Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you...
2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NKJV)
Bangladesh – Congregations and families of the Bangladesh Lutheran Church Mission are recovering from Cyclone Amphan that hit Bangladesh in May. The CLC was able to provide some limited financial assistance to aid in medical needs, food supplies, and rebuilding through Kinship-Disaster Relief. Despite the challenges of travel and evangelism during the coronavirus lockdown, several BLCM congregations have been visited and the Gospel continues to be spread. Fifteen former Hindus recently received the washing and regeneration of the Holy Spirit through baptism. Praise the Lord that no lives were lost among our brothers and sisters in Christ in the cyclone. Ask for His love and compassion upon those who are suffering and for protection for Pastor M. as he travels to visit the people of the BLCM over the next several days. Thank the Lord for the work of His Holy Spirit in creating saving faith in the hearts of many that have led them to desire the gift of baptism and that our Lord and Savior will continue to bless them as they grow in their faith and understanding of all that He has revealed in His word!
Nepal – The rains of the annual monsoon season have been unusually heavy this year causing several landslides and road closures. Many lives in Nepal have been lost due to landslides. Thankfully, no HCLCN lives or property have been lost but there has been damage to farms and homes. The HCLCN Building project has been put on hold until the rains subside and roads are re-opened. Pastor training classes at the Himalayan Bible Institute have been suspended until January 2021 due to the pandemic lockdown. Pray that the Lord will keep everyone safe through the monsoons and that He will bless the plans, preparations, construction, and finances for the multipurpose building that will hopefully begin construction in September.
Myanmar – All the members of the family with the coronavirus in Chin State have recovered and have been released from the hospital. Thank the Lord for delivering them from this illness and ask for His provision as they now struggle to pay their medical bills. Pastor Kham reports that a fire broke out in a village where there is a CLC-Myanmar congregation. No one was injured but two-member families lost their homes. Thank the Lord for His protection and plead for His aid as these families rebuild their homes and livelihood.
Myanmar – The Children In Need in Yangon that are being helped both physically and spiritually by Pastor Charles Edwards and the CLC Project Kinship will be returning to school. Pray that the Lord will bless these children in their lives and studies and that they will be led by the Holy Spirit to believe and trust in their Savior Jesus through the Gospel they are being taught.
India – India have been hit especially hard by the pandemic in recent weeks and this has brought on stricter measures to try to halt the spread. Our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering from the lockdown and the inability to work to support themselves. Pray that the Lord would bring a swift end to the pandemic and that according to His mercy, He will bring aid to the many who are suffering.
Democratic Republic of the Congo – The government-mandated lockdown for schools is scheduled to be lifted on August 3rd. Students have been quarantined and working the farm and property of the newly and partially built Holy Trinity Lutheran Seminary since April. Classes are scheduled to begin with the new students on August 3rd. Pray that the lockdown will indeed be lifted and so that classes can resume. Pray for the safety and health of the students and instructors. Pray that there will be no government interference with their plans to continue the work of training pastors for the Church. Ask for God’s blessings on these efforts to train men to be faithful preachers and teachers of His saving word.
Tanzania – The government in Tanzania has lifted the lockdown and the Wartburg Lutheran Bible Institute in Tanzania is planning to bring students back very soon. Pray for the safety and health of the students and instructors as they travel to Arusha. Pray that there will be no government interference with their plans to continue the work of training pastors for the Church. Ask for God’s blessings on these efforts to train men to be faithful preachers and teachers of His saving word.
Zambia – Coronavirus lockdown measures are slowing being lifted. Plans are being made for a pastoral training seminar to be conducted in Livingstone as soon as travel arrangements can be made. Pray that our Lord will bless Pastor Ibrahim and those he will be teaching and training in the not-to-distant future. Pray for safe travels, good health, and dedicated study of God’s saving word!
Togo – Missionary Evensen has applied to renew his Togo “stay card” that allows him to stay and work in Togo beyond the normal length of a visa. He is waiting for final approval. He and Pastor Kossi are beginning to make preparations to resume pastoral training classes soon. Pray that the stay card renewal process will go as planned and for wisdom as they decide when to begin a regular schedule of seminary classes.
Kenya – Schools throughout the country have been ordered to close down for the remainder of the year (school year runs January through November). Pray for the nation's children that are deprived of so many things and for many teachers and staff who will be without a steady income.
Uganda – The nation is still under strict lockdown. Churches are still forbidden from gathering. Pray that the situation improves and that God's people can meet together again for worship and Bible study.
Liberia – Our brothers and sisters in Christ continue to struggle with the hardships brought on by the pandemic and the resulting measures taken to lessen the impact. Pastor Joseph requests prayers for his mother who is requiring more care. Pray for relief from the struggles that so many are facing in Liberia and especially for Pastor Joseph and his mother.
The Spiritual Welfare of Our Brothers and Sisters Around the World – as much of the world has spent the past few months in mandatory coronavirus lockdowns and quarantines, many in developing nations have not had the advantage of the high-speed internet connections that most of us take for granted to provide opportunities for home worship, Bible study, and Christian fellowship. Also, many of the people do not have the financial means to own their own Bibles and/or are unable to read so they depend upon weekly worship and Bible studies to hear, learn, and be strengthened by God’s saving word.
Pastoral training has also come to a halt for those who are training around the world. Options for online classes, correspondence, etc. just are not possible as most of the students have very weak and limited data available on their phones, if at all, and the majority do not have the luxury of the internet in their homes. Pray that the Lord will bring this pandemic to an end so that His people may return to worship and Bible study at their churches. Pray that the Lord will lead and strengthen all of us to be reminded of His great love and the truths of His saving grace that we have learned from His word and rejoice always, even in the midst of such trying times.
The Physical Welfare of Our Brothers and Sisters Around the World – Leaders from our sister church bodies in Liberia, Togo, Nigeria, D.R. Congo, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, India, Nepal, Myanmar, and Bangladesh, along with contacts in several other countries have reported that much of the population in these impoverished nations is struggling to provide the basic necessities of life. Most of the pastors and those they serve provide for their families through day-labor. For this type of laborer, you are paid for your work each day. If you do not work, you do not get paid. The coronavirus lockdowns have caused much physical suffering. Pray that the Lord will provide and that He will bless the CLC Project Kinship aid that has been sent that it will go much further than humanly expected in providing for the sheep of His flock who are suffering.
The CLC Mission Development Fund – The MDF has been a great blessing as a way for CLC members to assist our brothers and sisters in Christ in developing nations around the world. The projects that are funded through the MDF have had a direct impact on faithfully proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. The MDF has provided funds to assist Bible institute, seminary, school, and church building projects. Thousands of Bibles, hymnals, and catechisms long with bikes, motorcycles, and vehicles to carry pastors and teachers to proclaim the truth have been purchased through MDF grants. This fund also provides funding for new outreach opportunities both in the U.S. and abroad. Currently, there are more than $300,000 in projects that are awaiting funding from the MDF over the next several months. Some of these projects are already underway. In order to complete the projects that have already been started and to provide for more projects and outreach, additional offerings to the MDF are needed. Pray that the Lord will continue to move hearts to support the work of His Kingdom through their offerings to the MDF.