Pause with Scripture
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
The past few days have seen hundreds of anti-racism protests across the US as well as in the UK and other countries following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in the US. Pray for an end to racism, for protection for police officers and protesters who are now under fire, and for protection against coronavirus for the many who have gathered to protest the injustice.
Please pray for the many mission partners who have had to leave their usual locations around the world due to the pandemic and who are unable to return for the foreseeable future. Pray for God to use them where they are, for good times spent with family or others they are staying with, and for God’s perfect timing with regard to returning to their posts.
Argentina: restrictions relaxed amid growing risk
Mission partners David and Shelley Stokes are now in their twelfth week of lockdown and there is currently no sign of the virus in Ingeniero Juarez where they live, however COVID-19 is moving closer. Despite this, lockdown restrictions are being loosened. Pray for David and Shelley as they respond to needs within the church and the community, and for unity within the church.
Bolivia: more cases of coronavirus
Mission partner Andrew Peart reports that despite the ongoing strict lockdown, Saturday saw Bolivia’s biggest rise in cases and there are a few cases within their church community. Begging in the streets is greatly increased, the streets are busier and there is no social distancing taking place at the markets. Pray for Andrew, Lisa and their daughters, as well as the nation of Bolivia, at this difficult time.
Honduras: a country on its knees
Mission partner Steve Poulson shares that many more people are begging on the streets and food is being stolen from people as they leave supermarkets. Up to 80 per cent of Hondurans have lost their jobs due to lockdown, many have gone hungry and it is likely most children’s education has suffered greatly during this time due to lack of e.g. internet access or stationery. Pray for God’s grace on this impossibly difficult time families are facing.
South Sudan: more fighting
Despite having signed a truce agreement last January, fighting continues between the rebel group NAS and government forces in Yei as well as Lainya, Morobo, Kajo-Keji and along the Yei-Maridi and Yei-Lainya roads, and in parts of Maridi and Mundri. Reconciliation efforts have been hampered by COVID-19 related restrictions on travel and public meetings. Pray for the observation and implementation of the peace agreement; for the appointment of state and local governors; and for integrity in government and public office.
Pray for local partner Bisoke Balikenga, leading the peace centre in Bunia, where displaced people continue to congregate because of violence by militias in the region. Now 600 families are there, looking for help, with precious few resources available. Pray for healing for Bisoke’s daughter, who is sick.
Europe, the Middle East and North Africa
Middle East: infection spreading
Pray for safety and health for mission partners in the Middle East who are left holding the reins as most other missionaries have left due to the pandemic. The infection is spreading where they are partly through people having secret parties.
Lebanon: residency granted
Praise God for mission partners Phil and Sylvie Good’s recently granted residency. Pray for God’s blessing as they continue to serve the refugee community in Beirut.
Pray for Asia-CMS, for wisdom on what projects to support and for them to use this time as an opportunity to focus on what God is doing.
South Asia: mission partners in lockdown
Pray for B and K, who have been unable to leave home for over two months due to lockdown. Pray for wisdom for the government and for church leaders, and for the many people living with fear and anxiety through this time.
There has been a spike in infections following Eid celebrations and as country opens up and has effectively stopped, they expect numbers to increase. Continue to pray for our partners there providing emergency support in terms of food and education resources. Delivering online theological education is difficult with so many people lacking the resources.