Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.Proverbs 3:7 (NIV)
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Spain/North Africa: discernment
Following recent plans to take on a retreat centre falling through, mission partners in Spain ask for prayer as they discern how God is leading them regarding properties: “The villa that has been the centre for North Africa-focused training and ministry for 30 years requires a lengthy time of major renovation. It is out of use and the downtown outreach centre has become the main location for the team. The type of work we do is not best served by this kind of location.” Pray for God to guide this couple clearly as they seek his will for this next season.
India: former local partner passed away
Asia-CMS write: “Dr Lalita Edwards has gone to be with the Lord. A medical doctor, she ministered selflessly in the red light area of Pune for many years, started a home for children including those who were born HIV positive, founded an initiative serving the transgender community and served in various other ways. She has been an inspiration to many and a blessing in the lives of many more. It was a privilege for CMS to walk alongside in partnership with her for a few years. Our prayers for God’s comfort and strength for her family.”
India is struggling with a vicious second wave of the virus, reporting hundreds of thousands of new cases daily. Pray for people to take sensible precautions, for strength for those who are sick or whose loved ones are sick, and for stamina for healthcare workers.
Nepal: lockdown to curb spread of COVID-19
COVID-19 is now spilling over to Nepal from India and the country has gone into lockdown, with all international flights from Kathmandu suspended for two weeks and all domestic flights stopped. Pray for the government to be able to respond quickly to the increase of cases, for hospitals and their staff to be able to cope and for people who are ill or have lost loved ones. Pray for mission partners Andrew and Andrea Young as they are planning to go back to Nepal, but with the current increase in cases and the lockdown the date is uncertain.
South Sudan: schools reopening
Schools have reopened this week after having been closed for a year (apart from those students sitting public exams, who have been allowed to attend during this time). UNICEF is urging parents to send their children to school, with particular concern for girl children. According to UNICEF, 72 per cent of children in South Sudan leave school before finishing primary education – and even before COVID, 2.8 million children were not in school at all. Pray that all children will be able to go to school and complete their education – and pray for better pay and social respect for teachers.
Burundi: endorsement of Rev Onesphore Ndayizigamiye
Praise God that the Anglican Church in Burundi has endorsed Onesphore Ndayizigamiye as CMS-Africa country coordinator for Burundi. Rev Onesphore is replacing Rev Salvator Nkorerimana, who is studying theology in Kenya. Onesphore, who serves as the dean of the cathedral in Makamba diocese, was approved at a House of Bishops meeting in April. Pray for Onesphore as he works with representatives from every diocese to take forward CMS-Africa work in Burundi.
Kenya: marking 222 years
Local partner Rachel Karanja reports that as CMS celebrates its 222nd anniversary this year, she has planted 222 trees in her neighbourhood in partnership with Equity Bank (who donated the trees), children with special needs and their families and the community. Praise God for this celebratory initiative, which will offer benefits to the community for years to come.
Uganda: deferred closure of refugee camps
Give thanks that the announced immediate closure of the Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps in northern Uganda has been rescheduled, to be completed by June 2022. After negotiation it has been agreed that 15,000 refugees will be released each month either to return home or to be resettled elsewhere. Kakuma houses at least 100,000 South Sudanese (of its 194,000 occupants). Pray that this planned dispersal will be well and humanely managed and that those leaving will be provided with the basics for a new life.
COVID-19 throughout the region
Last week Latin America, home to eight per cent of the world’s population, suffered over a third of all the world’s COVID-19 deaths. Vaccines have only reached around 12 per cent of the region’s population and the “Brazilian” P.1 variant has led to large increases in the mortality rates for younger age groups. Poverty is rising rapidly as economies continue to struggle. Please join with us to pray for a rapid improvement to the situation in Latin America and particularly for the alleviation of suffering for the poorest, who are always the worst affected.
Guatemala: safe arrival
Mission partners Mark and Rosalie Balfour write that they have arrived safely back in Guatemala and had no real issues at any stage of their long journey from the UK. They are grateful to everyone who has prayed for their journey and messaged or written to them, and to so many friends who have provided for them and continued to pray for them and their family during their longer-than-expected stay in the UK. Please pray for their transition back into life in Guatemala, for them to see and hear what Jesus wants them to see and hear and for them to be open to the Holy Spirit and the wisdom and discernment that comes through him.
Mission partners Alf and Hilary Cooper ask for prayer ahead of Chile’s elections on 15 and 16 May. As the country elects members to the Constitutional Convention as well as mayors, governors and councillors, pray for a very clear outcome so that Chile’s future may be more stable, as well as a centring of the nation’s politics and a rejection of the extremes that are seeking to hold the people to ransom with violence. Pray also for 44 evangelical contenders for the 155 places in the Constitutional Convention who will write Chile’s future values and structures of government for the next 30 or so years.