Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands.Psalm 112:1 (NIV)
Latin America: ripple effects
Pray for the children across the region of Latin America who are feeling the harsh secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Ecuador, mission partner Sharon Wilcox reports there has been a large increase in malnourishment of young children aged 0–5.
In Honduras, mission partner Steve Poulson has found that only two out of 24 of children in one of his mentoring projects are actually in online school classes at present. In most of the region children are amongst those most restricted in freedoms, only being allowed out for short periods of exercise. Pray for all of these children’s wellbeing and for changes to be made to improve their situation.
Bolivia: peaceful elections
Praise God for peaceful and decisive elections in Bolivia on 18 October. In an interesting turn of events, the MAS socialist party was returned to power after last year’s protests which led to the exile of former MAS leader and president, Evo Morales, and the installation of a right wing interim government. New leader Luis Arce won the presidency in the first round.
Pray for Chile as a referendum on whether to pursue a new constitution is held this Sunday. The country has suffered violent protests for more than a year now, including the recent burning of churches in the capital Santiago. Pray for peace and for unity in the country.
Paraguay: opening up
Mission partner Bev Richardson shares that there is a nervousness in Paraguay as international flights restart and borders slowly reopen with neighbouring countries, including the emblematic friendship bridge to Brazil. Pray that the loosening of restrictions in the country won’t cause large scale increases in cases of COVID-19 in the country.
Tanzania: new markets for Neema
Due to the coronavirus’ devastating impact on the tourism industry, the Neema Crafts Centre’s stock rooms are overflowing with unsold products. Mission partners Ben and Katy Ray, directors of the Centre, are developing new strategies to reach the dispersed market. Pray for them as they travel as a family to Arusha next week to look at potential outlet sites there.
South Sudan: without housing and food
After widespread floods, about 800,000 people, mostly along the course of the Nile but also in Central and Western Equatoria, are without housing and food. Pray for an end to this suffering, and for the safety of those delivering aid, as South Sudan is one of the most dangerous places in the world for aid workers.
Sudan: indications of progress
The Sovereign Council and Cabinet in a joint meeting have approved the harmonisation of the recent peace agreement with the Constitutional Document, thus paving the way for its full implementation. Give thanks for these hopeful signs of progress and pray for continuing peace, stability and development.
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Middle East: COVID-19 outbreak
Mission partners ask for prayer as people where they live have stopped bothering about social distancing and the area where they live now has an outbreak that would put them into tier 2 in the UK. Hospitals in the area are on the verge of being overwhelmed and COVID-19 has also reached the refugee camps. Please pray for people to be more careful around COVID-19, and less fatalistic.
Lebanon: new school
Mission partners Phil and Sylvie Good have moved to a village in northern Lebanon to set up a new school with local partners Emil and Reem Bourizk. The final touches have been put on the new school building this week, and next week is set aside for preparing the classrooms, school kitchen and office in preparation for opening on 2 November. Pray for everything to be ready in time to welcome the students in just over a week, and for peace for Phil and Sylvie as they settle into a new environment with new people.
South Asia: new mental health resource
Mission partners E and R write that R continues to work with Asia-CMS, with a recent focus on mental health, which is more and more of an issue in this part of the world, but still little discussed. R’s team has put together online resources to help people use a “self-care toolkit” to check how they are coping and, if necessary, to work out what or who can help. Pray for this resource to be distributed widely, across Asia and beyond, and prove helpful to many people in these stressful times.
South Asia: COVID-19 treatment
Mission partners in South Asia write that more COVID-19 beds are being added at a new hospital where building work is still going on. Pray for the logistics of providing medical care during ongoing building work, and that hospital staff will be able to provide top quality care for their patients.