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Dear Prayer Partner

Depending on where you live, you have probably spent more time outside in the last month than usual. Sitting in our gardens or walking around the area we live it is easy to see God’s creation in its full majesty.

In our busy day to day life we can miss the little details God has put into creation. On your walk today, take a few minutes to pay close attention to the world God has created and rejoice in it. 

This month in Prayer News we are looking at how we can pray for
Albania, Armenia and Palestine.

Thank you for joining us in prayer.

Pictured above: The Bible Society of Armenia is able to distribute Bibles and PPE to hospitals.

We always value your prayers, but especially during this time. Although we cannot meet in person, it is important to pray together, so we have arranged an online Zoom prayer meeting for the 20th May. We would love it if you could join with us and have included the link to the meeting below, just click the picture. Please feel free to share this link with anyone you think would be interested in joining us too.

If you are unsure about how to join a Zoom meeting, please contact us and we can help you to access it.
Child of Bethlehem - Palestine

Child of Bethlehem is a project which we have supported in Palestine for a number of years. It is an outreach programme consisting of camps and missions, which reaches out to the youth of Bethlehem with the Gospel.

Like all countries, Palestine has been affected by COVID-19 and the Palestinian Bible Society has had to suspend many of its projects. However, they have sent a report through of the Child of Bethlehem project.

Many of these children live in poverty and rely on the tourist income from pilgrims. As gatherings have been cancelled and visitors from around the world are not come to visit Bethlehem, many of these children and their families have little money to live off.
Seeing this need the Palestinian Bible Society are seeking to buy food and other essentials for those poorer families who they know may not be able to afford the basic necessities of life. They are trying to keep their services that benefit local people running, providing them with aid in this time of crisis.

They have also asked us to pray for the School of Joy for Slow Learners and the students there. This is a special education school that they are involved with, and many of their students would be vulnerable. Although they are not currently able to interact with these students, they have asked us to pray for them as many of them have weakened immune systems and the virus could be deadly to them. 

The Palestinian Bible Society has asked us to pray for this situation. They know that God has this situation in his control and that they must rely on him during this time. Some of the staff are also personally affected as friends and family have tested positive for the virus.

As our colleague wrote to us, he finished with this verse, a striking reminder that the best place for us to be is in God's hands no matter what our situation:
“I am struck by David’s words in 2 Samuel 24, 14: David said to Gad, ‘I am very apprehensive … Better to fall into the Lord’s hand, since his mercies are great, than to fall into the hands of men!’”
Pray for this project:

  • Pray for the children and their families who may be struggling financially due to the crisis. Pray that the Bible Society would be able to provide them with the supplies that they need.

  • Pray that the usual schedule of this project would be able to continue safely soon, and that in the meantime the Palestinian Bible society would still be able to reach out to young people in Bethlehem.

  • Pray for the safety of staff and volunteers during this time. Pray for their friends and family who may be sick, that they would be a good witness to their loved ones. 
An Update from Armenia

Bible Society of Armenia has also had to suspend their projects within their country. It is difficult to move from region to region due to lockdown and many people are sick in hospitals.
Struck by Jesus and his compassion for the crowd in Matthew 14:14, the Bible Society was inspired not only to have compassion but to render their emotions into action. At the minute it is difficult in Armenia to move from region to region, but thanks to their network of friends and volunteers in they were able to move Scriptures, Bibles and masks across the country to hospitals and the people who need them most.

Working with the local church they are able to give the people what they need most in this time of crisis: God’s Word. In Armenian hospitals it is common to find crosses in the rooms, however many people do not believe in God and have no hope in the cross of Jesus Christ. As they distributed face masks and Bibles, clergy had the opportunity to pray with people and to talk of the hope found in Christ. One of the volunteers, Chaplain Gagik, told our Bible Society colleagues:

“I feel privileged to have done this work, there’s time to pray, there’s time to organize Bible Studies, there’s time to visit schools, but now it’s time to make our faith and compassion to action. This is a mission, and now I’ve understood what it does mean: MISSION.”
They hope that this witness and the Scripture that they distribute will not come back empty but will bring people to faith.
Please pray for this project:
 
  • Pray for the sick in Armenia who are ill with COVID-19, or who are ill and struggling to receive treatment due to the strain on the health service there.

  • Pray for those who the Bible Society and church come into contact with. Pray that God would open their hearts and that they would hear the Gospel and understand its message.

  • Pray for the Bible Society staff and volunteers, ask that God would keep them safe and well as they carry out this work. Pray that he would give them the wisdom and the courage to speak into these difficult situations. 
Friends for Life - Albania

The Friends for Life sports centre in Albania is a project which incorporates sport and the gospel, reaching out to the people in the capital city of Tirana. As a result of COVID-19 and government orders they had to close the sports centre in March. This was disappointing, but they wanted to share some encouraging new from the first two months of 2020 before they had to stop.

They have had a huge uptake from the local people. Currently, they have five groups (Under 7, Under 9, Under 11, Under 13 and a women's team) that are being coached by their professional coaches each week. After each session a short Bible study is held, and the Bible is shared. The Albanian Bible Society places a heavy emphasis on building personal relationships with the people they come into contact with, and the Friends for Life sports centre helps them to do this. They are also collaborating with Faith and Light, an initiative to serve young people with disabilities. Once every two weeks a group from Faith and Light comes to the sports fields to play football and spend time with the football coaches and volunteers.
Pray for this project:

  • Pray that this project would be able to re-open as soon as possible. Pray for the safety of staff volunteers and coaches when the time comes for them to reunite.

  • Pray that the area the sports centre is based in would be positively impacted by its presence. Pray that people would come to faith through this project.

  • Pray for building work, which is still ongoing on the remaining buildings, pray that this would reach completion quickly and that the sports centre would be fully operational as soon as possible. 
  • Pray for the Bible Society in the Gulf as they launch a Mark's Gospel resource during this time. Pray that it will be an encouragement to those who read it.

  • Pray for the China Partnership as they continue to support the church in China. Pray that the Christian community can be a light in their country.

  • Praise God for the progress being made in translation work around the world. There are more translations of the Bible into other languages than ever, however many are still waiting for the day they can read God's Word for themselves.
Pray for the team

  • We are all settling into our new routine from home. We miss seeing each other in the office, but are thankful that we can carry out most of our work from home. Please continue to remember us in your prayers as we carry out this work despite the distractions of home life. 

  • Praise God for the positive impact our WOVEN and SOAP resources have had since they were launched. Pray that God would continue to use them, and that people would benefit spiritually from them. 
Speaking Engagements

  • The BSNI Zoom Prayer Meeting will be on Wednesday 20th May at 1pm. We would love to see you there and join with you in prayer. Click the picture to get the link to the meeting or keep an eye on our social media pages. If you would like to share this link with your church family we would love for you to pass it on.
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful."

Hebrews 10:23 (ESV)
BIBLE SOCIETY NI
www.biblesocietyni.co.uk
Charity Registration Number NIC102557