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Prayer News 30 June 2017

“May the Master of Peace himself give you the gift of getting along with each other at all times, in all ways. May the Master be truly among you!” 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (The Message)

Africa

Uganda/South Sudan: Garry Ion

Mission partner Garry Ion, working in Uganda and South Sudan to support local church communities undertake building projects, writes with an urgent prayer request:

“I am currently in the UK but last Sunday I fell sick and was rushed to A&E. The doctor concluded that it was inflammation of my gallbladder caused by gallstones. Please pray for me over the next few days and weeks, especially following my operation.”

Uganda: Jenny Ottewell

It is with deep sadness that we report that Jenny Ottewell died earlier this week after losing her battle with cancer. Jenny was a former mission partner in Uganda who more recently was chair of a UK group Church of Uganda Children’s Ministry, UK (CUCMUK), which supported the work of children’s ministry led by local partner Rev Richard Rukundo,

The funeral will be held on Friday 7 July at 1.30pm at St Thomas' Church in Kendal.

South Sudan: Refugees and famine

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

“The main prayer this week is the current condition of refugees. More than two million of South Sudan’s approximately 13 million population are now refugees – roughly one million in Uganda,​ 800,000 in Sudan and substantial numbers in Ethiopia and Congo​. The World Food Programme, UNHCR and other agencies are struggling to provide for them, and a lack of funds means rations are reduced to one meal a day; clean water is scarce, and schools or clinics even more scarce. And even in the camps there is no safety. Some SPLA soldiers this week crossed the border, raided a village in Moyo (Uganda), abducted 13 South Sudanese refugees and drove them back to South Sudan, raiding cattle on the way. 

"An international summit meeting in Uganda last week resulted in pledges of $358 million, but that only covers part of the $2 billion needed. The Pope has given $500m, channelled through Caritas, but it is for health, education and agriculture within South Sudan. Donors at the meeting also put pressure on the warring factions to end the fighting. Please pray that international donors would give generously to match the need, and that the fighting would end.

“The food situation in the country is still bad, although no part is now officially in famine. But two million people are still at risk of starvation, including 45,000 in the original famine areas of Leer, Koch and Mayendit counties. “Catastrophic” food insecurity is also reported in many areas. Pray that more people may be able to return and cultivate their land in peace, and that meanwhile the relief agencies will be able to reach every part with food aid, unhindered by army or other sources of trouble.”

Asia

Nepal: Two brothers R and S

Ram Prasad Shrestha, the director of the National Missions Commission of Nepal (NMCN), a strategic partner of CMS, writes:

“Please pray for R and S who are brothers. They are regular students at our slum education centre. While they were still small, their mother left them and ran away with another man and their father brought in a step mother. Unfortunately, their father was then sent to prison. Whilst their step mother took care of them, there was no one to provide food or proper guidance.

“Neither brother was able to attend school due to the costs involved but our slum education programme learnt about them and began sponsoring their education. Sadly, however, R became very sick with a high fever and a chronic cough and his step mother could not afford to take him to the hospital. Eventually, thanks to financial support provided by the villagers and the local monastery, he was admitted to a local hospital for 10 days where he was diagnosed with a lung infection. He is now at home resting up, very weak and still sick.

“He needs further treatment but sadly his family cannot afford it. It is hard for them even to provide for the daily basic needs. Our office has purchased foods for him and his family so that he would gain strength. Please pray that R would receive quick healing and can resume his studies at school.”

Sri Lanka: Response to the severe flooding

Please continue to pray for the nation of Sri Lanka and its people, recovering from the floods severely affecting the country.

Our strategic partner LEADS (an evangelical development charity) wrote to us earlier this week asking for prayer for the following:

  • “For all the relief efforts to reach the neediest people in the affected areas. 
  • For God’s supernatural and divine favour as we deal with those in authority. 
  • That people affected will experience the love of God demonstrated through our compassionate and active service. 
  • For strength and protection for our staff who are actively involved in packing and distributions. Pray also for staff to be guarded from burnout and stress. 
  • Some of our own staff were also affected and have been working despite the challenges, house damages and children’ illnesses etc. Please also keep them in your prayers.  
  • For the ongoing psycho-social programmes for children.”   

Nepal: Kathmandu International Study Centre (KISC)

Please join the Kathmandu International Study Centre (KISC) in praying as they look to fill the role of school director. For more information, please see this page.

KISC’s desire is to play a role in all God is doing in Nepal, bringing Kingdom values of love, grace, community, justice and excellence. They aim to do this by providing excellent education for both the international mission community and the Nepali school communities with whom they work.

Europe, Middle East and North Africa

Britain: Joan and Nigel Bull

Joan and Nigel Bull are mission partners based in Bradford. Joan is teaching English, helping in a school and a Sunday school for Romany children. Nigel works in community engagement for a GP surgery. They support the work of the local church and the Mahabba group, which mobilises and motivates Christians to love their Muslim neighbours.

They write with some prayer requests:

  • “For a Slovak or Czech- speaking Christian leader to help us with our ministry to Roma children. 
  • For a street party planned for the evening of Thursday, 6 July in co-ordination with our local children’s centre. 
  • For our prime minister and government: wisdom and grace in their Brexit negotiations and decision-making. 
  • For each other as we take the light and presence of God with us into our neighbourhoods and cities.”   
     

Iranian Christians on trial

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) write with a worrying development about four Iranian Christians:

“We have learned that during a court hearing on 14 June for four members of the Church of Iran denomination in Rasht, who are charged with 'action against national security', a judge who is notorious for issuing harsh sentences unexpectedly entered the room and made a comment criticising Christians.

“Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, Mohammadreza Omidi, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Saheb Fadaie were summoned to the 26th Chamber of the Revolutionary Tribunal on 14 June, where in addition to informing them that a verdict would be delivered within 20 days, the presiding judge, Judge Ahmadzadeh, also accused the church of receiving £500,000 per year from the British government.

“In a worrying development, Judge Abolghasem Salavati, who heads the 15th Branch of the Revolutionary Court and is known for issuing harsh sentences, entered the court room during the proceedings and announced that 'Christians make foolish claims'.

“Judge Salavati is notorious for carrying out miscarriages of justice in high-profile trials involving foreign political activists, lawyers, journalists and ethnic and religious minorities. He is also known for delivering lengthy prison sentences and ordering that defendants be lashed. In many cases, he has ordered the execution of defendants. His unexpected intervention may indicate that the presiding judge is under pressure from the Secret Police to pronounce a pre-determined verdict and deliver a harsh sentence.

“The four men were arrested on 13 May, during a series of raids by security service (VEVAK) agents on Christian homes in Rasht. A ruling on their case was expected prior to Iranian New Year on 21 March; however, the decision to refer the case to authorities in Tehran delayed the sentencing. If found guilty, the men could face a maximum of five or six years in prison.

A ruling is also overdue for a decision on an appeal by Mr Omidi, Mr Mossayebzadeh and Mr Fadaie against a sentence of eighty lashes each for drinking wine during a Communion service.”

  • Please pray for these four men and their families, that they will be peaceful and strong in Christ, that the judges would act and decide with mercy and that all the officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow him.

Latin America

Northern Argentina: Disturbances among the Wichi youth

Mission partners David and Shelley Stokes write from Juarez, Northern Argentina, with news and a prayer request:

“Just to let you know that the disturbances among the Wichi youth have calmed down since the women of the churches (the AMARE group) in Barrio Obrero held an evangelistic campaign for the young people over the Easter weekend. Please give thanks to God for the women’s courage and for his mercy, and pray for the situation in the weeks and months to come.”

Latin America: Mary Rollin

Give thanks for Mary Rollin’s continued healing and for her first visit back to the office since her heart operation. Mary is returning to her part time role as local partner officer for Latin America.