This week, I'm writing to ask for prayers regarding three important issues: two for our partners in Nigeria and Cameroon, and one for an opportunity before us this week.
Kidnappings in Nigeria are not a new issue. But there has been a significant increase in those kidnappings, especially in Kaduna State, which is home to most of our DML team. This past week, the DML leaders there was informed that he was on the short-list of who will be kidnapped next. He had to pack up his family and move to another state. Since he will need to be there for a while, he will have to get rid of all the animals on his farm and his wife has to close the health clinic that she runs. The children need to find a new school. This is just one family that is affected. Please pray for him (name withheld for safety) and for his family, that they may be able to return home soon, that the kidnappings will decrease, and that the government may intervene in an effective to allow people to travel in peace once again.
You can watch the brief YouTube video below or read this news report just to see two of many reports of kidnappings in Kaduna State.
Second request is for Cameroon:
Prayer is also needed for the ongoing conflict in Cameroon, which is now in it's fourth year. Kidnappings, shut-downs, and violence have been the order of the day as the Anglophone community tries to find justice and equality amidst the Francophone majority. Many people from the Northwest are now in Internally Displaced Person camps, which has other unique challenges. Our colleague in that part of Cameroon has been kidnapped herself, as has her son and husband, and also sees the real challenges for her teenage children struggling to find a path in this difficult time (many of those fighting for equality are young men. You can read a recent report here of the challenges in Cameroon.
At a time like this, being a good neighbor to these friends and colleagues is to lift them up in prayer. We lament with them, are pained and angered by the challenges which they have to face daily, and seek for God to intervene. Please join us in these prayers.
Lastly, we have an opportunity this week to join the virtual forum from the Global Alliance for Church Multiplication, which has about 3800 people registered from 125 countries, and give a workshop on DML. This is an opportunity to share with those in the church planting movement about the need to equip the whole church to be the church every day of the week. We ask for your prayer for this opportunity.
And if you are like me and sometimes at a loss of how to pray when things are overwhelming or unchanging, let me bring in a prayer from Ted Loder, Guerillas of Grace, to help us get started:
Sometimes, Lord, it just seems to be too much: too much violence, too much fear; too much of demands and problems; too much of broken dreams and broken lives; too much of war and slums and dying; too much of greed and squishy fatness and the sounds of people devouring each other and the earth...
Sometimes the very air seems scorched by threats and rejection and decay until there is nothing but to inhale pain and exhale confusion.
Too much of darkness, Lord, too much of cruelty and selfishness and indifference...Too much, Lord, too much, too bloody, bruising, brain-washing much.
Or is it too little, too little of compassion, too little of courage, of daring, or persistence, of sacrifice; too little of music and laughter and celebration?
O God, make of me some nourishment for these starved times, some food for my brothers and sisters who are hungry for gladness and hope, that, being bread for them, I may also be fed and be full.