Entries in prayer request (62)
A massive typhoon churned through the Philippines, and our country staff is asking for your prayers.
UPDATE: Our projects received rain but sustained no real damage; most of the storm's force was well south of them. However, they ask for your continued prayers:
"Please pray for these people who lost their loved ones during the typhoon. It will be hard for them to celebrate this special season because of their present situation. There are some who are still missing due to landslides. Thank you so much for your concern."
Typhoon Bopha made landfall early Tuesday morning just south of the island where most of our projects are located. Although spared a direct hit, they are experienced heavy rains.
When it first made landfall, Typhoon Bopha was considered a "super typhoon" with Category 5 strength (roughly the size and power of Hurricane Katrina). Thankfully it has since weakened to a Category 2 storm. Most families in this region of the Philippines live in the most basic of homes with tin roofs and wood slat walls. It’s estimated that more than 50,000 have fled seeking shelter from the rains and mudslides that are common in the mountainous areas of the Philippines.
We’d appreciate your prayers for the safety of the children and their families as this storm passes. To help us respond to crises like typhoons (and smaller yet equally devastating incidents such as medical emergencies) One Child Matters relies on the Children’s Crisis Fund. Your donations enable us to move quickly in times of need. If you’d like to help, visit www.onechildmatters.org/ccf to make a donation online.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We will provide updates as we are able.
On a day where we as Americans stop and recognize what we have and what we want in this country, it may be fitting to read an update from Dr. Beyda and the Medical Mercy team currently serving the children in our projects in Swaziland. Please keep them in prayer!
We went to the very first project ever opened and where we had built out medical clinic over 5 years ago. 307 patients were seen after a late start. A few very sick children: one who was sent to a hospital, one child who was severely neurologically devastated from birth, and one who need her foot amputated due to progressive gangrene. All that in addition to 5 hours of lectures to the Health Care Workers, nutritional assessments, dental hygiene, VBS, spiritual counseling, pharmacy, all patients entered into our database using bar codes, reading glasses for the elderly and more.
The team didn't blink an eye. For now, everyone here sends hello to their loved ones. We were promised a working internet server tomorrow. We'll see. Tomorrow is another day, another test of our endurance and a test of faith.
A place far from the main city finds a small project with 150 children. A somewhat slow day leaves us moving through the patient load easily without stress and able to spend time with our patients.
The children are anxious for attention, going from one of us to another, looking for and receiving hugs. We look to their faces as they sing, seeing happiness despite the lack of comforts as we know them. I wonder if we should look at ourselves once in awhile and see if we truly need all that we have.
All is well. The team is cohesive and working in unison, the purpose evident.
Each week, we set aside time as a staff to pray through prayer requests we’ve received from you and our partners overseas. It is so important to support those who work directly with your sponsored child.
Here are some of the requests we've been praying for this week and into the next:
ETHIOPIA: The cost of living in Ethiopia continues to rise, putting strain on the parents of children registered in our programs as well as project staff. Our Ethiopian staff has such a huge heart for the children, but they are burdened by their own needs as well. Please pray with us for provision and that our staff can find favor at home, in the marketplace, and in their communities to help them make the most of their resources.
Also, a mission trip with radio listeners from The House FM in Oklahoma and WCLN in North Carolina will leave for Ethiopia on September 13. They will help build a restroom and shower facility at one of the projects to address pressing public sanitation and health issues. They’re also going to do Vacation Bible School with the kids. It’s going to be a powerful trip, please pray with us that God will do much in them and through them.
KENYA: A Women’s Circle of Caring team is also leaving on September 13th for their final trip to the Emarti Maasai people. They have many projects and programs for the children and their mothers. A special message will be given – please pray for open ears and hearts.
CAMBODIA: A serious and mysterious illness is striking children in Cambodia; several children have died but the cause of this sickness has yet to be determined. We praise God that none of the children in our programs have fallen ill, but we must continue to pray protection over them and for the staff as they stay vigilant. Please also pray that the government and health care workers can find the cause of this to address it before more children are sickened or lost to this disease.
HAITI: Our staff asks for prayers for the parents to stay involved in the development of their children. As parents come to understand the benefit and value of the program, the children attend more consistently.
ZIMBABWE: So many communities need help. Please pray for discernment for the country staff and that God continues to raise up sponsors who can help them minister in powerful ways.
HONDURAS: Gangs are very active in several of the communities we serve. Please pray for the safety of our staff and that children in our programs find sanctuary at the centers. Siblings and parents can also use prayer that they stay out of reach of the gangs and provide positive, stable role models for the kids.
Thank you, as always, for joining us in prayer for the sake of the kids.
Many of us are watching the news as Tropical Storm strengthens into a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. We are thankful to report that aside from heavy rains, our programs in Haiti are okay.
Please pray with us as a team from LifeWater International is in Haiti to evaluate water sources and determine the best places for possible water wells. Please pray that any flooding recedes quickly so the assessments can move forward.
We are also praying for our many friends and ministry partners in Louisiana and Mississippi.
We have seen how our God can still storms and even turn them around. We are standing with you in prayer!
We rarely request prayer for individual staff members, but this is an exceptional case. Our dear friends and partners in ministry, Mitch and Charlotte Hildebrant, need your prayers.
Mitch and Charlotte are the directors for Children’s Cup – Africa, our partner in Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. (Before that, they worked with Mission of Mercy and Bethesda Christian Broadcasting!)
***UPDATE: Mitch has had a second abdominal surgery and is recovering well. Praise the Lord, he has not needed another chest tube. We are praying for cotinued healing. More updates in the prayer requests below.
In the middle of March, Mitch went to the hospital in Swaziland with appendicitis. During the appendectomy, the surgeon discovered a (thankfully benign) tumor in his intestines. Since then, however, Mitch has had serious complications, including pneumonia, dehydration, and several severe infections. (You can read more about that here.)
He was eventually transferring to a hospital in South Africa with better medical resources, but doctors are still struggling to address these pressing health issues, and they face several more weeks of treatment and recovery.
Our heart aches for our friends, because we know their hearts long to be on the field ministering to the kids in Swaziland.
We also know we have some serious prayer warriors in the Mission of Mercy family (after all, the last time we asked for prayer, God stalled a major cyclone and sent it away from southern Africa)!
Please join us in praying for Mitch and Charlotte. Here are a few specifics:
- Please pray against a second intestinal leak, which could lead to major infections and another surgery. Also pray that Mitch’s wound from the first surgery would heal supernaturally fast.
UPDATE: There was a second leak and a second surgery the 3rd week in May. Thankfully Mitch has responded well and it looks like his intestines are functioning. We are praying this will be the last major surgery and he can move on to healing from here!
- Please pray for minimal pain during dressing changes, that his oxygen levels will be high and his blood pressure low. Please pray against the multiple infections, especially those which have settled in his lungs.
UPDATE: This is still an accurate request. Keep praying against infection!
- Please pray against the anxiety this situation naturally produces in Mitch and Char, and in their families who are so far from them during this scary time. Please pray for peace and solid rest for Mitch and Charlotte. Please also pray for the Children’s Cup staff who continue to serve the children in Mission of Mercy projects.
UPDATE: Mitch's mother is now in South Africa with Mitch and Char, praise God. Please continue praying against anxiety, which is affecting Mitch's breathing. Please continue to lift up the Children's Cup staff as they are short-handed and still trying to serve the children faithfully.
Friends, we are grateful for your partnership in prayer and for the children. We trust that the Lord, who made healing a major focus of his ministry on earth, will continue to provide for Mitch and Charlotte.
So much is happening all over the world -- here's how you can join us in prayer for our projects and the areas we serve.
PRAISE: Confounding all storm path projects, Tropical Cyclone Irina has turned and headed out to sea. We had asked for prayer late last week as initially Irina looked to hit our projects in Swaziland and Mozambique.
To our amazement and, frankly, God’s glory, the storm is no longer a major threat. This is fantastic news because it is harvest season in this region, and the heavy wind and rains from this type of storm could devastate a much-needed maize harvest.
Current forecasts show that Irina is weakening as it spins over the colder waters of the south Indian Ocean. We are praying that Irina continues to weaken and stays far, far away from our children and projects in southern Africa.
TRIP PRAYER: A women’s mission trip to Cambodia leaves on Thursday, March 8. This diverse team of 40 women will serve Mission of Mercy’s Mechrey Floating School as well as the projects in the Siem Reap area. We are praying for safe travels, and that all of their supplies arrive safely in country!
PROVISION PRAYER: We’re also praying for our projects in Lebanon, as more and more refugees flee the violence in Syria. One of our projects is especially close to the Syrian border, but many of our programs serve the refugee population in other areas of Lebanon.
As the influx of exiles grows, so too does the strain on infrastructure, increasing the chances that refugees will face discrimination from established families already struggling to get by. In addition to praying for a quick resolution to the violence in Syria, we are praying that the fleeing families are finding sanctuary, and that those receiving them are able to provide help to them.
As our friends and staff in Swaziland shared, "a strange phenomenon has the cyclone circling in the ocean. 'Strange phenomenon'... LOL... yeah, we know His name!"
Please keep praying with us. The new projections still pose some risk for our project in Xai-Xai, Mozambique, especially, which already suffered major damage from previous storms in January. The areas our projects serve are marked with white dots in the image above.
Please continue to cover them in prayer, that Irina continues to turn and does not hit Xai-Xai or other areas in Swaziland or Mozambique.
The original March 2 Path and Request:
Our friends and staff in Mozambique and Swaziland are coveting your prayers as Tropical Cyclone Irina heads their way. Expected to make landfall in the next 24 hours, Tropical Cyclone Irina is gaining strength; the Mozambican cities of Xai-Xai and Maputo, where Mission of Mercy has two projects, are in its path.
The storm is also projected to hit Swaziland, and many in the area are already fearing damage on the scale of a 1984 storm that devastated the region. As the maize (corn) harvest is approaching, the expected flooding and wind damage could have disastrous effects on the nation's food supply.
Please join us in praying that Cyclone Irina changes its course. These two nations are still recovering from the havoc wrecked by two massive storms in January. We are standing with the children, their families, and the staff that serves them in prayer. Please pray with us!
We will keep you posted as we learn more information. As always, if your sponsored child is directly affected, we will contact you as soon as possible. If you would like to help us anticipate the needs in these two countries, please consider a donation to the Children's Crisis Fund.
As you may have heard in news reports, a large 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck the central Philippines. The epicenter was on Negros Island, to the southwest of Cebu Island, where many Mission of Mercy programs are located.
Our staff reports that the earthquake was “so strong. Everyone went out of the building to an open space. But everyone is alright.” Thankfully, a social worker was present and was able to provide counseling to children who were frightened by the event.
A dental team is also in the Philippines providing dental care to children in our projects. They experienced the trembler and several aftershocks. They will travel to another city tomorrow and ask for prayers for good weather, as much of the travel between islands involves ferry boats.
We have two very different mission teams leaving this weekend.
A dental team is traveling to the Philippines to provide much-needed cleanings, exams, and other services to our projects there. This may be the first time some of our children have seen an actual dentist. Please pray for a spirit of trust to form between the team and the community, and for an absence of fear for the little ones getting their first cleaning!
THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
On Sunday, a very special team of elementary and middle-school aged kids (and their parents and grandparents) are leaving for the DR. In response to the need in one of the communities we serve, the team raised funds to build a library.
The project expects to use the space to help children (like the sweet little girl pictured above) study and help their parents learn to read and gain new skills. We are quite excited to share more about their trip with you when they return. In the meantime, please pray for their travel and the work ahead!
UPDATE: Cyclone Funso's path is taking it out to sea. Praise God with us that our friends in Mozambique and Swaziland were spared more storms.
When it rains, it pours. And that’s definitely happening in Mozambique and Swaziland. Less than a week after Tropical Storm Dando made landfall and ruined both church buildings and homes in the communities we serve, now Cyclone Funso is threatening.
Today it strengthened to a Category 4 storm with winds over 130 mph. Thankfully, it seems to be drifting along the Mozambique Channel and has not veered inland.
We are praying Cyclone Funso continues on its projected path and skirts past Mozambique and Swaziland. Still, bands of intense storms are raking across southern Africa. Even Bulawayo, Zimbabwe is getting large amounts of rain. (You can see the general location of our projects in the white dots on the image above.)
As the ground is already saturated from Tropical Storm Dando, the aftereffects of Funso can still cause major damage. Please join us in praying for the safety of the children and staff in Mozambique, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe, especially those who may be staying under damaged roofs.
The weather reports show another round of storms brewing behind Cyclone Funso -- please pray with us that those storms also miss these beleagured countries. But if they don't, we pray that God will be making a way for those in the storm's path to find shelter and hope. And may His church continue to move to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters around the world.
You can help Mission of Mercy respond to crises like cyclones and floods with a donation to the Children’s Crisis Fund. In the past, funds have been used to rebuild homes, provide medical treatment, and allow the staff to meet the most pressing needs in a community. Thank you for your continued support of our friends and the children they serve!
Friends, we are so thankful to tell you that the children and staff at our Xai-Xai program were not injured in Tropical Storm Dando.
We do know, however, that many of the children's homes were severely damaged. Many homes in Xai-Xai are built of reeds and thatch and could not withstand the wind and rain.
The lightweight nature of the materials was also a bit of a blessing for children like Fernando pictured at left, who was inside his home when it collapsed. Thankfully he escaped with little more than a few scratches.
As you can see, much needs to be done to help rebuild the Xai-Xai community. You can help by making a donation to the Children's Crisis Fund, which is available for children whose homes were destroyed. As we reported earlier, we are also raising funds to repair the roof of the Xai-Xai project's building (which also acts a church).
We appreciate your prayers and support for the residents of Xai-Xai. These difficult times also provide an opportunity for the love of Christ to become tangible for those who have so little. Thank you for all you do.
We are asking for your urgent prayers for the children we serve in Mozambique, as they recover from the effects Tropical Storm Dando.
With forceful winds and heavy rain, Dando wreaked havoc in Mozambique, and in Xai-Xai (pronounced shy-shy) in particular. Today we received reports that the roof of the building that served as the project and church was ripped off.
The staff in Mozambique are in the process of checking on the children registered in our programs. As always, please know that if your sponsored child was directly affected, we will contact you personally; however, given the general state of things this may take some time.
If you would like to make a donation to help Xai-Xai rebuild, or to help the children and their families repair homes that were damaged, please consider making a gift to the Children’s Crisis Fund. Mission of Mercy relies on the CCF to respond and rebuild in situations like these.
Thankfully, Tropical Storm Dando has slowly lost intensity after making landfall, but is still dumping rain in Mozambique and Swaziland. Please pray for the children whose homes may have been damaged. May the Lord be their protection and keep them dry. And may His church rise up beyond the building itself and continue to serve this community.
As the team walked through the community, they were immediately smitten with the beautiful children with their deep eyes and yet horrified by their living conditions. One team member wrote,
"…what we saw should never be. No one should have to live in the filth that we saw. No child should have to play in the garbage. But then again, the children we saw had smiles on their faces as they played barefoot in piles of garbage. Maybe they know something about life that I don't know. I'd sure like to find out."
The children they saw. Children like the young boy, standing in what most would consider a dump, in his ironic and immaculate “Preserve the Future” shirt.
Because of the two-year anniversary of the massive earthquake in Haiti, today is a day of reflection in Haiti. It is a day of mourning, of remembrance. For others, it is a day of examination – have we helped? Have we made a difference for this country?
It is far too easy to get lost in analysis. So instead of focusing on our own efforts and their impact, we want to focus on the children. Like the young boy who paused during his day to let some visitors take his photograph.
Or these children with the beatific smiles as they are first enrolled in a Mission of Mercy program.
Or those who pray and sing to God before class, or those who eagerly make their way to school.
Much can be written of Haiti, of its continued status as “the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere,” a phrase that Haitian-born journalist Joel Dreyfuss considers a cage of words – “a box, a metaphorical prison” – that lends little to true understanding other than emphasizing the numerous tragedies and challenges it faces.
Instead, we will continue our work with the children of Haiti. We will continue to pray for dignity, for creative solutions to issues and continued growth in our partnering faith communities. We will pray for these children to find their identity as a child of God and not as a resident of a nation with a reputation.
And we will pray that we can have God’s eyes and ears and heart for this country. And we will claim the promise of our faith – we are new creations, the old has passed away, behold, new has come – for the children of Haiti, today and every day.
Medical Mercy is starting the new year right where they left off: bringing hope and health to children in our projects around the world. Dr. Beyda is asking for prayer for this trip. Here are the details:
Tomorrow we leave for India. A team of 18, medicines, equipment and excitement.
We’ll be in the southern part of India along the coast off the Bay of Bengal based in a small town called Puri, population 150,000. Puri is well known as a pilgrimage site for Hindus with their many gods. That will tell you something.
We’ll be going to 4 projects seeing the children and the villagers, expecting about 500 patients a day, diseases and illnesses common to the areas in an underdeveloped country.
We’ll be running simultaneous “tracts of care” in each: nutritional assessments, first aid training, implementing a water filtration system, medical examinations and treatment, and vitamins and de-worming medicines for all. It’s amazing to see the tracts running in parallel, patients moving from one tract to the another, and finally exiting with an opportunity for spiritual counseling.
We all know the saying “what are we bringing to the table?” when we talk about negotiations and relationships. What is it that we “bring” that will be valuable to the other person? In this case, it’s obvious. Medical care, pure water, vitamins, first aid kits, and prayer.
But here’s where I like to go a little off the path. I am always aware of “what we bring,” but I am more acutely aware of “what we leave behind.” It is the memories, the interactions, the changed lives, the improvement of what sometimes is just an existence for those we meet.
It is the power of prayer, the introduction to a God who is singular in His reign, and at times the new believer that we leave behind. And so it begins tomorrow. We’re bringing much…I’m excited to see what we leave behind. Be with us.
In all things give thanks,
Honduras, and a large portion of Central America, has been receiving heavy rains as part of a slow moving storm. The heavy rains have caused severe flooding throughout the region.
Our projects in southern Honduras, near Choluteca, have especially been affected. The Choluteca River has already overflowed and it is expected to rain for another 28 hours. The city of Choluteca is on alert for mudslides and continued flooding.
The flooding has ruined all of the crops in the area, which is the poorest in Honduras. As most of the residents in the area are subsistence farmers, this loss of income is devastating.
So far, approximately 30 of our children and their families have been affected and are taking shelter in schools and churches that have been set up as refugee centers. As this storm continues, we are expecting the loss of more homes as many of our children live along the Choluteca River.
Our staff in Honduras is working hard to get us more information as soon as they can. As we receive updates, we will share them with you here. If your sponsored child is affected, we will personally contact you with the information.
There is an urgent need for food, water, and clothing. We are sending funds to cover these immediate needs and to help our children and their families recover from this crisis. If you would like to help, please consider giving to our Children's Crisis Fund.
Please keep our children, their families, and the staff in Honduras in your prayers!
The Kenya Women's Circle of Kenya team safely returned late last night. Their last few days in Kenya were filled with travel, Nairobi traffic, and more walks through communities such as this one, where one brother helped his younger sibling avoid the barbed wire around their home.
One team member shares, "We want to thank you for your prayers -- they were felt every day as we worked and learned and cried together. The Lord is doing a great work in Kenya and we were blessed to meet and encourage the people who serve Him so diligently."
More posts will follow as the team begins to process their experiences. We are grateful that the Lord brought them back with many tales and photos to share with us.
Today was a sucessful day for the medical team in Bangladesh. The medicines finally arrived and what's even better is that they were able to get them into the country without paying any fees! Isn't it amazing how God always comes through for his people?
The internet is slow and inconsistent, but Dr. Beyda was able to send us a short update on how today's clinics went.
Six vehicles, 30 people, one and a half hour ride and a river crossing by ferry, is how we started the day today. Chalna is an isolated community that hasn't seen medical care in over 15 years. The children were malnourished, some sickly, but all were laughing and smiling nonetheless. Prayer was the order for the children.
It was for us as well. A Hindu woman came to Christ, others heard, and wondered if we really were who we said we were. Servants. And we served. 200 medical patients, 19 dental patients (it takes a while to extract teeth; Dr. Bob and Diane were at it constantly). Public health education, dental hygiene, water filtration system training, first aid training, nutritional assessments, medical examinations, and dental work were all being done simultaneously with the team taking on all facets of health intervention and training in a distant remote village in the southern part of Bangladesh. A ballet of sorts, one continuous act, and an encore.
We came to a village and within 6 hours left them with a chance for a better life. A bold, ambitious undertaking, and perhaps a little glorified, but it worked. There is nothing better than the see the smile after something is given freely and taken freely as well, no strings attached. Unconditional love I believe it's called.
In all things give thanks,
Thank you for your prayers for the team so far- keep them coming!
Please keep the Medical Mercy team in your prayers! They are having a very rough start as they begin their work in Bangladesh this week. Dr Beyda shared the following on his blog:
So much for blogging good news. This will be short just to give you an idea of what has happened, what is happening and what will happen. Short synopsis: we left Phoenix for Chicago, picked up the rest of the team, left Chicago for Abu Dhabi, drained the fuel tanks on the plane there due to head winds, stopped in Kuwait to refuel, got to Abu Dhabi late, missed our connecting flight to Dhaka, got a flight to Karachi, Pakistan in order to catch another flight to Dhaka, (or we could of stayed in Kuwait overnight...who wanted to do that-not!), got to Karachi, connecting flight to from Karachi to Dhaka delayed, spent 10 hrs in a transit area in Karachi, finally getting to Dhaka after leaving Phoenix 42 hours earlier, and got all our luggage but none of the 15 boxes of meds and supplies (almost 800 lbs of needed stuff). That's it. Done. Nothing we can do about it.
The team spent the night in Dhaka and left early this morning for a 6 hour drive to the first clinic with the dental stuff, public health education stuff, nutritional assessment stuff, a few pills here and there that team members had in their personal belongings and stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs. They are going to run a clinic as best they can. I on the other hand am still in Dhaka waiting to go back to the airport this afternoon to see if the meds come in on the next flight. If they do, I make an 8 hour drive to the south of Bangladesh to catch up with the team sometime very late tonight. If the meds don't arrive....well, I don't really know what I'm going to do. The troubles we've seen. The anxiety of it all. The unexpected. The not knowing. It is what it is. And with all that I still say, in all things give thanks.
On Sunday we visited a slum community to attend church with the most beautiful people. The church building was a simple structure of corregated metal which got progressively hotter as the service went on. The music was accapela and full of joy, and the sermon was fantastic. The pastor preached in English with Hapi, Mission of Mercy's Kenya director, translating in such an unobtrusive way it felt like call and response. So beautiful.
After that we took a quick tour of New Life Home, which we'll visit again at the end of the week. Having just walked through the slums that morning, watching the nurses tenderly care for the children was so encouraging.
The photo above is of Vincent, a sponsored child who traveled many hours to meet his sponsor. His favorite gift from her by far were these funny glasses. Although his smile took much coaxing, once those glasses appeared the giggles kept coming. We loved having Vincent with us for most of the day -- he was quite the gentleman.
This morning we're packing up to head to Emarti; today we'll work with the women and the two days after that with the children. We have many special things planned, but it's unlikely we'll have internet over the next few days. Thank you for praying for us! It has been a wonderful trip thus far. Please pray that we can communicate God's love despite the language barrier. We are eager to see how the women respond to us, as last year they were moved to tears when they realized the women had returned to visit them. This year we have several women from previous trips -- I am praying that God continues to knit our hearts together!
Kate is a Mission of Mercy staff-member who joined the 3rd annual Women's Circle of Caring trip to Kenya. The team will start the week in Nairobi before venturing south to the Emarti Maasai region. She sends us this update:
Praise God -- we are now in Nairobi with all of our bags safe and sound. This is truly a gift from God because we checked SO MANY BAGS, all of which were filled to the brim with gifts and supplies for the Maasai. I'm quite sure we gave the baggage guy a heart attack when we came rolling in.
Tonight we sleep and try to reset our internal clocks -- tomorrow we go to church and visit a community where Mission of Mercy ministers. I expect this to be an overwhelming day. The community is in one of Nairobi's slums. This is what I've been both waiting and fearing to see: this is where Mission of Mercy children call home, and having never seen anything like it personally, it may very well horrify me. Just as one part of me wants to be unshockable, the other part of me wants to be moved by what moves the heart of God. Break my heart for what breaks Yours. It's a difficult prayer to pray knowing what may come. I will try to post more later.