I will praise You, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of You among the peoples, For great is Your love – higher than the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Psalm 108:3–4 (NIV)
Kenya: prayer for the nation
This week, please pray for Kenya, home to over 51 million people. The BBC reports that people who were travelling before the country closed its borders are being held at quarantine centres where conditions are not much better than in prison. Physical distancing is difficult, not only in overcrowded quarantine centres but also on public transport and in public in general. With only 14 reported deaths so far, pray for protection as things are likely to get worse before they get better. Pray for wisdom for the government, and for the basic needs of the many who are left without any income due to the restrictions in force. Please pray for our local partners in Kenya: Rachel Karanja, Jackson Wanga, Kenneth Buluku and Meshack Okumu.
Tanzania: St John’s Kilimatinde
Mission partners Festo and Grace Kanungha ask for prayer for the teachers and staff of St John’s Kilimatinde, whose salaries have been stopped due to the coronavirus outbreak. Pray for the many teachers in Tanzania affected by the closure of schools throughout the country until further notice. Please pray for Festo’s safety as he remains in Tanzania and for strength for Grace in the UK as she navigates single parenting during this strange time.
Tanzania: changing tack
Mission partners Ben and Katy Ray at Neema Crafts, Iringa, are waiting to get clearance for their staff to make PPE masks rather than items to sell in their shop as normal. Pray for permission from the authorities to come through quickly so they can get to work on this life-saving equipment.
Malawi: health services
Please pray for Caroline and Peter Finch and Melita and Steve Gordon who serve at the College of Medicine in Blantyre, Malawi. Thirty-three cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, but a lack of testing means no one can be sure of the true number of cases in the country. Pray for health services across the country as they face a potential surge of critically-ill patients. Very few hospitals have enough of the necessary equipment and some don’t have any ICU facilities.
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
The Holy Land: continued recovery
Pray for mission partner Anne Plested, at Bethlehem Bible College, as she recovers from breaking her foot. The Holy Land is in lockdown but things are easing off in the Bethlehem area and the Bible college may be able to reopen in May.
Jordan: following up new believers online
Pray for local partner Medhat as he seeks to launch a new platform for follow-up and discipleship for new believers online. Pray for clear guidance in shaping the curriculum.
UK: vaccine trials
Coronavirus vaccine trials began yesterday in Oxford. Please pray for energy, health, good communication and solid teamwork among all those involved. Staff are working very long hours, combining expertise across different departments and working to tight deadlines, adding up to a lot of pressure. Pray that the team will be able to look after the volunteers well, for the vaccine to be safe and effective and for this to become evident quickly.
UK: selection conference via Zoom (video conferencing system)
Please pray for a remote selection conference taking place 28–29 April. Pray for the selectors and the couple to feel relaxed, able to give their best and for them to hear God’s voice despite the limitations of Zoom. Pray that technology would work and be a help rather than a hindrance. Pray for the right decision to be made about whether the applicants should be selected. Give thanks for these candidates putting themselves forward and wanting to go despite all that’s going on.
Patrick Coghlan, former chair of trustees for SAMS and former CMS trustee died on Monday 20 April following a long struggle with COVID-19. Please pray for Gill, his widow, and family.
Brazil: Aguazinha favela
Mission partners Daniel and Sarah Brito Medeiros ask for prayer for Aguazinha favela near them which they have connections with. There are five reported cases of COVID-19 there and the concern is that this might spread widely in the favela. There are currently no ICU beds available in the hospitals in the region. There is also a concern as the approach to the virus is confusing in Brazil due to differences between the president, ministers and regional governors.
Peru: desperate times
Pat Blanchard asks for prayer for the challenges Latin American countries face regarding pressure to ease restrictions while cases of coronavirus are still increasing. There is a massive lack of ICU beds across the region and people are currently having to decide between death by starvation or risking the contagion of the virus. Please pray for wisdom for leaders across the region and that there will not be uprisings as people become increasingly desperate.
Argentina: resisting lockdown
Nick Drayson asks for prayer for wisdom for bishops in Argentina serving with indigenous communities. He reports that some communities are resisting the lockdown and continuing to meet. Pray for the indigenous communities in Latin America particularly (especially those CMS people in mission work with in Argentina and Paraguay) as they will be particularly vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19 should it arrive in those communities.
Asia/UK: Dan and Phillipa Munday
Former mission partners Dan and Phillipa ask for prayer for countries in South Asia; for protection and wisdom in planning and delivering medical services with extremely limited resources. Dan and Phillipa are in contact with friends in Nepal and India, supporting them from a distance in various ways. Dan has started work in a hospice in Birmingham – having had his licence to practice reinstated by the GMC. Pray for his protection and stamina for working during very stressful times. Pray also for Phillipa as she continues her studies.
South Asia: gap year student
Pray for E, a gap year student currently in South Asia helping out with media-related tasks. Pray that she will continue to enjoy her time and be able to serve. She has been an answer to prayer given the need for added online materials due to COVID-19. Pray for her family as well knowing that their daughter is far away during these unsettling times.
India: mission associate returned
Give thanks that D and his family managed to get back to the UK on one of the repatriation flights. Pray that they will settle in and transition well and eventually be able to visit their supporters.