"See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away."
Philip Mounstephen read these words as office staff held silence and prayed for the victims and bereaved of the Manchester bombing. You do not need us to urge you to keep praying for those who have been traumatised and who have lost loved ones. But we perhaps all need to pray for the Holy Spirit to give us the capacity to keep praying for the uncountable victims of violence and terror around the world and to be so filled with God's love that we cannot stop it overflowing in the face of evil.
DRC: Severe water shortages
Bishop Desire Mukanirwa from the Diocese of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) writes with an urgent prayer request about water shortages. DRC is one of many African countries struggling with the effects of an extended regional drought.
“It is unbelievable to see some people live with no water at all. We have seen people fetch water that has been collected from the road after rainfall but when there is no rain, chaos ensues.
“The Anglican diocese is striving to address this absolute shortage of water by constructing gutters and cisterns to help the most vulnerable people, especially pygmies living in the arid and volcanic areas where there is no water access at all except for when it rains. In pursuing this project, we are helping engage in the fight against cholera and other hydric diseases which many people are confronted with.
“Some of these people have been baptised and some were recently confirmed in our church.”
Burundi: visits and ongoing prayer needs
Former mission partners Anne and Steve Stordy are visiting Burundi 23 May to 9 June, spending the first week with a group from Wadhurst and Beaconsfield at Mwumba in Buye diocese with Food for the Hungry.
Please pray for all in Burundi, who face the problems of inflation, security, famine and disease (cholera has been a problem and malaria is increasingly common.) Please pray too about the revision of the constitution, which may remove any limitation on the president's term of office – and any violence it may provoke.
Tanzania: mission and evangelism conference
Praise God for the annual meeting of mission and evangelism coordinators which took place 9-13 May, bringing together colleagues from all over Tanzania. The meeting was also a time to say farewell to the current provincial mission and evangelism coordinator, mission partner Christine Salaman - and to welcome the new part time coordinator the Rev Paul Mahiza. Please pray for the Rev Mahiza as he is taking on the huge job of running two departments, and for Christine as she hands over.
A couple newly converted to Christ
How do we pray for a young couple who have miraculously become followers of Christ in an Asian country where there are not even churches? Where it would be unwise for us not to afford them the due anonymity they need. They have been called for mission and have already made a brave start. They are currently undergoing mission and practical training with one of our strategic partners in Asia in a nearby country. They are ideal candidates for our local partner programme for next year.
Please pray that our local partner programme, which is so strategic and has an immense impact across the continent, may receive good support for next year (this year we have had to sadly reduce the programme rather than go with our planned growth). Please pray specifically for this couple and also for the local partner programme.
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Lebanon: People in mission
Please pray for our people in Lebanon and their work with refugees; this includes mission partners Amy and David Roche who work on staff at All Saints’ Anglican Church in Beirut. They head up the mission group in order to enable the local church in its outreach work, working alongside several educational and social development projects which help the many refugees streaming into Lebanon from the war in Syria.
Pray that communities will work towards forgiveness and peace with a conviction to end persecution and hatred that leads to violence and murder.
Big Church Day Out
Please pray for all who will be attending Big Chuch Day Out in the south this bank holiday weekend. And particularly for CMS staff and volunteers who will be there asking people what they think "mission is" in some fun and innovative ways. Do come and see us if you're there.
Partnership for Missional Church (PMC)
Please pray as June is a busy month for those involved in the Partnership for Missional Church (PMC) process across the country. All four participating dioceses will be meeting as clusters of local churches and many of them are at a critical point as they start forming new relationships with people in their communities who they have identified as “people of peace”.
In addition, the staff teams who oversee the delivery of the process in each place will be meeting as a learning community to share what God is up to among them and there will also be a small team working on a re-write of the written materials used.
Finally an international group of researchers and practitioners in missional church meets in Pittsburgh later in the month for an annual conference and CMS and UK dioceses will be represented there also.
See more information about PMC, including a new video.
Brazil: Evaldo Rodrigues de Araujo and Becky Reid
Please pray for short termer Becky Reid and her fiance Evaldo, based in Recife, Brazil, and working with the ReVive girls home. Becky and Evaldo are hoping to get married here in the UK in September before returning to work in Brazil with CMS in 2018 but Evaldo learned last week that his marriage visa application has been turned down. Please pray for them as they reapply with all the learning gained from their previous application, and for their preparation together for marriage and future service with CMS.
Prayer for discernment
Continue to pray for several people who are thinking and praying about the possibility of working in Latin America; pray for clear guidance and wisdom.
Guatemala: Rosalie Balfour
Please continue to pray for mission partner Rosalie Balfour receiving treatment for her bone infection in Mexico City. Pray for a rapid recovery while giving thanks for excellent treatment (and for good insurance!).
Brazil: Henry Scriven
Please pray for our mission director for Latin America, Henry Scriven, as he spends time in Olinda and Recife, Brazil. He is visiting mission partners Andy and Rose Roberts, and short termer Becky Reid at the Revive house for girls, and mission partner Faith Gordon.
Henry will also be meeting a couple of bishops and other leaders. He then travels to Florianopolis for the weekend to stay with mission partners Jimmy and Katia Rocks and their family. Finally he will be in Rio de Janeiro meeting with mission partners Jess and Mark Simpson (and their little boy River), people in mission Alex and Jane Cacouris and family and Sarah Quinn, a short-termer, all based at Christ Church Rio. He will also be meeting with the new bishop, Eduardo, and other leaders as well as local partner Alexandre Teixeira.
Pray for all the meetings that they will be effective and productive and for safe travels for Henry.
Chile: Alf and Hilary Cooper
Please pray for our 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. On 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 find the right publisher for the book and that people are blessed through reading it.”