The Bank of England has raised interest rates to 1.75%, the biggest rise in 25 years, as it predicts an even higher peak in inflation of 13%. It fears inflationary pressures are becoming ‘more persistent and broadening’. Many companies have been successfully raising prices which will push up consumer costs in the shops. The latest rise in gas prices has led to another significant deterioration in the financial outlook as the UK is now projected to enter recession. The bank has forecast that the UK economy will start shrinking in the fourth quarter of this year, and then keep contracting through next year. That would be the longest recession since after the 2008 financial crisis. The bank also points to the UK’s ‘tight’ labour market - a signal that it is worried about a wage-price spiral, as workers seek pay rises to help with the worst cost of living crisis in decades.
After the driest July since 1935, hosepipe bans will be introduced in Kent and Sussex on 12 August and Hampshire and the Isle of Wight on the 5th. England has been moved into ‘prolonged dry weather’ status (the stage before a drought). Restrictions mean people cannot use hosepipes or anything that connects to an outside tap. Breaking the rules could lead to a £1,000 fine. Water UK said people use twice as much water as they did sixty years ago. Supplies must not be taken for granted. To avoid further bans people could collect water from baths, washing up, and cooking, known as grey water. Water used for cooking vegetables is nutritious for plants. Cutting off the end of a plastic bottle creates a funnel to channel water to the roots of plants, avoiding wastage. People can also reuse paddling pool water, wash dogs outside, and fill ponds with rainwater.
Sanctioned Russian oligarchs from Putin's inner circle have exploited a UK secrecy loophole left open by the Government. They use a type of company which does not need to identify its real owners known as an English Limited Partnerships (ELP). ELPs are also linked to fraud, terrorism and money laundering. Since 2017 over 4,500 have been set up to dodge anti-money laundering laws which require the real owners to be disclosed. Pray for the UK Economic Crime Programme, police and government to make ELPs illegal. Meanwhile Shell Plc has given employees a ‘Special Recognition Award’, equivalent to 8% of their annual salary, after recording profits for a second consecutive quarter thanks to soaring oil and gas prices and legally strong refining margins. The one-time payment will be made to most of Shell’s 82,000 employees. Shell said the award was not a response to the rising cost of living. See
Since the USSR broke up, Ukrainians have experienced freedom and democracy, but more importantly they have experienced freedom to preach the good news, resulting in masses of people being saved and many church plants. Ukraine is also a door for the Gospel to other, surrounding nations. Pray for the door to stay open and fulfil the command to ‘go into the world and preach the Gospel’. Pray for the work of Operation Mobilisation in Ukraine as it connects humanitarian aid with those in need. Pray particularly for traumatised displaced children who are receiving small stuffed baby tigers, with a pocket that holds an mp3 player of 38 recordings in Ukrainian for 3- to 11-year-olds. The stories point them to Father God and Jesus, with an emphasis on trauma relief. Please pray for God’s anointing on a team of youth workers in Vinnytsia organising six-day camps for traumatised children during August.
Ten people in Berdyansk, Ukraine, have been taken captive by Russian militia groups. They were kidnapped while helping evacuate residents from the southern port city, which Russia occupies. The captives include several Orphan's Promise (OP) volunteers, a driver, and an elderly couple who are the parents of a pastor who works with OP. Their whereabouts are unknown. These militia groups are known for their cruelty, especially to volunteers helping Ukrainians. Terry Meeuwsen, the founder of OP said, ‘We have no idea where this team is. We don't know if they're alive. We don't know if they're being cared for. We just have no idea. Being treated well has not been the traditional response by the Russians.’
Lockdown, confinement, violence, and isolation is the daily reality for hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities around the world. Many are locked in sheds, cages, or tethered to trees and are forced to eat, sleep, urinate, and defecate in the same tiny area, sometimes for years at a time. Why? Simply because they have a psychosocial disability (mental health condition). This inhumane practice called ‘shackling’ occurs because of the widespread stigma surrounding mental health, and a lack of access to adequate support services, both for those with disabilities and for their families. Hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children - some as young as ten - have been shackled at least once in their lives in over sixty countries. In 2020 #BreakTheChains published a ground-breaking report exposing the global scale of chaining, and in Kenya, achieved a ruling which found that this practice was inhumane and held the people responsible to account.
Attacking families is one of the best ways for Satan to ruin a nation - and in Chile, marriages are under serious spiritual attack. Domestic abuse is a social plague. Around 35% of Chilean women have suffered physical or sexual violence by a partner or spouse. The emotional and physical pain wounds all members of the family. If husbands and wives began loving and honouring one another as Christ loves the Church, it could transform neighbourhoods, cities, and even the whole nation. The Chilean people are overwhelmingly Christian in name - roughly 60% Catholic and 20% Evangelical. But church attendances are dwindling, and claims of faith tend to be based in culture rather than relationship with Jesus Christ. Crime, drug abuse, and materialism are increasing. One in seven women are mothers by the age of 14. During Pinochet’s rule the Church ignored the needy people. There will soon be an election for a controversial new constitution.
India has 18% of the world’s population, but only 4% of its water resources. It is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. Many face high to extreme water stress; depending on an increasingly erratic monsoon for water requirements increases this challenge. Climate change is likely to exacerbate this pressure on water resources, as the frequency and intensity of floods and droughts increases. Currently the World Bank is engaged in various aspects of water resource management and the supply of drinking water and sanitation services across the country. Also, prime minister Narendra Modi has launched the Jal Jeevan (water is life) Mission, which aims to bring tap water to every Indian home by 2024. Millions of households have benefited from the programme so far. But with just two years left before the deadline, millions are still waiting, and people living in rural areas travel miles on foot, across harsh terrain, to collect water from sources that are not always clean.