For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.Hebrews 4:15–16
DR Congo: Bishop Désiré
Anthea and Martin Gordon, short-termers in Goma, write: “On Saturday 11 July at 4.30pm local time, Bishop Désiré, the Bishop of Goma, died unexpectedly. He had been ill in hospital for a few days and on oxygen. His death is sudden and tragic, leaving behind his wife Claudaline, their children and other dependants. Please pray that they would know God’s comfort. Please pray for the clergy and churches and wider Christian community in Goma, for God’s comfort and strength, and that he may bring good out of this tragedy, and raise up other leaders to take forward the vision.”
South Sudan: coronavirus
Lynn Treneary, usually based in Maridi, writes from Aberdeenshire that the exact situation in Maridi regarding coronavirus is impossible to know, as health services are extremely limited and testing is not available outside the capital, Juba. With schools and churches closed, many are left without money to buy food and are subsisting on what little produce they are able to grow themselves. Starvation is now widespread in the area. Pray for God to multiply the efforts and the limited supplies of the hospital as well as the charities working to provide malnutrition treatment packs. Lynn also asks for prayer for her to be able to return as soon as possible so she can share their troubles and offer a constant reminder that Maridi Christians are not forgotten in the global Church.
Peru: unexpected death
Pray for the Shalom community, where mission partner Pat Blanchard ministers, following the unexpected death of one of their faithful members. Lourdes died last Sunday after her family were unable to get her admitted to overstretched hospitals for complicated health issues (not COVID-19 related). Pray for the disabled community at Shalom which is working remotely but facing many challenges. Praise God for recent help received to support and provide for families of both the church community and those who attend the Shalom therapy project, many of whom are struggling at this time.
Chile and Paraguay: spread of coronavirus
Pray for the indigenous peoples of Latin America, particularly those with whom CMS/SAMS has a longstanding relationship. Former local partner Bishop Abelino Apeleo reports significant spread of COVID-19 amongst the Mapuche of Chile as most have struggled with applying social distancing measures while there has also been flooding across the region of Araucania. Please also pray for Bishop Abelino’s health (not COVID-19 related). Tim Curtis also reports of concern of the closeness of COVID-19 cases to the Enxet people of the Paraguayan Chaco and asks for prayer for their protection from the virus.
Chile: unity in service of the nation
Mission partner Alf Cooper asks for prayer for the Chilean Evangelical Platform for Service which has brought together leaders of many evangelical churches, including Alf, in the service of the nation. Pray for continued unity within this initiative.
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Lebanon: pivot fast and innovate hard
Nabil and Sarah Shehadi write that all Alpha work has shifted online worldwide, in line with the motto, “pivot fast and innovate hard!” Praise God that in the midst of the pandemic, a huge new area of work has opened up as people look online for answers to their questions. The Alpha Course has seen a big increase in interest and thousands of courses have started online. The Marriage Course has also seen increased interest, with Holy Trinity Brompton’s course growing from 100 couples to 6500 couples online in one term!
South East Asia: reopening school
Mission partners in South East Asia write that a letter has been delivered to the ministry of education asking for permission to reopen their private school in August as per their calendar (the government has consistently said public schools won’t reopen until November). Please pray that they will be able to reopen, as the school may not be able to survive if the ministry of education denies their request.
South Asia: E and R
Pray for stamina for E and R as they look after R’s father. Lucy and Emilia, GAPers who have been working with E and R, plan to return to UK on 18 August. Pray their flight is not cancelled.
Nepal: hospitals and healthcare
Please continue to pray for the hospitals and healthcare staff on the frontline of the battle against coronavirus in Nepal. As the situation for some people becomes increasingly desperate, the suicide rate has reportedly gone up, meaning that people really need your prayers, especially for hope and a conviction that God is always with them through the storm.