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Praise Reports

The miracles of Thailand’s cave rescue

The rescue saw miracles from beginning to end. First of all, divers travelled underwater trailing a rope for their return route. The rope was too short, and when the divers raised their heads above the water surface they stared directly at the boys stranded on a ledge above. Had they gone any further, they would have missed them. Then, just hours after the last boys and their young coach had been rescued, the pumps failed and the water levels rapidly increased. Give thanks also for the devotion of the coach as he sought to keep the boys calm by meditation. Pray now for the recovery of the survivors, that they will not have flashbacks, nightmares or any fears of confined space, but rather that they will experience post-traumatic growth. PTG happens when a traumatic experience changes lives positively. If so, they will have positive futures as they grow into confident young men with a higher psychological level of functioning. Pray also for the family of the diver who died in the rescue.

Praise: God for the team’s deliverance from a situation that could have been a disaster. (Job 26:2)
More: www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jul/11/thailand-cave-rescue-water-pumps-failed-just-after-last-boy-escaped

Voodoo nurse guilty of sex trafficking

A London-based nurse has been convicted of trafficking five Nigerian women into Germany to work as prostitutes after subjecting them to ‘voodoo’ rituals. Josephine Lyamu forced them to swear oaths to hand over money to her during ‘juju’ ceremonies. Praise God for the successful prosecution. The women had been psychologically manipulated and financially exploited, as well as sexually abused. This is the first conviction under the Modern Slavery Act, passed in 2015. See also the IJM prayer requests in the ‘World’ section.

Praise: for the restoration of the women’s lives. Pray for more successful UK convictions. (1 Samuel 18:14)
More: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-44645937

Praise Reports

For the nation and all in authority

A 19th-century prayer from Rev H Stobart: ‘O God, our refuge and strength, who orders all things in heaven and earth, look down with your mercy upon us as a nation. Remember not our iniquities, nor the iniquities of our forefathers, neither take vengeance on our sins. Pour out upon us, and on all the people of this land, the spirit of grace and supplication, and join us together in piety, loyalty, and brotherly love. Direct the counsels and strengthen the hands of all in authority for the repression of crime and outrage, the maintenance of order and law, and of public peace and safety; so that, leading quiet lives in all godliness and honesty, we may be your people and You may be our God; and that we may bless and glorify You, our Defender and Deliverer; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.’

Pray: for the High King of Heaven to have mercy on our land. May His kingdom come to our nation. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen. (1 Timothy 2:2)
More: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MLrZ8EP3wE

Trump’s visit causes huge police operation

President Trump’s ‘working’ visit to the UK has attracted large-scale protests, as activists have had plans for major demonstrations laid out for months. The police response is the biggest since the riots in London after Mark Duggan’s death. Amnesty International said thousands will be making their voices heard: ‘In the 15 months of his presidency, we’ve seen a deeply disturbing human rights roll-back – including the discriminatory travel bans, a reckless announcement on Jerusalem, harmful policies on refugees, women’s rights and climate change. He has shown an impatience bordering on intolerance towards peaceful protests, the media, and even the democratic process itself. So his visit to Britain is an important opportunity to underline the importance of free speech and the right to protest.’ A spokesman said police forces had worked together on a significant, multi-faceted security operation supporting the presidential visit. See

Pray: for the safety of the President and his wife, and that the outcome of his visit will promote God’s future UK/US trade plans. (Jeremiah 29:11)
More: www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/donald-trump-uk-visit-date-nato-summit-2018-a8324001.html

Brexit must be workable to avoid no deal

As the Government revealed details of its EU withdrawal plans, Brussels has warned Theresa May that the proposals must be workable in order to avoid a no-deal scenario. UK’s new Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, is insisting the Government white paper sets out exit aims while being practical, respecting the referendum result, and backing business. However, chief Brussels negotiator Michel Barnier said the proposals must conform to EU rules and not create extra costs, and he told business leaders to prepare for a no-deal scenario.

Pray: for the EU exit plan to be truly God’s plan above all else. (Psalm 33:11)
More: www.itv.com/news/2018-07-12/eu-warns-may-that-brexit-plans-must-be-workable/

Troubles flare in Northern Ireland

Vehicles were stolen and torched during disorder linked to loyalist bonfires. A pipe bomb exploded close to a police operation in Belfast. Police were warned that loyalist paramilitaries were planning to ‘orchestrate and participate in serious disorder’. There were nights of disorder in Londonderry. Petrol bombs and missiles were thrown. Hundreds of fires were lit at midnight to usher in the 12 July Orange parades. Masked men used burning cars to block roads close to the Ulster Hospital. A bus with passengers was hijacked before being set alight. Security alerts resulted in main roads being closed, while one incident prevented passengers from leaving Belfast City Airport. Fire and Rescue Service had received 327 emergency calls by 01:00 on 12 July. Dissident republicans were blamed for firing six shots at police with an automatic weapon. The police are treating the incident as attempted murder.

Pray: for the political parties’ call for calm to be acted on by dissidents. (Psalm 140:8)
More: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-44803169

Scotland: priest ‘spat on and threatened’

Four people were arrested when an estimated 4,500 people marched through the streets of Glasgow on on 7 July as part of the annual Orange Walk. A priest was attacked outside St Alphonsus’ church on Stevenson Street as the congregation gathered for afternoon mass while the marchers passed by. A worshipper who saw the incident said, ‘The priest was spat at, verbally abused, and also assaulted by a baton. I was disgusted. I eventually got hold of an officer after screaming at her to get resources to protect him.’ It is not known if the priest reported the incident to the police, or if it was another member of the public. A police spokesperson said, ‘We can confirm we are investigating reports of an assault on a man outside a church in Glasgow at around 4.20 pm on Saturday’.

Pray: for the Protestant/Catholic division to make way for unity. (Ephesians 4:1-3)
More: www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/priest-spat-hit-baton-outside-12877970

Should people be forced to be gay?

Rod Liddle, of the Spectator, spoke about gay conversion therapy and the Government proposals making it illegal saying, ‘This is all at the behest of campaigning bodies like Stonewall, and their insistence that an alternative opinion to theirs should be made illegal’. He added, ‘Gay conversion therapy has made the lives of thousands of people happier. I spoke to one chap who had considered himself gay for much of his twenties and thirties, was uncomfortable about it, and is now straight and happy. Nobody is suggesting that all gay people might benefit from it. Nobody is questioning the right of gay people to live happily, free from discrimination. Yet because some gay people are so intolerant of any views which differ from their own, they wish to make these views illegal.’

Pray: for our Government to listen to those challenging its proposed ban. (Genesis 2:18,22)
More: anglicanmainstream.org/should-people-be-forced-to-be-gay/

Ban on Franklin Graham ads

Adverts on buses promoting a church-run event in Blackpool featuring Franklin Graham are being removed after a number of complaints were made. Blackpool Transport, which oversees the buses, claimed the ads ‘resulted in heightened tension’. A number of people had taken to social media to claim that he would be preaching hate and homophobia at the event, due to take place at the city’s Winter Gardens in September. Jane Cole of Blackpool Transport said, ‘The removal of these adverts is as a result of us listening to and acting on customer and public feedback, which we aim to do at all times. Blackpool Transport is a proud ongoing supporter of the Pride and LGBT+ communities, and in no way did we intend to cause any distress or upset.’ Graham said, ‘I’m not coming to preach hate, I’m here to preach about a Saviour – Jesus Christ.’

Pray: that all who are meant to hear Mr Graham’s message will hear and have their lives changed. (John 10:10b)
More: www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Blackpool-Transport-bans-Franklin-Graham-event-ads

Novichok murder inquiry

Police have launched a murder inquiry after Dawn Sturgess died following exposure to the nerve agent Novichok in Wiltshire. Her relatives are receiving support from specially-trained family liaison officers. Professor Paul Cosford said, ‘As a precaution we still advise the public not to pick up any strange items such as needles, syringes or unusual containers.’ The death of Dawn Sturgess, a British citizen on British soil, now changes the investigation to a murder inquiry, with all the diplomatic and security implications that carries as Britain blames Moscow for the original attack in March.

Pray: for God to encourage Neil Basu, head of UK counter-terror policing, in his inquiries. (Job 5:12)
More: www.euronews.com/2018/07/08/uk-police-step-up-hunt-for-source-of-novichok-poisoning

Praise Reports

Brussels: Trump’s visit

President Trump’s seventh foreign trip of his presidency took him to Brussels NATO meetings, where he called members of the alliance ‘delinquent’ in their defence spending and insisting they increase it ‘immediately.’ The NATO summit focused on ‘Make Peace Great Again’, but Trump’s provocative comments aimed at Germany amplified the unease and detracted from the summit’s goal of projecting unity in the face of Russian aggression (see World article on Israel/Russia/Syria). However Trump and NATO leaders did agree to bolster their defence and deterrence capabilities to head off Russian threats. In both Brussels and the UK thousands have shown their negative opinions of president, stating, ‘He is not welcome because he predicts a world of war, detains children in cages, has discriminatory travel bans, and policies on women’s rights and climate change. See

Pray: for Trump’s statements to cause no adverse effects in international politics. (Proverbs 2:6)
More: edition.cnn.com/2018/07/10/politics/donald-trump-nato-summit-2018/index.html

NATO focusses on Afghanistan

NATO leaders moved beyond the demands of Donald Trump for higher defence spending, and focussed on ending the long war in Afghanistan, in the second day of a summit in Brussels underscored by transatlantic tensions. They welcomed non-NATO partners, including Afghan president Ashraf Ghani and Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko, to focus on policy rather than politics. On the first day, Theresa May had announced an additional 440 personnel for the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, saying, ‘I think that shows when NATO calls, the UK is one of the first to step up.’ NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg wants leaders to agree to fund Afghan security forces until 2024, despite public fatigue in Western countries about their involvement in the conflict. US officials told Reuters, ‘Washington is preparing another review of strategy’, a year after Trump begrudgingly agreed to extend involvement in the 17-year-old war.

Pray: for wise decisions to be implemented successfully by all Nato leaders and advisers. (Proverbs 16:16)
More: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/07/12/nato-leaders-try-focus-afghanistan-ukraine-following-trump-row/

Praise Reports

Israel: Assad’s safe from Israel, but Iran must quit Syria

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russia that Israel would not seek to topple its ally, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, but Moscow should encourage Iranian forces to quit Syria. This happened just hours after Israel shot down the third Syrian drone that had penetrated its airspace recently, underscoring the frontier’s volatility. Israel is on high alert as Assad’s forces advance on rebels in the Golan Heights (land which Israel captured from Syria in 1967 and annexed in a move not recognised internationally). Israel worries that Assad could let his Iranian and Hezbollah reinforcements entrench near Israeli lines or that Syrian forces may defy a 1974 Golan demilitarisation. Russia has an active interest in seeing a stable Assad regime, and Israel want the Iranians out. These aims can clash or align. Israel will not get involved in Syria’s civil war, but said they will ‘act against anyone who acts against us.’

Pray: for God to give Israeli ministers wisdom about Syrian forces in Golan’s buffer zone. (Psalm 2:10,11)
More: www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-israel/israel-military-says-fired-patriot-missile-at-drone-from-syria-idUSKBN1K11RX

Global: IJM prayer requests

South Asia IJM are searching for two teenage girls being exploited by a private sex-trafficking network. IJM worked with police for weeks to rescue them, but at the last minute they were moved from the target location. Please pray for a new strategy to find the girls quickly, without tip-offs making the traffickers suspicious. Also, remember the Dominican Republic mother of two sex-trafficking survivors struggling to provide for her five children. The European expat perpetrator in this case is offering her increasingly large sums of money to drop accusations against him, but she refuses every time. May God strengthen her and provide for the family’s needs. Finally, thank God for Kevin Hyland, who leaves the role of UK independent anti-slavery commissioner at IJM this month. The role was created under the Modern Slavery Act of 2015, and his work has been groundbreaking in uniting forces from NGOs, the private sector, and the Government to fight modern slavery. Pray for wisdom in the selection of his replacement. See

Pray: for God to provide all that is needed for the ongoing work of IJM. (Psalm 18:36)
More: www.ijm.org/

Global: YWAM and refugees

It has been almost three years since the ‘refugee crisis’ was brought to the world’s attention. Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, came like a flood from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe, fleeing war, drought, terrorism and pain. Many Christians responded compassionately, with thousands volunteering across Europe to serve the refugees who had left everything behind. Many YWAM workers got involved through serving on the shores of Europe, along the migration route and in destination nations like Germany and Sweden. On the island of Lesvos alone, more than 1,000 YWAMers served in the camp, with a combined effort of approximately 20,000 days of work! While the number of volunteers has decreased, displaced people are still coming and helpers are still needed to meet practical needs and build relationships with the people in the camps. In 2018 refugees no longer live in camps. Host nations face the challenge of integrating thousands into their society.

Pray: for all who are working to reach out to God’s lost children. (Deuteronomy 10:17-19)
More: www.ywam.org/blog/2018/05/07/praying-for-refugees-updated/

New Zealand: church separation – same-sex relationships vote

Talks have begun to try to reach an amicable separation between members of four conservative evangelical churches and the Diocese of Christchurch. The congregations of the four churches voted by large majorities to disaffiliate following the decision in May by the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia to permit churches in New Zealand to bless same-sex marriages. Archbishop Philip Richardson, one of the Primates of the ANZP, has now met with senior diocesan staff and archdeacons and the vicars and wardens of the four parishes to discuss how their members could disaffiliate ‘in a respectful manner’ while maintaining good communication and leaving doors open. ‘This is a broken and painful place to be,’ Archbishop Philip said, ‘but we need to find a way to walk through this uncharted land that is gracious, hospitable and realistic.’ They now enter a three month ‘resignation/exit process’ so that ‘logistics are managed sensitively’.

Pray: for both parties to part amicably and communicate about each other respectfully. (1 Peter 2:17)
More: www.anglicannews.org/news/2018/07/negotiations-begin-for-amicable-separation-following-same-sex-relationships-vote.aspx

UN agency risks climate goals

Transparency International has highlighted several flaws that could hinder the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO’s) ability to deliver on its own climate goals in reducing carbon emissions. The report outlines several key policy issues and recommendations that the IMO, the United Nation’s leading shipping agency, must address in order to meet international standards for transparency, accountability, and integrity. These changes are essential if the IMO is going to honour its environmental and climate mandates and reach a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of at least 50% by 2050. The IMO’s accountability policies are currently hindering policymaking and leaving the agency susceptible to private influence. While the IMO’s initial strategy adopted in April is a big step forward for the international shipping sector, more must be done to ensure the agency meets its targets. If left unchecked, shipping emissions could grow from 2.5% to 17%.

Pray: for the Paris agreement to be adhered to, and for God’s world to be cared for. (Ps.24:1)
More: www.transparency.org/whatwedo/publication/governance_international_maritime_organisation

Japan: record rainfall causes disaster

Mudslides and flooding caused by torrential rain have killed 195, with the toll expected to rise further. 75,000 responders have been deployed for search and rescue operations. Further storms and landslides are expected, causing additional danger. Prime minister Shinzo Abe cancelled scheduled trips abroad to focus on disaster relief efforts. The UN was ready to provide support if Tokyo requested it. Parts of Japan had received 20 inches of rain, with Hiroshima, Okayama, and Hyogo inundated with even more. In two hours some cities were completely flooded as deluges fell across mountains and then funnelled down, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Those unable to leave took shelter on rooftops as water and mudslides buried houses and vehicles. Pray for a Christian presence among the fearful and grieving.

Pray: for God to direct coordinated relief for the homeless. (Psalm 8:4)
More: edition.cnn.com/2018/07/10/asia/japan-floods-intl/index.html

Praise Reports
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