We have set this prayer for Russia firstly to Rachmaninov’s Great Ektenia – a word which means supplication or fervent prayer of the heart – and then moving on to his ‘Bogoroditse devo’ that we have released before. We are calling upon the Lord to release His mercy on those who live in Russia and the surrounding nations, and for all that is going on in those lands.
Turkey – home of so many of the great New Testament churches, but now with less than than 0.1% of the population being believers – a country in which the majority of provinces have no churches, no workers and no Christian witness of any sort.
In all we share here, there are major ramifications for us too in the West. Pray for the Holy Spirit to stir up such an unquenchable spiritual thirst in people that it will lead them to search for truth and then to find Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Continue reading
After shocks can often be as deadly and as dangerous as the original quake. Nepal has now suffered another such. In addition to the material we sent out about this mountain kingdom last week we thought you might find this background material by Nava Raj Panta, the editor of the Nepal Herald, helpful.
“Nepal is a blessed country in terms of its unique geography with the Himalayas and Mt. Everest – the “top of the world.” We thank the Lord for His creation of this mountain so that the Himalayan people may receive the highest rain of blessing. But the people of Nepal are still living in a high degree of darkness.
The Gospel entered Nepal in the seventeenth century, and in the eighteenth century there were a few Christians and eighty-five missionaries. But Nepal restricted foreigners during 1850 to 1950, and believers were expelled from the country. During that era, Nepal was a land empty of the Holy Spirit and full of darkness.
The period from 1950 to 1990 was a time of persecution for the few thousand Christians, and during the decade of the 1990’s, there was religious freedom and about 300,000 believers. In 2008, Nepal converted to a secular state, and during the period of 2000 to 2012, the number of Christians increased to more than two million believers with more than ten thousand churches. We are praying for ten million believers in Nepal by 2020, and for ten thousand Nepalese missionaries to go to neighboring countries. At this time Nepal is in need of a large mission investment from the world.
There are approximately 500 churches operating in Kathmandu alone (the capital city), and the number of churches has grown in Dhading and in the Chitwan district as well. There are three Bible Colleges with Master of Divinity courses, sixteen with Bachelor of Theology courses, and approximately fifty Bible Training Centers for Pastors.
In light of the high price of oil, and the economic situation, the living conditions of normal life grow more difficult day by day. (This was written before the quake). Nepalese are rich in languages including Nepali, English and Hindi. About three million Nepalese are residing abroad, and India has approximately eight million ethnic Nepalese, and Myanmar has about one half million. Many Nepalese are seeking God.”
Source: Herald of His Coming
To help us pray into this seemingly overwhelming situation, we have provided this link to a beautiful beautiful Taize chant, Dona Pacem Domine, Grant peace Lord for the people of Nepal, and for all who are in danger in the aftermath of disaster.
Prayer for Nepal
And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. (Revelation 11:13)
Many Christians were killed while at church when the 7.8 quake – ten times greater than the one that struck Haiti in 2010 – devastated the mountain kingdom of Nepal. We wanted to provide some links to resources to help focus our attention on this small country that has often been extremely intolerant of Christians.
Within a couple of days of the quake hitting everyone was feeling overwhelmingly weary. Thousands have been devastated by grief and loss. Pray for all who are mourning. For others there is a terrible sense of listlessness, which is common in the aftermath of extreme trauma. When the immediate shock and fear subside, uncertainty takes over. Pray for all who have to make decisions whilst processing their own emotions. Pray too for all who are working to restore water electricity and other communications.
Peter Dixon, a friend who has worked in Nepal, writes:
“Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. It has suffered decades of political instability with frequent changes of governments. More recently there has been a ten-year civil war followed by a lengthy period of political wrangling, which has so far resulted in an inability to agree a constitution. This has left a huge vacuum in effective governance. By all accounts it remains a notoriously corrupt political system.
The earthquake has disproportionately affected women, children, the elderly and the sick, the reason being that there has been a huge diaspora of Nepali men as migrant workers in India, the Middle East and elsewhere. Pray that Christians would be resourced with wisdom and strength as they care for those that are suffering. Pray that God would reveal Himself to Nepalis as the one true Living God.
Landslides have decimated 80% of many remote villages. Accessibility to these villages in normal circumstances is difficult, involving several days walking, and has been severally hampered by bad weather, obstructed roads, and the limited number of helicopters. This will only worsen as the monsoon approaches (due mid to late June) which annually brings landslips and disease.
Pray for effective coordination between the local authorities, military and rescue teams. Since tens of thousands of people have been injured, pray for speedy medical attention so that conditions don’t worsen, particularly in remote villages that are several days’ walks from health posts. Recent news suggested increased disease is imminent due to lack of clean water which will only be exacerbated when the monsoon rains arrive.
There are countless spinal cord and crush injuries which will present problems for long-term rehabilitation. People in remote villages will need access to care despite the logistical difficulties of visiting medical camps or being transported to rehabilitation hospitals in urban centres like Pokhara.
Following the initial crisis, as most people are subsistence farmers, those that have survived will have lost the crops that they are dependent on for next year as well as the loss of many of their animals in the quake. Buffaloes are essential for milk and meat but also for tilling the land for the rice harvest, which will have been destroyed in many areas. We gather that many people were mercifully spared death or serious injury because the quake hit during the day time when many would have been out in the fields.”
INF report that their whole staff “need prayers for our emotional health over the next few days. The trauma of what we’ve seen and experienced is starting to settle in and the battle with exhaustion is ongoing. Our Lord is faithful. Your prayers are effective. And we rest in the truth that all things work for the good of those who love Him.”
They ask that we pray specifically for Chris Drew as he cares for and organises the INF team in Kathmandu, and for a team of medical specialists who have been deployed to set up a relief camp in Ghorka, one of the worst affected regions. Pray for their safety and effectiveness.
The earthquake has toppled countless idols in Nepal. They cannot save the nation. May the Lord be at work through every humanitarian disaster committee and endeavour – but also behind the scenes in people’s hearts to bring many to Himself.
Extreme Danger of Sex Trafficking
Please be aware and take to heart the great danger many women and children face of being sex trafficked from Nepal to India and South East Asia – a risk at all times but still more so in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Between fifteen and twenty thousand young people were abducted from Nepal each year before the earthquake, and things are worse now that so many are entirely destitute. See amongst other sites: http://www.himalayan-foundation.org/projects/girl-trafficking?gclid=CLjCtu7Pr8UCFfMZtAodTU0Ang Most commonly, women are duped by promises by people whom they already know and forced to live in horrendous conditions.
The link below points us to a moving version of the Taize chant Dona Nobis Pacem, which seems particularly relevant to send out in memory of the many who have lost their lives in Nepal, and to pray for all who are seeking to reach out to them.
Even though the real action is now out in the eastern side of the country, where the terms of successive ceasefire terms are being flagrantly ignored by both sides, why not use this dramatic presentation of earlier events in Maidan Square as a starter for prayer for Ukraine? Hundreds of thousands have either fled into Russia or are cowering for their lives.
Fergal Keane sent out a powerful report on the BBC news recently. Entitled ‘The ceasefire in Ukraine is an illusion’ the images really bring the reality of the conflict home. Do click on the button at the bottom left on the BBC website: Read more: “Ukraine, Russia and the ceasefire that never was” and watch the videos there too.
UCB have published this short report from The World Prayer Centre sharing the perspective they believe the Lord gave them concerning the situation in Ukraine, focusing in particular on President Putin’s role in it.
Many of you will be aware that the recent elections in Moldova have left this small landlocked country deeply divided between wanting to revert to Russia on the one hand, and to look to the European Union on the other.
Can we urge you to join the prayer movement for Moldova by clicking on this two minute prayer video for Moldova on the Operation World website.
Please see the important article we published on Moldova some months ago: The Moldovan Corridor
The crisis in the Ukraine has developed on the shoulders of previous ones
The former Formula 1 racing commentator Murray Walker once declared, ‘I’m a prophet:– I make predictions which are instantly unfulfilled!” Having considered in the last edition that the prospect of Russian military intervention was relatively unlikely. . . er hum(!) When Sir Walter Raleigh was asked why he did not write the history of his own times, he famously replied, in his Preface to his History of the World,
I know that it will be said by many, that I might have been more pleasing to the reader, if I had written the story of mine own times, having been permitted to draw water as near the well-head as another. To this I answer, that whosoever in writing a modern history, shall follow truth too near the heels, it may haply strike out his teeth.
Time to consult the dentist! To help us get to grips in more detail with the situation in Crimea Continue reading
On one level and at best it has felt a bit like watching the Berlin Wall coming down, or Aung Sang becoming an MP in Myanma-Burma or Nelson Mandela being rehabilitated in South Africa and a country opening up. This is an evolving situation and it is far from over, but praise God that Parliament has unanimously turned to a Christian to be the interim President. Pray for Oleksandr Turchynov, who is a well-known Baptist pastor and opposition politician. Pray for wisdom for him and the ministerial team that are appointed today as they attempt to find a safe path to steer the nation forward, even as Russian tanks manoeuvre on their border and the country’s financial crisis deepens . . . Continue reading
Update on Bruce and Jo’s Trip to the Philippines
Bruce and Jo returned home yesterday, having previously sent through several further reports, in which the full extent of the ways in which the Lord had been using them really stood out.
Many people wanted to hear and see the pictures they had taken in Tacloban, and this led to remarkable opportunities to witness and lead people to the Lord. Continue reading
Typhoon Yolanda – First trip into disaster zone
Bruce’s raw experience and comments as he wrote them on his phone as he journeyed back to the north of Manila to preach on 24 November.
Jo and I set off with Andrew and a ton of supplies in the heavily weighted down minibus. We were about 30 miles north of the bridge onto Leyte Island when we started to see damaged banana and coconut palms.
Five miles further on and the countryside looked devastated. It reminded me of the photographs of the flattened trees caused by the huge Siberian meteorite, and the pictures of Kent after the storm of 1987. Continue reading
Pointers for Prayer for the Philippines
May the Lord lead you on beyond where the music stops to pray for the whole breadth of the relief work in the Philippines, and for the work of the Spirit in the islands. Operation World makes it clear that the Philippines are awash with sects and cults that blend Christian ideas with all manner of false teachings. Most of these feature ‘highly controlling and manipulative leadership and teachings. ray for wrong teaching and emphases to be exposed and corrected, and for effective Christian ministry to the millions caught within these groups.’
May the Lord use this storm to bring depth and unity in the Church ans He did some decades ago through the earthquake in Romania. There are over 2,000 registered religious denominations, not including hundreds of unregistered cults and sects. Too often, these divisions reflect schisms, or unhealthy and authoritarian leadership patterns, the results of which have all too often been a lack of fellowship with other groups, erroneous beliefs, a syncretistic worldview and superficiality.
Through this time of intense distress and convulsion may many things change in the long term for the better.