Displaying items by tag: Africa
As attacks on Christians continue in northern Nigeria, we can pray for Christians there, asking the Lord to end the killing and suffering for being a believer. ‘Father, may their witness be vibrant, as a lamp set on a hill. May their lives and actions demonstrate Your goodness. Give them hearts for reconciliation and forgiveness instead of revenge. Heal the broken-hearted. Comfort the mourning. Bind up the wounded. Be a father to the fatherless. Let our brothers and sisters know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge, that they may be filled with all the fullness of You. May they be rooted and established in Your love. O Lord, empower those who minister in the most difficult areas with new strength. Refresh their spirits and fill their cups to overflowing. May the gospel of Your peace that they share bring peace to this place of turmoil.’
Islamist violence against Christians has surged, causing thousands to flee their villages. Recently armed jihadists launched three attacks within 48 hours that left 58+ dead. Fifteen died when a convoy of Christian traders, including children, was attacked on 29 May. On 30 May, Islamists opened fire at random in a cattle market, killing 30+ people and injuring many more. On the same day a humanitarian convoy was attacked, claiming the lives of six civilians and seven soldiers. Another twenty were injured, and a number were reported missing. A survivor said it was clear that militants were targeting Christians and humanitarians taking food to a camp of mainly Christian villagers who fled jihadi violence. The vicious attacks targeting Christians began in April 2019 when a pastor, his son, and four members of his congregation were shot in cold blood for refusing to convert to Islam.
More than five years of conflict have left Yemenis hanging on by a thread, their economy in tatters, and their institutions facing near-collapse. The UN chief told a virtual pledging conference they needed to demonstrate solidarity with some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable in Yemen. Pray for UN workers to receive the funding to meet people’s needs in this staggering humanitarian crisis. Across the globe Covid-19 has halted economic activity and threatens social wellbeing. UNESCO says it is now coping with millions in extreme poverty. Pray for the UN to make wise decisions as it addresses the pandemic and mobilises the resources needed for a proactive recovery. In Africa it is addressing the ‘appalling impact’ of Covid-19 on minorities; the virus has a ‘disproportionate impact’ on racial and ethnic minorities, including people of African descent. Pray for human rights to be at the centre of coronavirus response.
A report from Elias Apetogbo – Prayer Covenant for Children Continental Leader and Fidele Zouma from Burkina Faso
While much of original plan to train and mobilize children to reach out to their peers in May was put on hold by Covid-19, training did take place and the vision and passion continues.
Fidele Zouma, Head of Children’s Ministry for Assemblies of God and Prayer Covenant National Leader for Burkina Faso shares the following. “In late February the Assemblies of God of Burkina Faso hosted 300 leaders from all denominations to take part in Prayer Covenant children’s leadership training.
We then provided each leader with more than 300 prayers cards to use within their children’s ministry. Each of the leaders was commissioned to train 10 children as part of the Go 2020 Kids strategy.
Those children were equipped to reach five others with the gospel. When we followed up, each leader had begun the training within their ministry. In order to help facilitate this, we started a television Prayer Covenant ministry due to Covid-19. The feedback from pastors is that the children are really responding well and liking the program. Children are praying for their friends to come to know and follow Jesus.
The pandemic has opened many new doors. One example was an invitation for children to do daily Prayer Covenant Online Radio Programs with the All African Baptist Youth Fellowship in 12 nations, including Togo, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, Malawi, Niger, Guinea, Gabon, Cameron, Benin and Sierra Leon.
All but one station gave separate airtime for the children and youth to reach out in two or more languages. Elias says, “We are really encouraged by the commitment of leaders that lead prayer meetings through radio program across the Continent.
I’m personally greatly encouraged by the way leaders use Bible quotation in their prayers for winning souls. It’s so fantastic and very inspiring. And that is helping us to trust the power in prayer."
On the ground outreach continued as well. Elias tells us, “Children are so joyful to be part of divine mission. In fact, they are always happy when time comes to go and share the Gospel. Children are very happy to know that the opportunity is given to them to be useful in the vineyard of the master. I can read the joy in their faces when they pray for the salvation of souls. They are very excited when they go out to display small beautiful and powerful words of evangelization. None of them like to miss such moments. To God be the glory!
This is the time to evaluate our impact and to motivate kids to hold on the zeal of evangelism.
More info at: https://theprayercovenant.org/children/
Kenya's government closed all churches in order to prevent further spread of coronavirus. So Rev Paul Macharia from All Saints' Cathedral has taken church services on the road. They travel to apartment blocks and provide sermons and music from the street below; allowing people to attend church while being able to maintain social distancing rules to tackle the new pandemic. This government-approved safe service is nicknamed B2B, ‘Balcony to Balcony’, taking place every Sunday, using amplifiers and loudspeakers. It has become popular, with large turnouts of families on their balconies.
Sarah remembers her childhood fondly. She was close to her parents, who were always loving towards her, and she never saw them fight. She pursued her studies and helped her parents care for her four siblings. Tragically, when she was 16, her father passed away. Sarah was forced to leave school and work so that her siblings could continue their education. Next she met Komakech. He won her affection and they began living together. Sarah thought he would take good care of her family. But she slowly became aware of his violent nature. Within three months he became violent, drinking and abusing Sarah physically, and emotionally. One in two Ugandan women experience spousal abuse. Rates are higher in northern Uganda. To read Sarah’s story of freedom. click the ‘More’ button.
Thousands of children work in Lake Volta’s massive fishing industry: many are slaves. Children as young as 4 are abused and malnourished. Their work is dangerous; drowning and other hazards are a constant threat. Victims rise before dawn to go out and dive down into the dark water to untangle fishing nets. IJM estimates that nearly two-thirds of children working on the Lake are trapped in slavery. Since 2015, 164 victims have been rescued from the lake’s fishing industry, and 31 suspected traffickers have been arrested. Today thousands of children are trapped there. Before the lockdown IJM were about to launch rescues. Pray that these children will be found and saved now that lockdown is lifted. Pray that IJM will be able to access communities and offer support where needed.
Torrential rains causing floods and landslides displaced 100,000 people and killed about 200 in Kenya. Floods destroyed 8,000 acres of crops, and the extreme rainfall will continue until the end of May. In Uganda, a river burst its banks, causing people to flee for safety. The waters of Lake Victoria have risen to unprecedented heights, forcing shoreline communities to abandon their homes. Rwanda, too, has seen houses, roads, and crops destroyed, and many killed by mudslides. At the same time, trillions of locusts have descended on the region. They can travel over 100 miles a day. There are 18 separate swarms in Kenya at present, and weather conditions are expected to favour breeding, so that a third generation could hatch in June and July. Added to these two tragedies, coronavirus is spreading among huge numbers of displaced people and closed borders are delaying delivery of pesticides to locust-affected areas.
In many places, police not only fail to protect people in poverty from violence, but they are violent predators themselves. Millions of the most vulnerable people in the world live in fear of police who extort bribes and brutalise innocent citizens. This has increased during coronavirus curfews. In Kenya it is easy for a corrupt or incompetent police officer to falsely accuse and imprison or even kill an innocent person. As measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, there has been a spike in police abuse while enforcing the night curfew. The government’s independent policing oversight authority has documented at least 35 cases of police brutality in connection to the curfew enforcement, including twelve deaths. Other agencies report at least one death a night in the communities which the justice centres monitor.
During the coronavirus lockdown, Nigerian Fulani militants have murdered a five-year-old child they snatched from a pregnant mother, another nine Christians including two children, and a second pregnant woman In Egypt, seven Islamist terrorists, suspected of plotting to attack Christians under cover of the nightly coronavirus curfew, were shot dead. In West Africa, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau declared coronavirus a ‘product of evil’ while he mocked health measures and stepped up attacks. In East Africa the arrival of a second invasion of ravenous young locusts, spawned in Ethiopia, is feared to be twenty times more severe than the plague that devastated crops in January. Iran is facing major challenges. Its slow response to the pandemic, lack of transparency, and absence of an exit strategy, together with the US sanctions and the fall of oil prices, have compromised its healthcare system, its economic situation, and the daily lives of its people.