Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:6-7
The Americas continues to be the centre of the coronavirus pandemic and despite strict lockdowns across most of Latin America, the spread of the virus continues to push healthcare systems to their limits in many places, particularly in Brazil and Peru.
Tensions are showing among those who have the least and are finding it increasing difficult to feed themselves. In different countries different coloured flags hung outside houses to indicate a home where they have no more food.
Pray for countries across the region as they battle with the rising numbers of people suffering with the virus and for those who need it to be able to access appropriate healthcare. Pray also for those who are unable to work due to lockdowns and who are struggling to have food to eat each day. Pray for all those CMS people in mission who are helping provide for them and praise the Lord that within this context all of our people in mission are understood to be well and are seeking to serve their communities as best they can.
Mission partner Steve Poulson, who helps mentor at-risk boys, reports that together with Street Kids Direct their supported projects have effectively become centres for food parcel distribution. These food parcels are providing a huge support to some of those who most need it. Steve is currently looking at potential micro-finance projects to support families once Honduras begins to open up again. Please pray for this.
Mission partner Sharon Wilcox asks for prayer for Pastor William who leads her church and is very much involved with CMS people in mission-inked projects among people with disabilities in Santo Domingo. He lost a third member of his family (his uncle) to coronavirus this week.
Mission associates Melita and Steve Gordon and Caroline and Peter Finch at the College of Medicine in Blantyre ask for prayer that an oxygen container will be delivered and installed soon; it’s currently in transit.
Mission partner Heather Johnstone (normally in Tanzania but currently in South Africa) has joined in with a local project called Ladles of Love project, a soup kitchen. Give thanks for this opportunity and continue to pray for the women at the Rehema Project, which Heather normally leads, as they cope with massive economic pressures.
Mission partner Malcolm Pritchard (theological education in Gulu) reports that he is pleased to hear about local young people meeting together every day to pray via Zoom, sometimes in the middle of the night. Pray for Uganda as the lockdown has been extended for 21 days (with some easing of restrictions).
New mission partners Tom and Verity Clare and their four boys arrived in Uganda just as pandemic pandemonium was rising across the world. From Aru, they write: “Please pray for wisdom for us in how to share God’s love with our neighbours, for continued peace as we settle into life here, for wisdom for Tom in how to spend his time in lockdown, dividing it between language learning, being with the boys and preparing for the medical role – and for daily love and grace from God as we interact with people around us. Give thanks for CMS mission partners David and Heather Sharland, who are looking out for us and for the few missionary families we’ve met locally who’ve welcomed us and have children similar ages to ours whom they can play with.”
Local partner Bisoke Balikenga in Bunia is trying to manage a peace centre and provide for hundreds of displaced people – but we have learned this week that he now has typhoid. Please pray for swift recovery and the ongoing turbulence in Bunia due to coronavirus, economic strain and tribal violence.
Please continue to pray for peace in the aftermath of the presidential elections, which were held Wednesday.
Mission partner Ann-Marie Wilson, working to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) across Africa, asks us to join with her in giving thanks that Sudan has recently outlawed FGM. This is a major success for 28 Too Many, the charity Ann-Marie leads.
Europe, Middle East, North Africa
Pray for mission partner Andrea Campanale as she connects with spiritual seekers and introduces the gospel in creative ways. Much of her work continues online so please pray for her as she balances many commitments and grapples with technology and other logistics.
Join us in giving thanks that this week’s Pioneer Mission Leadership Training course Open Day online was well-attended and went smoothly. Pray for people considering whether to join the course, that God will guide their steps.
Please pray for Fiona and Joel Kelling as they are expecting a baby soon. Pray for a safe arrival and good health for both Fiona and the baby.
Pray for mission partners J and S as they balance childcare needs with work, as they have recently a new course, teaching English to nurses.
From Audrey and Colin, mission partners in Beirut, who are working to provide education for people with special needs: “The key word here is flexibility as the lockdown directives change from week to week. At one-point, schools were to open at the beginning of June but now exams are cancelled and schools will remain closed until September. I (Audrey) have to say I am sad, as I miss contact with my students but I totally understand the rationale. We wonder what will happen then. Seventy per cent of schools here are private and now many parents cannot afford to pay the fees. Will they opt for state schools, and will there be enough places?
“Currently, at SKILD we are producing a library of short videos for parents to use with children who have disabilities. These will be available free online. We have also been producing some training materials for teachers on a Child’s Rights Based Approach to teaching.
“SKILD also recently celebrated the eighth awareness raising ‘National Day’ for inclusive education. Rather than actual events across the country this year, SKILD, together with a number of partners including the British Council, held an online conference ‘Inclusion in times of distance learning’. Participants included the minister of education and higher education and the UK ambassador to Lebanon. Over 900 participants, from various countries, joined via Zoom. Incredibly, there were no problems with internet or electricity – a rarity in Lebanon. We pray it will help promote inclusive education across the region.”
Please pray for Chan Nam Chen, international director, and all the staff of Asia-CMS as they continue to provide much-needed food relief to hundreds of families across Asia during this challenging time.
Please pray for mission partner F and colleagues who work in theological education, as they continue to try to work out how to deliver online workshops for participants who span nine time zones.