Pause with Scripture
The rich and the poor have this in common:Proverbs 22:2
the Lord is the maker of them all.
Pray with us and former mission partner in the country Sian Nicholas, who has been doing a number of interviews this week including on BBC Radio Wales and Premier Christian Radio (today, Friday, soon after 8am). Sian said: “I’m incredibly concerned – I’ve got Afghan friends I’m in touch with through social media – they are terrified, they feel abandoned and betrayed. They are in hiding – they are from the Hazara minority which is Shia, which is also very persecuted by the Taliban. They are worried for themselves, for their children, for their daughters, for their own lives, being associated with international NGOs…”
With the recent report of an explosion at the airport, let us pray for the safety of all people, not least Afghans who have worked with international Christian NGOs. Pray too for internally displaced people who are facing great hardship, that government and banks will soon start functioning again and that the Taliban will keep their word and peace will prevail.
Give thanks with members of the Asia-CMS staff team that a number of their friends and family as well as local partners with COVID are on the road to recovery. Pray for their efforts to progress safeguarding work, which are being hampered by coronavirus restrictions.
Pray for our mission partners in northern India in a relatively new location as they meet with pastors and network with people. Pray for suitable platforms to open up to talk about child protection and create awareness especially in schools and other institutions.
Eric and Sandra Read report: “The delta variant is beginning to take hold here, the region is still under ECQ [enhanced community quarantine] until 15 August, but with cases not yet falling, it may be extended again. In our barangay, four zones are in lockdown now for one week. So, we are minimising our travel.” The restrictions make it difficult for them to do their work.
Sri Lanka: problems for partners
Pray for the country, with many affected by COVID (including our local partners’ friends and family) and bracing for a fourth wave of the virus. Some Christians are among the anti-vaxxers spreading false information about the vaccine.
Our local partners Nevedita and Russell who work at LEADS say the organisation is facing many difficulties. Lockdown restrictions are making it difficult to deliver their work, which includes safeguarding awareness as well as counselling and caring for vulnerable children and families. Pray that LEADS can respond to the needs arising and show the love of Christ to the community through their works and actions.
South Africa: online training
Mission partners Caroline and Dick Seed ask for prayer for the Alexandria School of Theology, who are reduced to skeleton staff at the moment due to illness and other factors. Please pray for them as they struggle to keep on teaching. Please also pray for Caroline and Dick as the Western Cape reaches the peak of the current COVID Delta wave. In Caroline’s words: “Seventeen months of lockdown is beginning to wear us down emotionally, leaving us with less energy for periods of intense activity.”
DR Congo: mourning Jean Bosco Tshiswaka
Let us pray for the family of Jean Bosco as they learn to live without their loved one. He was buried two weeks ago on 4 August. Jean Bosco served as a local partner for seven years, working at the Kimbilio Centre in Lubumbashi. The centre serves to rehabilitate homeless boys and girls, counsel them, provide them with some skills and where possible reunite them with their families. He will be sorely missed.
DR Congo: displaced people
While recent media emphasis has been on the plight of displaced persons in Afghanistan, please continue to pray for those displaced in Bunia and the surrounding area. Pray for local partner Bisoke Balikenga and his team as they seek to minister to those who are traumatised, and to educate the many children in the Peace Centre.
Ethiopia: new role for mission partners
Mission partners Chris and Suzy Wilson are planning to return to Ethiopia next month, relocating to Addis Ababa, seconded to work with SIM to develop peacebuilding projects. Pray for them as they see plans unfold and as they settle into a new area, with new teams and a new role.
CMS’s Africa Conference is planned to take place 8–10 October 2021 at Swanwick, along with opportunities to join in online. The theme will be “Making new disciples in areas of conflict” and our principal speaker is Rev Canon Dr John Senyonyi, former vice chancellor of Uganda Christian University and chair of CMS-Africa.
The organisers are asking for prayer as few people have booked to be at Swanwick. If there are not sufficient numbers then the in-person event may not be able to happen. There is an early booking discount until 31 August, see: churchmissionsociety.org/ac2021
Once again, this week Central America has seen record levels of Covid-19 cases and deaths. Countries like Guatemala and Honduras are at their worst point of the pandemic and vaccination levels in these countries are very low.
Meanwhile, across South America Covid-19 levels continue to drop. Vaccination levels across South America are higher than Central America, particularly in Chile and Uruguay, and generally there appears to be a period for South America to breathe a little easier. But hundreds of thousands of children have lost their carers due to the virus and millions have been unable to receive education. Migrants from Central America heading towards the US are at record levels and the huge reduction in tourism has destroyed many people’s livelihoods. So as the UK emerges from the pandemic, do please continue to pray for those whose lives are far from that point and for whom hope is hard to come by.
Please pray for the nation of Haiti. After the assassination of its president, the recent earthquake has killed thousands of people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes. Survivors were then hit by Tropical Storm Grace. Please pray that those most in need of help will receive it, for the country to receive the assistance it needs and for comfort and restoration for those suffering.
Bev Richardson asks for prayer for an end to the wildfires across Paraguay. Indigenous peoples and their lands and protected forests have been particularly affected. The country has already been hit by a particularly bad drought. The smoke from the fires has even affected air quality in Asunción and caused health issues for many in the city.
Chile – media engagement
Alf and Hilary Cooper ask for prayer for a new radio programme called “Escuchemos!” (listen!) aired every day at 1800. It touches on controversial topics on the national scene seeking to bring Christian thinking to them.
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Please pray for our partners organising a discipleship training programme in September for people across the Middle East and North Africa, many of whom come from a Muslim background, and for all the necessary logistics involved.
UK Prospect Farm
A much smaller, simpler Greenbelt Festival gathering called Prospect Farm is taking place this week and the August Bank Holiday weekend. CMS director of mission education Jonny Baker is giving a talk on Imagining Mission on the Saturday afternoon and hosting a gathering for mission pioneers. Pray that some good connections will be made.
Give thanks for a great response so far to the CMS staff’s 222 Miles for Mission walk. It takes place next Friday. We thank God so much for all our generous supporters – join us in prayer that more will catch the vision and donate to enable God’s mission to flourish.
New CMS director
Andy Roberts, formerly mission partner in Brazil with ReVive, takes up his post as international mission director at CMS on 1 September. Please pray for him, Rose and the family, as they settle into this new phase of life and work.