"I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4
We have received the following from our friends Bishop Grant and Dr Wendy LeMarquand: “It is with a heavy heart that I [Bishop Grant] must announce my resignation as the Bishop for the Horn of Africa within the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa. This decision has not been taken lightly but after consultation with Bishop Mouneer, with spiritual counselors and with our medical doctors. Wendy and I will leave Ethiopia at the end of October this year, although our work for the diocese will continue for a time.” The LeMarquands are leaving due to issues with Wendy’s health; please pray for her healing and pray for the diocese at this time of transition. Please also pray for our people in mission Chris and Suzy Wilson, based at St Frumentius Anglican Theological College in Gambella, as they cope with the departure of colleagues they admire and respect.
Mike and Sue Hughes write from Potter’s Village in Kisoro, a project that cares for abandoned and orphaned children: “We have some very sick children in the medical centre at present, two of them particularly so. One is 10-month old Aniseti, who was transferred from Kisoro Hospital with extremely severe pneumonia. He is struggling to breathe. Please pray that the treatment he receives will be effective. Also nine-month old Joab has been with us for a month, sometimes in the medical centre and sometimes in the nutrition unit; he is emaciated and continuing to lose weight. Please pray for our management and for his recovery.”
Sudan and South Sudan: a big step
Pray for the new Anglican Province of Sudan, inaugurated this week and for Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo. Archbishop Justin Welby travelled to Khartoum to conduct the inauguration, attended by many people from around the world. Archbishop Justin also visited Kadugli diocese and met church leaders and visited refugee camps. Give thanks for this high-profile support for Christians in Sudan, and pray they may enjoy security and freedom to worship. Continue to pray for the people of South Sudan who are facing much hardship.
Asia-CMS looks ahead
Please pray for Pax Tan, who is serving as interim executive director of Asia-CMS while the Asia-CMS leadership team and trustees seek to appoint a new executive director for when Kang San Tan leaves in the autumn. Pray for this recruitment process and give thanks for Pax’s willingness to serve in this way.
Pakistan primary school project
L, who works in primary education in Pakistan, asks for prayer for religious minority communities there including Muslim people as they are facing challenges. She also asks for prayer for the education project she leads, that God will keep staff and students healthy, that funding will be sustained and for an upcoming three-year evaluation of the project to be successful.
Middle East and UK
Iran: prison release after much prayer
From our friends at Middle East Concern:
“Iranian Christians give thanks to God for the release from prison this week of M. A convert from Islam, M has served a four-year sentence…after she was found guilty of ‘propagating against the Islamic regime, and colluding to undermine national security’. M suffers from heart disease, for which she requires regular medical attention. Harsh prison conditions have also resulted in her suffering from depression. Iranian Christians request prayer: a) that the Lord will strengthen M mentally and physically, b) that M will receive the medical attention she needs, c) for a joyful reunion with family and that M will adjust well to ordinary life after her long prison sentence, d) that those responsible for the persecution of Christians in Iran will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow him.”
Middle East outreach: overcoming fear
We recently heard from local people in mission (names and location withheld) about some very successful summer outreach events they’ve been leading with volunteers from around the world. Many people have expressed interest in knowing more about Jesus. Our partners ask for prayer for a new church plant: “May God overcome Christians' fears and may non-believers be openly inquisitive about the gospel.” They also ask for prayer for “our brothers and sisters who have chosen to follow Jesus with all of the pain and challenges they face”. Finally: “Pray that more people with catch the vision of ministry to the unreached and go out of their comfort zones."
UK: Mission is...on the cards
You may have heard the Church Mission Society has produced a card game to help small groups think more about mission. This is part of our ongoing Mission Is campaign. Please pray for all those who have ordered the game so far, that as they play it they will be inspired to get more involved in God’s mission. You can find out more about the Mission Is card game here: order the card game
UK: prospective pioneers
Please continue to pray for people who are still considering applying for our Pioneer Mission Leadership Training course in the coming academic year. Pray that we will be able to recruit good cohorts for the MA and undergraduate programmes.
UK: festival frenzy
Give thanks for the many people who have been engaging with our Mission Is stand at the New Wine festival this week. Pray that they will be positively encouraged by our follow-up communications and want to engage further in mission – particularly through CMS!
UK: editor sought
Next week is the closing date for applications for the role of senior editorial content producer, a vital post in our communications team. Please pray that we will find an enthusiastic, skilled person for this job.
UK: trustee time
As trustee elections approach in CMS, pray for God’s hand to be on this process. Give thanks for a good meeting that was held last week with our senior management team and the board of trustees. All involved were able to meet people in mission, think about a theology of risk, spend time with Dennis Tongoi of CMS-Africa and explore the essentials of mission today.
Paraguay mission report
David Orritt is with a short-term team from Mission Paraguay, working in Asuncion. He writes: “We have been visiting different communities where the Anglican Church works, distributing second-hand spectacles to people who cannot afford to visit an optician, carrying out sewing workshops, undertaking painting and minor building work, working with children…and generally seeking to support the ministry of the church. We have been greatly blessed as always and feel tremendously supported through prayer from so many friends including those of you at CMS.” The Mission Paraguay team will return to the UK on 12 August. Give thanks for how well the trip has gone so far and pray for a good finish to the visit.
Sue Clarke is working in Trinity Church, Cochabamba with Rev Tammy Firestone (SAMS-USA). She is returning to England for a short break and for the birth of her first grandchild in September. Sue writes: “I am really enjoying my time here and feel very much at home. I work with the children on Sundays, do office work for Tammy and I am about to start teaching a course I wrote on Christian mindfulness to some teenage girls in a detention centre.” Give thanks for Sue’s enthusiasm and abilities and pray that she will have a good time in the UK.
On the move in Bolivia
The Peart family (Andrew and Lisa with daughters Liliana and Anayah) are coming up to one year in Santa Cruz as short-termers. They have just moved house and are planning to undertake an intensive Spanish course in Cochabamba while the girls are out of school. Pray for the ongoing work in the church plant called Kilometre 18 and for Pastor Bely and Claire Soleto, with whom Andrew and Lisa work.
Brazil: visa vexation
Please continue to pray for Becky Reid and Evaldo Rodrigues de Araujo (working at ReVive in Olinda, Brazil, a ministry to abused and exploited girls); they are disappointed as Evaldo’s visa for the UK has been turned down for a second time. They still hope to get married soon, but it may have to be in Brazil and not in the UK as planned.
Getting settled in Guatemala
Mark and Rosalie Balfour are hoping to move to Guatemala City soon after their language course finishes in Antigua. Please pray for the right accommodation to be found. The Balfours are working with children facing life on the streets in Guatemala; pray for strength and encouragement in this work.
Steve Poulson, based in Honduras, is preparing for a sponsored walk of 100Km in one day – 12 August. He and Duncan Dyason (colleague at Street Kids Direct) will start at 4am and hope to finish by 9pm. Their target is not only to see who finishes first but also to work together to raise funds for a new protection home for children in Guatemala City.