Thanksgiving in Africa: Please join us in thanking God for the really encouraging news that Polio has been eradicated in Africa. In 1996, Polio paralyzed 75,000 children across Africa. That year, Nelson Mandela launched the "Kick Polio Out of Africa" programme, mobilising millions of health workers who went village-to-village to hand-deliver vaccines.
More than 95% of African people have now been immunised. It is believed that this vaccination programme has prevented 1.8 million Polio cases in Africa since then. The last known case of 'wild' Polio was recorded in Nigeria in 2016. The African Certification Commission has now declared Africa to be Polio free.
We thank God for all of the health workers and volunteers, who through their dedication and love, have helped to protect so many people. We thank God for the 1.8 million people who have not had to suffer the terrible effects of Polio and we ask that Polio can be finally driven out of the two last countries in the world: Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Healing in Lalitpur: We ask for God's healing for the staff members at the Mission hospital in Lalitput, India.
Many of us will have visited and worked at the Mission Hospital in Lalitpur. Mission Direct started working in India in 2014, partnering with non-profit health care provider Emmanuel Hospital Association (EHA), whose primary focus is to care for the poor through health, development, HIV/AIDS and Disaster relief & rehabilitation programmes. Our first project there was the build of a new maternity unit at the EHA Hospital in Lalitpur, Uttar Pradesh, replacing a unit built over 50 years ago, which was completed mid 2015.
Lalitpur is a town of roughly a million people and access to trained birth attendants is a key factor in reducing the infant mortality rate. Roughly 30 babies are born each month at the EHA Lalitpur hospital and the hospital provides access to maternity services irrespective of caste, religion or a family’s ability to pay. Without this unit, many families in Lalitpur would be refused treatment due to their financial situations and many would face losing their life – or the life of their newborn – due to giving birth on the streets.
The pandemic will have added hugely to the challenges faced in Lalitpur. We are praying for all involved with the Hospital at Lalitpur, India where several members of staff have tested positive for covid-19. Please pray with us asking God for healing and protection. Although we are not presently working in India the connections are strong and we are very concerned for the situation there.
Thanksgiving in Kumi: We thank God for the almost completed staff homes at the Kumi Bazaar School.
Originally, we planned to build staff homes at this school with the help of teams from the UK. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we have had to postpone that until next year. The needs are still there and exceed what we had planned so Richard and Jan Bacon agreed with the school PTA and Patrick the builder, to proceed with additional staff homes this year, despite not being able to go in person. The homes we had planned for this year will still be built in the future. Most of the building is complete and we only need about £6,000 to complete the project.
We thank God for Kumi Bazaar School and for the work that their PTA have put into making this project possible. We thank God for Moses, Esther, Lydia and Jesca; the teachers who will live there. We are grateful for Patrick because he has used this as an opportunity to train apprentices which has kept the costs lower. And, we are grateful for Richard and Jan Bacon for their tireless love and service to the people of Kumi. We pray that the remaining funds will be provided to complete this project and are thankful that, despite all of the current restrictions, it is still possible to make a difference and see positive changes being made.
Hopefulness in Brazil: We are encouraged that Covid-19 cases are no longer increasing exponentially in Brazil and are hopeful that this could be the beginning of a decline in daily new cases. We know that the pandemic is nowhere near disappearing, but we are thankful that it has declined in many countries and are hopeful that this will continue. We pray for the countries where it has risen again and pray for the successful development of a vaccine.
Protection in schools: We pray for the protection of all of the children and staff who are returning to school in the coming days, here in the UK and wherever else they are opening. We pray that all steps have been taken to protect everybody, and that all necessary adjustments will be quickly made in schools as there plans are tested by the return of the children.
Christian voices in the UK: We pray for Christian organisations, like Mission Direct, to survive and thrive during these difficult times. We pray that we can represent our faith in a constructive and relevant way so that the Christian voice is not lost from civil society. We pray for Christian leaders and staff to make the right decisions and to live by faith. We pray that we can continue to be a light where God wants us to shine.
We thank God for the generosity of our friends who have already supported our ABC+D Campaign (https://missiondirect.org/abcd/). Please bless them for their sacrifice and kindness which has made a real difference. We pray for continued financial support to help us continue to serve those around the world who desperately need our help.