“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” John 17:15 (NIV)
India: Anti-trafficking work
Please pray for two mission partners working in North India in the area of anti-trafficking. They have currently left the area due to a troubling situation on the ground. Please pray that this might present an opportunity for some relaxation and respite as this year has been particularly difficult for them.
They wrote an update earlier today: "It seems that things are slowly escalating in our local area. Please pray that there will be peace and safety, especially for Christians. Pray also that they will have wisdom, courage and the grace to know what is best to do in this situation.”
South-East Asia: B and M
Please pray for mission partners B and M working in South-East Asia. Give thanks that B has finished his training and that the family is now reunited and back in their normal location. Pray that they will continue to settle in and feel at home.
South-East Asia: A and L
Please pray for two mission partners, A and L, who have just arrived back in South-East Asia after six months spent in the UK. Pray that they will settle back in quickly, continue with language learning and reconnect with the people they have come to know.
Paraguay: Beryl Baker
Beryl Baker is a mission associate living and working in Paraguay as a nurse, offering the only hope of medical treatment to around 18,000 Indians in the Paraguayan Chaco. She has dedicated nearly 30 years of her life to this area and describes herself as “[an] orderly, gynaecologist, midwife and dentist”, treating anything from TB to gunshot wounds and snakebite.
She writes asking for prayer for:
- “A 28 year old local Indian who has been diagnosed with HIV/Aids.
- Lidia, Narcisa, Cirilo, Florencio and Remisio, the health promoters at Estribo and La Patria.
- The urgent need for rain in the Chaco.
- Herminio my helper who will leave at the end of the year to go to university.
- My 13 year old German Shepherd who is unwell.”
Peru: Anna Sims
Anna Sims, a mission partner working in Peru, writes with some prayer requests:
- “Pray for families in Peru rebuilding their lives and homes after the flooding.
- The VCF visits (Christian Life and Formation – Discipleship) – that each church would find it helpful and not just go through the motions.
- The logistics of the different prison visits.
- A better relationship with our first floor neighbours.”
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Iran: Christians sentenced to jail for their faith
We recently asked for prayer following a report by our friends Middle East Concern for pastors Victor Bet Tamraz and Amin Naderi. 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 remained 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).
We have just heard that, following a hearing on 11 June, Judge Ahmadpour issued his verdict on 3 and 4 July. Pastor Victor was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, Amin to 15 years (possibly including time already served) and Hadi to 10 years and a two-year travel ban. The judge also raised the amount of bail for Amin and Hadi to 200 million Tomans (approximately US$60,000) each.
- That that the appeal judge will overturn the convictions and sentences and will acquit Pastor Victor, Amin and Hadi.
- That Amin and Hadi will be released from prison soon.
- That bail money will be returned.
- That those responsible for the persecution of Christians in Iran will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow him.
Malta: Doug and Jacqui Marshall
Mission partners Doug and Jacqui Marshall, based in Malta, write with news and prayer requests:
- “Please pray for the continuously changing environment of asylum in Malta and Europe. Malta is making some positive steps but pray that politicans and governments in Europe step up to show leadership, wisdom and moral strength within such hostile times.
- Pray that we get good rest on our break back in the UK, with refreshment and renewal.”
DR Congo: Rev Bisoke Balikenga
Please pray for local partner Rev Bisoke Balikenga and his ministry among young people, especially in peace building.
This week, he wrote to us about some recent incidents near Bunia, Eastern DRC: “It was very bad here in Bunia recently as two young boys were killed near Lake Albert. The people of Gety are accused, but it is not certain. However, it has caused conflict as the Hema people marched with sticks in protest, and some meetings were held that have caused further trouble and conflict. Please pray.
“Further north where there is a Catholic church, one Catholic father was found dead in his room. He was a Lendu, which led other Lendu people to seek revenge and they killed a catechist and his family. Now there is no peace on either side and two Catholic fathers are currently in prison here in Bunia. Please pray for peace in this area and for the Church to be a broker of peace.”
Uganda/South Sudan: Garry Ion
Please continue to pray for mission partner Garry Ion, working in Uganda and South Sudan to support local church communities to undertake building projects, who was admitted to hospital last week with inflammation of his gallbladder.
He writes: “Thank you so much for your prayers, emails and support at this time as I battle with my gallbladder! Although I am in pain, in more ways than one, it’s God’s timing and I am very thankful to have excellent health care services at hand. Yesterday I was discharged after spending a week in Carlisle Hospital. The NHS brought me back to a more healthy complexion due to jaundice and poor liver function! I can’t venture too far with my health as it is until I’ve had this operation, hopefully keyhole surgery. So sadly I have had to postpone church visits for now.”
Sudan: inauguration of the new Anglican Province of Sudan
On Sunday 30 July, there is the inauguration of the new Anglican Province of Sudan, in Khartoum. Stephen Burgess, CMS’s Africa regional manager will attend plus representatives of other church organisations and dioceses in the UK. Please pray for this event, especially Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo, who is the current archbishop of the Internal Province of Sudan. Pray too that the visas needed for the people from the UK to attend will be obtained as soon as possible.
Ethiopia: Bishop Grant and Wendy LeMarquand
We have just heard from Bishop Grant and Wendy LeMarquand who are
They write asking for prayer for:
- “A new dean for St Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College.
- Our newest faculty member, Moses Hoth, graduated with a Masters degree from the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology in Addis.
- Safety and blessing on the new babies soon to be born in our Gambella Anglican Centre community; bless the families of Chris and Suzy Wilson, and Josh and Jenny Smolders as they prepare for our newest and littlest members.
- Peace in South Sudan. A thousand new refugees continue to arrive daily into the Gambella Region.
- Food is scarce in South Sudan due to the conflict having prevented the planting of crops for this rainy season.
- Ministry opportunities opening in the Horn of Africa, and the university towns of Ethiopia.
- With thanksgiving for the plans and purposes that God has for us personally and for those we dearly love in Gambella as we walk through this season of decision and discernment regarding stewardship of health issues and future ministry.”
South Sudan: An update
Please continue to hold South Sudan in your prayers. CMS trustee, Jane Shaw, writes with an update:
“The main prayer this week is a continuing prayer for refugees, who have fled from their homes in and from South Sudan. Please pray for all living in refugee camps, protection of civilian camps, those hiding in the swamps, and others away from home. Pray that they may find a place of safety, be given food and water and have some hope for the future. Please also pray for the World Food Programme, UNHCR, and all others that carry responsibilities for feeding and accommodating this vast number of people.
“Fighting is still reported from many areas; there have been attacks along the Juba-Bor road by gunmen wearing presidential guard uniforms; nine were killed and seven injured this week, and 30 killed last week. Pray for the restoration of law and order, and effective protection for civilians.
“Signs of a collapsing economy are showing in different ways. Juba University may close because of increasing costs not covered by fees. Senior diplomats have been recalled from seven embassies including the UK, sparking fears of closure. And in Kapoeta, a measles vaccination campaign ended in tragedy when 35 children fell ill and 16 died – there was no electricity to maintain vaccines at the proper temperature, and untrained volunteers used a single syringe to vaccinate many children. Pray for all affected by such shortages, and for an honest and transparent use of public funds.
“But there are signs of good news in that work is starting on the rehabilitation of Jur River Bridge in Wau state – the only bridge connecting Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal to Abyei, and Sudan to the western part of South Sudan. In Yei, 34,000 litres of fuel has arrived with a further delivery promised this week – this will not only enable transport but also power the town generator, the radio station and other elements of normal life. In Jonglei state a peace agreement has been signed between the Dinka Bor and Murle tribes, which will stop violence, child abductions and cattle raiding. A new civil society organisation has been set up in Yei to address the concerns of the youth, including peace-building, the National Dialogue, and capacity-building. Please give thanks for these small steps towards peace and a ‘normal life’, and pray that there may be more such peace-making and social action.
“Finally, please pray for our concert, in aid of South Sudan, in Mere Church this Monday, 10 July, at 7.30, with Salisbury Cathedral Girls’ choir and men. Do come if you possibly can – and pray for a large audience and an enjoyable evening.”