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Prayer News 11 August 2017

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)

Asia

Thailand: Tracy Day

Please pray for mission partner Tracy Day working in Thailand along with her husband Jason.

Jason writes: “Tracy has been struggling with migraines for years but this year they have increased in frequency and severity, becoming almost constant these last four months, leading to a five-day hospital admission for a brain MRI and treatment. The MRI was inconclusive, so she is now taking prophylactic anti-epilepsy medication to try and stem the instance of the attacks. It has helped a little and she is now on the maximum dose but it is still early days to see whether this is a long-term solution. It is really hard for Tracy as they are very disabling and limiting, plus it affects us all as a family when she is in so much pain.”

Taiwan: Catherine Lee

Pray for mission partner Catherine Lee as her father has recently passed away. She is on her way back to the UK this week. Pray for God’s comfort and peace during this time, and for all the practical things to fall into place without too many obstacles.

Asia: E

Pray for the continued healing of E, the son of a mission partner couple working in a sensitive location in Asia, as he recently had to be rushed to the hospital for an operation on his finger.

Latin America

Brazil: Alex and Jane Cacouris

Please pray for people in mission Alex and Jane Cacouris and in particular Alex.

Jane writes: “[Recently] Alex had another flare up of a condition that’s developed – reactive arthritis – following him contracting Chikungunia a year ago (a mosquito borne disease). He’s been on his second course of medication since January which has been keeping the symptoms at bay. But while we were away recently, he started experiencing numbness and pain in his arms again, which has been particularly affecting him at night, and he’s unable to sleep properly. We contacted our specialist here, and one in the UK as soon as we got back. We’re waiting for their advice on next steps, but the initial recommendation is weekly subcutaneous injections into Alex’s wrists which would be costly, both in terms of time and physically for him.

“We would really value prayer for Alex – that we get the best medical advice and that he will recover fully and quickly from this condition which he’s finding tiring and debilitating.”

Brazil: Debora and Levi Santana

Mission partners Debora and Levi Santana (with Nicolas and Olivia) arrived safely in Goiania, Brazil, on Tuesday to begin their mission work. They will be working in partnership with local churches, providing a variety of services to help people in poverty as well as teaching and equipping the local church for mission. They write: “Our bodies are tired, hearts full and spirits willing.”

Please pray for their first few weeks.

Peru: Pat Blanchard

Mission partner Pat Blanchard who is working in Lima gives thanks for a relaxing holiday with her sister in the UK. She returns to Lima on Wednesday morning. Please pray for her goodbyes and safe travel.

Northern Argentina: Catherine Le Tissier and Nick Drayson

Catherine Le Tissier and Nick Drayson are mission partners serving in Argentina. Nick is the Diocesan Bishop of Northern Argentina, (an area roughly the size of France), and Catherine is an occupational therapist. They write asking for prayer as they prepare to lead a course in Lima on Intentional Discipleship at the end of August. Please pray for them and for the Diocese of Peru.

Latin America: Exciting new mission role!

Please pray for the successor to Bishop Henry Scriven as the mission development manager for Latin America as we seek to locate this exciting role in Latin America. The advert is out and we really want to see God’s person for this role appointed. Interviews are in September.

For more information on this role, please see this page.

Europe, Middle East and North Africa

Algeria: Slimane Bouhafs

We have just heard from our friends Middle East Concern that Slimane Bouhafs, an Algerian Christian who has been imprisoned since September 2016 for blasphemy, has received a partial pardon. His three-year sentence was reduced by 16 months on 5 July, the national day of Algeria, following a decree by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika which provided clemency to several prisoners on account of good behaviour in prison. As a result of the partial pardon, Slimane has nine months remaining on his prison sentence.

Slimane was sentenced after he posted information on Facebook which was considered blasphemous against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. He has suffered aggressive treatment from other inmates because of his Christian faith.

Please pray that Slimane will be released from prison as soon as possible, for his health and safety and that the church in Algeria will maintain a faithful witness to others.

Iran: Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh

Middle East Concern asks for prayer for Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh, the wife of Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz, whose court hearing has been postponed by three weeks.

Shamiram was called to attend a hearing on 31 July in Tehran at Branch 26 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court but the hearing was postponed until 21 August. She was summoned by the authorities in June 2017 to Branch 3 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court, and charged with “participating in foreign seminars” and “acting against Iranian national security” as a church member.

Please pray that the judge will acquit Shamiram.

Britain: Chris Neal

Please continue to pray for Chris Neal, a former CMS director, and his wife Val. Chris has motor neurone disease (MND) and his arms and legs are getting weaker. His mind is still as sharp as ever but please pray for his daily living. He remains active in writing and encouraging the body of Christ.

Pray that both Chris and Val may know the presence of God in the small as well as the big details of life.

Britain: Helen Mukholi

Please pray for Helen Mukholi, wife of Rev Patrick Mukholi, a former CMS mission partner. Helen has been in intensive care in the John Radcliffe Hospital for the last month, but is now beginning to recover and is able to move about slowly and eat gradually.

There is a long way to go so please pray that she will make a full recovery, and that Patrick will be able to continue his ministry at Woose Hill Community Church in Wokingham.

Britain: Kang San Tan

Please pray for Kang San Tan, former executive director of Asia CMS, and his wife Loun Lee Ling as they transition to the UK and Kang San takes up his new leadership post at BMS as the new general director. Whilst used to living in the UK they have to set up a new home and cope with leaving Kuala Lumpur.

Britain: St James’ Church, Swansea

Please pray for a spiritual breakthrough for the church of St James in Swansea. They have just celebrated their 150th anniversary but have asked readers of Prayerspace to pray for the church and especially for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit and a breakthrough in their prayers.

Africa

Kenya: Post-election update

Please pray for peace in Kenya following the elections this week.

The Guardian newspaper writes: “Protesters and police have clashed after the leader of the opposition, Raila Odinga, claimed he was cheated of victory by a hacking attack that he said manipulated the results in the country’s presidential election. Odinga said election commission computer systems and databases were tampered with overnight to ‘create errors’ in favour of rival candidate Uhuru Kenyatta, who has been in power since 2013.

“With ballots from 96 per cent of polling stations counted, results released by Kenya’s electoral commission show Kenyatta leading with 54.4 per cent of the vote, against Odinga’s 44.8 per cent, a difference of 1.4 million votes.”

However, according to the BBC, Senegal’s former Prime Minister Aminata Toure, who has been heading a team of international observers alongside US former Secretary of State Mr Kerry, congratulated the electoral commission, the IEBC, for its great work, and said the election was peaceful. The African Union team observing Kenya’s elections have described the election process as “very credible” and South Africa’s former President Thabo Mbeko told journalists that he was satisfied with the way the electoral commission had conducted itself.

Please pray that as well as peace, the country would accept the election results and be able to heal and unite as a nation.

Madagascar: Derek and Jane Waller

Mission partners Derek and Jane Waller write with an update on their latest situation:

“Because of various delays in our plans we decided to spend a week in the Peak District but sadly, Jane broke a small bone (the fibula) near her ankle. After a check up on 1 September she should be able to walk unaided. It’s all very frustrating and delays our plans for going to Madagascar. We would ask for your prayers through this period of prolonged waiting. Please pray for healing for Jane and for our successful application for visas. Please continue to pray for Yei Diocese, South Sudan and for Toliara Diocese, Madagascar.”

South Sudan: An update

Please continue to hold South Sudan in our prayers. CMS trustee, Jane Shaw, writes with a brief update:

“After inaugurating the new Province of Sudan, and visiting Kadugli in South Kordofan, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby requested to visit the refugee camps of South Sudanese people in Moyo and Adjumani, northern Uganda. He was accompanied by Archbishop Stanley Ntagali and by the Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Musa Ecweri, and was greeted with joy by the refugees. Please pray for the well-being of all in the camps, and that they will soon be able to go home in safety.

“In signs of hope, the African Development Bank has released US$43.8 million to South Sudan, as a short term emergency response, for the provision of relief supplies – food, water, medicines and fodder – and to assist in building the basis for longer-term resilience. And the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD) new special envoy to South Sudan, Ismail Wais, has vowed to restore a permanent ceasefire in South Sudan, through the High Level Revitalisation Forum. He aims to bring together all parties to the original peace agreement, and other stakeholders, in order to develop a realistic timeline and implementation schedule towards eventual democratic elections. Pray that the Lord would bless and prosper his efforts and that he may succeed in achieving a permanent ceasefire.”