July 2019: Nepal was lashed by heavy rains for days in July, with the capital Kathmandu and the country's east hit hardest by the disasters. News reports some 200 people killed in India, Nepal and Bangladesh; hundreds of families have been displaced and thousands of families are badly affected by the heavy rains, especially in eastern Nepal. Local government and organizations like BIC Welfare Society Nepal in partnership with MCC Nepal are involved in rescuing people and providing relief. Some BIC Nepal church members in villages are also badly affected by the heavy rains. Pray that God may keep them from further damage from more rains and also provide for the urgent needs of the flood victims.
July 2019: Praise God for travelling mercies as MWC regional representatives and officers visit member churches to encourage them and foster greater relationship between Anabaptist-Mennonite churches. Praise God for a fruitful visit between MWC vice president Rebecca Osiro from Kenya and the neighbouring bishops of Kanisa Mennonite Tanzania in May 2019.
July 2019: Mennonitische Hilfswerk, a relief and development organization of the German Mennonites, is involved in the Sea Eye rescue work on the Mediterranean. Praise God for the support the churches are giving to the crisis response. Pray for the safety of the migrants and the rescuers who have difficult circumstances.
June 2019: Praise the Lord for the emerging Global Anabaptist Peace Network (GAPN) that will connect and encourage members of Anabaptist peace organizations in their common work. Pray for a rich time of learning and relationship building at the second annual Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference and Festival in the Netherlands in June 2019. Pray also for wisdom and discernment as the MWC Commissions meet before this event.
June 2019: We are one body: if one part of the body is joyful, the entire body rejoices; if one part of the body suffers, the entire body suffers. For more than two years, Burkina Faso has been going through very trying times due to terrorist attacks. The attacks targeted the institutions of the State, then civilians, traditional chiefs, imams, and for the past three weeks the attacks have targeted Christian religious communities. Pray that faith communities will continue to live in peace. Pray that God will transform the hearts of those who engage in such violence.
—A message from Deacon Commission chair and Burkina Faso Mennonite church leader Siaka Traoré
June 2019: We thank God for the explosion of the church after Pentecost. The power of God is made evident in Jesus, Lord and Saviour, whom death on a cross could not conquer. The same message takes on different nuances when expressed in each language. Yet, it is still the same message. Lord, continue to pour out your Spirit on the church as you did in Pentecost!
June 2019: Pray for Omar Guzman, his family, and his church. Omar Guzman is moderator of the New York City Council of Mennonite Churches, pastor at Evangelical Garifuna Church of Manhattan, and in charge of church multiplication for LMC, an MWC member church. He was denied re-entry into the USA, separating him from his family and his congregation. Praise God for continuing opportunities to train gospel servants for the community while waiting in Honduras. Pray for those who are working hard to collect documents for his case.
May 2019: Orthodox churches in Syria and Lebanon still suffer from the April 2013 abduction of the two Metropolitans of Aleppo, Archbishop Boulos (Yazigi) from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, and Archibishop Mor Youhanna Gregorios (Ibrahim) from the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East. Since their disappearance, the church has received no news about these men who demonstrated the love of Christ for all persons. Pray for the safe return of the archbishops to their churches, their communities and their families, as a sign of hope for all the Christians of Syria and the region.
May 2019: Pray for India and Bangladesh which are affected by Cyclone Fani which made landfall 3 May 2019. Mass evacuation of coastal regions reduced the death toll but many thousands return to destroyed homes and businesses. BIC Churches in Odisha are heavily affected with electricity outages and food shortages. There is acute need of drinking water, food supplies and electricity.
April 2019: “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” - John 12:24. Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed. In our Anabaptist communion of churches around the globe, we join with all Christians to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and thank God for Jesus’ sacrifice to reconcile us to God and each other.
April 2019: Praise God for drawing together Anabaptist-related churches into a communion (koinonia) linked to one another in a worldwide community of faith for fellowship, worship, service and witness. Leaders of the MWC Executive Committee met in Costa Rica to discern how we can continue to operate well together as churches in the world. Thank God for the hospitality of Asociación Iglesias Cristianas Menonitas de Costa Rica who hosted the Renewal 2027 event commemorating 500 years of Anabaptism.
March 2019: Pray for the more than 2 million people affected by Cyclone Idai that swept over the eastern part of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe in what the UN is calling possibly the worst disaster to hit the region. Flood waters continued to rise days after landfall, causing increasing numbers of deaths, displaced people and spread of disease. “We thank God the church all around has risen in the midst of the emergency and is doing all it can to collect needed items for survival of the victims,” says MWC Southern Africa regional representative Barbara Nkala.
March 2019: Several MWC staff are in transition, undergoing relocation, health challenges, and responding to serious needs in family life. Pray that these leaders would rely on the Holy Spirit as they serve the global church and be strengthened and encouraged in their personal challenges.
March 2019: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). May Anabaptist churches in Canada and the USA remain connected to Jesus as they live out the ethic of the kingdom of God in their local neighbourhoods.
March 2019: Praise God for the growth of Uganda Mennonite Church among people with financial struggles in cities and peri-urban areas. May the Holy Spirit guide the leaders as they seek “partner churches or individuals to stand with us in some of our voluminous challenges,” says bishop Okoth Simon Onyango. “May God sustain us together.”
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February 2019: As YAMENers continue to serve the Lord, pray for them, that they would always remember that the fear of the Lord is foundation of true knowledge. Pray for spiritual wisdom, and guidance on their journey, and that the seeds they have planted would produce good fruit. May the Lord empower them with inner strength through Holy Spirit. — submitted by Molula Motuba, YAMEN participant from Lesotho, serving in Cambodia.
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February 2019: Praise God that the election in DR Congo took place after one week’s delay. Pray for a peaceful, just and fair transfer of power. The people are also suffering from an outbreak of Ebola, and a food shortage; pray that the new government would have the resources and wisdom to respond well. Pray for MWC member churches Communauté des Églises Frères Mennonites au Congo, Communauté Évangélique Mennonite, Communauté Mennonite au Congo as they seek to be faithful worshippers of Jesus in their hearts and their actions.
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January 2019: “We are in prayer and covet prayer from friends everywhere. Suffering has gone on for too long. Something has to give." MWC regional Representative for Southern Africa Barbara Nkala reports that police and citizens are clashing in Zimbabwe in violent demonstrations sparked by high fuel prices added to continuing economic challenges. Communication is limited. As our many Brethren in Christ brothers and sisters in this country struggle with difficult living conditions every day, pray for the courage to stand for peace and witness for justice.
January 2019: God, the creator and sustainer, strengthen the church in Indonesia for to be stewards of God’s creation there. Over half a year, the archipelago was struck with tsunamis in Lombok, Sulawesi and Sumatra and a landslide in West Java, killing more than 2,000 people with thousands more missing. Praise God the Mennonite churches (GKMI) in Sumatra were able to aid affected communities, and that MDS (Mennonite Diakonia Service) sent teams to isolated islands. Praise God also for a good response from the government. As the churches, with the help of MDS, responds to disasters in Indonesia, showing compassion through preparation, response and prevention, may the three Mennonite synods work together as people driven by hope, grace and peace that comes from God.
January 2019: Pray that MWC members who are suffering persecution and hardship may have the courage and hope to persevere.
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January 2019: Dear Lord, as we enter this new year, steady our hearts to spread the gospel of peace. May we follow your Spirit as we work for transformation and justice in this world.
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