Latest prayer points
Across China the enforcement of religious regulations is having more and more impact. Education is a major target. School students and their parents are being told that religion will harm their education. University students are being given questionnaires which ask about religious activity, and Christians are told their graduation may be at risk. Some recent graduates have had job offers taken back once the applicant has indicated that they are a Christian. Pray that these young Christians will be willing to trust God in these circumstances. Pray they will have peace and be able to witness to God’s provision and protection. Ask that Christian teachers will know how to continue teaching yet also be faithful to their beliefs.
In September 2018, a devastating earthquake and tsunami shook the coast of Palu in Central Sulawesi, resulting in over 4,000 deaths. Thousands lost their homes. Since then the rebuilding has been taking place and one Christian radio station in Palu has been reaching out to the local community, providing food packs and installing ten new clean water wells. The station has also been distributing solar-powered radios to provide information, comfort, healing and hope through its broadcasts. Pray that this witness will impact many as the community rebuilds.
In Eastern Shan, Myanmar, many people diagnosed with leprosy are forced to live hand to mouth surviving on subsistence farming. Praise God for the success of the new system of ‘Rice Intensification’, a method to improve rice yields. Pray that many people will benefit from this training and for the success of other income generating crops such as rubber and star beans. Pray too for the success of ‘Lunch for Leprosy’, a fundraising opportunity for supporters to share food together, raising funds to help people affected by leprosy.
St John’s University in Taiwan faces an increasingly difficult time due to falling admissions as the birth rate has long been declining steadily. As numbers continue to drop, the university tries hard to reassess, reinvent, revive and transform itself in order to stay financially viable. Pray for the new bishop of Taiwan, Rev Dr Lennon Yuan-Rung Chang, as he works with the trustees and the university to find a way forward.
Christian Witness to Israel (CWI) has a long heritage of reaching out to Jewish people across the globe. Australia has a Jewish population of 120,000, with an estimated 50,000 of those in New South Wales alone. In addition, many young Israeli backpackers also pass through the area each year. CWI will be reaching out to Jewish people in the Sydney area. Please pray for all the Jewish people that will be reached and that many will turn to Jesus as they hear the Good News proclaimed.
Please pray for people in mission at Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore, where a new 1,500-bed hospital is due to open in January 2020. Please pray for all the necessary planning and administration; for God to provide the right staff as well as all the practicalities that go into running a hospital of a high standard.
Nepal's Chhetri people are predominantly Hindu and speak Nepalese. They have many racial, cultural, and linguistic similarities to the people of northern India. Their domestic and religious practices are also patterned after the caste system found in India. They are mostly found in rural areas and depend on farming to make a living. Very few of the Chhetri in Nepal know Jesus. There are only 6,000 believers amongst the 4.1 million Chhetri. Christianity is looked at as a foreign religion. New believers are considered "untouchables" - the caste with whom you do not mix. Baptism is considered the ultimate proof of conversion, and the person performing the baptism can face up to a six-year prison term. Pray that God will encourage and strengthen those who have converted to Christianity. Ask the Holy Spirit to open the hearts of the Chhetri towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the gospel. Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Chhetri.
Our Leprosy Mission partner in Sri Lanka, Reverend Joshua Sivagnam, recently attended a ten-week farming and training course in the UK. This special training teaches people from the developing world how to ‘grow their way out of poverty.’ Pray that Revd. Joshua will have many opportunities to share these new skills in Sri Lanka. Pray too that people affected by leprosy will be blessed as they learn how to develop sustainable food sources.
Christians (indeed any non-Muslims) are marginalised because of their faith, often forced to work at menial jobs such as in brick kilns or as domestic servants. A good education for their children is hard to find, and they are vulnerable to accusations of blasphemy purely to settle personal scores. Victims can be imprisoned for years before their cases are resolved and if they are exonerated there is no guarantee they won’t be targeted by extremists. For some like Asia Bibi, who spent eight years on death row after being convicted of blasphemy, a charge later overturned by the Supreme Court, their only option is to leave the country. For those who convert to Christianity the risks are greater, as they are rejected by family and friends and can be forced into hiding. Pray for protection, justice and provision for Christians in Pakistan.
The Dohnavur Fellowship is a Christian organisation that works towards holistic development running projects across the areas of child development, education, health care, community development and conservation of nature as a home for rescued children. Please pray for the right children to be brought to the Dohnavur Fellowship. Pray also about the stringent regulations for children’s homes in India and for help for our leaders in complying with all of these.