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)
Zambia – Communication with Pastor Ibrahim has been very limited due to the pandemic. After several weeks of no contact, he recently texted that he had returned to his home village in Tanzania for a visit since Zambia was on complete lockdown and he wasn’t able to teach, preach, visit, or do evangelism. While in Tanzania he became sick and went to hospital where he was diagnosed with and treated for Covid 19. He was briefly hospitalized and is now recovering at his family’s home in Tanzania. He is feeling much better and would like to return to Zambia as soon as possible but the border to Zambia is currently closed. Thank the Lord that Pastor Ibrahim was able to get the necessary medical care and that he is with family as he recovers. Pray that the Lord will do what is necessary for Ibrahim to return to Livingstone, Zambia and that worship services and Bible Institute classes can resume.
Tanzania – Thank the Lord that classes have resumed at the Wartburg Lutheran Bible Institute in Arusha with six students attending the second year of classes. Leaders of the CLC-TZ have also recently made and a third visit to Zanzibar to meet with a pastor and a small group of Lutherans on the island. They have officially formed a congregation with ten members in this predominately Muslim population. Pray that the Lord will continue to bless and provide for the seminary as six men are being trained to be faithful preachers and teachers of God’s saving word. Praise the Lord for the opportunity to proclaim His Law and Gospel among the people of Zanzibar and that many will turn from the darkness of Islam to the saving light of Jesus Christ!
D.R. Congo – While the pandemic hasn’t hit the southern parts of the D.R. Congo as it has in so many other places around the world, the lockdowns have travel and communication difficult. Classes have resumed at Holy Trinity Lutheran Bible Institute. Pray that the Lord will bless and provide for this on-going effort to train faithful pastors and teachers.
Nigeria – The borders to Nigeria are still closed, but many of the restrictions placed on worship services have been lifted or loosened in recent weeks. The students at the Bible Institute have returned to class and worship services are again being conducted in all NCLC congregations as they follow government guidelines that limit the number of attendees and social distancing. Pray that the Lord will bless the preaching and teaching of His word.
Togo/Ghana/Benin – The government is still enforcing strict Covid lockdowns in Togo and this is preventing Missionary Evensen from resuming his teaching and preaching schedule. This is also preventing outreach and evangelism efforts of Pastor Kossi and the other pastors and members of the MELC. Pray for God’s deliverance from the pandemic so that worship services, pastoral training, and Gospel outreach may begin again soon.
Liberia – Due to Covid travel restrictions and heavy rains teaching and outreach trips to Bopolu have not taken place for several months. Pastor Kwiwalazu hopes to begin these visits again soon. Continue to ask the Lord to bring a swift end to this pandemic so that these and other ministry efforts in Liberia can continue. Pray also for the Lord’s strength and perseverance in His followers during these trying times.
Kenya – Nancy Sagala (daughter of Anna) has been hospitalized in Nairobi with a serious illness. Schools in Kenya are making arrangements to resume in-person instruction. Pray for God’s protection and healing for Nancy and that He would provide wisdom to school administrators.
India – The Covid 19 situation continues to worsen throughout South Asia. India has been particularly hard hit in recent weeks. This situation has provided an opportunity for increased persecution as Christians are blamed in some villages. Government aid to those suffering from economic hardships is being used to entice Christians to denounce Jesus and return to Hinduism. Pray for our Savior to give strength of faith to the many who are suffering and that He would use their trials to strengthen their faith and as a powerful witness to unbelievers.
Nepal – While Covid travel restrictions were recently lifted in some areas of Nepal, the annual monsoon season has brought unusually heavy rains that are causing landslides and destruction of roads and crops. Raju was able to make a quick trip to the area where they intend to build the new multi-purpose HCLCN building to meet with the contractors. He is hopeful that construction can begin in November. Classes at the Himalayan Bible Institute have been canceled for the remainder of 2020. This pandemic has also given rise to the persecution of Christians in many areas of Nepal. Pray for safety, strength, and courage for God’s people in Nepal during this time of persecution, pandemic, economic suffering, and the monsoon season. Ask for the Lord’s blessings on the funding and construction of the new HCLC-Nepal building.
Myanmar – The spread of Covid has drastically increased in the large city of Yangon where Pastor Charles is working to spread God’s word. This recent increase in positive cases has prompted the government to increase lockdown efforts. The lockdowns prevent most travel within the city and prevent Pastor Charles from bringing God’s word to the preaching stations and orphanages that are under his spiritual care. Pray for God’s deliverance from this pandemic and for strength of faith for those who are being deprived of God’s word.
Bangladesh – Pastor Monotosh was very sick for a couple of weeks so he self-quarantined rather than go to the hospital out of concern with government interference in the Gospel ministry if he tested positive for Covid. He has since recovered and has had the opportunity to resume pastoral visits to preaching stations. He recently had the privilege of performing fifteen baptisms of individuals who were former Hindus. Praise the Lord for restoring Pastor Monotosh to health and for God’s faithfulness in blessing the Means of Grace as the Gospel in Word and Sacrament have brought more sinners to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ!
New and Ongoing Contacts – The Lord continues to provide new opportunities to proclaim the truths of His saving word in different areas of the world in places such as South Sudan, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, Burundi, Senegal, Congo, Puerto Rico, Russia, and Italy. Thank the Lord for the privilege of teaching His word to others! And Pray for these individuals as they seek to grow in their understanding of God’s word and be better equipped to spread the Gospel in the places where they live.