Headliners for the week of 21 February, 2020

Burkina Faso: three attacks in four weeks

Three attacks in four weeks. That’s the case for Christians in Burkina Faso, where militant Islamist terrorists have carried out a brutal campaign. Greg Musselman of Voice of the Martyrs Canada says the killing have skyrocketed from 80 in 2016 to over 1,800 since. “You've got 600,000 people that are internally displaced, and that becomes a problem. So, at this point, it is one of the world's fastest growing human humanitarian crisis, and the numbers seem to be getting worse. And again, when you look at the fact that the number of people displaced in Burkina Faso has risen 1200 percent in 2019 and again, it is continuing right into 2020.” Right now we don’t know exactly which group committed the murders, but the attacks follow the pattern Boko Haram used in Nigeria: frequent and regular attacks. Musselman says the United Nations has responded to the attacks, and will increase relief efforts in the country. “In the middle of all that, too is that proclaim, the message of peace that Jesus, came to bring to this earth, ‘cause really that's the only thing that is going to stop this thing from getting out of control. I mean, it already feels like that as well. But it is, it could get a lot worse as it spirals out of control.” Pray that Christians in Burkina Faso would be kept safe, and that they would have the strength to show grace and mercy.

Call to action

  • Pray that Christians in Burkina Faso would be protected, and that they would have the strength to show grace and mercy.
  • Ask God to bring peace to Burkina Faso through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Pray that the citizens of Burkina Faso would not join the militant groups, but would work for peace.

Bashir remains key figure in “new” Sudan

Flickr_2011 photo of Omar al Bashir_credit UNAMID

Sudan (MNN) -- Former president Omar al-Bashir built Sudan’s reputation as an oppressive, blood-thirsty nation. Even after his removal, Bashir remains a key part of the “new” Sudan’s future. World Mission’s Greg Kelley explains that in order to heal, the Sudanese must see Bashir held accountable for his actions. Horrible things took place under his watch, including severe persecution. You can support Sudanese believers through World Mission. We’ll explain how at Mission-News-dot-org.

Call to action

  • Pray for justice and resolution in Sudan.
  • Ask the Lord to comfort and restore families and communities devastated by Sudan's violent past.
  • Pray for definitive peace and stability between tribal groups and military commanders who continue to vie for power.

Christians overcome missions obstacles by relying on locals

The coronavirus COVID-19 has infected over 73,000 people around the world, and has made travel and other missions work difficult. But North American missionaries face more consistent challenges as well. Barbara of Global Disciples says, “Right now, of course, everybody's paying attention to the coronavirus and the immediate health needs and what that can do for people moving between countries. You also have issues where you've got political repercussions that countries won't allow Americans in. Americans won't allow their people in, visas start shutting down. You have some areas where for diplomatic reasons or war zones, Americans are not allowed to travel.” This is why Global Disciples uses a different method to spread the Gospel in other countries: training Christians born there who already know the language and culture. “They also have an understanding of the history and context that we, coming in from the outside, wouldn't have. Because they've been there. They've lived through the crisis. They've been the refugee. They've been through the economic ups and downs. They understand how things work in their country because they've lived it their entire life.” Give to Global Disciples to support their work, pray that God would use it to spread the Gospel, and be the Christian on the ground in your culture and context.

Call to action

  • Be the Christian on the ground in your cultural context.
  • Give to support Global Disciples as they train believers to share the Gospel in their cultures.
  • Pray that Christ would build His Church around the world, in every country and culture.

Simplicity is ‘wishful thinking’ in a place like Sudan

Sudan (MNN) -- The United Nations wants the US to remove Sudan from its ‘terrorism’ list. The UN wants to help Sudan overcome its challenges. Wycliffe Associates’ main mission is to provide access to God’s Word. As a ministry that’s adapted to the test of persecution in Sudan, it’s meant introducing portable Bible translation equipment. So while the announcement sounds like progress, President Bruce Smith says tribalism in Sudan is tough mindset to change. Be praying boldness and wisdom for believers in this transition.

Call to action

  • Pray that God will give Sudanese Christians boldness and wisdom to navigate a potentially dangerous situation.

Christians respond as desert locusts devour and destroy

WikimediaCommons_desert locust swarm 2004 morocco

Ethiopia (MNN) -- A problem of biblical proportion is munching its way across East Africa. The UN warns of regional famine as desert locusts devour and destroy, moving in swarms the size of major cities. More than 25 million people in the region already suffer from food shortages. Now, locusts are destroying what remains. Compassion International’s Tewodros Gebremeskel says impoverished families suffer more than most. Compassion works with local church partners to meet physical needs while sharing the hope of Christ. Find your place in the story at Mission-News-dot-org.

Call to action

  • Ask the Lord to intervene in this situation and stop locusts from spreading.
  • Pray Compassion’s church partners will have wisdom and discernment concerning aid distribution and needs assessment.