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Autumn 2013

prayerdiary Your prayers answered Amazing success of IF

Home for Christmas Welcoming Jesus once again

45 amazing things Giving thanks for 2013 www.tearfund.org/pray


Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund

Ideas for small groups

Welcome ‘For the first time in my life, I felt there were good people in the world,’ says Basira from Afghanistan. ‘People have stopped insulting me – they now respect me and treat me like a proper person,’ says Birtukan from Ethiopia.

With each week of prayer, you will find a Welcome to the weekend box which links to the week’s theme. Some of these are creative prayer ideas, while others suggest activities or resources that will help you engage further with Tearfund’s work. You might like to use the Prayer Diary individually or in your church home group, reading through the prayer requests and doing a creative prayer activity together.

I was really inspired to think again about my attitude to poverty by a talk Brian Fikkert gave at Tearfund’s annual staff conference. Brian is a Professor of Economics and Community Development and Director of The Chalmers Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as well as a member of Tearfund’s Theological Panel. He asked us to consider how we would answer the question, ‘What is poverty?’ He explained that ‘poverty is often thought of as the lack of material resources or finances, in which case We’d love to know how you it is likely that handouts are given in order to assist people or get on, so please do email communities’. But he challenged that view saying, ‘Words used to us with your feedback described poverty by “the poor” themselves are shame, inferiority, praying@tearfund.org powerlessness, humiliation, fear, hopelessness, depression, social isolation and voicelessness.’ I can see the distinction clearly in the testimonies of Basira and Tearfund Birtukan. A Tearfund partner in Afghanistan helped Basira through We are Christians passionate a group that encouraged her community to learn about hygiene, about the local church bringing clean water and seed cultivation. Birtukan used to be a beggar but justice and transforming lives – a Tearfund partner in Ethiopia encouraged her to be part of a selfovercoming global poverty. help group, to save money and start a business. And so our ten-year vision is Let’s remember Basira and Birtukan as we pray, understanding to see 50 million people released from material and spiritual poverty that the change that needs to happen is not simply in the material through a worldwide network things. Ultimately, it’s in the human heart as broken people come of 100,000 local churches. to know the love of God – and all of us are broken. This is a special issue as we join Tear Times in celebrating 45 amazing things that have happened in this, our 45th anniversary year (see page Audio and Braille versions of the 2 of Tear Times for details). But the most amazing thing that can ever Prayer Diary are available, free of charge, happen is a life being transformed from despair to hope in Jesus. upon request. You can also order more Peter Shaw Editor, Prayer Diary

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copies of the Prayer Diary for your church or group and sign up to receive extra copies. Please call Supporter Enquiries on 0845 355 8355. autumn 2013 prayer diary


Contents CHALLENGING POVERTY WITH CREATIVITY Prayer spotlight on Created fair trade gifts

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BUILDING STABILITY IN AFGHANISTAN Prayer focus on this troubled country

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45

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AMAZING IF Thanking God for an amazing campaign

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PEACE AND HEALING IN DRC Lifting up the Democratic Republic of Congo in prayer

EQUIPPING THE CHURCH Lifting up Tearfund’s international publications

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TACKLING STIGMA IN CENTRAL ASIA Prayer focus on troubled former Soviet republics

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EMPOWERMENT IN ETHIOPIA Celebrating the success of Ethiopian Self-Help Groups

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BANGLADESH BUILDING COLLAPSE Thanking God for people rescued from the rubble

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NEW URBAN WORLD Prayer focus on the growth and impact of cities

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HOME FOR CHRISTMAS Giving thanks for Jesus dwelling with us

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ENDING TRAFFICKING IN INDIA Calling on God to end child trafficking

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AMAZING ANSWERED PRAYERS Praising God for lives transformed this year

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WHEN FAITH LIVES ON Celebration of generous final gifts

Clive Mear/Tearfund

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45 AMAZING THINGS

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THANKSGIVING IN GUATEMALA Prayer focus on people supported after the floods

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SPEAKING UP Prayer requests from Tearfund’s volunteer speakers

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SMALL-GROUP PRAYER REFLECTION Don’t let possessions possess you

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Prayer dates for your diary 16 October

World Food Day

19 November

World Toilet Day

20 November

World Day of Prayer and Action for Children

25 November

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

1 December

World AIDS Day

9 December

International AntiCorruption Day

‘Jesus is Lord!’ proclaimed in Malawi. prayer diary autumn 2013

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CHALLENGING POVERTY WITH CREATIVITY: 29 SEPTEMBER – 5 OCTOBER Created sells a range of beautiful items online and through its catalogue, and every sale helps ensure skilled artisans in developing countries are able to make a sustainable living. Let’s pray… SUNDAY 29 SEPTEMBER One of Created’s new suppliers for this year is Boo Enterprises, an inspiring business that trains vulnerable people in Madagascar to make bags. Hidden on each bag is the name of the person who made it, signifying that they are at the very heart of Boo. Pray for suppliers like this, empowering some of the world’s poorest people through creating and trading. Boo Enterprises

MONDAY 30 SEPTEMBER Created only functions thanks to a passionate and industrious team. For example, Darryl takes your order, picks, packs and sends it off on its way to your door. Pray for Darryl today, and the many others working hard behind the scenes at Created.

TUESDAY 1 OCTOBER Another new Created supplier for this year is Azizi Life, an initiative empowering people in Rwanda to make a sustainable living by creating and selling beautiful handicrafts. Pray for ventures like this, helping people who thought they had nothing to realise they are blessed with gifts and skills they can use to overcome poverty.

WEDNESDAY 2 OCTOBER Jenny from Northern Ireland has been selling Created goods for ten years, generating a massive £150,000 to help people living in poverty. She is one of more than 1,000 volunteers around the UK and Ireland selling Created goods over Christmas, and every one of them is crucial in order for Created to continue its work. Please pray for volunteers like Jenny, and thank God for them.

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Each bag made by new Created supplier Boo Enterprises carries the name of the individual artisan who made it.

‘Dear God, creator and Lord of all, thank you for blessing all of us with skills.’ THURSDAY 3 OCTOBER Satish is one of thousands of craftspeople around the world benefiting from Created. Having trained under a master craftsman, he is now able to earn a better income and provide his children with access to a good education. Thank God for Created, and pray it will grow to help even more people like Satish.

FRIDAY 4 OCTOBER ‘We massively appreciate the prayers of Tearfund supporters. Please pray specifically for great sales. About 650 artisans get direct employment as a result of Created orders, and sales need to grow if we are to help more people,’ says Neil Stevens, head of Created. Please pray for strong sales this Christmas and in 2014.

SATURDAY 5 OCTOBER Dear God, creator and Lord of all, thank you for blessing all of us with skills, gifts and abilities. We praise you for Created, helping some of the poorest people on earth make a sustainable living using these skills. Please bless this work. Amen.

Welcome to the weekend – what you can do If you don’t already shop at Created, please do. You can browse the latest collection at www.createdgifts.org or order a catalogue by calling 0845 218 3960. If you’re interested in selling Created products in your church or community, email created@tearfund.org or call 0845 218 3964

autumn 2013 prayer diary


BUILDING STABILITY IN AFGHANISTAN: 6 – 12 OCTOBER Instability is part of the fabric of daily life in Afghanistan, whether in politics, society or the natural world. This week, we pray for God to strengthen the people of this country which faces immense challenges but which has still greater potential. SUNDAY 6 OCTOBER

THURSDAY 10 OCTOBER

SATURDAY 12 OCTOBER

Afghanistan has been blighted by conflict for decades. Raging since 2001, the current conflict has seen a high death toll and has brought considerable hardship. Pray for lasting peace that will enable the country and its people to prosper, and for the safety of Tearfund’s staff and partners there.

More than 70 per cent of Afghans do not have access to clean water. Tearfund’s partners are providing water filters, latrines and vital training on hygiene and sanitation. Before Sayed attended a training course, his children were often unwell. Thank God for the change he reports: ‘My family members are now healthy, happy and free from disease.’

Lord, using the Prayer of St Francis, we pray for people who will be instruments of your peace in Afghanistan. Where there is hatred, let there be love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.

MONDAY 7 OCTOBER Livelihoods in Afghanistan are often fragile – so a Tearfund partner is training vulnerable families in animal husbandry and providing them with their first cow or goat. The offspring are then passed on to other families in need. Praise God that Zalmay received a heifer, and was soon able to sell surplus milk and cheese in the bazaar.

FRIDAY 11 OCTOBER Once, Khalida was afraid to leave the house alone, even to do her shopping. Since joining a women’s Self-Help Group, her confidence has soared, and she now runs a successful company employing 50 women. Pray that more Afghan women will be empowered to lift themselves and one another out of poverty.

TUESDAY 8 OCTOBER The literacy rate in Afghanistan is just 28.1 per cent. Thank God that, through attending literacy training from Tearfund partner Serve, more than 1,000 people have found employment. One participant, Mariam, went on to become a literacy teacher herself. ‘I’m now able to help other villagers with my knowledge,’ she says.

‘My family members are now healthy, happy and free from disease.’

Welcome to the weekend – creative prayer idea Read Isaiah 58:11-12 Reflect: Identify and meditate on the promises of God in this passage. Pray: Ask God in his grace to bring about each of these things in Afghanistan. Act: Write out on a postcard one or two of these promises that particularly speak to you, and place the card somewhere prominent in your home. Whenever you see it, pray that promise over Afghanistan.

WEDNESDAY 9 OCTOBER

prayer diary autumn 2013

Steven Palubinski

Afghanistan is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. When three villages lost their entire harvest through flash floods, a Tearfund partner helped them to restore their land, replant crops and construct a flood defence. ‘You have brought us to life again,’ said village elder Mohammed. Please pray for protection from future environmental hazards.

The literacy rate in Afghanistan is just over 28 per cent, something which Tearfund partners are working to address. 5


EQUIPPING THE CHURCH: 13 – 19 OCTOBER Tearfund wants to see local churches flourish and bless their surrounding community. To do that well, they need to be equipped in every way, including with knowledge and practical skills. We do this through training and advice and by providing high-quality publications in many different languages. SUNDAY 13 OCTOBER

TUESDAY 15 OCTOBER

THURSDAY 17 OCTOBER

Our international magazine, Footsteps, is now in its 92nd edition, reaching readers in 160 countries in five languages! Pray for energy and creativity for the contributors, editors and designers.

Imagine the scene... Your aunt has been diagnosed with HIV and you want to find out more about her condition and how to care for her. But all the information available is written in a language you can’t read. Pray for those who are translating Tearfund publications, giving access to information to people who have little available in their mother tongue.

Tearfund provides training for our partners, on topics from child protection and gender issues to reducing the risk of disasters and environmental sustainability. We build up their capacity to face challenges on the ground. Pray for training to be clear and effective, with a lasting impact.

MONDAY 14 OCTOBER This summer, we launched a new version of our Tearfund International Learning Zone (TILZ) website, which has practical resources for people across the world. It has new sections in French, Spanish and Portuguese and a new look. Pray that it will reach new audiences across the world, particularly in remote locations. For more details, visit www.tearfund.org/tilz

Henrietta Blyth/Tearfund

Yideneku Melese, from Ethiopia, an avid reader of Tearfund’s Footsteps magazine.

WEDNESDAY 16 OCTOBER Give thanks that many of our international publications go to libraries where they can be shared by hundreds of people, maximising their impact. Pray for encouragement for librarians in developing nations who generally have very small budgets for new books.

FRIDAY 18 OCTOBER Next year, we are launching a new version of our Advocacy toolkit. Through it, we hope thousands of people across the world will be able to broaden their understanding of campaigning, lobbying national and local government, working in coalitions and much more. Thank God for all the people involved in producing this new guide. Pray for many policies to be changed as a result, in favour of poor communities.

SATURDAY 19 OCTOBER

‘May your people be strengthened and empowered.’

Dear Lord, thank you for equipping the church with everything we need for the good works you have prepared in advance for us to do. Thank you for all the ways you are enabling Tearfund to take part in this work of inspiring, training and encouraging our brothers and sisters across the world. May your people be strengthened and empowered to follow you in the communities where you have planted them. Amen.

Welcome to the weekend – creative prayer idea Think about how you are involved in equipping others in your church. Do you actively pass on the knowledge and skills you have? Ask God to show you if there are areas where you could be involved in equipping ‘his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up’ (Ephesians 4:12).

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autumn 2013 prayer diary


EMPOWERMENT IN ETHIOPIA: 20 – 26 OCTOBER For more than a decade, Tearfund partners have helped to set up and support more than 10,000 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) across Ethiopia. This week Joanna Watson, Tearfund’s Advocacy Adviser – who recently visited Tearfund partners Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC) and the Full Gospel Believers’ Church (FGBC) – helps us pray for this work. Joanna Watson/Tearfund

SUNDAY 20 OCTOBER Self-Help Groups (SHGs) are groups of people who develop as their members, usually women, come together and start to offer each other mutual support and save money collectively. For most of the women, this involves sacrificing something small every week, perhaps a coffee or a bus fare. Thank God for the sacrifices these women are making. Ask God to provide for their financial needs.

MONDAY 21 OCTOBER Every SHG has to balance saving and spending. EKHC and FGBC provide training on how to do this, covering topics such as bookkeeping, financial accountability and business development. They also facilitate the opening of bank accounts to enable the SHGs to invest their money. Please pray for EKHC and FGBC staff and volunteers to give wise and timely support.

TUESDAY 22 OCTOBER SHGs bulk-buy oil, sugar, salt and other commodities, which they sell to each other, investing any excess profit into their communal savings. Members can take out loans to set up a small business or pay for their children’s school fees. Praise God for the many women who testify that the SHGs have given them income-generation opportunities and strong relationships with fellow members.

A family in Kewet Wereda who have benefited from a Tearfund partner’s Self-Help Group programme.

WEDNESDAY 23 OCTOBER In Nazret, Ethiopia, several SHGs joined together to open a kindergarten to meet a need that they had identified for pre-schoolage children. Thank God that, when a local authority inspection threatened to close down the kindergarten, the SHGs persuaded officials to give them better premises and provide free training for their members, significantly increasing their literacy.

THURSDAY 24 OCTOBER A recent report from the Emergency Nutrition Coordination Unit identified the Kewet Wereda area as having exceptionally high levels of child malnutrition. This concerned FGBC so much that they started training members of SHGs in Kewet Wereda in how to recognise and treat child malnutrition. Please pray for this training to bear much fruit.

Welcome to the weekend – what you can do Do you feel moved to pray regularly for Tearfund’s partners and the communities we work with? See page 23 to find out how to join a local prayer group.

prayer diary autumn 2013

‘Pray that God will provide malnourished children with nutritional supplements.’ FRIDAY 25 OCTOBER The SHGs in Kewet Wereda have been able to connect affected families with government health centres that provide therapeutic feeding programmes. Pray for these families, that God will provide malnourished children with the nutritional supplements they need – and for the government health centres, that they will know who to prioritise as they allocate therapeutic supplements.

SATURDAY 26 OCTOBER Dear Lord, just as scripture asks us to care for orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27), we trust you to care for the women who are members of the SHGs in Ethiopia, and for their families. Please give them wisdom as they make decisions about saving and spending, and please provide for all their needs. Amen. 7


NEW URBAN WORLD: 27 OCTOBER – 2 NOVEMBER For the first time in human history, the majority of the global population live in cities. Nearly 100,000 people move into urban slums every day. Conditions are hard, but they are also home to hope, dignity and progress. Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund

SUNDAY 27 OCTOBER Many move to slums in search of a better life, but find that they are ill-equipped for life in the city, lacking the necessary education or skills to get a job. Pray they will know the reality of Psalm 34:18: ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’

MONDAY 28 OCTOBER Jaya and Chiti* grew up in a slum in India, but are now teachers in Discipleship Centre, run by Tearfund partners in Delhi. Praise God for Jaya and Chiti and people like them serving the poor in urban areas. Pray for strength, wisdom and resources so their work can flourish.

Life is a daily struggle for young families who live in urban slums, such as this one in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

TUESDAY 29 OCTOBER

THURSDAY 31 OCTOBER

SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER

The lack of adequate sanitation facilities is a serious problem in urban areas, where the high population density increases the risk of disease. Pray that local governments will create and implement sanitation policies that ensure provision for the whole community.

Pray for strength, wisdom and resources for Pastor William, who leads a church in Los Lotes, a suburb of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. Working with Tearfund partner Paz y Esperanza, Pastor William’s church delivers muchneeded training to promote healthy family relationships in the community.

Dear Lord, we ask you to inspire us to reach out with love to our neighbours, the people we know by name and the ones whose names are known by no one. Please break our hearts for our urban world. Let our churches be salt and light in this new urban world. Amen.

WEDNESDAY 30 OCTOBER ‘Life on the street is tough but the worst time is at night – you have nowhere to go. It’s hard to believe that there is a God when you are eating from the garbage,’ says Caleb Rukundo, a former street child. Pray for Caleb, now a Tearfund Inspired Individual, and for the children he works with in Uganda, who live on city streets.

FRIDAY 1 NOVEMBER More are moving into urban areas because they cannot support themselves in rural communities and go in search of better opportunities for themselves and their families. Pray that more churches in rural places will be mobilised to transform their communities, and reduce the need for economic migration to cities.

‘Life on the street is tough but the worst time is at night – you have nowhere to go.’ 8

Welcome to the weekend – what you can do Use our online prayer guide to pray and reflect individually, in small groups or at church. Visit www.tearfund.org/pray and click on the ‘resources’ tab to access the guide.

*Names changed

autumn 2013 prayer diary


ENDING TRAFFICKING IN INDIA: 3 – 9 NOVEMBER ‘I have a dream,’ says Aneeta, ‘to end trafficking in India.’ These are the words of one lady working to restore women rescued from Mumbai’s sex industry. This week we lift our voices to our Heavenly Father, who knows every one of his children experiencing such horrors. SUNDAY 3 NOVEMBER

THURSDAY 7 NOVEMBER

SATURDAY 9 NOVEMBER

‘I met with 11 young women, all rescued from Mumbai’s sex industry by a Tearfund partner. Girls who have been used as prostitutes from as young as nine,’ explains Jamie Fyleman, Tearfund’s Head of UK Church Relationships. ‘It’s time for us, the UK church, to play our part in bringing an end to this appalling abuse and to pray today that this will end.’

Gyan is an example of a lady rescued from the sex industry who has been through a Self-Help Group, received a loan and set up a fishing business. Because she has a choice, her children are safe. ‘I will never sell my children,’ Gyan smiles, ‘I keep them close to me. Because of the business, I have become self-reliant.’ Praise God.

‘In the midst of hopelessness, there is hope. When we help people realise their own potential and ignite the entrepreneurial spirit, then suddenly these communities could be transformed,’ says Jamie Fyleman. Praise God that more and more dedicated people are working together to end trafficking.

FRIDAY 8 NOVEMBER

Names of children trafficked have been changed.

MONDAY 4 NOVEMBER

Tearfund’s partners are working to bring people from different Eight-year-old Ravi was abducted communities together to prevent from his village. His father is disabled, his mother is uneducated trafficking. ‘We are finding a and the family are extremely poor. voice,’ says one local leader. They know who abducted Ravi and ‘We have found a community of friends who can stand together they know he’s been put to work in an unsafe rice factory. Today, lift to deal with the issues. We are your voice to our Heavenly Father united.’ Pray that such groups will stay strong and united and pray for Ravi’s return. against trafficking.

‘I met with 11 young women, all rescued from Mumbai’s sex industry.’

TUESDAY 5 NOVEMBER

Welcome to the weekend – creative prayer idea Trafficking is a massive issue, but everything is possible with God. Today, will you choose to join with us and dream big? Choose a colourful cotton thread and make yourself a simple bracelet. Tie it around your wrist and make a decision today to commit to pray for people being trafficked.

Jamie Fyleman/Tearfund

‘The answer to the problem of trafficking is the local church. The church is in many of the communities we visited: it knows the people responsible and those affected. At the moment, it’s only just beginning to discover its role in meeting both the practical and the spiritual needs of those living in poverty. Pray today that the church will be bold to rise up and speak out,’ says Jamie Fyleman.

WEDNESDAY 6 NOVEMBER ‘Please pray for those engaged in prevention, rescue and rehabilitation work. Some of them face severe risk as they encounter resistance from the well organised mafia which controls the trafficking trade,’ says Sudarshan Sathianathan, our Head of Asia Region. India is a source, destination and transit country for child trafficking, which Tearfund partners are working to prevent. prayer diary autumn 2013

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WHEN FAITH LIVES ON: 10 – 16 NOVEMBER Gifts made through supporter's wills play a huge part in sustaining Tearfund’s work. This week, let’s give thanks for those who make sure their faith, beliefs and passions live on, enabling the light of Jesus to shine in some of the world’s poorest places. SUNDAY 10 NOVEMBER

TUESDAY 12 NOVEMBER

THURSDAY 14 NOVEMBER

Betty Solly from London dedicated her life to serving others in her home church of St Stephen’s, Putney, as well as through her role as Mayoress of Wandsworth. By leaving a legacy to Tearfund, she ensured her resources would continue to serve others far into the future. Praise God for those like Betty with a servant heart.

Madge Aldridge from Worthing was unable to have children, but dedicated much of her life to caring for young people, for example fostering and leading a Girls’ Brigade group. In her will, she left a gift to support Tearfund’s work with vulnerable children, ensuring this good work continued. Praise God for those who are passionate about caring for vulnerable people.

‘For me, leaving money to Tearfund is leaving a real legacy. To leave it to people who have absolutely nothing is a huge privilege,’ says Hilary Field, who decided to pledge a legacy. Pray that more people will come to see what a privilege it is to help others.

MONDAY 11 NOVEMBER ‘Mum and Dad gave great thought to the distribution of their legacy, taking care that the family were all cared for, as well as looking to care for the worldwide church family through their donations to Tearfund,’ says Angela Wheeler of her parents, Diana and Eric. Praise God for making us one family, with him our wonderful Father.

‘Remind us, Lord, that the resources we have on this earth are yours.’ Welcome to the weekend – what you can do

WEDNESDAY 13 NOVEMBER Eileen and Fred Welch worked in Kenya for many years before retiring to Hampshire. Fred was a teacher and church leader, and Eileen taught at the first secondary school in Kenya for African girls. They were passionate about tackling poverty, and to this end they left a gift to Tearfund in their will. Thank God for lives lived so generously.

FRIDAY 15 NOVEMBER ‘Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.’ (Proverbs 19:17) This week, we’ve read about some inspiring people who’ve made significant contributions to Tearfund’s work by pledging or leaving gifts in their will, and there are many thousands more. Today, let’s remember and praise God for them.

SATURDAY 16 NOVEMBER Dear Lord, thank you for your amazing gift of life. Please teach us to live it well, in a way that enriches the lives of others. Help us remember that the resources we have on this earth are yours, and show us how to use them wisely. In Jesus' name, amen.

Join our Tearfund legacypledgers, to bring hope to future generations in the greatest need. If you are considering or have already chosen to leave a gift in your will to Tearfund, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Clare Norman either by emailing legacies@tearfund.org or calling 0845 355 8355. Eric and Diana Wheeler (top). Madge Aldridge (bottom left) and Eileen Welch (bottom right) – amazing supporters who left a gift in their wills to Tearfund. (Photos and stories shared by generous permission of their families.) 10

autumn 2013 prayer diary


AMAZING IF: 17 – 23 NOVEMBER

Clive Mear/Tearfund

God has given us a world that produces enough food for everyone, but every day one person in eight goes hungry. This year Tearfund helped lead the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign to challenge that injustice. THURSDAY 21 NOVEMBER ‘The climate has changed drastically,’ says Folomina Fombe, a 47-year-old farmer from Malawi. ‘Farming is extremely difficult.’ The G8 restated rich countries’ promise to tackle climate change and provide $100 billion a year to help poor countries adapt to it. But they didn’t agree on where the money would come from. Pray that poor people, who are least responsible for climate change, will get the assistance they need.

FRIDAY 22 NOVEMBER

SUNDAY 17 NOVEMBER

TUESDAY 19 NOVEMBER

‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.’ (Proverbs 31:8) Give thanks that the church stood up to be counted. Give thanks for united, powerful IF campaign services in London and Enniskillen, for good media coverage of them, and for churches that were full to overflowing.

Praise God for a big and diverse coalition of more than 200 different groups that joined together as part of the IF coalition. Pray that politicians, public and the media remember that so many of us want this to be a generous country.

Give thanks for victory in Tearfund’s Unearth the Truth campaign. In June, the EU voted to make oil, gas and mining companies publish what they pay to governments, as we’d asked. Making these payments public instead of secret makes corruption harder and means poor communities are more likely to benefit. Give thanks again that David Cameron backed it, the US has passed a similar law, and Canada promised to follow suit.

WEDNESDAY 20 NOVEMBER

SATURDAY 23 NOVEMBER

Give thanks for the IF campaign’s successes so far. The UK government increased the aid budget and the G8 summit of world leaders agreed to make it harder to avoid paying taxes in poor countries. Pray that these promises are kept and the extra money released serves hungry people well.

Pray that the church in the UK will continue to hear ‘God’s summons to become his Agents of Change by the power of the Holy Spirit’, as John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, put it at the IF campaign’s G8 service in Enniskillen. Pray that, as we live this out, we’ll show the rest of society that we follow a God of love and justice.

Thousands of supporters, including this couple, came to London’s Hyde Park to support IF.

MONDAY 18 NOVEMBER Give thanks for churches around the country taking part in the campaign. New Life Christian Fellowship, Beccles, held an IF church service and had a good conversation with their MP at their church lunch. Give thanks too that we are free in the UK to speak up.

‘God’s summons us to become his Agents of Change by the power of the Holy Spirit’ prayer diary autumn 2013

Welcome to the weekend – what you can do The IF campaign has been amazing. Visit www.tearfund.org/g8 to be inspired by our celebration video, be informed about what the campaign achieved to serve hungry people and discover what’s left to do.

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PEACE AND HEALING IN DRC: 24 – 30 NOVEMBER The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a vast country, the size of Western Europe. It’s rich in natural resources yet broken by poverty and conflict. DRC remains in crisis after being at the centre of what has been called ‘Africa’s World War’, where millions died. The country’s eastern regions remain volatile, and more than 3 million people have fled their homes. Richard Hanson/Tearfund

SUNDAY 24 NOVEMBER Rape is used as a weapon of war in DRC: estimates suggest 48 women are raped every hour. Pray for Tearfund partner Heal Africa, providing medical care, trauma therapy and prayer support to people who have experienced sexual violence. Pray that God will comfort and heal survivors.

MONDAY 25 NOVEMBER There are an estimated 2.7 million people currently displaced in the DRC. With armed conflict getting closer to his village, Biamungu Kipenduka knew there was just one option for his family – to run. ‘We took nothing, we just… ran.’ Pray for displaced families, and particularly for their children, growing up amid such instability.

TUESDAY 26 NOVEMBER ‘If we have peace, we can continue and get on with our lives,’ says Ibrahim, a farmer from Tukutuku. Pray that lasting peace and security will reign in DRC and that people won’t be tempted to take justice into their own hands.

WEDNESDAY 27 NOVEMBER ‘O God, loving parent of all, comfort your children – displaced, wounded, lost or orphaned by conflict in the DRC – and give the people of that country courage to seek enduring peace with justice and freedom, that their children might grow up without fear. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.’ Adapted from the Anglican Swahili prayer books: Tanzania (1995) and Congo (1998).

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Tearfund partner Heal Africa supports women who have been sexually attacked in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

THURSDAY 28 NOVEMBER

SATURDAY 30 NOVEMBER

Tearfund supports 11 partners in DRC, as well as working directly on the ground through a Tearfund team. Together, they provide assistance with water and sanitation, and work on issues around sexual violence, church and community mobilisation, health education and food security. Pray that God will give them wisdom, protection and good health.

DRC’s relationships with its neighbours over the years have been strained; many of them have fought over resources, land and other, political issues. Pray for the leaders of DRC’s neighbours, such as Rwanda and Uganda; pray that they will promote peace and understanding with DRC.

FRIDAY 29 NOVEMBER Habiba’s family had to live in the bush to escape the conflict, and she had to watch her children suffering from malnutrition. ‘Life is slowly returning to normal,’ says Habiba. ‘Thanks to Tearfund we are now eating three meals a day again and I don’t have to worry about how to feed my children.’ Praise God that hope has been restored.

Welcome to the weekend – creative prayer idea Some peoople call DRC ‘the forgotten conflict’. Make sure you remember Congolese people this week: visit www.tearfund.org/pray and download our DRC prayer guide, or re-read this page over the weekend.

‘Thanks to Tearfund, we are eating three meals a day again.’ autumn 2013 prayer diary


TACKLING STIGMA IN CENTRAL ASIA: 1 – 7 DECEMBER After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the former Soviet republics fell into economic and social disarray. In this environment, problems like HIV spread rapidly. This week, we pray for health and hope for the region. We have changed all names this week to provide anonymity. SUNDAY 1 DECEMBER

WEDNESDAY 4 DECEMBER

FRIDAY 6 DECEMBER

Praise God today, World AIDS Day, for Tearfund’s partners delivering HIV education in Central Asia. Roza, a rural nurse, teaches her patients how to prevent the spread of HIV. ‘I realised that the purpose of my life is to protect the health of my fellow villagers,’ she says.

When he was 18, Ulan killed a man and spent ten years in prison. Staff from a Tearfund partner visited him regularly, later helping him train as a painter and decorator. Now happily married with two children, he says, ‘People really need support and forgiveness.’ Pray that more prisoners will experience forgiveness.

Poverty and unemployment are endemic in Central Asia. Desperate for work, Olga moved to the city, but lacked education and training. A Tearfund partner provided her with hairdressing training, and – praise God – she is now happily working in a salon. ‘My trainer helped me discover myself and my opportunities,’ she says.

THURSDAY 5 DECEMBER

SATURDAY 7 DECEMBER

When former drug user Mirlan set up a rehabilitation centre, local community members were outraged. They hurled stones at the residents, whom they considered ‘dirty people’. Relationships are improving, but are far from perfect. Pray for Tearfund’s partners – for understanding and love to flow in their communities.

After his wife’s death, Hamid turned to alcohol and drugs to ease the pain. A rehabilitation centre run by a Tearfund partner helped him to make a fresh start, and now he manages the centre’s large poultry farm. Praise God that he can say, ‘I no longer feel like a nobody – I have found peace.’

‘I no longer feel like a nobody – I have found peace.’ MONDAY 2 DECEMBER

Sarah Newnham/Tearfund

After attending HIV training with a Tearfund partner, Andrey put his knowledge into practice when his friend was diagnosed as HIV-positive. ‘Now I see the need to help and fully support my friend,’ he says. Pray that all those living with HIV will know God’s loving care.

TUESDAY 3 DECEMBER In one state, more than 90 per cent of young people leaving children’s homes fall prey to trafficking, addiction, prostitution, HIV or criminality. Thank God for Oksana, 21, who is supported by a Tearfund partner: since leaving the home, she has won a place to study psychology at a prestigious university.

Welcome to the weekend – creative prayer idea

Tearfund partners offer vocational training in many Central Asian states. prayer diary autumn 2013

Make time this weekend to enjoy an egg (real or chocolate!) – a symbol of new birth. Reflect on the fresh start experienced by Hamid as he cares for his chickens and by the others you’ve prayed for this week. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17, and ask God to give new life in Christ to many more people across the Central Asian states.

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BANGLADESH BUILDING COLLAPSE: 8 – 14 DECEMBER In April 2013, a nine-storey building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. There were an estimated 3,000 people inside, working in the Rana Plaza’s garment factories, banks and stores. Twelve volunteers with Tearfund partner Koinonia risked their lives to help with the rescue effort, saving 2,535 people’s lives. SUNDAY 8 DECEMBER

TUESDAY 10 DECEMBER

Pray for those grieving the loss of the 1,127 people who died in the tragedy. Pray they will know God’s hope and comfort. Thank God for the many who survived. Pray for them as they rebuild their lives, especially for those who have suffered serious injuries and loss of limbs.

‘As soon as possible I reached the spot and saw a heartbreaking image,’ said Anjon Baroi, a businessman in Savar and one of the 12 volunteers in the MCCEP group. ‘I never saw this type of tragic scene in my life.’ Pray for those involved in the relief effort, that God will heal them of any shock or trauma they may have experienced.

MONDAY 9 DECEMBER

Prince Elison Baidya

Thank God for the way in which he prepared local churches through an initiative of Tearfund partner Koinonia, called Mobilising Church in Community Earthquake Preparedness Program (MCCEP). This meant volunteers trained to respond to such disasters were of real value to the rescue service and could make an effective and timely response.

WEDNESDAY 11 DECEMBER ‘I feel very proud that I saved many lives and thankful to Koinonia and the fire service that they allowed and selected me to join with this rescue work,’ said Flabian, another member of the rescue group. Praise God for the effectiveness of the training programme and for the success of its future ventures.

‘I feel very proud that I saved many lives.’ THURSDAY 12 DECEMBER ‘I pray that God gives wisdom to the builders so that they maintain the building codes while making such building,’ said Anjon. Join him in praying for a change to building regulations and their implementation, so that safety conditions improve and similar accidents are prevented.

FRIDAY 13 DECEMBER ‘Before starting our MCCEP, the church action was limited to activity among congregations,’ says MCCEP’s Programme Organiser, Prince Elison Baidya. ‘But now we have come out from those barriers and we are dedicated to showing the love of Jesus Christ among the community.’ Pray that the local churches will continue to make Christ known.

SATURDAY 14 DECEMBER Pray for Prince and the team at Koinonia as they continue to serve church communities in Dhaka. Ask God to give them wisdom as they go about their daily work training and encouraging local churches and thinking strategically about ways of doing this.

Volunteers from Tearfund partner Koinonia risked their lives to help rescue 2,535 people from the rubble in Bangladesh.

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Welcome to the weekend – creative prayer idea By yourself or with a group, pray for a sea-change in working conditions across the developing world. Use a map of a local shopping centre as a guide to pray specifically for the people behind the businesses, in the UK and abroad.

autumn 2013 prayer diary


Clive Mear/Tearfund

HOME FOR CHRISTMAS: 15 – 28 DECEMBER Christmas is the story of the King of Kings who came to live with us, but had no home to welcome him. Across the world, many families enjoy the festivities but this Christmas is a particularly precious time for one family in Nepal: Raju, Sarita and their two children, 11-year-old Usa and Kusal, who’s six. For the next two weeks, we reflect on Christmas and pray for Raju’s family. SUNDAY 15 DECEMBER ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son...’ (John 1:14) Let’s prepare our hearts as we remember Jesus coming to earth as a human. Lord, we ask you to dwell with us over the next few weeks as we celebrate the greatest gift to humanity, Jesus Christ.

prayer diary autumn 2013

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United Mission to Nepal

Sarita, Kusal, Usa and Raju have been strengthened though the support of their local church.

MONDAY 16 DECEMBER

THURSDAY 19 DECEMBER

We celebrate Jesus’ birth because of the hope it gives. The nativity heralds the coming of a kingdom with a ruler determined to seek out and live among the lost, the overlooked and the forgotten. Lord Jesus, we welcome you as our King of Kings and we ask you to lead us to lost, overlooked and forgotten people.

Christians connected to Tearfund’s partner, United Mission to Nepal (UMN), found Raju’s family – feeling rejected, hopeless in the face of overwhelming poverty. The family believed they had been robbed of life, their dignity destroyed. Thank you, Jesus, that your coming to earth demonstrated that you were not prepared to let people perish, but came to give them life.

TUESDAY 17 DECEMBER More than 2,000 years later, the message of hope at Christmas is still offering a welcome and providing a home to the poorest people on earth. Raju, Sarita and their two children, Usa, who’s 11, and six-year-old Kusal, live in Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world – and they’re supported by one of Tearfund’s partners. Thank you, Lord, that you came to bless all people on earth.

WEDNESDAY 18 DECEMBER Raju’s family were among the most deprived in their community – poverty and lack of prospect had left them with nothing. As the family huddled together at night – sleeping outside the houses of friends – Usa said she felt like an outcast. Dear Lord, we ask you to be with all people in Nepal who feel like outcasts.

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FRIDAY 20 DECEMBER UMN offers help so that poor families can experience ‘fullness of life’. Inspired by the teachings of Jesus, they work with poor people, communities and families to give them essential skills. They work with the local Christian community, offering the support and fellowship families need to release themselves from poverty. Pray for the work of UMN, that they will be directed to those who most need their support.

‘Your prayers have provided a lifeline to families like Raju’s.’ SATURDAY 21 DECEMBER Raju, Sarita and the children have been welcomed into the loving Christian community of their local church. Praise God that the whole family have found hope, a life blessed with knowing God. And, through the support of the church and UMN, they are learning new skills, and have built a house. A safe place that fills Usa’s heart with joy. A home at last.

SUNDAY 22 DECEMBER As we celebrate the time Jesus came to dwell with us, we want to thank you for all that you are doing to support Tearfund. This year, your generosity, prayers and actions have provided a lifeline to families like Raju’s. Thank you for answering Jesus’ call to make room for people living in poverty this Christmas.

Welcome to the weekend – creative prayer idea On Saturday 28 December (see next page), there is a Christmas prayer. It would be great if you could share it at your church service this Christmas or read it at a small group or prayer meeting this week.

autumn 2013 prayer diary


MONDAY 23 DECEMBER

BOXING DAY 26 DECEMBER

FRIDAY 27 DECEMBER

Please pray for Raju, Sarita, Usa and Kusal, that they will continue to experience life to the full. There are many more families like Raju’s in Nepal – and beyond – who desperately need your support to understand their value and purpose in Christ.

‘And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.’ (Luke 2:8-9)

‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’ (Luke 2:14)

CHRISTMAS EVE 24 DECEMBER To earn money, Raju pulls a rickshaw, which is physically very draining. But he does it because he wants to provide for his children. Pray that Raju will be able to set aside enough money to buy an auto-rickshaw (a motorised vehicle), which will be less exhausting.

CHRISTMAS DAY 25 DECEMBER ‘While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.’ (Luke 2:6-7) The son of God arrived on this earth in human form, fragile and dependent. Reflect today on how vulnerable you are before God, and ask how much more you need to depend on him.

Welcome to the weekend – what you can do

prayer diary autumn 2013

‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’ Luke 2:14 SATURDAY 28 DECEMBER Join in this Christmas prayer: We welcome you, Jesus, into our hearts and homes this Christmas. Thank you for choosing to come to earth, To make your home among the humble. We ask you to dwell with us, to change our hearts, So that we welcome forgotten, struggling but precious people Into our lives this Christmas and in the days to come. We pray for families like Raju and Sarita’s. We ask you to bless them with enough food and shelter. We ask you to inspire us to play our part To support your precious children across the world. Thank you for the amazing planet you have created. Please use me to care for people in need across the world. Amen.

Clive Mear/Tearfund

If you have been inspired by Raju’s story and the amazing work that Tearfund partner UMN is doing with this and many other families across Nepal, your church can continue to support them. To find out more, visit www. tearfund.org/christmas

It’s easy, among the feasting and festivities, to forget how worldchanging the events of Christmas were. Praise God that he came to be with forgotten and overlooked people, like the shepherds, and welcomed them in to the celebrations.

Pray for peace for Raju, Sarita, Usa and Kusal in Nepal. Ask that God’s favour will rest upon this precious family. Pray too that they will use the training provided by UMN to help them choose the most nutritious food.

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AMAZING ANSWERED PRAYERS: 29 DECEMBER – 11 JANUARY 2013 marks the 45th anniversary of Tearfund. To celebrate, we’re highlighting 45 amazing things that God has done this year. You can read more inspirational stories in Tear Times (enclosed with this Prayer Diary). So, for the next two weeks, we will thank God for 14 amazing answers to prayers... SUNDAY 29 DECEMBER

WEDNESDAY 1 JANUARY

FRIDAY 3 JANUARY

Your prayers have been answered across a whole continent. Tearfund supporters prayed in 2011 as we gathered Anglican leaders in Embu, Kenya, to inspire them about church and community mobilisation. Let’s give thanks to God because this life-transforming approach has now spread to seven more countries across Africa.

Diane Holt, a Tearfund church and community adviser, tells of a story from Knocknagoney, Northern Ireland, ‘Every Friday, people from churches across the area meet together to bless the community. Praise God that he has answered our prayers with a massive reduction in crime figures, new play park facilities and educational achievement greatly improved.’

David Vincent from Tearfund’s team that works with UK partners says, ‘It’s been really encouraging to see more churches in the UK opening their doors during the week, as well as Sundays, to welcome people from their local community. Join me in thanking God that, on Easter Sunday last year, one drop-in centre – run by a church in Parkhead, Glasgow – baptised three of their drop-in guests.’

MONDAY 30 DECEMBER After giving a challenging speech about US drug patents policy, one of Tearfund’s Inspired Individuals, Gracia Ross, was congratulated by US President Barack Obama. Thank God for this amazing encouragement for Gracia, an expert on sexual and reproductive health rights, who co-founded Bolivia’s first organisation for people living with HIV.

TUESDAY 31 DECEMBER

‘If you concentrate your efforts and ask God for help, he will!’ Alemayehu Anjulo, from Ethiopia, is being taught by Tearfund’s partner to use better farming techniques to increase yield and support his seven children. 18

Religious tensions are rife in Nigeria but praise the Lord for Tearfund’s partner, Evangelical Church Winning All, which has started a peace-building project in Tafawa Balewa community, scene of violent conflict between Muslims and Christians. In January last year, 20 key leaders – ten Muslim and ten Christian – came together to talk and take part in a peace-building workshop.

SATURDAY 4 JANUARY Alemayehu from Ethiopia learnt about conservation farming – a Bible-inspired method of farming which reduces cost, labour and soil loss – from Tearfund partner Wolaitta Kale Heywet Church: Terepeza Development Association. Although he was sceptical, he gave it a go and says, ‘Try this, you can easily feed your children with little or no cost. If you concentrate your efforts and ask God for help, he will!’ Praise Jesus for Alemayehu and his family.

WELCOME TO THE WEEKEND – WHAT YOU CAN DO On these pages are just 14 of 45 amazing stories we have put together to celebrate 45 years of Tearfund. To read many more, spend half-anhour reading the stories in Tear Times too (enclosed with the Prayer Diary). Then you could pass your copy on to a friend to encourage them.

autumn 2013 prayer diary

Louise Thomas/Tearfund

Godstone Baptist Church in Surrey were faced with an £80,000 bill for water damage, which their insurers wouldn’t pay. But, after praying, they went back to the insurance company, which agreed to cover the cost in full. Praise the Lord that they were so grateful for God’s provision that Godstone Baptist held a ‘gift day’ and gave £17,000 to Tearfund’s Syria appeal.

THURSDAY 2 JANUARY


45 AMAZING THINGS

45

SUNDAY 5 JANUARY

Andrew Robinson/Medair

A local church that is running a food bank in Yorkshire, supported by Tearfund’s partnership with the Cinnamon Network, received a visit from a desperate single father who couldn’t feed his family because his benefit payment was delayed. But thank the Lord, the church gave him a family food pack, and, when he received a back payment, he wanted to make a donation to help others.

MONDAY 6 JANUARY When Tearfund partner Diaconia met him, Ivan from Pernambuco in Brazil was at the point of giving up farming, as it wasn’t providing a living. They worked with him to improve his farming practices, and – thank God! – the transformation has been phenomenal. His family now run a successful fruitprocessing business that provides for all their needs.

TUESDAY 7 JANUARY In 2005, Tearfund partner Diocese of Hyderabad in India found Mr Bhalo suffering from severe tuberculosis. Thanks to prayer and the provision of free treatment (as he could not afford to pay), Mr Bhalo is now well and working as a tenant farmer. Pray that his harvest will be good and that he will remain well.

WEDNESDAY 8 JANUARY A single mother with three young children, one of whom is autistic, had her life and outlook transformed through the help of a lunch club in Kidderminster, which is supported by Tearfund in partnership with the Cinnamon Network. She usually found the school holidays a struggle and would stay at home, but this year she joined the church lunch scheme. Give thanks that she found acceptance and love and said the experience ‘rescued’ her family.

prayer diary autumn 2013

Thanks to a generous £17k donation from Godstone Baptist Church, Tearfund can support more families displaced by the Syrian conflict.

THURSDAY 9 JANUARY

SATURDAY 11 JANUARY

In a small community in Zimbabwe, one lady’s life was transformed through a Bible study on Psalm 92:12–15. The congregation were challenged to respect and value older people. Seven ladies volunteered to clean the yard and wash the dirty clothes of granny Maria, a widow with no one to care for her and just one dress to wear. Praise God that Maria says of the experience, ‘Jesus visited me and touched my life when you came.’ She is now an active church member.

Inspired Individual Theresa Malila was so inspired by Tearfund’s report on sexual violence, Silent no more, that she decided to take action in Malawi. Theresa’s campaign against gender violence in her country gained the support of Malawi’s president and the Association of Women Judges in Malawi. Praise God that this resulted in express courts being set up, where 60 cases of rape were heard.

FRIDAY 10 JANUARY Thanks to all of you who use a Tearfund credit card from the Co-operative Bank. As a result, we now have an extra £1.1m to support life-changing work around the world, responding to disasters and working through Christian and local church partners. Give thanks for all the ways people support Tearfund.

‘Jesus visited me and touched my life when you came.’

WELCOME TO THE WEEKEND – CREATIVE PRAYER IDEA Turn to page 22 to read another amazing story from 2013. This is a regular feature in the Prayer Diary, a smallgroup reflection, which you could use in your small group or as a focus for a personal time of devotion.

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THANKSGIVING IN GUATEMALA: 12 – 18 JANUARY In November 2012, Guatemala was rocked by the most powerful earthquake to hit the country in more than 30 years. Thanks to God’s grace, prayer and the work of Tearfund’s partners, we have seen restoration and hope streaming into the region. Let’s give thanks this week… Israel Hernández/AMI San Lucas

SUNDAY 12 JANUARY Thousands of people in desperate need received practical support after the earthquake. Neighbours, communities and local organisations rallied together to start restoring lives after so much destruction. Praise God for the sacrificial love many people showed in giving time and resources and for the collective response across the country.

MONDAY 13 JANUARY Ana lives in Tajumulco, San Marcos. She received crucial help from Tearfund’s partner, AMI San Lucas, immediately after the disaster. She said, ‘We now have a safe place to live with my children. God bless you.’ Give thanks that Tearfund’s partners were able to support Ana and many others in communities shattered by the earthquake.

Thousands of people received emergency support from Tearfund partners following the Guatemala earthquake in November 2012.

Welcome to the weekend – creative prayer idea Reflect: Read Isaiah 58:6–7. What does it mean to ‘loose the chains of injustice’ today? Pray: How can this kind of ‘fasting’ be reflected more in your own life? Act: Consider helping or supporting a local initiative near you that works with community groups to release people from poverty.

TUESDAY 14 JANUARY Juana Tzunun and her family lost their home in Sololá. Thanks to the generous giving of people around the world, Tearfund’s partners were able to provide materials to rebuild the house. Juana and her father were even able to improve their home with concrete blocks. Praise God for the generosity poured out.

WEDNESDAY 15 JANUARY Thank God for the gradual rebuilding process and the progress made since the quake. Pray for the continued restoration of lives, both physically and spiritually, and for wisdom on behalf of leaders and decisionmakers as Guatemala continues to recover. Please pray that our partners and others can help reduce the nation’s vulnerability to disasters. 20

THURSDAY 16 JANUARY

SATURDAY 18 JANUARY

‘My family and I are grateful to God for his mercy. We have experienced a difficult time in our lives. We lost what little we had,’ says Catarina, a mother from Panyebar. With support from AMI San Lucas, she was able to rent a room for her family. Thank God that many families received shelter and food following the earthquake.

Dear Father, thank you that you are sovereign and wholly good. Thank you that each person affected by the earthquake in Guatemala is known by you. Please continue to comfort those who are suffering and to rebuild lives broken by the disaster. Please work in this situation for your good. Amen.

FRIDAY 17 JANUARY Read and reflect on 2 Corinthians 1:3–4. Praise God that he is full of compassion and is our great comforter. Thank Him that he comforts us in all our troubles and we can share this with others in need. Pray that those in Guatemala who have lost loved ones and homes will be comforted.

‘My family and I are grateful to God for his mercy.’

autumn 2013 prayer diary


SPEAKING UP: 19 – 25 JANUARY ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.’ (Proverbs 31:8) Tearfund speakers are shining more of God’s brilliant light into churches all over the UK, bringing news of lives transformed in the world’s toughest places, and helping congregations see how they can be part of the story. SUNDAY 19 JANUARY

TUESDAY 21 JANUARY

THURSDAY 23 JANUARY

Alison Dennis shared her experiences of a Tearfund Asia trip, triggering fresh passion for God’s justice in her church. Now the congregation from Kent have become campaigners, joined Tearfund’s Connected Church scheme, and even started considering overseas trips themselves. She says, ‘I’ve been in this church for 25 years and never seen anything like it.’ Praise God for this exciting new chapter.

‘My prayer is for opportunities to present themselves for speakers. I’m raring to go but invitations aren’t always forthcoming,’ says Bob Forster, Chipping Norton. Pray into whether your church might benefit from booking a Tearfund speaker.

The work of speakers can be challenging. ‘I’m so thrilled by the work God is doing that I sometimes find it hard when Christians don’t seem to respond in a positive way. Pray that the Holy Spirit would move in their hearts,’ says Keith Harris from Cheadle.

MONDAY 20 JANUARY Since hearing Alison Dennis’s message of God’s heart for the poor, her church have decided to use Tearfund’s UK community action resource, Just People?, in their small groups. Pray that our speakers will encourage a whole-life awakening that blesses everyone involved.

WEDNESDAY 22 JANUARY ‘My journey with Tearfund is becoming increasingly exciting and I hope to continue to serve him through inspiring others to become involved and see real, lasting change in communities worldwide.’ Pray for Claire Taylor and for the stories of change that are moving people to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8).

Jay Butcher/Tearfund

‘Please pray that my words will reflect the wonderful commitment and compassion of Tearfund’s partners.’

FRIDAY 24 JANUARY ‘Please pray that my words will reflect the wonderful commitment and compassion of Tearfund’s partners and for more opportunities to speak to new churches who have little knowledge of Tearfund,’ says Val Dufour from Ipswich.

SATURDAY 25 JANUARY Father, you generously share your power with us. Help us to use it to serve you, love others and speak boldly for all that you care about. Encourage more churches to open their hearts to your message that to care for people in poverty brings you glory and honour. Amen.

Welcome to the weekend – what you can do

Tearfund's team of inspirational speakers travel across the UK to inspire churches and Christian groups. prayer diary autumn 2013

Tearfund has loads of fantastic volunteer speakers, passionate to share the message of how we can be salt and light for a world in need. Pray and talk to your leader about inviting one of them to visit your church. To take one small step on an incredible journey, email churches@tearfund.org or call 0845 521 0021.

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SMALL-GROUP PRAYER REFLECTION: DON’T LET POSSESSIONS POSSESS YOU Please use this reflection in your small group or prayer meetings. READ Luke 12:13-21 – The Parable of the Rich Fool

‘I’d been thinking a lot about not holding onto my stuff too tightly.’

REFLECT This story is from Anna Jacklin from Winchester, one of Tearfund’s Emerging Influencers (12 hand-picked individuals who are trained and mentored by Tearfund to use their passion and influence to inspire a generation to live differently): ‘I’d been thinking a lot about not holding onto my stuff too tightly, not letting my possessions possess me, when the same challenge popped up on Rhythms [a Tearfund initiative to help people explore how to live a life of justice every day]. It wasn’t long before the perfect opportunity presented itself – one of my friends commented on how much she liked my earrings.

PRAY Ask God to show you the things that you are holding onto too tightly. Then spend some time in silence, listening to God. You could write down some of the things he is talking to you about. If you are leading a group, ask people if they feel able to share some of the things they have noted down.

ACT Using the list for guidance, see if there are things you feel God is asking you to lay down or give away. You could post a message on your church noticeboard offering items for free, give them to someone you know is in need, or send an email out to people from church or friends listing the thing(s) you want to give away. If something is valuable, you could sell it and give the money to a deserving cause. To find out more about Rhythms, visit www.rhythms.org If you have a story to share about what you have given away, we’d love to hear from you. Email praying@tearfund.org or call 0845 355 8355.

istockphoto

‘The only problem was, they were my favourite earrings. As soon as I realised how much I didn’t want to give away my earrings, the more I realised how ridiculous it is to be owned by the things we own. What better way to learn how to hold onto my stuff more lightly than to practise giving freely?

their absence. What turned out to be way better than owning a pair of earrings was witnessing how touched my friend was when I gave her them. And better still, when another friend mentioned last week that she liked the earrings, they were instantly handed over. I like to think that this little rhythm of generosity has started a whole wave of giving freely in order to bless others.’

‘And you know what? I haven’t missed those earrings. It’s not been hard to live without them. In truth, I’ve barely even noticed

45 AMAZING THINGS

45

‘The problem was, they were my favourite earrings.’ 22

autumn 2013 prayer diary


A MOVEMENT OF PRAYER Be part of a Global Poverty Prayer Movement through Tearfund. Here are more ways to keep connected and establish regular rhythms of prayer. POST YOUR PRAYERS ONLINE Tearfund has an online prayer space where you can add your prayer, and join and respond with others around the world. Plus, you can now add a One Voice prayer space widget to your church’s website. Visit onevoice.tearfund.org for details.

JOIN A LOCAL PRAYER GROUP If you would like to meet with others to pray for issues that affect poor communities around the world, then join a local prayer group. Call 0845 355 8355 or email enquiries@tearfund.org and find out if there’s a group near you – or consider starting one.

ONLINE PRAYER RESOURCES Tearfund has a series of presentations to help you reflect on current world issues as a church, small group or individually – including a Syria Prayer PowerPoint. Visit www.tearfund.org/intercessors for details.

SEASON OF PRAYER FOR DARFUR 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the start of conflict in Darfur. Some 1.4m people continue to live in camps (UN figures). Join us in praying for the people of Darfur – visit www.tearfund.org/pray for details.

GO OVERSEAS WITH TEARFUND Tearfund offers short-term overseas opportunities to link with our partners in person. During Easter 2014, we are running a two-week prayer trip to partners in locations across India. Visit www.tearfund.org/indiaprayer for details.

KEEP IN TOUCH Please let us know if you’ve used the Welcome to the weekend ideas individually, as a church, or in your small group. Please also let us know how you personally use the Prayer Diary to pray for people in poverty – contact us at praying@tearfund.org

prayer diary autumn 2013

Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund

Right: Yiv Touch from Tonle Batie, Cambodia, praying in her home.

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‘The sovereign cure for worry is prayer.’ William James, 19th-century American philosopher

www.tearfund.org 100 Church Road, Teddington TW11 8QE, enquiries@tearfund.org Challenge House, 29 Canal Street, Glasgow G4 0AD, scotland@tearfund.org Tyˆ Catherine, Capel Cildwrn, Llangefni, Ynys Môn LL77 7NN, cymru@tearfund.org 241 Newtownards Road, East Belfast, BT4 1AF, ni@tearfund.org 0845 355 8355 Registered Charity No. 265464 (England and Wales) Registered Charity No. SC037624 (Scotland)

Front cover: Grace from Changuda Village, Malawi, holding IF campaign placard. Above: Face paint proclaiming support for the IF campaign in Hyde Park, London. Photos: Clive Mear/Tearfund

31054-(0913)


Prayer Diary Autumn 2013