Prayer News – February 2020

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“…I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”  Isaiah 48:17

One of the joys in Scripture Union is opening the Word of God together in our team Bible reading meetings and praying for God to speak to us as a small community. Listening to his voice and sharing are always important. Sometimes the passage of the day surprises us. This happened when we opened the Bible for the first time in 2020 as a team. It was Isaiah 48. God is speaking to Israel reminding them of the past and revealing the future. We had been sharing our thoughts and people had made some good points, when somebody asked the question, “So, what was it all about?”. God directed me to verse 20: “Leave Babylon, flee from the Babylonians…” That was ‘the best’ that God wanted to teach them and ‘the way’ he wanted them to go – back to the Promised Land. For those who were hesitant and scared of uncertainty, the very next verse reminded us that when God initially led Israel through the desert, they were not thirsty because he gave them water.

At the start of this year with many plans and expectations, this passage felt like a prophetic word. What is the way God wants us to go? What is our Babylon? What things do we need to leave behind and flee from to move into the future? What is his ‘best’ for us?

When the future seems uncertain or scary we need to remind ourselves of who God is and how he is beside us, fulfilling our needs, both in our personal lives and in our ministry. And that is how we pray – our praise to God lays the foundation for our boldness and certainty in what we ask. The past, the present and the future are brought together in praise and prayer. And you can hear Jesus’ words: “…I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Oksana Khimich
Field Development Coordinator, Former Soviet Republics

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Community News

Thailand

We give a warm welcome to the new director for SU Thailand – Ekarat Itthikaiwal. Ekarat is 35 years old and has been Assistant Director of YMCA Thailand. He has a background in tourism management and has been a youth leader in part of the Church of Christ.

Gambia

As we say farewell and thank you to Lawrence Jah, who retires as SU Gambia’s national director, we also welcome the Revd Shaka Ashcroft who has taken over as the new Director. Shaka has worked in youth ministry since 1996 when he first volunteered with Youth for Christ Mission and has been involved with Scripture Union since 2008. After training in accountancy, he studied theology at Trinity Theological Seminary in Ghana and worked as a pastor for four years. He went on to study a Masters degree in Theology and became the Director of The Banjul Bible Centre in Gambia. Having worked with the Great Commission Movement, he lectures in the Department of Christian Religious Studies at the University of the Gambia and is also a pastor at Abiding Word Ministries. He is married with two children. 
  
Vanuatu
Esline Toamavute has been welcomed as the new director of SU Vanuatu. Esline joins SU with 20 years experience in administration in a retail company, while also holding voluntary positions in various departments in her local church. From 2011 to 2015, she was a full time National Coordinator for Women’s Ministry, within the Conference of Churches of Christ Vanuatu. She went on to be General Secretary for the Conference of Churches from 2016 to 2019. Esline is married with grown up children.

Praise God!

Here’s some wonderful answers to your prayers for
SU’s ministry around the world.

Praise – Hong Kong

We praise God for the latest development in our app version of adult notes, ‘Chinese Daily Bread’. The app has been developed and updated since it was first produced in 2012. As well as asking readers to buy the app through their smartphones, we have developed an eBook redemption card which local and overseas pastors and leaders can buy for their church members to encourage them to read the Bible through the app. May God bless the launch of this new tool.

Praise – Northern Ireland

This relates to our prayer request from October 2019. We give thanks for the visit that the Counties ‘Key to Life’ lorry made to Northern Ireland last term. Hundreds of children heard the Good News of Jesus and were given space to think about who He is and the things He has done. One child asked if he could live in the lorry because he enjoyed his visit so much! We give thanks for all the volunteers who delivered lessons and supported the visit and pray that the children who attended will not forget what they have learned. 

Praise  – Malawi
We thank God for the success of our Annual General Meeting that was held in September. The main speakers were Ralph and Jane Hanger, who helped to establish SU Malawi from 1970 onwards.

Praise – Singapore
Praise God for a blessed and encouraging gathering in October at our Volunteers’ Thanksgiving Dinner/Graduation Night for our trainees.

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