Mary - Cameroon
Please continue to pray that October’s Presidential election would pass peacefully. Continue to pray too for a just resolution to the crisis in the Northwest and Southwest Regions. May Christians maintain a strong witness at all levels!
With regard to last month’s request concerning translation work in the Tivoid-Akwaya language cluster (Southwest Region, bordering Nigeria):
We thank God that Pastor Napoleon (coordinator) was able to travel safely to Yaoundé to confer with the relocated SIL team. Pray for a means of ongoing communication between them.
Please pray for wisdom for the SIL team, Pastor Napoleon and SIL-Cameroon. God may be opening a window of opportunity in Nigeria for one of the cluster’s languages, Iceve, which is cross-border. They may have the opportunity to participate in a Nigeria-based translation programme, LIST (Luke Initiative for Scripture Translation). Even if accepted, there would be many challenges to overcome in order for this to happen. Pray for God’s leading and, if it is His will, for the way to be opened.
Pray also for Pastor Napoleon, his family, and all those in Akwaya at this troubled time.
Thank you for praying for the two retreats for teams from the Far North Region that took place in September. There were altogether 28 participants. Praise the Lord that the participants were refreshed during these retreats and said that they learnt a lot about how to pay more attention to "feeding their souls" and how to work better together in their teams. Praise God for the strong sense of fellowship and trust that developed over these few days. The team of facilitators (Jo Murrell, Pasteur Emile Nana, Kay Smoes, David Nka and Eszter Ernst) worked well together and were also encouraged in many ways during these retreats.
For myself: This week completes my first year in ‘retirement’. I praise God for His all-round provision as I’ve been making this transition – for a home, health, renewing family relationships, openings for service in my home church (Youth Bible Class and Women’s Fellowship), adjusting to life here in general, etc! Thank you for keeping me in your prayers over this time; may my life faithfully reflect God’s great goodness.
Caleb - USA
We have just published a video of our Mexican tour. I directed and coached the team on the tour but don’t appear in the video because I prefer to stay out of social media. This is because when I do have the opportunity of entering a closed country, I do not want to have a lot of exposure pointing to my role in Ambassadors.
I’ve been helping other offices and flew to Mexico after the tour to help coach a camp to recruit players which went really well. The videos are difficult to make because we’re trying to find corporate sponsors (individual donors are very hard to come by) so you will hear comments such as "make the children happy" etc, however, I can assure you 100% we’re not teaching a prosperity gospel - wherever we went we shared the true Gospel.
I’m still directing the club here, running coach education, but in December I am taking a team to Rwanda. I don’t know how much you know about the genocide there, but the repercussions in the country were awful. We want to portray the only true love is the love of the Lord and so we only have one worker there but so far as an office we’ve sent him 100 footballs, 500 cones, 300 bibs and equipment. With this equipment he was able to start a tournament which gained national recognition:
When I take the team there in December we will be playing the national team which means we will also have a national platform to share the Gospel. We will be running clinics/camps for kids and we have been informed that in the 8 days we are there we will have no less than 150 kids per camp. Please pray for safety and planning – in Africa, planning can be somewhat ‘loose’ (haha) so I’m hoping to be able to do this at a good level. We have a fundraiser on November 9th and we’re praying for around $60k of sponsorship.
God bless, and if you have any questions, please ask.
Latest news taken from the Barnabas website www.barbabasfund.org
Sri Lanka - Mobs shut down multiple church services. Mobs shut down multiple church services across Sri Lanka in July, with Christian leaders and congregations facing intimidation and violence. On 15 July, a number of Buddhist monks, accompanied by 20 local villagers, gathered at a church in Ambalangoda, south-west Sri Lanka following the Sunday service. They demanded the pastor halt services and threatened to assault Christians unless they complied. Villagers shouted abuse and death threats at members of the congregation. A church in Kiran, eastern Sri Lanka, was forced to halt its service on Sunday 8 July when a 50-60 strong mob, armed with sticks and rods, surrounded the place of worship. The mob included a number of public officials. A mob also disrupted a service in Sevanapitiya on the same day, assaulted a member of the congregation and took away a number of Bibles. Christians make up eight percent of the population of Sri Lanka, but face frequent persecution and local opposition, which is often led by Buddhist monks. Christians have also been attacked in the north-east of Sri Lanka where there is a Hindu majority. Pray that the Lord who knows the hearts of all (2 Chronicles 6:30), will turn the hearts of the persecutors to Him. Ask that Sri Lankan believers will have the boldness to continue to witness and meet together for worship, despite facing violence and threats.
Ethiopia - Churches burned and looted in eastern Ethiopia. Mobs of Muslim youths burned and looted churches in the eastern Ethiopian city of Jijiga on Saturday 4 August. Three Protestant churches were ransacked and an Ethiopian Orthodox church was set on fire. Supporters of regional president, Abdi Mohamoud Omar, took to the streets, attacking churches and also reportedly the homes of some non-Somali and mainly-Christian ethnic groups. The violence erupted after Ethiopian central government troops entered the city, which is the capital of a semiautonomous and strongly Muslim and ethnic Somali region. The regional president is currently in a dispute with the central government over his treatment of minority ethnic groups. The region has experienced sporadic violence since 1984, when the Ogaden National Liberation Front launched a campaign to bring about the secession of the region from majority-Christian Ethiopia. The most recent outbreak of violence took place in the early 2000s, during which time there were frequent grenade attacks in Jijiga and a bomb was planted in a church. Seek the Lord on behalf of Christians in eastern Ethiopia. Pray that they will swiftly be able to repair and restore damaged church buildings and that the Lord of Hosts will keep them from harm (Psalm 121:7) in the face of ethnic and religiously motivated attacks.
Egypt - Suicide attack on church foiled by tight security. Tight security foiled an attempted suicide attack on a church in Mostorod, north of Cairo, on Saturday 11 August. Security guards stopped the attacker from entering the church grounds to target worshippers. The bomber then detonated his explosive vest on an overpass around 250 metres from the church, killing himself and one passer-by, as well as injuring a policeman. Egyptian security services subsequently made seven arrests in relation to the attack. At the time of writing, no organisation has claimed responsibility, although Islamic State terrorists have mounted a number of attacks on churches in Egypt in the last two years, including the Palm Sunday bombings at Cairo churches in 2017 which killed nearly 50 Christians. Give thanks that due to the observance and diligence of security guards another potentially deadly attack on an Egyptian church was prevented. Pray for the injured policeman and the family of the passer-by who was killed. Pray for protection for Egyptian Christians, that the Lord will be their strength and shield as they trust in Him (Psalm 28:7).
Geoff, Fay & Danni
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
In most professions, the general rule of thumb is that the longer one works at a job, the more confidence they get. Thinking about my own role here at Mission Care, I can say that I have grown in confidence, but not in myself - but in God.
I have had many conversations, Bible studies and one-to-ones, and never before have I been so sure of my faith. The Bible is the key to everything, and I see it clearer every single day. When all is said and done, what human beings crave is hope. Christ is that hope. By sharing the Gospel with people we are equipping them with power - strength to face whatever life may bring.
There are many different stages of Dementia, and in our homes we see people throughout the whole spectrum. Recently, I was speaking with a man who is in the early stage; he still has enough clarity to understand his illness. I was very excited when I realised this, as it meant I have more time with him but, after our first visit, he politely declined any further Bible readings. But then - last week - while sitting with him and listening to his story, he kept saying "I hope... I hope...", it dawned on me that this was his need. We then talked about Jesus and the hope that He gives us - a hope that no disease can take away. We finished by praying together. I’m praying (and would love for you to pray for him too!) that He will come to know Jesus personally and know the power that comes through the joy of being adopted by God.
Please pray as we will be starting new Bible studies in September based on a series of catechisms.
Please pray as Christmas is nearing (which means lots of preparation!) - pray for Fay as she does this.
And finally, please pray that we use the time we have wisely - with up to 250 residents and 4 of us on the team it can be very demanded, but if we are sensitive to God’s guidance, it will mean that time will not be wasted.
Tim & Alison - UK
Praise God: One of the team shared that a specific area in Afghanistan, which they live in, has been peaceful but the surrounding areas have not been. The work amongst Afghan refugees, in Greece, continues and is probably going to expand. Tim continues to support people taking over some of his work. This at times can be challenging when too many people get involved. Tim tries to keep up with the other accounts: all dependant on how things are at home.
Alison has been very busy with research, emailing and having many meetings. Life in the house and family keep her from being bored.
There have been times, of recent, when we really didn’t know the way forward, but God has been there all the way. Asking for wisdom, knowledge and understanding is such a relief to know He cares so much that He is always there every step of the way!
Helen & Alastair - Ireland
Our Immersion students have been experiencing some true Irish culture having been at the Ploughing Championships. Each year our team works with Cavan Christian Bookshop and the Irish Evangelistic Band serving teas and coffees from a marquee. This year, on Day Two, the whole site was majorly damaged by Storm Ali which lead to the event being closed for that day. As the marquee was damaged beyond repair, Colm (our Bus driver) was given permission to bring the Big Red Bus into the event as an alternative venue. It has been a desire of his for many years to take the Bus to the Ploughing, but it has never previously been allowed. It was quite an attraction, a big double decker red bus in the midst of other the marquees and exhibitors, and many people visited the Bus for a cuppa and conversations.
This month the Immersion students are heading off to the Horse Fair in Ballinasloe. Again, this is a unique event, where they will see a very different side of Irish life and culture. We are partnering with Ballinasloe Christian Fellowship, where one of our Philippian Project families is based, who are renting a disused pub to serve tea and coffee and have a children’s corner.
Following some further training, the Immersion students will be heading off to their placement churches at the end of October. Please pray for wisdom as we make decisions on where the students will be placed.
We had a great Team Day Out at Turlough Park and the Museum of Country Life in County Mayo, and the weather was fairly dry! We were joined by a team from the US who had just flown in that morning to help at our day out, and also to be at the Ploughing.
We have been very encouraged this past month by a couple of large donations for the work of OM Ireland. Please continue to pray for Alastair & other members of staff as they help people look at ways of raising their support levels. For some this means travelling to their home country, spending time with their churches, presenting about OM Ireland and their work at meetings. Please pray for Alastair and the Board as they meet on Monday 1 October for their AGM and to discuss the way forward.