“With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us – who was raised to life for us! – is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture.” Romans 8: 31–36 (MSG)
Europe, the Middle East and North Africa
We want to pray each week for a specific country where CMS people in mission work. Please pray for Egypt this week, which has been in the news over the past few years because of persecution against Christians. It had been a majority-Christian nation for over 1,000 years, and today still has the largest body of Christians within the Middle East. However, Islam remains the state religion with an estimated 90 per cent of the population being Muslim. Recent attacks against Christians led by Islamic State have increased – although so have the number of conversions of Muslims to Christ.
Please pray for mission partners Joe and Sarah who are new to the country, that they would continue to settle well into their new home and for Joe as he starts teaching at a local school. Pray also for local partner Habeeb Kamal who is involved in preaching and teaching, and another local partner we can’t name for security reasons.
Church Mission Society staff will be at David’s Tent and Greenbelt festivals this weekend. Please pray for them – that conversations about God’s mission will be fruitful and that the team will be encouraged. Pray especially for the Pioneer Mission Leadership Training team as they host sessions in The Exchange venue – that they would inspire and encourage people to step out in their own mission field.
India: Mental health and ongoing tensions
Please pray for two mission partners we can’t name for security reasons. They ask for prayer for:
A couple who our mission partners know are dealing with mental health challenges. The struggle is compounded by social stigma and complicated family relationships since the couple turned to Jesus. Pray for them, and for the mission partners as they try to support them.
The political situation as tensions between communities of different religions seem to be building, particularly after India’s government announced a sudden constitutional change to the status of Jammu and Kashmir. While reaction in Kashmir is hard to know because of a communications blackout, other states with special status – including majority-Christian states in the north east – sound increasingly nervous. Please pray for Christians to have a positive influence by standing for graciousness and against hostility.
Bolivia: Walter Toro
Local partner Walter Toro, pastor of Jesus the Good Shepherd Church in Tarija, Bolivia, asks for prayer for good relationships and encouragement from meetings that have been taking place this week between Bishop Maurice Sinclair (the former Bishop of Northern Argentina and Primate of Anglican Church of the Southern Cone) and the diocesan council in Tarija. Walter says: “May the Holy Spirit be guiding us wisely and encouraging us.”
Burundi: Malaria epidemic and peacekeeping
Please pray for Burundi as it deals with a serious outbreak of malaria that has reached epidemic proportions, killing almost as many people as the Ebola crisis in nearby DR Congo. Over 1,800 people have so far died and according to the World Health Organisation, almost six million cases have been recorded over the first seven months of the year.
Please also pray for peace for the elections in 2020; experts are predicting that these will be marked by violence.
Finally, Burundi continues to play a large part in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeping force, a regional peacekeeping mission created by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council in 2007. Six Burundian soldiers were recently killed in an attack near the Somali capital, Mogadishu, by elements of the al-Shabaab terrorist group. Please pray for a resolution of this conflict and for the dead soldiers’ relatives.
South Africa: Caroline and Dick Seed
Please pray for mission partners Caroline and Dick Seed who run Theological Education Development Services (TEDS) across Africa, training lecturers at several hub institutions. They will be involved in a short course for lecturers at the Alexandria School of Theology in Egypt from 26–30 August.
Please pray for good communication skills for Caroline and Dick, that they will facilitate learning in a culturally relevant way and that the training will bring spiritual and professional transformation. Pray especially for Dick as he preaches in Alexandria on 25 August.