A Long Season
We are all COVID weary. Sickness, pain, loss, suffering, grief, darkness surrounds us. And many of us are asking, have been asking:
What’s going to happen?
Am I going to be okay?
Are people I love going to be okay?
What’s going to happen to our world?
God, where are you in this pandemic?
As coronavirus cases begin to decline in the US, our friends in South America continue to struggle. Already one of the world’s hardest-hit regions in 2020 and even after a year of incalculable loss, it is still one of the most troubling global hot spots, with a recent surge in many countries that is even more deadly than before. Hospitals are overcrowded with short supplies of oxygen and sedatives. People are dying as they wait for treatment, and the health systems are collapsing.
We cry out to God. We are driven to our knees. But may it not be in despair. Dig deep these days. Seek him. God is there.
We find him in prayer, unceasing prayer. We find him in the still small places. We hear about his work through our missionaries, church partners, community partners, and supporters who are caring selflessly for others. God’s hand is visible as communities pull together and find creative ways to support each other.
Scripture reminds us of God’s promise when King David says:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Psalm 139: 7-12
Now is the time to be brave. Speak hope into a struggling world. The world is different, but the world still needs Jesus.
1. Pray for Brazil. The COVID situation has been dire since March when a wave of variants saw a spike in deaths, eventually leading to more than 4,000 in one day. Although Brazil is no longer the global epicentre of the pandemic, cases remain high. Oh Lord, spread your healing power across Brazil.
2. Pray for Peru. The capital, Lima, is listed at the extreme risk level, meaning residents are prohibited from going outside on Sundays. Medical staff across Peru are stretched to their maximum capacity and beyond, while intensive care and oxygen resources are insufficient to meet the needs. Oh Lord, spread your healing power across Peru.
3. Pray for Bolivia. Among South America’s poorest countries, Bolivia faces increasing numbers of coronavirus cases. The country also continues to experience protests and political unrest. Oh Lord, spread your healing power across Bolivia.
4. Pray for Colombia. A country of 50 million people, Colombia is seeing occupancy in intensive-care units hit 90% in the capital, Bogotá, with hospitals in other cities at their breaking point. Curfews are in place with shopping and other activities regulated by ID numbers. Oh Lord, spread your healing power across Colombia.
5. Pray for Joel Kearney. The life of a missionary can be challenging and lonely at times. Joel has been serving in Recife, Brazil for only three months, but due to COVID, the soccer, music, and other programs that he would lead have been put on pause per government regulations. Pray for his heart and time with God as he spends some days without seeing another person at all. Pray for the relationships that he is building before and after lockdowns.
6. Pray for Refugio de Esperanza. The Refuge of Hope located in the Amazon jungle of Pucallpa, Peru supports and serves people affected by disability. Praise that they started in-person high school classes for eight deaf students and six blind students. Pray for Amanda McKinney as she teaches and helps students catch up on missed learning due to the lockdowns.
7. Pray for our missionaries starting in their ministry locations. Pray for Kat Guild and Cameron Levosky as they begin language school in Colombia. After building their fluency in Spanish, Kat will serve in Barranquilla, Colombia. Cameron will move to Peru to serve with the Lima Initiative.
8. Pray for SAMAIR Bolivia. This vital aviation ministry carries the Gospel into the eastern lowlands and the northern flood plains of the Amazon basin of Bolivia. The lack of infrastructure in areas served by SAMAIR Bolivia makes the airplane a unique tool in reaching those in need. Pray for safety and health as they have the opportunity to fly between curfews, lockdowns, and government regulations.
9. Pray for the Casa Wajaro Matching Campaign. Praise God for a generous Wájaro donor who offered to match, dollar-for-dollar, all donations given between now and July 3 up to $125,000. Pray for full funding to build Casa Wájaro so that indigenous peoples across Colombia can have a safe and collaborative space in the nation’s capital that fosters the change and healing so desperately needed.
10. Pray for Marshall and Becca Kitron. Recently, Marshall started a Bible study group in Pucallpa, Peru via Zoom. They are very excited to study the book of James, learn God’s word, and apply it to their lives. Becca was approached by a young woman who asked her to disciple her and her friend. These women will begin meeting together virtually. Pray for Marshall and Becca in all these discipleship moments.
11. Pray for Mike Anderson. Mike installed a new water tank to replace an old concrete cistern at Ammi Training Center in Chapada, Brazil. The previous cistern leaked so much that Ammi is now saving over a thousand gallons of water per day by making this switch. Pray that these improvements will be a sustainable solution for Ammi’s water situation.
12. Pray for our missionaries on home ministry assignments. Pray for joyful reunions with family and friends. Pray for their presentations and sharing with support churches. Pray for God’s direction and their planning as they look forward to their future years on the field. Pray for a time of deep rest and spiritual growth.