“Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it’.” Numbers 13:30 (NIV)
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
The Middle East: Wisdom for new believers
Last week, we included a prayer from two mission partners working in the Middle East about families unable to change their stated religion on their ID cards.
The two mission partners write again with a follow on prayer request: “This week could we please pray for new believers who are reacting strongly against their old religion. They need wisdom and discretion about what they post on social media, being positive about their new faith without being offensive about their old one which could lead them into danger and make it difficult for local churches.”
Glasgow, Britain: The Well
Please pray for The Well, a Christian resource centre in Glasgow that provides help and support to many diverse refugee and immigrant communities within the south east of the city. This is done through many ways including drop-in advice and information and various activities to develop skills and confidence.
They are currently in a search for new premises, a need that is very urgent given current numbers and capacity. Please pray for this.
Britain: Partnership for Missional Church (PMC)
In the past few months prayers have been asked for new dioceses to begin partnering with CMS to deliver the Partnership for Missional Church (PMC) process in local churches. We now rejoice that our prayers have been answered as we have heard that three new dioceses (two of them working together) will start with us within the next year.
In addition an important Church Growth Strategy Consultation took place last week at Swanwick with about two-thirds of all Church of England dioceses represented and some from the Church in Wales and even one from Australia. PMC was presented alongside other strategies and a very helpful debate and discussion took place around what kind of growth we desire and how slow or fast it might be.
Please continue to pray for people and dioceses at the Consultation who heard about PMC for the first time and had their interest kindled, that they would follow up and find out more.
Eastbourne, Britain: Jonny Baker and St Elisabeth’s, Eastbourne
Please pray for Jonny Baker, CMS’s director of mission education, and St Elisabeth’s, Eastbourne. Jonny is their link mission partner and is speaking there near the end of the year. Please pray that the church may know further the fellowship of the Holy Spirit through their connection with both Jonny and CMS, and that home groups at the church might deepen their interest and increase their prayer support for Jonny and of the mission of the worldwide church.
South Korea: Professor Bokyung Park
Please pray for peace for Professor Bokyung Park as her husband (Pastor Jang Yohan) has recently passed away. She is a professor at Presbyterian University and Theological Seminar in Seoul, South Korea, and the vice president of International Association for Mission Studies (IAMS) and was very much involved in the planning and success of the IAMS assembly in Seoul last year. The funeral will take place this Saturday (18 February). Please pray for comfort and peace for the whole family.
Asia: Raj Patel
Please pray for CMS's regional manager for Asia, Raj Patel, as he travels to Malaysia in the next few days to meet up with colleagues from Asia-CMS and continues his journey to other countries within South-East Asia to visit mission partners. Pray for safe travels and encouraging times.
Malaysia: A visit from Philip Mounstephen and Charles Clayton
Next Thursday (23 February), CMS’s executive leader, Philip Mounstephen, and Charles Clayton, CMS chair of trustees, are flying to Kuala Lumpur to meet their counterparts Kang-San Tan and Francis Tsui of Asia-CMS and other board members. They are there to discuss how their relationship can be developed and deepened between the period 2018-2023. Please pray for safe travels, good conversation and the Holy Spirit’s anointing on all their deliberations.
Philippines: Mary Fairfield
Please pray for mission associate Mary Fairfield who, along with her husband Derek, has a long-standing connection to India. Give thanks that Mary had a fruitful trip to the Philippines and had many opportunities for speaking, both in Manila and on the island of Mindanao. Please pray for the lives that she has touched and that they might draw closer to Jesus at this time.
Uruguay: Gonzalo Soria
Please pray for CMS local partner Gonzalo Soria in Fray Bentos, Uruguay, working with local young offenders. He writes:
“We have experienced God at work in an amazing way through our contacts and friendships with young people and their families. Please pray for the social outreach project where we care for 50 children and their families, numbering around 250 people in all. We thank God that we have had a good response to a friendship group for parents and that the Lord continues to bring some to faith in this predominantly secular society. We are finding our efforts at evangelisation very hard right now, but are convinced that, with God’s grace, we will be able to surmount the challenges we have set for ourselves.
"Pray for our community to find strength and blessings through the ministry the Lord has given us, and for our plans to access a radio programme in the near future.”
Bolivia: A visit from the Bishop of Birmingham
Over the last few years, an exciting link has been developing between Birmingham and Bolivia. The Bishop of Birmingham, The Rt Revd David Urquhart, will lead a group from Birmingham between 1-17 March to further establish a link with a particular emphasis on the formation and training of both lay and ordained leaders.
Bolivia is as multi-cultural as Birmingham, although in a different way, and the challenge of sharing the gospel across cultures is just as great. The vision of the diocesan bishop of Bolivia, Bishop Raphael Samuel, for intentional discipleship fits in well with the vision of intercultural mission in Birmingham and it is hoped that a partnership into the future could prove very fruitful.
Please pray for health and strength for those coming from Birmingham during what promises to be a very active visit, an ability to cope with high altitude and, most of all, close fellowship together. Where language is a barrier, may this be overcome!
South Sudan: Update on CMS people in mission.
Please pray for the following CMS people connected to South Sudan, and the dioceses they are serving in:
- Cathie and John Rutter who are engaged in short term mission. They were meant to be flying next week to Kajo Keji Diocese; however, given there is renewed fighting in Kajo Keji, the theological college where they will be working is now opening instead in Moyo in Northern Uganda, where they will be based.
- Mission partners Derek and Jane Waller, working last year in Yei Diocese, have been more recently based in Arua, Northern Uganda, where the diocese has opened an office. They are continuing to explore their role in the displaced Yei Diocese and are currently back in the UK for a period.
- Lynn Treneary, a mission partner in Maridi Diocese, is well and the work at Chaima Christian Institute continues.
Kenya: Ian and Merle Halliday
Please pray for Ian and Merle Halliday, CMS people in mission, who write:
- “Please pray for a few things: Firstly, Kenya which is at a point of crisis. The state doctors have been on strike for 70 days and this week the leaders of the strike have been jailed for contempt of court. There is a state of emergency over the drought and elections are due in August – there is much anxiety.
- “The work of CLEAR [established as an arm of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship to provide legal education, aid and research to and on behalf of the poorest in society within the developing world], particularly with prisoners. We also pray that we may discover how to spend our time effectively with them.
- “For wisdom in choosing the right accommodation.
- “Patience – there is frequently no wifi, electricity and water at the office and sometimes at home.
- “Thanksgiving – for our hosts, for the welcome we have received and for our safety thus far.”
Liberia: The National Elections Commission (NEC)
Please pray for the National Elections Commission (NEC) as it continues to undertake voter registration (up to March 7). This is in preparation for general elections in October 2017. Pray for a peaceful electioneering period and that the Lord will bring forth the right leader to replace the outgoing president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.