Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!Romans 11:33 (NIV)
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Lebanon: back in the UK
Mission partners Phil and Sylvie Good have returned to the UK for home leave and are currently quarantining at home in a village in the Cotswolds. Praise God for their smooth return trip and pray for them as they settle into life in the UK under COVID-19 restrictions and all that this entails.
Jordan: in-person meetings
Mission partners Fiona and Joel Kelling write that Joel has facilitated another Climate Justice workshop with the ACT Alliance and churches in Lebanon, as well as between the Anglican Provinces in the Middle East and Africa to collaborate on the prevention of human trafficking. Joel continues to work alongside Tearfund and clergy from the Diocese of Jerusalem to develop and contextualise the Church and Community Mobilisation programme. Please pray that it will become possible to plan for in-person meetings to be able to work through this fully at some point in the next year.
Uganda: COVID-19 vaccine and trauma healing
Tom and Verity Clare write that the Ugandan government has started rolling out their limited supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine, starting with frontline health workers and leaders before going on to teachers and the over-50s (who only represent around 7 per cent of the population!). There has not been complete uptake among health workers as some understandable concerns mix with other powerful rumours, but leaders in government have received their vaccinations publicly in an effort to encourage citizens that the vaccine is safe. Pray for Uganda: for minimal deaths from COVID-19 and for wisdom for the government in deciding at what age the vaccine rollout should stop.
Verity has helped run two trauma healing groups in recent weeks. As the sessions come to an end, Verity asks for prayer for all the women who have attended the groups. They have all heard the gospel and one lady has recommitted her life to Christ. Pray for wisdom in knowing how to follow up with the local community group, possibly continuing with discipleship Bible studies and for some additional ladies who’ve expressed interest in attending a new trauma healing group.
South Sudan: ordination
The Diocese of Maridi held two months’ ordination training from January and February for 20 deacons and six priests who were ordained on 7 March. Pray for these 26 new members of the clergy as they step into service, for each one to make the most of their training as they are used by God in their communities.
Sudan: continuing conflict
Conflict continues at the Kalma camp for displaced people in South Darfur – a spokesman for internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees accused the state governor of forming and financing tribal militias to dismantle the camps. The camp has recently been handed over by UNAMID (the United Nations – African Union Hybrid Operation, who are withdrawing) to the Sudanese authorities. Pray for effective action by the authorities to control violence, and for just administration of the camps.
COVID-19 across the region
Pray for the many countries across Latin America which are continuing to suffer the effects of COVID-19. At present a number of countries have high or record numbers of cases and deaths, and health systems continue to be overwhelmed in many places. As the Brazilian variant spreads across the region pray for wisdom for governments and populations, for vaccination programmes to speed up, for the situation to rapidly improve and for all those who are unwell or suffering the loss of loved ones.
Argentina: returned to the UK
Praise God for David and Shelley Stokes’ safe arrival in the UK after their return from Argentina as they come to the end of their mission partner service with CMS. Their weeks on the move from Juarez to the UK were greatly complicated by travel restrictions whilst travelling from region to region in Argentina, testing before international travel, and now a quarantine hotel. Pray that soon they would be out of quarantine and able to adjust back to life in the UK and put down roots again.
Chile: miraculous Isabella
Mission associates Ara Moya and Jahnn Cooper write that they met “miraculous little Isabella” and her adoptive parents Nico and Patty. Isabella was abandoned by her biological parents after she was born with mental paralysis. Experts warned not to expect her to develop much as she grew up. Praise God that as love and prayers were poured into Isabella’s life, she began to be able to eat without tubes and can now even say “hello” and “I love you” to Nico and Patty. Praise God for the miracles he is working in Isabella’s life.