Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:6–7 (NIV)
Latin America – home to 8% of the global population but nearly half of recent COVID-19 deaths – is in the eye of the storm, with more than 120,000 of the world’s 524,000 coronavirus fatalities, and counting. The pandemic is likely to set Latin America back a number of years economically despite relative prosperity in recent years. Pray for wisdom for decision makers across the continent as well as for safety for the many who are forced to put themselves at risk of catching the virus in order to provide for their families.
Mission partner Sarah Brito Medeiros asks for prayer for Brazil. Currently over 65,000 people are known to have died from COVID-19 and President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for the virus after feeling unwell. The country is well on the way out of restrictions while numbers of cases and deaths continue to soar.
Sharon Wilcox is teaching life skills to people with disabilities. A recent corruption scandal in the country has exposed many influential people obtaining disability cards to avoid paying taxes. Ironically two of her students who needed to reapply for their cards had their applications turned down. Please pray against corruption in the system and for Sharon’s students to receive their cards so that they can receive the benefits to which they are entitled.
Bolivia: full hospitals amid growing wave of coronavirus
Mission partner Lisa Peart asks for prayer for the nation of Bolivia. Several government ministers have now contracted COVID-19, lockdown restrictions are being loosened and many people are out working, even as cases and deaths continue to rise. Hospitals in many cities are full, due to a previous influx of dengue fever patients and the country continues to face corruption issues. Pray for strength for healthcare workers during this very difficult time.
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Iran: Christians arrested
Iranian Christians request prayer after Revolutionary Guard agents arrested at least twelve Christians in three different cities. Pray for God to strengthen and encourage those who were arrested, especially those who are recent converts. Pray for those who were discovered but not arrested; that Iranian authorities will not pursue them and that their confiscated possessions, such as mobile phones, will be returned. Pray for Iranian authorities to stop treating Christian gatherings as threats to national security and respect the right to freedom and belief of Iranian citizens, allowing them to express that freedom through fellowship. Read more here.
UK: pioneer events
Please pray for two pioneer events coming up in the next week. Please pray for a CMS certificate taster session in Cumbria tomorrow, for guidance and clarity for all exploring their pioneering calling with CMS up in Cumbria and in elsewhere in the UK. Pray also for our open day via Zoom this Tuesday, our final open day for 2020. Please pray for all who are seeking the right path ahead for training and for ordained ministry.
India: in desperate need of more beds and funds
Pray for CMC Vellore Hospital, as all ICU beds are full and there is nowhere to put anyone who develops complications. Please pray for staff who care for everyone with limited resources.
India: provision and protection
Mission partners E and R have had a very stressful week, with E spraining his ankle and R’s father having a fall and breaking his hip on the same day. Despite this, they give thanks for God’s provision, that they received a financial gift very recently, which enabled them to pay for R’s father’s hip surgery! Also, he is now back home and starting to move around with the support of a physio and carer who they really like. Praise God for this answer to prayer, as they’ve been looking for a carer for R’s father from some time. Pray for a steady recovery for him and protection against any side effects from the medication.
South East Asia: answers to prayer in prison
Give thanks that a recent dispute between inmates at a prison where mission partner T ministers seems to be heading towards resolution. Pray that this peace may last and that they will see many more answers to prayer and have others join them in putting their trust in the Lord.
The numbers of COVID-19 cases are still increasing, but the increase rate is decreasing and life has effectively returned to normal. Pray against a spike of COVID-19 cases during the Eid festival in early August.
Sudan and South Sudan: coronavirus
Sudan now has had 10,084 cases, with 636 deaths. The World Bank has approved $35 million of emergency funding to support the response. South Sudan has had 2,106 cases and 37 deaths. USAID has donated $4.5 million to help in the response. Pray that the numbers do not increase, and that efforts to inform and protect the population may succeed in both countries.
South Sudan: appointment of state governors
Give thanks that after much negotiation, eight of the ten state governors have now been appointed, with the remaining two (Jonglei and Upper Nile) expected in the next few days. It is seriously hoped the governors will work to re-establish the rule of law, as fighting and lawlessness, often inter-tribal, is reported from several areas and is openly attributed to the lack of an efficient justice system. Pray for the re-establishment of justice and order – and for all who are victims of violence and crime.
Sudan: water source under threat
The Ethiopian Government has declared their intention to start filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile – a critical water source for Sudan and Egypt. Under pressure from regional leaders and the UN Security council, Ethiopia has agreed to postpone the start for two weeks until an agreement can be reached on water sharing, both during the filling and thereafter. Pray for a solution to be found.