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Faith through football

30. Japan

Football projects are helping teens build selfconfidence, self-worth, a sense of belonging
and connecting them with godly role models in
certain areas of Southeast Asia. Pray for one
football project that is coming alongside heavily
drug-affected communities. Pray for
opportunities for Christian workers to share the
Good News with coaches and families involved.

There is a need for effective training for

Christians, whether formally in Bible College or
through other more flexible or less formal
training. Pray that those with appropriate
leadership and teaching gifts would have
courage to come forward for training and pray
that effective programs for them would emerge.
Thank the lord for a number of new training
initiatives in recent years. Pray that the new
Tokyo-based Samurai project will be really
effective in producing a steady stream of young
men and women disciples of Jesus who will
influence all corners of Japanese society for
him. Pray that all Japanese believers would find
the encouragement, training and equipping they
need in order to use their gifts in the Lord's
service for his glory. (Japan Christian Link)

28. Mongolia
A spring training school run by our Mongolian
Missions partners is currently in full swing with
13 students. The term ends in mid-May. They
have plans in place to reach out to Buriad
Mongols living outside Mongolia. Scouting trips
have already taken place for this new work to
communities in both China and Russia. The
Buriads (Buryats) are a Mongolian sub-group
that has emigrated and resettled elsewhere
over time. They are the primary people group
now in Siberia. Please pray this month for the
Buriad people, scattered in some of the worlds
least-hospitable environments. (AsiaLink)
29. China
Please pray for courage and protection for
human rights lawyers who still operate in China
despite government harassment. Pray for a
change in the governments attitude to human
rights, particularly freedom of religion or belief.
Pray too for safety for Chinas religious
minorities, especially in light of the crackdown
on human rights lawyers. (Christian Solidarity

May June 2016

31. Burma (Myanmar)

Please pray for Burmas new president, U Htin
Kyaw, as he takes office as the first civilian
president in over 50 years. Pray for wisdom for
Aung San Suu Kyi in her capacity as Burmas
new Foreign Minister and the ruling partys
state counsellor. Ask God to strengthen and
encourage political prisoners who are paying
such a high price for expressing their views,
and that restrictive laws on freedom of religion
or belief would be repealed before they can
further harm freedom of religion or belief in
Burma. Pray that this time of transition would
mark the beginning of a new era of peace,
thanking God for the changes that have already
taken place in Burma. (Christian Solidarity

Our prayers are with you

Have you noticed how popular prayer has
become with many of our world leaders? After
the latest atrocity, natural disaster or personal
misfortune we are told that our prayers are with
you. I wonder what the content of these prayers
are and even more importantly who is being
prayed to? Fortunately, the letters of Paul give
us help in thinking about the object and the
content of our prayers.
Colossians is a good example. When Paul
writes in Colossians 1:3 that he is praying for
the believers in Colossae he also identifies who
he is praying to. He is praying to the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. No-one else
will do if these prayers are to be effective.
Later on in Colossians 1:9 he talks about the
content of his prayers for them. He prays that
they would be filled with the knowledge of Gods
will through spiritual discernment. Then he
gives a reason for this. What is it? It is that they
might live a life pleasing to God and one that
bears fruit. Surely qualities that anyone involved
in discipleship around the world would
The reference to pleasing God clues us into a
theme that is becoming crucial in our
understanding of cross-cultural mission. That is
that much of the Bible and many of the people
around the world relate to a shame and honour
culture more than anything else. The idea of

Vol 61 No 3

22. Nepal (1)

living to please God is central to this cultural

understanding. Our gratitude (another important
theme in Colossians 1:3,12, 2:7,3:15, 4:2) is
shown by honouring the Lord Jesus Christ above
all in the way that we live our lives. Colossians
1:19 shows us this source of honour. It is that it
pleased the living God to have all of his fullness
embodied in the Lord Jesus Christ so that he
might bring a full and utter reconciliation. No
wonder Colossians links prayer with
thankfulness. There are other passages that
show what a life pleasing to God might look like.
Consider 1 Timothy 2:1-3 where we find that the
discipline of praying for the politicians and the
leaders of our nations is pleasing to God. 1
Thessalonians 4:1 shows clearly that the major
substance of Pauls teaching to them was
instructing them how to live in such a way that is
pleasing to God. Paul then outlines how that
might work out in the area of sexuality. Hebrews
11:6 shows that without faith it is impossible to
please God. Perhaps the final word comes from
1 John 3:22. Living like this gives us confidence
before God and makes our prayers effective
because they are moulded by pleasing God.
Maybe the next time prayer is invoked publicly
we can ask for more specific explanations of
what is actually meant?

Editor: Annie Davies

Chris Wigram
ECM International

Hon. Editor: Martin Lee

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Company number 3886596. Charity number 1081966

25th April marked the first anniversary of the

devastating earthquake in Nepal. Give thanks
for the work of our partner Good Friends of
Nepal to assist shattered communities; for
families who have been provided with new
homes both temporary and longer-term; and for
the recent lifting of fuel blockades which
exacerbated the already difficult conditions in
the country. (WorldShare)
23. Central Asia
In many of the stan countries of Central Asia
churches find it impossible to register and
Christians are monitored by the state, by
Islamic clergy, and by neighbourhood
committees. Conversion to Christianity is
prohibited and believers experience physical
abuse and attacks on their meeting places and
homes. Government healthcare exists but it is
rudimentary, so in a rural valley in one of these
countries a Christian medical outreach is
establishing itself with two medical caravans
planned for this year. Pray that these isolated
communities will be impacted as the love of
God is demonstrated through basic primary
care. (Reach Beyond)
24. Pakistan
Pray for protection for the vulnerable Christian
minority in Pakistan in the wake of the suicide
bomb attack in Lahore on Easter Sunday. One
man whose son was killed told Release: We
have no more tears. Although the attack was
deliberately targeted at Christians a number of
Muslims were killed. Pray for all the bereaved,
injured and traumatised, that all would know
Gods healing touch. More than 70 were killed
and 350 injured. On the same day thousands of
Islamist extremists demonstrated in the capital
demanding the execution of Asia Bibi, a
Christian whose appeal against the death
sentence for blasphemy is pending in the

Supreme Court. Pray Asias appeal would

succeed and that the widely misused
blasphemy laws would be repealed. (Release
25. India
Kavita is a lady wrapped in a colourful Sari but
who speaks little and rarely looks anyone in the
face. How did a girl from Bangladesh wind up in
Mumbai, making a living from sex work? It
wasnt her intention, this wasnt how her life was
meant to work out. But the aunts she trusted
sold her and people she didnt know trafficked
her. So now shes here in a seedy slum with
just one way to survive. Aesha believes in these
women, that they can have a different life, that
they can have a hope and a future (Jeremiah
29:11). She and her colleagues work hard to
build the womens confidence and skills so that
they can find alternative work. Pray for her
organisation Sahaara, that they will lead many
women to freedom in Christ. (Tearfund)
26. Nepal (2)
Many people are still living in temporary
shelters or unsafe buildings, as their homes
were damaged or destroyed during the
earthquakes of 2015. People are making do
with their situation, children are returning to
school and crops are being planted again.
Praise God for the strength and resourcefulness
he has given Nepali people to endure so far,
and that buildings such as health posts are
being rebuilt bringing opportunities for improved
health care locally. Please pray that houses
would start to be rebuilt soon once the
Government has finalised the plans for
earthquake-resistant designs, and that
vulnerable people would be protected during
the monsoon season which starts around the
end of May. This season often sees more
landslides occur due to heavy rains which
unsettle the land. (INF)

17. Ecuador
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake which hit the
coastal area of Ecuador in April cost many lives
and left thousands of people homeless. As the
relief and re-construction efforts continue one
Christian radio station in Guayaquil has been a
lifeline for many. HCJB-2 has been serving the
people of western Ecuador for decades and
was therefore in a strategic position to send out
messages of help and advice throughout the
recent crisis. Pray for the rebuilding efforts and
for those who have lost loved ones. Also
remember HCJB-2 as they try to be the voice of
Jesus to people in great need. (Reach Beyond)
18. Nicaragua
Bethel Hope Centre in Rivas, Nicaragua,
provides a safe place for children to be fed
spiritually and physically. Part of Strider Iona
Tattersalls job at Bethel involves trips to the
local rubbish dump. After four months, I still
find it shocking, seeing children of all ages
working on the dump, many wading through the
rubbish without any shoes and playing in it
nonchalantly. They are with their families,
trying to eke out a living by searching for
materials such as plastic, cardboard or metal
which they can sell on for very little. They work
in sweltering conditions among the festering
and combusting waste without good shoes,
gloves or masks. A weekly outreach takes
sandwiches to the dump as a way of getting to
know the people there. Pray for good
conversations and for Gods compassion to
change hearts. (Latin Link)
19. Guatemala
A group of North American students and three
Guatemalan doctors set off bright and early
every morning in a bus to one of the villages (up
to one-and-a-half hours away) and set up their
mobile clinic. The doctors will do their best to
diagnose and counsel without the luxury of

further tests, then send the patients to a little

pharmacy, which consists of a range of basic
medication. The volunteers all fundraised at
home which means that the patients can get
their medication for free; a real luxury for
Guatemalans! Pray that this medical care will
have a continued impact on the community,
bringing healing to many and sharing Gods love
with them. (Latin Link)
20. Peru
Aylambo is a small village on top of a mountain
in northern Peru. The landscape is fantastic, but
most of the population live in very basic
conditions. The children in the school however
are very happy. We are learning English, they
said with bright eyes. In Peru, only private
schools teach English but in Aylambo, thanks to
a Tearfund volunteer programme, the children
are learning three languages (Quechua,
Spanish and English). It will give them a
significant advantage for the future. Give thanks
that our partner Warmis is helping the people of
Aylambo realise their Christ-centred vision for a
poverty-free future. Pray God will quench the
thirst for learning shared by young and older
alike, and that this helps overcome the
disadvantages suffered as a result of inequality.
21. Venezuela
Join us as we continue to pray for the political,
economic and social situation that affects the
whole country. If you are following the news,
you know that there are continuing struggles
that only God can remedy. You may not know
this, but the supply of foreign currency is statecontrolled. There have been no funds released
to CLC Venezuela in over a year, and they
urgently require US dollars to pay suppliers.
Please pray for government changes that open
new opportunities for Venezuelans in Gods
world mission. (CLC)

1. Lebanon/Syria

3. Iran

Eight million children are estimated to be in

urgent need of assistance inside Syria and
neighbouring countries due to conflict. Viva is
working alongside local Lebanese NGO,
LSESD, and its networks of church partners in
Syria and Lebanon, to develop child-focused
programmes. Please pray for the development
of child friendly spaces safe places for
children to come every day where they can
play, learn and receive support and for the
growing number of informal education projects.
In todays world of often unpredictable and longlasting conflicts, churches are willing to be
involved in caring for children and their families
for the long-term. This is critically needed right
now. Pray that leaders will be encouraged in
tough circumstances and that refugee children
would rediscover a joy, peace and hope. (Viva)

During the recent Persian New Year (Norouz)

outreach in a country near Iran, an Iranian
family was given New Testaments by a team of
street evangelists. The family excitedly declared
that they had been searching for the Scriptures
inside Iran for a long time without success.
Following a deep conversation, the whole family
gave their lives to Christ right there on the
street. They have returned home to Iran, taking
the gospel with them. Pray for new believers to
be discipled and connected to a house church
in Iran. (Elam)

2. Sudan
Like so many other Sudanese people groups,
the Gaaliin follow the Islamic faith, and are
generally very committed Sunni Muslims. Only
a small percentage of the Gaaliin have been
exposed to the gospel in a positive way. This
has mainly been accomplished through
penetrations by Sudanese believers into the
Gaaliin areas. Churches comprised of Southern
Sudanese members and evangelistic
outreaches led by national Christian groups
have helped reach the Gaaliin. They are a
people who are critical in reaching the whole of
Sudan, for they are the pulse of the cities and a
key stone in breaking through the Islamic grip
that holds the nation of Sudan. Ask God to
strengthen, encourage and protect the small
number of Sudanese Arab believers. Pray that
fear of persecution from Islamic relatives will not
hinder Sudanese Arabs as they consider the
Gospel. (Frontiers)

4. Lebanon
Please pray for Lebanon as local communities
are feeling overwhelmed by the number of
refugees from Syria (at least 1.9 million in a
country whose population is normally 4 million).
Many churches and organisations are trying to
do what they can to provide emergency support
but now, 5 years on, there is a growing feeling
among some Lebanese that Syrians are taking
over, primarily because many of them will work
for a lower wage than Lebanese people and
putting the poorer Lebanese out of work. Pray
that churches would continue to respond and
show God's unconditional love, and that
relations between the host and refugee
community would be peaceful and integrated
and not cause unrest and conflict. (Embrace the
Middle East)
5. Middle East
Its not everyday that you hear a strong
declaration of faith in Christ from someone
raised in a Muslim majority country. But Hosni
contacted the media team via WhatsApp with
this urgent request for spiritual support: I
believe that Jesus is God I need to know
more about Jesus and the Bible. Pray that
social media will continue to be a safe outlet for
Muslims to seek Jesus. (AWM Pioneers)

6. Spain

9. Belgium

11. Kenya

14. Niger

The Basque region stretches through northern

Spain, across the Pyrenees and into France.
They have a highly distinctive culture and
language. Despite a tradition of Catholicism,
Basques are often antagonistic towards the
church. Pray for a Spirit-inspired breakthrough
among the Basques, that Jesus might be
encountered in a powerful new way. Pray that
Basque worship songs written by local believers
will draw Basque people to Jesus. (WEC

An outreach initiative took place throughout

Belgium during March called Project 3-16. ECM
worker Holly got a choir together in her church
that sang gospel songs in the city centre. Pray
that throughout the country people will respond
positively to the message of John 3:16. An ECM
holiday club last Summer (called Overleieclub
after the name of the neighbourhood) was a
success, so a mini-Overleieclub was organised
this year for the Easter holidays. Please pray
that children from the neighbourhood who were
touched by the Christian atmosphere will accept
Jesus as their saviour. (ECM Britain)

Peter was arrested during a police raid and put

in prison to await trial. Unlike the majority of his
fellow remandees, he has a copy of the sheet
detailing the charges against him. However like
many, Peter is unable to read so he wasnt able
to spot that the person named on the charge
sheet as responsible for the offence is not him just someone who has a similar sounding first
name. Thankfully for Peter, LCF advocates were
able to spot this and advise him on how to
address the judge in order to secure his release.
Pray for the ongoing work of liberation through
LCF. (Lawyers Christian Fellowship)

Pray for The Leprosy Missions project in the

Dosso and Tillabri regions of Niger. Pray that
TLMs holistic approach will help to empower
people affected by leprosy and other disabilities
in those communities and that they will fully
engage with the work. Give thanks for the
awareness raising about leprosy disease that
has already been carried out. This will help to
reduce stigma and educate people on the need
to come forward for early treatment to prevent
disability. (The Leprosy Mission)

10. United Kingdom (2)

12. Malawi

Word Alive is a Christian holiday week away in

North Wales. Word Alive features a dedicated
series of seminars just for international students
- which helps explain and explore the Christian
faith. Hundreds of internationals go to Word
Alive every year and it is always an enjoyable
and fun week away! During the weeks and
months after Word Alive, international students
will face challenges of living out their faith
especially often when they return home. Pray
that what they have learnt would not be lost and
that they can build on their spiritual growth.
Pray for those especially that will become
Christians as a result of attending Word Alive.
Pray that young faith would be protected.
(Friends International)

Nthorowa Health Centre is one of six centres

run by the Zambezi Evangelical Church (ZEC) in
Malawi. The reductions in infant mortality have
been rare success stories in Malawis recent
history, partly attributed to the services provided
by faith-based groups such as ZEC. But the
future of such services is under threat. Cash
flow at health centres is a major problem; the
government of Malawi has reportedly failed to
honour its financial commitments. Please pray
that God would provide for the future needs of
ZECs health facilities, so that they would be
able to continue to run their compassion ministry
for years to come. (Zambesi Mission)

7. United Kingdom (1)

Torch Trust provides accessible Christian
literature to people with sight loss via its free
postal lending library and large catalogue of
books for purchase. Torch is continually
seeking to broaden its available catalogue and
is working with Christian publishers and
bookshops to achieve this. Please pray for
these partnerships that they may flourish and
serve those who need them. Pray for the
readers for whom reading material can be a
true lifeline and a link to the world outside.
(Torch Trust)
8. Macedonia
Pray for WorldShares work with our long-term
local Macedonian partners to help refugees and
migrants trapped at Macedonias southern
border with Greece, and northern border with
Serbia. Thousands of people fleeing conflict in
Syria have been unable to proceed across nowclosed borders, thwarting their attempts to
move towards their desired destinations further
north and west in Europe. Pray for a quick and
just resolution to the largest movement of
displaced peoples in Europe since World War II.

13. Ghana
Five million people in southern Ghana depend
on water from three great rivers which rise in
Atewa Range Forest Reserve. Mining and illegal
logging threaten the quality of the water needed
for domestic, agricultural and industrial
purposes. These activities also impact the
wildlife in this unique tropical forest. Pray for
forest-fringe communities as they seek to find
new ways of using their natural resources
without over-exploitation. (A Rocha

15. Madagascar
Transformation development taught in
Madagascar is based on the biblical foundation
of Romans 12:2, Do not conform to the pattern
of this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind. Praise God that many
participants have understood that development
starts with themselves, and that the principles
are empowering them and their families. Pray
that the 170 local leaders who have received
the training would begin to apply Biblical
principles day to day. (AIM)
16. Tanzania
Emmanuel International is helping the church in
Pawaga, Tanzania, to assist victims of the
floods which occurred in February. Families
food supplies were destroyed when flood
waters washed away the crops. Thanks to
donations already given to this appeal, food
was delivered to the church and distributed.
One of the victims who received supplies was
the mother of Amina, a baby girl who was
miraculously born on a termite mound while her
family awaited rescue from the flood. We thank
God that baby Amina is doing well, but her
family is currently homeless. Please pray for
families affected by the flooding as they are
rebuilding their lives and for the local church
supporting them. (Emmanuel International)