Thank you for your prayerful support for the work of Langham Preaching around the world. This week we feature two more countries impacted greatly by COVID-19 in the places where we work, Bolivia and Nigeria:
Bolivia: Our director in Latin America, Igor Améstegui, lives in Cochabamba and provides this update on his home country:
“One hundred and thirty-seven respirators, purchased by the government, have arrived in the country. However, the medical specialists have observed that they fail to meet the standards that are required and cannot be used. Furthermore, despite a strict and early lock-down, the COVID-19 numbers are growing and starting to accelerate. To make things worse, people are not respecting the restrictions so that they can continue to generate an income and bring food home for their families. Protests are demanding the end of the lock-down. We all fear the collapse of our already weak health system. Our future is very uncertain.
In all of this, we pray: “Lord, in these moments, we feel so helpless and frustrated. We put all our needs and concerns into your hands. Please, protect the members of our preaching movement. May they be your witnesses within their homes and communities. Wake up your church and strengthen them to be the ones bringing comfort to the most vulnerable.”
In such adverse circumstances, we are reminded that there is still a source of hope and rest: “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Ps 62.5-8, NIV).”
Nigeria: Ishaya Baba, our preaching movement coordinator, writes from his home state of Kaduna:
“Kaduna was the second state, after Lagos, to introduce a lock-down when our governor was among the first to be infected. Churches are holding services online through Facebook live-streaming and Zoom. There is much fear and alarm in my home of Zaria as people are travelling freely from Kano, where there is a wild infection, to be here among us. Right across Northern Nigeria some Islamic teachers are telling their people that COVID-19 is not real, that it is the creation of America and Israel to stop Muslims doing their prayers. This is intended to spread bitterness against churches deliberately. Further south, in Abuja, the lock-down is so difficult because of the high levels of poverty. They are more afraid of hunger than of the coronavirus and so they violate the lock-down orders and other safety guidelines, in search of daily sustenance. In Lagos, where the number of cases is grossly under-reported, most residents still believe nothing will happen to them as they place confidence in their herbal treatments.
Please join us in praying the many prayers that are on our hearts at this time: pray for an end to the spread of the virus; pray for God’s healing mercy among those who suffer; pray against fear and loss of faith; pray for the most vulnerable; pray for a spirit of generosity in the churches; pray for the spread of the gospel and that in this time of great anxiety, God’s people will be ready to meet the world with the comfort and hope that only the good news of Jesus Christ can offer.
In the midst of this perplexity, anxiety and fear, we are encouraging churches to affirm that God remains in control of the affairs of his world. Coronavirus has not taken him by surprise. He is still the God “who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases” (Ps 103.3). In the ugly face of COVID-19 God can still be trusted, as the sovereign and unchangeable God who rules in the affairs of men.”
Thanks for your prayers!
The Langham Preaching Team