Updated: Aug 7
The church family have faithfully supported mission over many years. We reached out to all our current mission partners and asked them to give us an update for our encouragement and prayer. Here's some information about the individuals and organisations we support both here in the UK and overseas...
CRiBS : Mark Leveson - CRiBS works in schools, mostly but not exclusively in the London Borough of Bexley, both teaching explicitly about the Christian faith and supporting children and young people with a variety of different needs. In primary schools this means teaching Christianity as part of the RE curriculum, performing plays at Christmas and Easter (regularly seen by 16,000 or more children) and running intervention programmes for children with emotional and behavioural needs. In secondary schools we support Christian Unions, working with young people to develop them in leadership and discipleship, and run a mentoring programme matching volunteers from local churches with young people, identified by the school, who are working through particular issues.
We have been unable to work as normally over the last 4 months due to Covid-19. Some schools have already said they want us back face to face from September, others are still considering how things will work. Pray for wisdom and safety in this for the schools and ourselves.
Please pray too that we will be able to balance resources and opportunities in the new term; and that we will know, for example, how much to commit to developing online resources and how much to devote ourselves to face to face delivery in schools.
Above all, please pray that we can bring and model a message of hope and peace to children and young people whose lives have been disrupted in so many ways over the last few months, that we can find ways to point them to Jesus.
Home for Good: Billy-Jo O'Leary - Home for Good is working with partners and the Diocese of Rochester to find more foster carers and adoptive parents from the Church community for vulnerable children coming into care in and around Kent, Medway, Bexley and Bromley.
Home for Good inspires and equips church communities to respond to the needs of vulnerable children, through resourcing individuals to explore fostering and adopting.
Equipping churches to support foster and adoptive families. According to the most recent figures, there were 1590 children and young people in care across Kent.
Home for Good believes the church community is ideally placed to ensure that every child has the home they need. Together we will find a home for every child who needs one.
Pray for children in care in this region and throughout the UK.
Pray for more fostering and adoptive families to step forward to meet the ever-growing need.
Pray for social workers and all who are involved in making decisions on behalf of vulnerable children.
International Justice Mission: Nell Goddard - Our global work has continued apace throughout lockdown – we have been ensuring survivors have supplies, offering PPE to our government and aftercare partners, and conducting rescues whilst observing all necessary health and safety protocols. A couple of Good News stories for you: IJM Philippines has, so far in lockdown, assisted local police on 16 online sexual exploitation rescue operations, bringing 57 children – including a 3-month-old baby – to safety, and arresting eight suspects. In late May, IJM helped South Asian law enforcement rescue 360 people from bonded labour at a notoriously brutal brick kiln – which then led to the release of nearly 7,000 other migrant workers who had been trapped during lockdown. These are just a few of the incredible ways we’ve seen God working across our offices since lockdown began.
Pray for a widow in Uganda who has been a victim of land theft, suffering from many years of threats and violence against her family as they have tried to live peacefully on their land. In recent weeks, the neighbour who has been attempting to take over her family land has resorted to legal threats, including accusations that led to the widow and one of her family members being arrested on charges of theft. Pray for them as they are currently in prison awaiting a bail hearing. Pray for their freedom and for their ultimate safety and peace on their own land.
Pray for ongoing discussions with partners from the government and shelters in the Philippines about planning for placement of young survivors of cybersex trafficking. We are praying for an increase in the number of shelter partners who will commit to accepting OSEC survivors who may have specific needs, such as older boys.
Please pray for IJM staff re-strategising on the case of a 15-year-old girl we are trying to rescue from sex trafficking in South Asia. We had hoped to conduct an operation earlier this month to rescue this girl and arrest three female traffickers, who were suspected to be part of a larger trafficking network. Unfortunately, the operation had to be postponed due to COVID-19 lockdowns, extreme weather, and additional police investigations. Please pray we could gather the remaining evidence necessary to move this operation forward safely as soon as possible - and pray for this suspected victim’s safety as we work to rescue her.
Interserve GBI: Kevin Wren says: I work for Interserve GBI, a Christian agency focusing on Asia and the Arab World, looking for lives and communities transformed through encounter with Jesus Christ. Enabling individuals to use their professional skills overseas, and for people to see where there are opportunities locally. My role is to encourage churches and individual Christians to work through what it means to follow Jesus' commission to "Go into all the world" and the promise to Abraham to be a "Blessing to the nations" both locally and globally.
A large number of our workers are having to work in different ways in their locations, in communities where social distancing, food deliveries and high sanitation levels are not possible. Please pray for wisdom in what they do, stamina to keep going ,and the Lord to use them for His glory.
Churches in the UK have, understandably, had their focus on figuring out how they manage locally. Please pray that, as I contact churches, the Lord will encourage a wider perspective to see what He is doing globally and what their role is in His plans internationally.
As lockdown eases and we begin to engage more face-to-face (or mask-to-mask!), please pray that Christians will be comfortable to engage with those of other faiths and cultures in their own communities in ways which show Jesus' love and compassion, and how we at Interserve GBI can support them in that.
New Wine's primary focus is to enable the church to communicate the good news of God's promises to this generation in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are glad to support New Wine in their commitment to resourcing Christians, church leaders and the renewal of our nation through equipping individuals and churches and events.
Release International: Helen Case - Release seeks to support Christians around the world who are persecuted or oppressed because of their faith in Jesus and to share with the Christians in the UK so we can pray and support them and learn more about discipleship with them. Our partners are all part of the local communities so know the needs. We are really grateful for God's wonderful provision over the last few months especially for our appeal to help Christians whose lives have been made even harder by lockdowns in their countries. Many rely on their daily work to be able to buy food for their families so not being able to work brings great hardship. Our partners have been able to distribute food and other essentials in countries such as Egypt, India and Pakistan.
For God's continued provision for all we seek to do and for wisdom so we keep walking in his ways.
For Christians in northern Nigeria where attacks continue on villages with more families are losing loved ones and having to flee leaving everything behind.
For Eritrea where many Christians have been in prison for over 10 years often with no trial just because of their faith. Others have had to leave their homes and are now in refugee camps in Ethiopia.
Chris, Liz, Leo & Sam White - Chris, Liz, Leo & Sam have been in Granada Southern Spain for 4 years pioneering Church amongst un-reached Spaniards. Prior to Covid they were having bi-monthly gatherings in a bar in their town and looking to build community through shared life, meals, playdates, and all aspects of community life. They have a core of approx 20 friends and a number who come and go. Currently all are yet to accept Christ but many are on a journey.
Very strict lockdown has made community life very difficult. Pray for all that has been sown in peoples lives that Holy Spirit will breathe life.
For vision and direction in what the next stage will look like. That we can see couple of families really get it and start to be a core we can train and invest in.
For us as family. 40+ degrees isn’t fun every day, plans to visit family in the UK in a few weeks are all up in the air due to new quarantine rules. Pray this might change so we can visit parents and family.
Dan Wren is a part of our church family and will be leaving to work with OM for two years in January 2021. We are glad to partner with him in prayer and financial support in this venture of faith, discipleship and service.