Coronavirus Prayer Update 27 March 2020
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (NLT) At a time of international crisis, such as now, it can be very difficult to quieten our hearts and be still. There are so many distractions and we are used to living busy lives focused on others and filled with service and hard work. This verse is written as a call to focus on God in spite of wars, earthquakes and chaos, or maybe because of them. Let’s shift our thoughts from the things of this world and look to God.
The verse continues, “I will be honoured by every nation, I will be honoured throughout the world.” Pray that leaders and staff all across the Alliance will find ways to put aside the stresses of the current pandemic and be still before God. Ask God to glorify his name and bring many to himself. The Passion Translation expresses it like this: “Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God. I am the God above all the nations, and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth.”
50th anniversary celebrations: Sweden and Netherlands
In May Wycliffe Sweden (Folk&Språk) and in June Wycliffe Netherlands are celebrating 50 years of service in Bible translation. They prayerfully planned and prepared at great length for these big events. Both organisations are excited to gather together to meet donors and prayer partners. In light of the current crisis they need God to direct them in how best to proceed (Psalm 32:8).
Prayer chain: South Asia
An announcement has been made in a South Asian country of a nationwide self-imposed curfew on March 22 from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. to break the spread of the coronavirus and for people to exercise restraint. The prayer team of the local Alliance organisation is helping colleagues and supporters by supplying them with prayer items. As planned, the month of April will be a month of prayer through an online prayer chain. The prayer chain is an encouragement to everyone to prioritise prayer during this global pandemic. Please pray for wisdom as the prayer team mobilises prayer. Ask the Lord to move in the hearts of people and give them the encouragement to pray.
New way of working: Singapore
The Wycliffe Singapore office had to cancel the main events planned for the next few months and adjust working arrangements. All except essential staff are working from home. They are still planning for events involving only a few people like summer internships for university students in May. Pray that staff will be wise on how to proceed. Pray for God’s guidance and that the staff will use this season of uncertainty to be flexible and creative in serving the Lord and to grow closer to him.
Staff members’ safety: Romania
Some Wycliffe Romania staff members serving in other countries are not able to return to Romania due to the countries closing borders or cancelling flights. They need to remain where they are. Pray for their health and safety. Pray that they will be an encouragement to those around them. Ask God to use the staff members to bring hope to those who are discouraged and peace to those who are afraid (Romans 15:13).
Creative ways to meet: Europe Area
The Europe Area Directors of the Alliance are looking to God for creative ways to continue to meet with staff members who live in other countries while serving in Bible translation. Some have been able to come back to their home countries. Many staff members are unable to travel because of travel restrictions. Pray for creative solutions. Some administrators are using internet technology for meetings and conferences. Ask God for good internet connections to sustain the high volume of those using Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. Thank God for his presence with each staff member and that he will provide their every need (Philippians 4:19).
Impact of COVID-19: Africa
As the number of those infected with Coronavirus are on the rise in Africa, some governments have asked that schools and major open-air markets be closed. Work is being limited to essential services in some countries. This has an impact on the Bible Translation movement in Africa. Many people cannot work from home due to the lack of (or limited) access to the internet. Some roles require accessing computer servers from their offices. Alliance organisations must find creative ways of working in order to minimise the impact of the restrictions. The Alliance organisations have a responsibility to care for their staff and their families both to ensure their safety and to contribute to efforts to stop the Coronavirus.
Praise God that Alliance organisations are putting measures in place and actively seeking to learn how to contain the virus in their contexts. Some have developed contingency plans that have been very helpful to other Alliance organisations in Africa.
- The Alliance organisations’ Boards and directors as they evaluate the situations in their countries and determine actions to take for the benefit of their staff, their families and Bible translation.
- Leaders of Alliance organisations in Africa as they develop ways to support their staff professionally, emotionally and spiritually during these difficult days.
- Protection on the lives of those who live in high-density residential areas in the towns and cities.
Coronavirus materials in local languages: Africa
Praise God that one Alliance organisation in Africa developed Coronavirus educational materials into local languages to educate the communities about how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and how to respond if someone is infected by the virus. Give thanks that there has been a call for prayer and personal Bible study in many countries during this season.
Click to return to: A Call to Prayer About the Impact of COVID-19
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