Headliners for the week of 21 January, 2022

Tigray Christians flee to Addis Ababa

Ethiopia (MNN) — The committee behind the Nobel Peace Prize admonished the Prime Minister of Ethiopia for the civil war still raging in his country. Abiy Ahmed won the award in 2019. Ethiopia has not allowed humanitarian aid into the Tigray region since June, and thousands face famine and starvation. Tigray refugees have fled to Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa, including numerous Christians. Eric Foley with The Voice of the Martyrs Korea says, “We're in communication with Pastor T on a regular weekly basis. On the one hand, T lets us know that it's a very unsafe situation for them in Addis Ababa. Because the Tigray people are, of course, viewed with a lot of suspicion there. On the other hand, Pastor T is doing what he's always done, which is to take care of refugees.” Pastor T and his church members regularly feed 600 refugee kids a day. Ten new churches have sprung up among the refugees, and many people have found faith in Jesus. Pray their love would overcome the prejudice of their neighbors. Also, pray for peace in Ethiopia. Foley says of Prime Minister Ahmed . . . “Let's pray that God's Spirit rests upon him and gives him a heart even for his enemies. The international conventions that prevent civilians from being starved are really what is at issue here.”

Call to action

  • Pray the love of Christian refugees from the Tigray region will point many to Jesus.
  • Ask The Holy Spirit to bring peace to Ethiopia.

Severe drought grips Kenya

Kenya (MNN) -- More than a half-million children need immediate food aid as severe drought grips Kenya. Parts of the country haven’t had rain in almost a year. Kenya Hope provides food aid and the Bread of Life during difficult seasons like these. Now, for the very first time, they’re even buying food aid for animals. Find ways to help in the FULL REPORT. Kenya Hope works through local church partners. Pray their tangible expressions of Christ’s love leads to Gospel conversations.

Call to action

  • Pray God will send rain to the driest parts of Kenya, and provide much-needed relief to desperate communities.
  • Pray the Lord provides resources so Kenya Hope can supply partners with relief aid.
  • Pray believers’ tangible expressions of Christ’s love leads to Gospel conversations.
  • Pray Mueller and other Kenya Hope leaders will have wisdom and creative, out-of-the-box solutions. Hay and other food supplies for livestock are diminishing due to increasing demand.

Western powers fear Russian invasion of Ukraine

Ukraine (MNN) -- Since November of last year, Russia has built up about 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Ukraine this week amid fears of a Russian invasion. Throughout January, Russia has shipped dozens of people out of its Kyiv embassy back to Moscow. The U.S. and other Western countries have strongly warned Russia against an invasion. Eric Mock with the Slavic Gospel Association says, “From a national perspective, whether it's a Russian perspective, or it's a Ukrainian perspective, or an American perspective, there's a lot of guesswork. There's a lot of tensions, there's a lot of fears. Yet, for the pastors and the leaders in Ukraine, they find themselves faithfully discharging the ministry that the Lord would have them do, even in the midst of these hard times.” These Christians believe the fear and uncertainty will bring an openness to Jesus in Ukraine. “Those that are older remember the days under the Soviet Union when there was persecution of the believers. And during those days they prayed for those who persecuted them. They were people who led with love, who led with faithfulness.” Pray for peace in this region. Ask God to strengthen and grow the churches.

Call to action

  • Pray for peace in this region.
  • Ask God to strengthen and grow the local churches in both Russia and Ukraine.

Winter descends on Syrian refugees

Syria (MNN) -- A bitterly cold winter has descended on northwest Syria, putting refugees from the civil war at risk. With no money to buy warm clothes or a furnace, some resort to burning garbage. The U.N. refugee agency says the region needs 182 million dollars in aid this year but has only secured half that amount. Samuel with Redemptive Stories says, “Where we live, it's all cement construction, cinderblock. And with very little insulation. So for whatever the temperature is outside, is often what it is inside. And as you said, there's been flooding, there's regularly snow and other storms that are hitting up in the North part of Syria in particular.” Hyperinflation means buying food or fuel has been even more difficult. The value of an average salary has dropped from about 200 dollars to about 20 dollars. “In many cases, unfortunately, churches and even families have to go to the black market in order to be able to purchase their needs for their families. And in those cases, the prices are four to five times what they would normally be.” Syrian churches continue providing food and warmth to Christians and non-Christians alike. “Syria has a lot of churches, and there's a lot of Christian believers that have stayed there. So it's important for us to stand with our brothers and sisters through the season.”

Call to action

  • Ask God to strengthen the Syrian churches as they care for their neighbors.

Children in crisis: troubling new trend emerges in Iran

Iran (MNN) -- A troubling new trend emerges in Iran. More than 60-percent of Iran’s population lives below the poverty line, and officials say over 4,000 children are in crisis. Many Iranian children are sold to brothel owners in neighboring countries. A new Heart4Irian initiative reaches families with God’s Word and the hope of Christ. Pray the Lord will move mightily through this new program, and help parents see the value God places upon every life.

Call to action

  • Pray for God’s mercy, protection, and grace over vulnerable children in Iran.
  • Pray the Lord will move mightily through Heart4Iran’s new program, and help parents see the value God places upon every life.