May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 (NIV)
Rwanda: mission partners poised to return
Mission partners Catriona and Steve Bennett are considering returning to Rwanda soon, even though travelling with two small children under the current circumstances would not be easy and would be followed by 24 hours in a hotel until they are declared virus-free. Gahini is a very isolated place already, and as many of their friends have left Rwanda for good, returning now would mean they would be even more isolated than usual. However, their Rwandan colleagues are keen for them to return and Catriona and Steve are keen to finish up a number of unfinished projects at the hospital. Please pray for Catriona and Steve in the next few weeks as they weigh up the pros and cons of returning to Rwanda soon. Please pray for wisdom in their decision-making and the logistics of getting back smoothly.
South Sudan: conflicts continue
A recent serious outbreak of fighting in Tonj East between army and local youth resulted in 148 dead and more than 140 injured. The local market in Remich was looted and shops burnt. It is reported that fighting broke out when a youth refused to surrender arms during a disarmament campaign. The UN mission, UNMISS, which initially sent a patrol to investigate, has now set up a temporary base in Tonj to engage with community leaders and support local initiatives for reconciliation. Pray for all who become innocent victims of violence, for the restoration of effective policing and administration, and for all who strive for reconciliation and peace.
South Sudan: flooding
In May, experts warned that most of South Sudan would experience floods between June and September. Many places have reported an increase in malaria cases and snake bites. In Mvolo county (abutting Maridi), floods have left 68 households homeless. In Leer, Unity State, 26,000 people have been affected by flooding along the Nile, as a dyke collapsed last month. Flooding is also reported from several counties in Jonglei state; 53,000 people altogether have fled to Bor county to escape the flooding, two people have died, and President Kiir recently declared a three-month state of emergency. Pray for those who have lost homes, crops, livestock or even family members – and for those trying to reach them with aid.
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Iran: appeal denied
Middle East Concern reports that the appeal of Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz (sentenced to ten years in prison) and his wife Shamiram Issavi Khabizeh (sentenced to five years in prison) has been denied. Praise God that Pastor Victor and Shamiram have been able to move to a country where they feel safe and are not under a direct threat to be called to serve their sentences. Iranian Christians request prayer that the Lord will encourage and give wisdom to Pastor Victor and Shamiram as well as others recently brought up on national security charges as they explore their future.
Bolivia: protests and blockades
Mission partner Andrew Peart asks us to continue to pray for Bolivia as protests and blockades seeking to cut off cities continue. Medical supplies are being prevented from reaching those who most need them. The protests have flared since elections were recently postponed for a second time and the country is divided between supporting either the interim government or current opposition. Pray for wisdom and for peace to prevail.
Brazil: 1000 dying every day
Evaldo and Rebecca Reid Rodrigues share that around 1000 people are dying from COVID-19 in Brazil every day and that this has been the case for the last three months. Sadly people have become used to the news. Pray for an improvement in the situation in Brazil and for the poorest communities which are worst affected, including the V8 community where Evaldo and Rebecca are helping the community to face the current situation.
Ecuador: helping those most in need
Pray for Sharon Wilcox in Santo Domingo, Ecuador, as she forms part of the team from her church distributing food parcels to those most in need in the community. Pray for protection and continued good health for her and the team and for God’s provision for those living in poverty through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Argentina: protection for indigenous communities
David and Shelley Stokes report that COVID-19 is slowly beginning to enter some indigenous communities in Northern Argentina and that it appears to be only a matter of time before it reaches those communities with which they work. Pray for protection upon those indigenous communities.
South Asia: caring for ageing parents
Pray for stamina for E and R as they look after R’s father who is recovering from breaking his hip. Pray for R as she plans to fly to the UK on 4 September, and for E in her absence.
South Asia: returning to the UK
Mission associate Nigel Hallett is preparing to move to a flat in Bournemouth in a house for missionaries returning from the field. Pray for him to find a good church in Bournemouth and as he looks for a room in the Southall area for when he visits London.
Bangladesh and India: flooding
Pray for the people of India and Bangladesh where over 1,000 people have died following very heavy rainfall which has caused widespread flooding.
South Asia: impact of COVID
B and K ask for prayer for the many who are sick with COVID-19, for God to work through Christians for many supernatural healings. B and K also write that they have recently had to inform two team members that their roles have come to an end due to significantly reduced funds. Please pray for new jobs for both these mature, gifted believers.