many people as possible. To read Simon's blog and for more information, please see this page.

Kenya: Cyprian Yobera

Rev Cyprian Yobera, a former CMS mission associate who served as a vicar in Manchester, has moved back to Kenya and had the chance to join the CMS-Africa prayer day this Tuesday.

Please pray for Cyprian who is a Masters student at Day Star University where he is also assisting in the chaplaincy work. He also serves as a resource person with CMS-Africa in cross-cultural missions.

Pray for Cyprian’s school feeding programme in the Kibera slums in Nairobi which feeds 600 students in four public schools. The best performing students are provided with scholarships through their secondary school education. Pray also for his wife and children who are working/studying abroad.

South Sudan: Kajo-Keji Christian College

Steve Lue, Principal of Kajo-Keji Christian College in South Sudan, writes:

“The college was forced to move to Moyo in Uganda due to the fighting in Kajo-Keji. Out of 26 students, 22 students reported in but four dropped out as they could not easily reach the college. On 9 June, four students were able to graduate.

“John and Cathie Rutter, CMS people in mission, have helped improve the quality of teaching and financial management of the College. Currently, Cathie is working as the principal’s secretary and is doing great in terms of connecting the college with her friends.

“However, we are still operating with great financial restraints but we live by faith. The loss of income from agriculture, the grinding mill and other projects, combined with the fact that many parishes cannot support the students from the refugee camps, means that the college is in great financial difficulties.

“We continue praying to God for peace to return to Kajo-Keji so that we will be able to move back there.Thank you so very much for your love and compassion for the people of Kajo-Keji and for remembering us in your daily prayers.”

Burundi: Four new bishops elected

This week four new bishops were elected by the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Burundi.

  • Rev Canon Pontien Ribakare is to be bishop of the new Diocese of Rutana. 
  • Rev Canon Seth Ndayirukiye is to be bishop of the Diocese of Matana. 
  • Rev Evariste Nijimbere is to be bishop of the new Diocese of Buhiga. 
  • Rev Aimé Joseph Kimararungu is to be bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Gitega.
     

Please pray for all of the above and that they will stay especially close to the Lord during the next few months.

South Sudan: Weekly update

Please continue to hold South Sudan in your prayers. We have just heard from our friends The World Food Programme (WFP), which is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger and promoting food security. They write:

“Famine has eased in South Sudan after a significant scale up in the humanitarian response, according to new analysis released today. However, the situation remains dire across the country as the number of people struggling to find enough food each day has grown to 6 million – up from 4.9 million in February – and is the highest level of food insecurity ever experienced in South Sudan.

“Worsening conditions are mirrored across the country. The number of people facing emergency levels of hunger – one step below famine – is 1.7 million up from 1 million in February. So the crisis is not over. ‘We are merely keeping people alive but far too many face extreme hunger on the edge of a cliff’, said the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) director of emergencies Dominique Burgeon. ‘The only way to stop this desperate situation is to stop the conflict, ensure unimpeded access and enable people to resume their livelihoods.’

“The increase in food insecurity has been driven by armed conflict, below-average harvests and soaring food prices as well as the effects of the annual lean season. In the south-west, until recently the country’s bread basket, there are unprecedented levels of hunger caused largely by conflict. Farming communities have been driven over the border into neighbouring countries, leaving behind untended fields, and analysts forecast a record high national cereal deficit for 2018.”

Please pray for South Sudan and for all those suffering in the current crisis. Pray that the Lord will intervene and that we will see a breakthrough in this situation.