Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:12–13 (NIV)
Chile: prayer for the nation
Pray for Chile, a nation of 19 million, to come to know Jesus and for Christians to unite across denominational divides. Pray for the country as they issue “immunity passports” against the advice of the World Health Organisation. According to the WHO, having recovered from the virus is no guarantee of immunity, and immunity passports could engender a false sense of security and increase the spread of the disease.
Peru: health services pushed to their limit
The Peruvian government announced this week that there are less than 30 intensive care beds left available in Lima, a city of 10 million people. A phone conversation with a young person from church regarding her father experiencing very strong symptoms of coronavirus revealed that calls to both the COVID-19 hotline and the ambulance service are going unanswered.
Paraguay: online confirmation course
Bev Richardson, currently based in Oxford at the CMS community house, is beginning an online confirmation course with people from the chapel at Colegio San Andres (CSA) in Asunción, Paraguay (where she is usually based). Pray for God to prepare her and those who will be taking the course for what will be a very different confirmation course this year.
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
UK: keeping workers salaried during lockdown
Clean for Good’s managing director, Tim Thorlby, shared this week that the company was able to pay its nearly 50 cleaning employees their full regular salary. Praise God that the company has been able to continue employing and paying every employee since the beginning of lockdown.
Lebanon: miraculous provision
Mission partners Audrey and Colin Gibson shared good news this week from their neighbourhood. Through a prayer request for baby clothes shared on WhatsApp, God miraculously provided for Rwaida, a Syrian refugee lady in their area who is pregnant with her fourth child, due this weekend. Having only arrived in Lebanon recently, she was rapidly approaching her due date with nothing ready for the baby. Praise God that within 24 hours, she had bags of baby clothes and equipment and a supply of free milk powder if needed. Pray for God to touch her heart through this miracle and meet her and her family in a powerful way.
South Asia: encouragement during a difficult time
Mission partner F asks for prayer for her friend Emmanuel, a pastor in one of the villages, who has no income. He has continued to do pastoral visits, serving five villages (on his motorbike). Pray for his safety and well-being and that he will continue to be able to bring encouragement to the people in the villages.
Pakistan: wisdom for the government
Please pray for the government of Pakistan. This week, the number of confirmed cases in the country has topped 14,000, with over 300 deaths. It has also been reported that 80% of mosques are not following social distancing guidelines. Pray for wisdom for the government as they look to make decisions to manage the situation as well as possible.
One of our strategic partners in Nepal, International Nepal Fellowship (INF), asks for prayer for the hospitals they run, stating that Nepal’s health services would be quickly overwhelmed in the event of a major outbreak of COVID-19. With teams preparing medical facilities to be able to respond in the event of a major outbreak, they write, “Our expat team have an amazing mix of skills and experience that have enabled them to provide leadership in INF’s COVID-19 response, technical support to Nepali colleagues and spiritual encouragement to their neighbours and community.” Please pray for INF and for the people of Nepal. Pray for Christians to be salt and light and bring the hope of Jesus. Pray that INF staff and volunteers would be wise and prepare well, and for those they serve in normal times not to be left behind.
Mission associate Simon Guillebaud asks for prayer for Burundi as they prepare for presidential elections on 20 May. Please pray against bloodshed, against the spread of COVID-19, for safety and protection of those seeking election and their supporters, and for God to intervene for his glory!
Uganda: locusts and COVID-19 response
David and Heather Sharland write that the locusts are still the other side of the Nile. Pray for the refugees; they are really suffering with a 30% cut on rations. Pray for Arua hospital which is being used as a treatment centre. Locals are not happy with COVID-19 patients being brought into their community and even staged a protest where the police were forced to use tear gas to subdue protestors. Pray for calm, compassion, and healing for the sick.
South Africa: lockdown being relaxed slightly
Praise God that the country’s president is making good decisions and showing true empathy, causing his Christian faith to shine through. Pray for the country as lockdown is relaxed slightly and people start to go outside for exercise with masks on. Pray for Caroline and Dick Seed in their overload of work; that they will be able to prioritise and work through all the opportunities that are arising.