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Praise Reports

Turning from – and Turning To – 2 Chronicles 7:14

The Trumpet Call day was framed in worship to Jesus – The Lamb who has conquered – and included deep times of humbling, confession and repentance after RT Kendall spoke and again after Malcolm Duncan had spoken.  The promise contained in 2 Chronicles 7:14 invites us to continue to come to our heavenly Father on an ongoing basis for ourselves, for the Church and for our nations, in humility and confession in order that we might see a continuation of the turning from our wicked ways.  The WPC team have had many encouraging feedback comments. One Church leader said it had completely turned around his ministry, another said ‘awesome is an overused word but it truly was awesome’. The team has also been very encouraged by feedback on evangelistic events happening at the same time and the week after and by conversations about prayer and mission whilst recognising that there is a hard road ahead of us.

Praise: God for continuing to speak into our lives, not wanting any to perish. (Ps.33:12)
More: https://www.worldprayer.org.uk/wpc-world-news/item/10708-trumpet-call-2018-the-turning-journey-continues

Lewis Hamilton, ‘God has his hand over me’

Lewis Hamilton believes he has the hand of God resting over him when he steps into his Formula One car. The Christian racing driver will set his sights on wrestling back the championship lead at the British Grand Prix. ‘Anything can happen any day, but I feel God has his hand over me,’ Hamilton, 33, said ahead of his home race. ‘Every morning I have breakfast and before I eat, I pray. Every time I eat, actually, I pray. So, whether it’s a couple of seconds, a minute or whatever you are praying for, take that moment. He attends church with a couple of friends, ‘We leave Church most often feeling enlightened and empowered. Sometimes you leave, and you are like ‘I didn’t get that today’, but most of the time you leave and you are like ‘wow, I know where I am going’.

Praise: God for Christians in sport continuing to share their faith in public. (Luke 12:8)
More: https://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Lewis-Hamilton-God-has-his-hand-over-me

Praise Reports

NHS preparing for no-deal Brexit

The NHS is preparing to stockpile medicines and equipment to ensure hospitals can function after a no-deal Brexit. Simon Stevens, the health service CE, said there was ‘immediate planning’ around the Department for Health and in hospitals about ‘securing medical supply’ under different scenarios to ensure there was enough medicine. It is ‘top of the list’ of contingency planning that would be implemented once the state of the deal ‘crystallised’ in the autumn. Whitehall realises that with no replacement for EU medical agencies, hospitals could run out of drugs and other supplies within weeks. Mr Stevens told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that hospitals would be ‘ready for whatever situation emerges’. Pray for patients, the NHS and the UK’s life science industry to have workable regulatory arrangements in place and be fit for purpose for a smooth transition. Pray also for cross-border communications in medical research and development.

Pray: for God to be in every talk around medical equipment provision in new setups. (Pr.14:34)
More: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/01/nhs-preparing-for-disruption-to-supplies-from-no-deal-brexit

Normalising LGBTQ+

On 3 and 4 July, the BBC aired ten news topics promoting LGBTQ+ on their website. Twice last month BBC Radio Four Sunday programme interviewed a woman who had been an evangelical and then changed her beliefs to become a homosexual. LGBTQ+ people now make up a weighty percentage of BBC staff and their influence is seen more and more in programmes and reporting. Quiz shows, soaps, documentaries and entertainment programmes usually have a LGBTQ+ representative. A Christian lady who struggled with her sexuality told her story of how she was counselled by a liberal theologian who helped her to ‘read the Bible in a different way’ so she could become LGBTQ+. She said she had since talked with Archbishop Justin Welby who encouraged her to apply for ordination, saying she would be just the kind of clergy he wants to see in the Church of England. So the state broadcasting service and the state Church promote LGBTQ+ agendas. see

Pray: for the church to change the world, not be changed by the world. (Luke 12:49)
More: http://www.prophecytoday.uk/comment/editorial/item/1121-normalising-the-abnormal.html

Rees-Mogg – leadership bid?

In September 2017 the eccentric Catholic Tory MP Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg addressed a crowd of 100 activists in Westminster who had signed up to the ‘Moggmentum’ movement which grew over the summer. A survey at the time found that he was Tory members’ favourite to be the next leader, despite the fact that he has never held a frontbench post. Ten months later he insisted again that he is not ambitious and not aware of a £750,000 war chest raised by supporters for an eventual leadership bid. He joked, ‘There isn’t a leadership contest. I’m very unlikely to be the next Pope and just as unlikely to be the next Prime Minister. The papacy would be fantastic. I would be infallible, which is better than is given to most politicians.’ He named Sajid Javid and Michael Gove as ‘first-class candidates’ to succeed Theresa May when there is a vacancy.

Pray: for speculation and selfish ambition to be removed from political agendas.(Pr.16:2)
More: https://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/I-m-as-likely-to-become-Pope-as-Prime-Minister-says-Rees-Mogg

Amesbury – another novichok poisoning

Charlie Rowley, 45, and Dawn Sturgess, 44, fell ill at a house in Amesbury and remain in a critical condition after being exposed to Novichok, the same nerve agent that poisoned ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal. There was nothing in their background suggesting the pair were targeted. Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said they could not confirm whether the nerve agent came from the same batch but the possibility was ‘clearly a line of inquiry’. Chemical weapons expert Richard Guthrie says the Novichok used on the Skripals may have been disposed of haphazardly. Security minister Ben Wallace says he cannot guarantee people are 100% safe from further contamination. The areas around Amesbury and Salisbury where the couple went on the day they fell ill have been cordoned-off and police warned the public against picking up anything if they didn’t know what it was. Pray for the victims’ recovery and for successful detailed examination of potentially dangerous areas.

Pray: for fearful communities – doubting the efficacy of past decontamination process. (Psalm 23:4)
More: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44719639

Lost passports and identity crime

The Passport Office and Action Fraud are raising awareness of the need to report missing passports to prevent documents from being used to commit identity crime and facilitate illegal travel across borders. Almost 50 million people hold a UK passport and 400,000 are lost or stolen annually. Yet despite the risks people wait on average 73 days before making a report. Passports have all the information that fraudsters need to steal an identity and set up accounts in that name. Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes, said, ‘When you lose your bank card, the first thing you do is contact your bank and have it cancelled, yet people don’t treat lost or stolen passports with the same urgency’. By reporting missing passports, law enforcement agencies and immigration control officers can keep ahead of criminals attempting to get a UK passport illegally. This also ensures action can be taken against anyone identified as having obtained a passport by fraudulent means.

Pray: for more people to recognise the need for Interpol to be made aware of missing documents.(Pr.1:5)
More: https://actionfraud.police.uk/news/a-lost-passport-could-lead-to-identity-theft-jun18

Scotland- drug deaths at record high

Drug deaths have reached their worst level in Scotland since records began, (934 in 2017). Statistics show Scotland’s drug death-rate is roughly two and half times the UK rate and ‘massively worse’ than anywhere in Europe. The official ‘Drug-related deaths’ paper shows methadone, the heroin substitute, was present in nearly half of all deaths. Methadone is prescribed by the NHS to keep people off drugs! Annie Wells, the Scottish public health spokesperson, said, ‘ We need a radical and urgent drugs strategy, not one that waves the white flag in the face of drug-dealers and those who profit from this despicable industry, but one that gets tough on the issue. We need to help vulnerable people beat the habit once and for all, not park them on methadone just to watch them die from that very substance years later.’ Pray for God to inspire ministers to implement a successful, revitalised substance use strategy.

Pray: for the police to protect and defend vulnerable communities from drug-dealers (Pr.16:4)
More: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/07/03/scottish-drug-deaths-hit-record-high-amid-calls-radical-new/

Gay conversion therapy’ banned

‘Gay conversion therapies’ are to be banned as part of a government 75-point plan to improve the lives of gay and transgender people. A national survey of 108,000 LGBT people suggested that 2% have undergone the practice with another 5% having been offered it. A plan costing £4.5m, has been produced in response to the survey. A national LGBT health adviser will be recruited to tackle discrimination, improve the response to hate crime and improve diversity in education institutions. While the government did not offer a definition of conversion therapy, its report said it ranges from ‘pseudo’ psychological treatments to surgical interventions and ‘corrective’ rape. Faith organisations were the most likely to have carried out the therapy, according to the report. The NHS does not refer people for it and disagrees with the practice.

Pray: for Christian counselling to be allowed to continue for those anxious about sexuality. (Pr.16:1)
More: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44686374

Praise Reports

Brexit: UK Fishing White Paper

The UK’s proposals for fishing in UK waters after Brexit was unveiled on 4 July. Michael Grove hopes that our fishing industry will get a larger share of domestic catch after Brexit, once the UK ‘decides access’  to its own waters. Currently 60% of fish caught in UK waters   goes to Europe. The environment secretary said the UK would be in the ‘driving seat’ in quota negotiations once the UK leaves the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy but would not commit to a specific figure. UK fishing groups are pressing to keep more than 80% of domestic catch. There were protests earlier this year when it was revealed that the UK would continue to be bound by the Common Fisheries Policy during the post-Brexit transition that ends in 2020. Now the White Paper sets out a UK vision for an ‘independent coastal state’ from 2021 onwards.

Pray: for EU negotiations on the white paper to yield fair quotas for UK fish stocks. (Job 9:19)
More: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44701010

Europe: Grasping for Migrant Solutions

A rescue ship carrying 60 migrants picked up from rubber boats in the Mediterranean Sea arrived in a Spanish port on 4 July, after being refused entry by Italy and Malta. Tens of thousands of migrants have reached European shores so far this year. Southern European countries are refusing entry to arrivals unless their burden is shared. Refugee policies now dominate European political agendas. Pray for God to inspire Europe’s leaders to agree on border protection that complements existing European agreements (Schengen/Dublin III). Pray for fresh methods to speed up current slow asylum procedures. Some nations are ‘going it alone’ – asserting their own interests, without any compassion for the plight of the displaced. Ask God to soften hearts and give politicians compassion towards those fleeing their home countries.

Pray: for practical solutions to the detailed issues, so that procedures are helpful and just. (Pr.14:34)
More: https://www.voanews.com/a/europe-grasps-solutions-migrant-crisis/4468634.html

Praise Reports

Horn of Africa: Persecution

Hostility, injustice and violence are a daily reality for millions of Christians across the Horn of Africa. In Somalia the militant Al-Shabaab group frequently kills suspected Christians on the spot, and believers keep their faith completely secret. In Eritrea the government views Christians as agents of the West and will arrest, harass and kill them with impunity. Hundreds are imprisoned in horrific conditions. Ethiopia is a Christian-majority country, but converts from Islam are rejected by their families and communities. In Kenya Al-Shabaab militants cross the border from Somalia. They killed dozens of Kenyan Christians last year. In Djibouti rumours of conversion are often enough for believers to lose their inheritance rights or custody of their children. Imagine living where, because you’re a Christian, you fail your studies, your neighbours beat you up, your home is destroyed, your family is put in prison, your father is killed. Would you lose heart, give up, change your faith? Please pray for those experiencing this daily.

Pray: for their spiritual empowering to continue to live lives of faith, hope and love.( Psalm 119:157)
More: https://www.opendoorsuk.org/resources/magazine/july-18/2018-july-magazine_od-uki-.pdf

Thailand: Cave rescue

Efforts continue to extract a Thai youth football team (aged 11-16) and their 25-year-old coach from a flooded cave in Thailand.  Water is being pumped out and officials hope the lowered water levels  will mean the boys could keep their heads above water and not rely on scuba apparatus to escape the cave in which they have been trapped for 12 days. Rescuers are battling against the clock to beat monsoon rains expected on 7 July. At the time of writing (5 July) the water levels have reduced by around 40% but parts of the passageway leading to where the boys and coach were found are still flooded all the way to the ceiling – leaving diving out of the cave the only option for survival if the water levels are not reduced quickly. They want to reduce the water enough for them to scramble out, walk and perhaps do a little diving.

Pray: for successful, complete water extraction before the monsoon rains. (Ps.31:2)
More: https://news.sky.com/story/thailand-cave-rescue-water-pumped-out-of-cave-in-bid-to-rescue-trapped-boys-11426677

Mexico: A new president – A new era?

88 million Mexicans voted on 1 July for a new president and over 3,400 government positions across all levels. The electorate decided that neither major party had a solution to curb spiraling violence and a plundered economy. Andrés Manuel López Obrador – or Amlo to his fans –  intends to deliver an unyielding assault on the scoundrels he claims have plundered Latin America’s second largest economy and plunged it into becoming a cauldron of thievery, bloodshed and want. The left-wing firebrand, who some journalists compare to Jeremy Corbyn, intends to increase minimum wages without raising taxes. He said it will be funded by stamping out corruption. He also promised to turn the opulent presidential palace into a public park, to sell the president’s $300 million 787 Dreamliner jet and to cut his own salary to half of his predecessor’s. Pray for his success in turning around environmental degradation, insecurity, extortion and kidnapping.

Pray: for God to bless this team with His wisdom so that communities have better lives. (James 4:7)
More: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-02/mexico-elections-what-andres-manuel-lopez-obrador-victory-means/9932218

North America/Latin America relationships

Few politicians have established such a connection with the millions of underprivileged families in Mexico as Lopez Obrador. He regularly campaigned draped with garlands and gaudy sombreros. Like Trump, the headstrong ‘Amlo’ is the heart and soul of his movement and his presidency could heighten tensions between Mexico and the United States over trade and migration if the two men clash. The prospect of a showdown between the two blunt men over the US-Mexico border and renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement has worried many. ‘There’s going to be a clash of vanities and a clash of egos. Who knows where it will end.’ said Juan Jose Rodriguez Prats, a former party colleague of Amlo who has known him for 40 years. President Trump tweeted, ‘I look very much forward (sic) to working with him. There is much to be done that will benefit both the United States and Mexico!’

Pray: for these two unpredictable figures to find good common ground. (Romans 8:28)
More: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-election-lopez-obrador-newsmak/scourge-of-mexico-establishment-poised-to-capture-presidency-idUSKBN1JM189

India: National Health Care scheme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to provide healthcare and insurance to half a billion Indians, a people-mass larger than the entire population of South America, is facing serious hurdles.  Almost five months after announcing the programme they are still working to lock in hospitals and insurance companies in time for the planned 15 August launch (India’s Independence Day). The healthcare scheme aims to cover the poorest 40% in a country where a 2017 World Health Organisation report found personal spending on health pushed over 52 million people below the poverty line. Although beneficiaries are identified and IT infrastructure is in place, the involvement of hospitals still needs to be finalised. It is the government’s second major welfare push this year. It recently presented a draft bill on a social security programme designed to cover the country’s 500 million poorest workers, including those in informal employment.

Pray: for the success and continual growth of Modicare provision for poor families (1 Samuel 2:8)
More: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/modi-govt-rushes-to-insure-50-crore-indians-before-2019-lok-sabha-polls/articleshow/64869363.cms

Global: Wildfires this week

In North America 70 wildfires are consuming 630,000 acres across Alaska, California, Colorado and other western states. Meteorologists warn of more blazes due to strong winds, dry conditions and low humidity. A huge fire in Canada’s British Columbia has been burning since 21 June at Comstock Lake. Another 12-hectare forest fire is being fought in Kawarthas near Toronto, Ontario.  In England a major incident was declared as moor fires converged in Lancashire. The Northern Ireland fire service has had to deal with 600 gorse fires this week and in Ireland Slieve Bloom mountains are alight with an uncontrolled fast-growing blaze. Nine out of ten wildfires are carelessly (or deliberately) started by people. A wildfire destroys ALL vegetation, causes erosion which degrades stream water quality and wildlife are burned, dehydrated and malnourished. The larger animals like deer can escape but squirrels, foxes and snakes are not always able to. Birds can fly away, but nests and eggs are destroyed. See also

Pray: for God to prompt people to be more careful with combustible materials (Ps.98:8)
More: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/03/us/western-state-wildfires/index.html

Saudi Arabia:Things women still can’t do

Saudi Arabia is issuing driving licences to women after abolishing its ban on female drivers. 2,000 women want to complete a driving course now offered at all-female university campuses. However women are still restricted in everyday life. They can’t make major decisions without male permission. They must have a male official guardian, father, brother etc., and need their guardian’s consent to travel, obtain a passport or sign contracts. Their dress code is governed by a strict interpretation of Islamic law. The religious police harass them for exposing too much flesh or wearing too much make-up. Women must limit time spent with men to whom they are not related and most public places have segregation. They cannot use public swimming pools available to men neither can they compete freely in sports. Saudi Arabia proposed hosting an Olympic Games without women. They cannot try on clothes when shopping or read an uncensored fashion magazine.

Pray: for God to bring justice into the system of this gender-segregated nation (Ps.103:6)
More: http://www.theweek.co.uk/60339/things-women-cant-do-in-saudi-arabia

Praise Reports
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