Nepal has been struck by another major earthquake, the second in just over two weeks. The initial quake killed more than 8,000 and left millions in need of aid and assistance.
Tearfund staff and partners trained in emergency response are there, following Jesus to where the need is greatest. Teams have been trekking over landslides and mountains to some of the most remote, unreached communities. Please pray:
Father God, we come to you in prayer for the people of Nepal who are more fearful than ever following this second quake. We know you feel their pain and cry with them, and we pray they’ll know your love and comfort close by.
We pray for those who are mourning loved ones and for those coming to terms with life-changing injuries. May they know your strength.
Lord, protect and encourage Tearfund’s staff and partners as they work in your name to help those in most need.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name,
Tension and Fear in Niger
For a country not renowned for instability, 2015 has so far been a very difficult year for Niger. In January, homes, schools and around 60 churches were burned down in the capital Niamey and in the southern town of Zinder. This was in apparent retaliation for Niger’s president going to Paris to show his solidarity for the people of France following the Charlie Hebdo attack.
After the attacks, flags of the militant group Boko Haram were temporarily seen hung over some destroyed churches as well as the French cultural centre in Zinder. Violence continued into February.
Those affected are still in the process of restoring their homes and livelihoods, and recovering from trauma. Tearfund has been supporting local partners in providing relief aid and trauma counselling.
Although there has been apparent calm during the last two months, the security situation remains unpredictable. Niger’s army is fighting alongside Nigerian and Chadian forces to overcome Boko Haram, who are still carrying out reprisal attacks. Recent Boko Haram attacks on the Lake Chad island of Karamga left around 230 people dead, including at least 74 from Niger.
‘The country was in shock after hearing about these attacks,’ says Gaston Slanwa, Tearfund’s Country Representative for Niger. ‘The calm that Niger was beginning to experience over the past month has turned to fear and tension.’
- Please pray for peace to return to Niger and for the successful prevention of any future attacks by Boko Haram against it or its neighbours.
- Pray for those who are displaced and have been affected by violence, for God’s love and comfort to touch their hearts and his strength to empower them to overcome their difficulties.
- Give thanks to God for the gradual recovery of victims of recent attacks, helped by the ongoing work of our partners.
Attempted coup in Burundi
An army general attempted a coup against the President this week, resulting in armed conflict in the capital city and much confusion over who is in control. There have been rising political tensions and violent protests in recent weeks, and there are fears that things could escalate further. Please pray that the situation will not grow any worse, and that the work of organisations to bring about peace, reconciliation and stability will be successful. And please pray for protection over our staff and the communities they work with.
Syria Peace Talks
TIME IS RUNNING OUT
Since the civil war in Syria began in March 2011, more than 100,000 people have been killed. The number of refugees fleeing to neighbouring countries has topped 2 million, and these countries are feeling the strain. More than 6 million individuals have been displaced from their homes within Syria – but because of the fighting, aid agencies are unable to reach many of these people with the help they so desperately need.
Time is running out for the men, women and children affected by the conflict. Winter is coming, and the cold weather will hit refugees hard. A peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria needs to be found – now.
A CALL TO PRAY URGENTLY FOR PEACE TALKS
International leaders are urging that a peace conference on Syria, dubbed Geneva II, should take place soon. However, plans for these talks are facing delays as those involved are struggling to agree on terms.
This means our prayers are more important than ever. Please join us in praying that the Geneva II peace conference will take place without delay or hindrance, that all parties to the conflict will be present, and that the talks will be representative of the peaceful majority of Syrians, including women’s groups and refugees. Let’s pray that through the Geneva II peace talks, world leaders and decision makers in Syria will do everything they can to find a sustainable political solution to the conflict. Pray that these talks will be a successful first step towards lasting peace in Syria. We cry out together to ‘the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort’ (2 Cor. 1:3) for peace and healing in Syria.
John Gravett – Tearfund Representative