Pause with Scripture
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.”Romans 8:22–23
Pray for Latin America, now at the centre of the coronavirus pandemic, and whose numbers of cases and deaths are high but still grossly underestimated. Pray for the health systems struggling to cope, for wisdom for the leaders of Latin American nations to make wise decisions and for the most vulnerable and most marginalised who are suffering the most across the region. Please also pray for La Plataforma, a group of evangelical pastors and leaders seeking to unite and give leadership during this time of pandemic and for mission partner Alf Cooper as he forms part of that.
Brazil: heading towards the peak
Daniel Brito Medeiros asks for particular prayer for Brazil as it is now the country with the second highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world, with 25,000 deaths confirmed. There continue to be conflicting approaches between national, state and local governments and the peak of the pandemic is not predicted until June or July. In Recife the government has enforced a strict lockdown but it is still one of the areas with the highest rates of the virus.
Peru: prison ministry team
Pray for mission partner Anna Sims as she leads the prison ministry team through a Covid-19 focused trauma healing Bible study and course module which will potentially then also be used with the prisoners and ex-offenders.
Uganda: lifting restrictions
In Uganda the government is gradually lifting restrictions, with some shops and restaurants reopening, and public transport and schools resuming at the end of next week. Pray for 100,000 people in the west of the country who have been displaced by floods, for the poor and vulnerable who are affected more than anyone else, and pray for churches as they plan to reopen in mid-June.
South Sudan: locusts
Experts are predicting huge swarms of locusts in June and July, with the eastern side of the country particularly at risk. Pray that major infestations may somehow be averted, and that crops may survive and be harvested. Pray that the FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organisation) will have funds and resources to deliver aid to the estimated 5.5 million people in the country who will be in need of food aid this year.
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Lebanon: growing unrest
Mission partners Phil and Sylvie Good write that food prices are rising rapidly and for many, work is coming to a stop even without pandemic-based closures. Relief programmes for the many refugees are all being adversely affected, with food vouchers decreasing in value as food prices rise. Unrest on the streets is increasing, with fewer, but more desperate, protestors than before. Pray for refugees, who are struggling more than ever to put food on the table, for the many without work, and for wisdom for those in power to make good decisions.
United Kingdom: death rate falling
Praise God that the daily death rate in the UK continues to fall, and for the doctors, nurses and other NHS staff doing their utmost to care for all those affected. Pray for wisdom for those in power making decisions about coming out of lockdown as well as those who are dealing with the loss of loved ones, unemployment, broken relationships and other knock-on effects of the pandemic.
UK: Partnership for Missional Church virtual weekend gathering
Pray for churches in Ely Diocese as they facilitate what would have been one of the Partnership for Missional Church ‘cluster’ weekends on Zoom. Pray for local facilitators Mark Rodel and Phil Marsh and for CMS’s Nigel Rooms as they guide through a morning session for church leaders on Friday and one morning session on Saturday for a mix of attendees from nine different churches. They will be discerning together where they sense God at work in their contexts and how they may need to be/are adapting in light of the current crisis. Pray for technology to work smoothly and for participants to engage well despite the physical distance and the shorter time frame.
India: in the thick of it
One of the top ten hardest-hit countries, pray for India as the infection rate continues to rise and the country faces a shortage of hospital beds. Pray for already hard-pushed healthcare personnel who are facing a particularly tough time over the next few weeks.
Pakistan: continuing education
Mission partner R continues to provide worksheets for children who don’t have access to the internet and whose parents are illiterate and therefore can’t provide support, such as those from the brick kilns. She has distributed 400 packs to children so far.
Local partner Nevedita has been working for LEADS for 19 years and is their child protection supervisor (see lead story in the new combined issue of The Call and Prayerlines). In Sri Lanka, curfew remains at night, but has lifted during the day, although still with a lot of restrictions. The number of cases continues to rise. LEADS have a Covid-19 response, helping daily labourers, supporting children and also those staff providing child support. Please pray for protection and suitable PPE equipment for the staff.
Nepal: hospital witness
Pray for the staff of Nepal’s mission hospitals, which have been asked by the government to set up isolation centres. This is a big opportunity to show the government how they work. It is a powerful testimony of mission hospitals and the dedication of their health workers who are serving in very difficult conditions without proper protective materials or even a salary, as general patient numbers have gone down and therefore hospital revenue is massively down.