Pause with Scripture
“Our soul waits longingly for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. Indeed, our heart rejoices in him; in his holy name have we put our trust. Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us, as we have set our hope on you.”Psalm 33:20-22
Mission partner Nicci Maxwell works at Potter’s Village in Kisoro. Potter’s Village gives medical care to babies and children who might not otherwise have a chance at survival. Nicci writes: “The very stringent lockdown rules in Uganda mean Potter’s Village staff cannot travel to work unless they live close enough to walk, so many of them have moved in to the compound to continue caring for patients. They are such a committed and hardworking team! Sadly there are very few patients too as the only way to get to Potter’s Village now is on foot. Patient fees account for almost 90% of the medical centre’s income…this means that the staff have had to agree to a pay cut for everyone rather than some redundancies. Their small salaries usually support very large extended families so some income is better than nothing at all. Many families across Uganda have little or no access to food due to travel restrictions and money worries and the harvest won’t be ready until late June or early July. It’s a very difficult and worrying time.” Please pray for God’s provision.
Mission partner Malcolm Pritchard works in theological education in Gulu. He reported this week that lockdown has been extended for another couple of weeks. Meanwhile, “a few more businesses have opened and people now have to wear a mask in public. Currently there have just been a handful of Covid-19 transmissions and no-one has died so please be praying that miracle continues.”
Local partner Bisoke Balikenga (Bunia) recently told us that the wife of a local teacher had been kidnapped. Join us in giving thanks that she has since been released and is now home. But pray for her as she is now traumatised and needs much prayer and counselling. Continue to pray for the peace centre Bisoke leads in Bunia, as hundreds of people displaced by local violence continue to arrive at the centre seeking food, shelter, water and other means for survival.
We’ve had a message from our partners at Bujumbura Christian University, giving thanks that so far, the first week of election campaigning has been peaceful. They call this a miracle; please continue to pray for peace in Burundi in the run-up to their general election this month.
Mission partner Lisa Peart asks for prayer for wisdom for the government of Bolivia as they consider whether to extend the current lockdown measures from 10 May or begin to loosen them, as people struggle to have enough to live on. This is a similar dilemma to many other countries.
Mission partner Azaria Spencer says that numbers of coronavirus cases in Guatemala are still slowly climbing even with the strict lockdown. The president has called for national days of prayer and fasting and created four special hospitals. The poorest are suffering and Street Kids Direct, where Azaria serves, are providing 50 care packages every two weeks. The government is also trying to ensure food reaches those who most need it. Please pray that people will not go hungry.
Rosie and Stu Bayford work with ReVive in Olinda, Brazil (a ministry to girls who have been abused and exploited). They told us, “We continue to ask for prayer for the poorest communities here in the favelas. For protection over them as social distancing and self-isolation are near impossible in these areas, often with little or no sanitation. For the government making decisions about how to best protect the Brazilian people. There is a lot of political tension here and we would love prayer for peace. There has been a spike in crime and violence since this crisis began. We don’t see this every day, but we are all too aware of it, and sadly can’t see things changing anytime soon. Meanwhile, the healthcare system is getting full and a lot of hospitals now have waiting lists which is a bit scary.
“Meanwhile some of the girls’ court cases are still ongoing during this time. Just yesterday the eldest girl in the house, B, had an online hearing and the judge accepted ReVive’s recommendation for her to go and live with her new guardians: a family that she has been visiting for a while. After four years at ReVive and at almost 17 years old, this is really wonderful news because the care system beyond 18 is sadly a fairly hopeless place. We were very sad not to say goodbye in person but are so happy for her, and are able to stay in touch with her too.”
Join us in giving thanks that our CMS network partner Asia-CMS has been able to provide emergency relief to 1,579 households across 10 countries so far. Many of the families who have received help are in remote locations, in communities that are traditionally resistant to the gospel. Pray that these gifts of food and other essentials will be a good witness of Jesus’ love.
A mission partner couple in South-East Asia are expecting their third baby next week. Pray that the delivery will go without complications. Pray that all the logistics that need to be arranged with their other children fall into place while mum and dad are in the hospital.
Our partners ask for prayer for migrant workers, that God will provide for their basic needs for food, accommodation and work.
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Bible translation continues
Pray for mission partners in the Middle East working on a Bible translation project; they write, “We need good understanding with each other as we are working in widely separated locations and across time zones.”
Online church across the region
With more and more online church services available via social media and video conferencing, large numbers of people in the Middle East are watching. Give thanks for increased evangelism activity in this way and pray that many people will encounter Jesus and find hope in him during this difficult time.
Mission partner sick
One of our mission partners in training (currently still in the UK, preparing to work in North Africa) has been sick for two weeks. Please pray for healing for her.
Sixteen per cent of CMS’s UK office staff have been furloughed during this challenging time. Please pray for them and for staff who are continuing to work from home. Give thanks for technology, which allowed us to all gather together via Zoom this week, to hear prayer points from each other, play a game and also receive a video visit from Chan Nam Chen, director of Asia-CMS from his home in Kuala Lumpur.