Cases of COVID-19 are surging in Indonesia after many people travelled and gathered in groups to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Jakarta and Central Java have been particularly affected. Entire households are being infected and many young people require hospitalization. Members of Mennonite congregations have been infected, so church services are fully online again. Many hospitals are at capacity; oxygen supplies for patients are also running low. Pray that this situation will not drag on causing economic and emotional depression. Pray for the government: may their hard work result in many vaccinations quickly, and may the community be disciplined in following health protocols to protect everyone.
Pray for peace and stability of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. We strongly request your prayers for our brothers and sisters in Tigray and Metekel areas. They need our support to heal from the trauma and rehabilitate. Pray for brothers and sisters who are persecuted because of their faith in some parts of the country. Pray for funds to rehabilitate people affected by natural and human-made crisis in different parts of the country.
—Meserete Kristos Church
The death toll has risen to the highest level in Burma’s Kalemyo, which is suffering from the third wave of covid.
Pray for Myanmar which is suffering a severe third wave of COVID-19 amid continuing political unrest after a government coup several months ago. A pastor reports 63 Christian pastors have died in Kalemyo including two from the small national Mennonite church. There is a severe oxygen shortage. “People are suffering because of the civil war and dying of COVID,” writes the pastor, whose name is withheld for safety reasons.
Photo: Empty oxygen tanks in Kalemyo, Myanmar
May our hearts and souls hold all of our global brothers and sisters in prayerful attendance while each of us struggles with the realities and consequences not only of the pandemic but of severe and violent oppression, economic disruption etc.
May our hearts and souls be opened to the small everyday miracles and huge kindnesses in the world directly surrounding us.
May our hearts and souls be filled with patience and gentleness towards all the people working so hard to help ease our way out of this pandemic.
May our churches find new and hopeful ways of being church in a world that changes rapidly.
May our focus be not on quantity but on quality, on gentle kindness instead of targets, on prayerful silence instead of barricades.
Farmer God who brings forth life from the earth,
We lift up to you the women and men whose livelihoods grow from the soil.
- For those unsettled by a changing climate;
- For those who wrestle when land stewardship and market realities clash;
- For those who find joy in farming but have no land;
- For those who have land and skills but lack markets and successors.
- And for those who have no access to fresh, healthy food.
Christ who knelt in the dust,
We offer the broken places in our food system to your healing touch.
—Jennifer Halteman Schrock, a member of the Creation Care Task Force.
Pray for the emerging Mennonite Brethren conference in Ukraine (Association of Mennonite Brethren Churches in Ukraine – AMBCU).
Pray for the churches and for the small groups doing Bible studies and worship.
The churches are also meeting on Zoom.
Pray for those that are suffering from the virus. Pray for people suffering economically and the churches distributing food.
In the USA particularly, where racial injustice is a daily reality, may church members to engage in costly peacemaking, rooted in radical discipleship, seeking to dismantle systems of oppression anywhere we witness them.
Reports from church leaders in Southern Africa
- Praise God for good rains. Most families will have enough food from their own fields this year.
- Let us pray for peace before, during and after upcoming elections in Zambia.
- BIC Church Zimbabwe is planning to hold District Councils in May 2021. Pray also for the BICC Zimbabwe General Conference this year to become a reality this year (Proverbs 16:3).
- Pray for the BIC church school students and all the schools in Zimbabwe to be protected from COVID-19 infection (Psalms 91: 9-10).
- Pray for profitability in the church business units as they begin to recover after the lockdown.
- We thank the Lord that BICC South Africa managed to get a piece of land.
We pray for healthy development of congregations, renewal where faith or togetherness has become encrusted, and good handling of conflicts where disputes have taken place.
Differences regarding COVID-19 compliance have caused disagreement between church members. Pray that the leaders of the church have wisdom to act wisely so the unity can be saved.
COVID-19 and the missed opportunities to meet in presence are changing congregations. Pray with us, that congregations will emerge stronger from these times
Waves of infection, an extra-contagious variant, high deaths have resulted in a humanitarian crisis in Brazil. Pray for Anabaptist-Mennonite churches struggling with reduced finances to continue to show love to their neighbours. Pray for wisdom about how to hold church services in a low-risk manner.
God delivers the needy when they call,
the poor and those who have no helper. . .
From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
and precious is their blood in his sight.
God of compassion, have mercy on all who are in danger or who live in fear in Colombia.
Soften the hearts of government and military leaders, and turn them away from violence. Protect your people from physical or spiritual harm. Strengthen your church to follow the way of Jesus in these difficult days.
Give followers of the Lamb vision and courage to be ministers of reconciliation.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
In the name of Jesus, Prince of Peace, amen.
J. Nelson Kraybill
President, Mennonite World Conference
|Click here to read the president’s pastoral letter to Anabaptist-Mennonites of Colombia|
Pray for the increased attention of congregation members from the three Mennonite synods in Indonesia to support Assembly 17 in July 2022. Pray for the efforts of Indonesian research centres to produce a COVID-19 vaccine to support the government’s target of reaching 70 percent of the population by the end of 2021.
We thank God for keeping us safe despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Though with challenges, the church has continued worshipping God. We eagerly await being together again.
Pray for spiritual revival of the congregants (Psalm 85:1-6). We pray that the world may know Christ the Saviour.
Pray for wisdom for national church leaders as they give guidance and counsel to the church.
Pray for economic recovery and that government leaders will have the fear of God as they lead so that there will be peace (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
God owns the silver and the gold (Haggai 2:8). Pray for new ways of fundraising for the Lord's work in light of the COVID-19 challenges. May God restore and open up opportunities even during difficult time for his people who people lost incomes.
We have lost church members including the leaders due to COVID-19. Let us pray for comfort, spiritual strength and provision for widows in the church and the families of all the deceased” (James 1:27).
We call upon the Lord for India and for all nations in pandemic distress:
Living God, how long can this tsunami of suffering and death prevail? Reach down from on high to draw your children out of mighty waters.
Bring healing and salvation.
Sustain exhausted pastors, medical staff and other caregivers.
Comfort those who mourn, and supply what each nation needs to come through this torment.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer!
|Click here to read a pastoral letter from the MWC president to Anabaptist-Mennonites of India|
“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice!” (Psalm 130).
We hear accounts of military forces torturing and killing peaceful protesters, raiding houses and destroying property in Myanmar. A democratically elected government has been displaced. COVID-19 has caused suffering and death, and the people of Myanmar now face increased food and fuel costs at a time of high unemployment.
God grant our sisters and brothers strength to follow the way of Jesus, “wise as serpents and gentle as doves” (Matthew 10:16).
Kyrie eleison, Lord have mercy!
Since the military seized power in Myanmar in February, waves of protest have been violently suppressed, with reports of more than 400 citizens killed. Even before the pandemic, poverty affected many households. The political situation has led to even greater economic turmoil, and many households have no financial income. Most church members are in a food crisis.
“Greetings from the crying land of Myanmar,” writes an Anabaptist church leader in Myanmar to the global family. “This is a special request for you to pray for our country, particularly for the vulnerable 400 families of our church people in Yangon and delta region. We believe that prayer can make a difference. God bless you all.”
As a world-wide community of faith and life we transcend boundaries of nationality, race, class, gender and language. We seek to live in the world without conforming to the powers of evil, witnessing to God's grace by serving others, caring for creation, and inviting all people to know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. (Shared Conviction #7)
May God give us wisdom to move forward in the midst of this health emergency and economic and psychological crisis. Peru will hold elections on 11 April 2021. Pray that the process would be transparent and there would be no election fraud. Pray that the new president of our nation and the new congressional leaders would govern with the fear of the Lord.
--submitted by Antonio Garcia, Conferencia Peruana Hermanos Menonitas
Blessed are the meek, Jesus said, for they will inherit the earth.
Lord, may we live out your kingdom in humility and patience.
Blessed are the merciful, Jesus said, for they will receive mercy.
Lord, may we have compassion on each other, especially on those with whom we don’t agree.
Blessed are the peacemakers, Jesus said, for they will be called children of God.
Lord, we desire to be known as your people by our love for all and our ability to walk calmly into conflict seeking to understand and transform.
Lord, teach us to be your salt amid divisions, especially those within churches and families, and to be your illuminating justice, especially where there is systemic discrimination against those who are poor or people of colour.
The Mennonite churches in Indonesia are looking forward to hosting Anabaptist brothers and sisters from around the world. Pray for the fundraising team to find solutions to close the budget gap in the fundraising efforts for Global Youth Summit (GYS) and Assembly 17.
Pray also for acceleration of the COVID-19 vaccination process to help the country be free of the virus before the end of 2021. Pray for the Indonesian government to make wise choices about prioritization and procurement.
Lord, your have formed your people with diversity within the body of Christ. Yet this gift sometimes seems unwelcome. Our brothers and sisters hold different opinions and practices that make us feel uncomfortable. Continue to teach us through your Spirit to learn unity without uniformity.
Lord, you call us to speak to each other honestly and directly when there is offense. Give us courage to do so with grace and compassion. Guide us also to search our own hearts for ways we have failed and lead us in repentance.
Lord, you have placed us as your caretakers upon the earth. Show us your glory in the world around us, in its abundance and its fragility. Forgive us for our selfish consumption. Teach us humility in our dominion and remind us how our actions affect those around us.