Mission News – June 2020

Wendy Rowe,

Hands clasped over background of world map

If you are visiting today, we're thrilled to have you with us. We come here to worship God by singing, preaching the Bible and praying together. God is the highest priority in our lives because through Jesus we have forgiveness from our sins and the hope of a new life spent with Him!

  • Please switch off your mobile phone when you come in to the hall.
  • Please remember to park in one of the town car parks; not along Priory St.
  • Please ensure your child/ren do not play on the stage, up in the balcony or in the graveyard either before or after the service.
  • We have large print bibles available for anyone who might need one. Please ask one of the ushers.

Steve and Gill (WEC)

Steve has finished some intensive Child safeguarding training last week which went well but was exhausting doing it on line.

Gill has started adapting some of our MK staff training materials to teach on Zoom. Last Monday they talked together in detail about how to teach the first week. Please pray for us as we work out what we really need to include and how much study material to send in advance.

Our street is quiet and peaceful.

Stuart, Lynne and Matthew (Mercy Ships)

Hi and thank you for your continued support, we are blessed to serve with you all.  Main prayer points are:

  1. For clarity when the Africa Mercy will return to active service.  It is the intention to return to Senegal to complete our planned surgery – but when?
  2. For the health of the crew especially those who have returned home temporarily as they need to plan their lives amid all the Covid chaos.
  3. For us and our planned holiday in the UK mid August.
  4. For Matthew and for a good start at university in September.

Steve and Ruth (AIM)

We had 2 long days of interviews last week for the new accountant.  We now have a shortlist of 3, with one clear winner in my opinion.  He is overqualified but is the only one who talked about wanting to serve the people of God and who had done any research into what our vision is at Sanga Sanga.  He seemed to be a humble but competent person and a true believer.  Now we have to take our recommendation to our Institute Board (on Saturday) and I really hope they agree!  Thank you so much for your prayers.

Last week we had a long (5 hour!) management meeting at Sanga Sanga. The leader at Sanga, Rev Batano, doesn’t have strong management skills and no financial ‘nous’, so he leans on the missionaries very much for guidance.  He is a Bible teacher at heart.  Please pray for him in all his responsibilities.

Covid-19: the President recently announced that schools could open and that Tanzanian airspace would be opening up in June.  Amazingly, the country hasn’t been engulfed in the virus – praise God.  But now we see fewer and fewer people wearing masks, as if there is no danger.  We are still trying to be cautious, wearing masks, maintaining distances and avoiding groups.  

Steve is doing well, although his stomach issues came back last week – we pinned it down to eating tomatoes.  Please continue to pray for our health and safety.

Finally, please pray for our colleagues in AIM’s Eastern Region office in Nairobi.  One of their staff, Sammy, who had been with them for 18 years, died very suddenly last Friday after leaving work.  He had had a heart condition all his life.  He was one of their finance people who I liaised with regularly.  He leaves a wife and 4 children.  The staff team there is devastated – pray for God’s comfort on them.  

Blessings on you all.

Benjamin (BMS)

  1. Please pray for the safety of our street school children and their families.
  2. Please pray for the safety of the BMS Kolkata team
  3. Please pray for new communities which are opening so that we can begin schools and fellowships
  4. Please pray for all the new people who are finding the Lord during this time of crisis
  5. Please pray for some of the believers who are being baptized even in this lockdown period but also pray for the lockdown to be over so that we can see much more baptisms take place of the new believers who are waiting to do that eagerly
  6. Please pray for the trainings of our leaders happening online.

For this is the time to Praise the Lord, Delight in his commandments and we will not be afraid but our hearts to be steadfast and trust in the Lord. This is the time to be secure in Him.

I would like to go back to my title that God is not on lockdown (Ben’s latest newsletter). He is alive and working among the nations more now than ever in the midst of the greatest altar call that he has given to the entire world. As I am seeing what’s happening around, my mind goes back to Psalm 112 Blessed are those who know the LORD.

Oasis – Refugees

Three  weeks ago the Oasis was allowed to open their doors to refugees again for the first time since Covid-19 hit Austria. Due to continuing restrictions they have had to do things much differently. To ensure they could abide by the social distancing and hygiene rules they’ve postponed all their usual daily programmes. Instead, they are opening in shifts, welcoming any refugees that come by, but restricting to a maximum of six people in the room at any one time. This has proved successful as several refugees have come for prayer, to get Bibles and Christian literature and discuss the Christian faith. Others have called in for practical things like clothing, baby items and other household items, or just for a cup of tea and a chat. The team has also placed a book table outside the Oasis where anyone passing can pick up free Christian literature in their own language.

The camp had relaxed their quarantine rules and allowed refugees to leave, but last week another 13 CV-19 cases were identified so the camp is back on lockdown.

  • Please pray for refugees and workers in the camp, particularly those who know the Lord.
  • Pray that God gives the Oasis team wisdom as to how best to minister to refugees in these constantly changing circumstances.
  • Pray for the continued health of all the Oasis team and volunteers. Praise God none of them have succumbed to the illness.

With thanks from the Oasis Team.

Rhiannon (AIM work updates)

The third of 3 face to face meetings in Spain was cancelled (due to be at the end of April),  looking ahead with these meetings; the leader is on home assignment for 1 year (supposed to be gong to the States this month,  not sure if that’s happening). Because he will not be in Africa, the Leading from the inside out training won’t run this coming academic year.  He has said that if he is still in the position of leader then he would definitely want me to be involved, likely to be sept 2021. As far as the big conference in Kenya in November,  Eddie is going to contact the organiser to find out at this stage what the plans are.  If it does go ahead one thing that could be a difficulty is that arrangements might need to be made close to the date,  not sure if we will be able to get a team together at a late date. Plus,  finances might be a bigger issue if people have not been earning during lockdown.  At the moment,  no news on that one.  Eddie may have had a reply by the time you meet so might shed more light on that one xx

Compassion

The government, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, is working extremely hard to ensure that all citizens are safe. Health prevention guidelines have been disseminated and re-emphasised … Social distancing and health hygiene are also being emphasised. Even with all this, it is a personal responsibility. We are on our knees praying for wisdom and safety for each other. God is our refuge.” Lenny Mugisha, Compassion Uganda National Director  

  • “We will keep monitoring the situation in the slums and respond to needs as they arise. We appreciate your prayers for strength and courage and for God to protect the children and their families.” Ken, Compassion Kenya Social Worker
  • “My prayer for the health practitioners [in our country] is that they don’t contract the COVID-19 as their health is important to that they can serve patients better. I pray that this pandemic ends quickly.” Jeanette Nikuze, Compassion Rwanda graduate and pharmacist (above)
  • Our partners in Ethiopia are praying that God will heal people who are ill with COVID-19. Please also pray that our Father God will provide wisdom to the people in government as they try to mitigate the spread of the virus and its social and economic impact on the country. 
  • “Please pray for our leaders, anyone sitting on the decision making table to have wisdom to provide contextual solutions. Also pray that the Church will be the Church. The Church should not operate from fear.” Richmond Wandera, Compassion graduate, Ugandan Pastor and Compassion UK Trustee

Tearfund

See this useful link for those in prayer partners praying for coronavirus.

Our local church partners are already on the frontline, providing crucial hygiene and sanitation assistance. Nations in lockdown, widespread uncertainty, hospitals struggling to cope – we’ve seen with our own eyes how devastating Coronavirus can be. But for people living in extreme poverty, the impact will be far worse. Please pray .

TearFund

Bible Society- Malawi

So far there has been a limited number of confirmed cases. Please pray that this will continue as the health system will not be able to handle any outbreak such as the Coronavirus.  Pray that Christians will help others to look to God for hope and that we as Christians will look to God for help. 

Open Doors

Lord Jesus Christ

You, who hugged the leper and healed the lame,
Be with all those who are reaching out to you at this time.
We think especially of all who already pay a high price for following you:
     those who are poor, and running out of food,
     those who are hated by their community and are always the last to receive help – if they receive it at all,
     those to whom the fear of Covid-19 is just the latest in a long list of fears which they must carry every day
Encourage and protect the pastors who lead their flocks,
     and the Open Doors partners who bring help.
Bring courage to those who are afraid,
Strength to those who are weak,
Comfort to those who mourn,
and hope to us all.

AMEN

Registered Charity no. 1148492