The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?Psalm 27:1 (NIV)
Uganda: supporting local families
Local partner Judy Murungi thanks God for the opportunity to work with the local community in an informal settlement near her home. Some are no longer able to get to their daily jobs to be able to provide for their families. Judy is grateful for the opportunity to be a blessing by channelling some support to these families. One lady was testifying that she no longer has to search for firewood to sell so that she can afford food for her family. Pray for God’s continued blessing on Judy’s efforts.
Uganda: dancing for change
Helen Kisakye writes that lockdown has eased sufficiently to allow SPLASH Dance Company to start rehearsals again. Praise God that this troupe can be together again, and pray that they can showcase their work and dance to change attitudes about disability again soon.
DR Congo: fighting cholera and food poverty
Jean Bosco Tshiswaka runs the Kimbilio Centre in Lubumbashi, which is involved in the rehabilitation of homeless and “street” children. In this season of COVID-19, Jean Bosco is helping the community in their fight against a recent outbreak of cholera. He is also providing food aid to around 30 needy families in the community, in addition to continuing his work at the Centre. Pray for him as he leads the ministry and shares the gospel of Jesus through kind acts of charity.
Peak levels maintained
While countries in Europe see general trends of reduction in COVID-19 cases, the worst affected countries in Latin America have reached peak levels of cases and are seeing those levels maintained. As countries are forced to open up, unable to sustain lockdowns, and as people are forced to seek ways to feed their families, many have to run the raised risk of contagion. Pray that in God’s mercy numbers of new cases would begin to reduce and pray for all of CMS’s people in mission serving in such challenging situations across the region.
Bolivia: toxic, false cure
After initial positive results from lockdown, Bolivia is now seeing growing rates of infection and deaths, with bodies being collected from the streets in some cities. In desperation a bill has been proposed by congress to use what is effectively a bleach to treat the virus and although the health ministry is against the proposal some people are already using it despite it being dangerous and ineffective. There are now questions as to whether elections due for September (and already postponed from May) will be able to take place, raising political tensions in the country. Do pray for our people in mission in the country, mission partners Andrew and Lisa Peart and local partners Franklin Cuenca and Walter Toro.
Paul and Sarah Tester write that as the COVID-19 pandemic began, the president announced all attendance-based schooling would be cancelled for the whole year. Paul and Sarah’s daughters, like children throughout Peru, continue in online schooling from home. Pray for energy, creativity and peace for children and parents.
South East Asia: schools at risk
Mission partners A and L write that despite the fact that private schools provide a large proportion of the country’s education, they are now at risk due to lockdown. Many private schools have already closed down or are at great risk of being closed (including the one L works for). Private schools provide a large proportion of the country’s children education and their closure is a great loss.
South Asia: students falling behind
Mission partners E and R write that E’s teaching was paused at the beginning of lockdown, but most of his students have now been able to restart, through online classes, which are going smoothly (despite the fact that online classes seem to take longer and leave you more tired)! E’s students in a neighbouring country also managed to continue online – half of them have completed the work, but the other half haven’t and are far behind schedule. Please pray that, among their other responsibilities (most of them teach theology in addition), they will somehow manage to finish their essays.
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Egypt: moving forward
Mission partners in Egypt ask for prayer for the country. Egypt opted for a fairly intense “local lockdown” approach with towns and villages being quarantined for weeks at a time if there are cases present. Please pray for the Egyptian government as they make decisions about how to move forward safely.
Spain: shining the light of Christ during lockdown
Before lockdown, mission partners in Spain volunteered to stand at their local supermarket to engage with customers and encourage food bank donations. At the time, they had no idea that many families in the community were about to be in great need of these donations. Praise God that he knew about the crisis which was just around the corner. Pray for donations to continue to come in for the many who are in need. Please also pray for wisdom for our mission partners in rescheduling mission trips which have had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
Middle East: COVID deniers
Mission partners in the Middle East write that while the impact of COVID-19 in their own district has been mild, some people have become “COVID deniers” and others no longer take social distancing seriously. Praise God that the disease has not on the whole got into the local refugee camps, and pray that the disease doesn’t make more inroads later.