Pray for Children at Risk–Nov. 3

Prayer Concerns for the Week of November 3, 2014

 Honduras

·         Please keep the children and people of Honduras close in prayer during this season of drought and food insecurity. Over a half million people have been affected by a severe drought that has caused crops to die, food prices to skyrocket, and reduced work for agricultural day laborers. http://tinyurl.com/ov5zbbm

·         Pray for families who’ve been forced to sell their livestock and belongings in order to purchase food just to survive. Over 20 percent of Honduras’ population suffer from chronic malnutrition.

·         Pray for those who have migrated to escape the drought and its effects as well as the extreme poverty rampant in Honduras. Tens of thousands of Central American children, the largest number coming from Honduras, have migrated to the United States in the past year.

·         Please pray the upcoming harvest will help the estimated 122,000 families who are dependent upon subsistence farming. Pray God will bring rain to this parched region.

·         Pray Honduras’ relief agencies can provide support for the most vulnerable children and families who not only need access to food, but also to clean water, health care, and proper hygiene facilities.

 

India, Brazil

·         Please keep in prayer India’s hungry children. One in every three malnourished children in the world lives in this country and more than 190 million people are undernourished in India. Give thanks to God that Indian leaders are serious about ending malnutrition and have adopted Brazil’s “zero hunger” challenge. http://tinyurl.com/oha6ejw

·         Thanks be to God Brazil has been able to virtually eliminate malnutrition through this initiative. By providing support to farmers and rural residents (who are often the worst affected by food insecurity) and adopting other policies, Brazil has almost halted malnutrition within its borders.

 

Iraq

·         Please continue to keep the children and families of Iraq’s Yazidi minority in prayer as they face renewed persecution from Islamic State (IS also known as ISIS or ISIL) militants. http://tinyurl.com/qdt7258

·         Pray for the loved ones of those killed by Islamic State fighters. Thousands of Yazidis have been shot, beheaded, buried alive, kidnapped, or sold into slavery by IS militants in what UN officials believe is an attempt at genocide. Please pray for the freedom of those who have been kidnapped or trafficked by Islamic State fighters.

·         Pray for Yazidi children, youth, and adults who are forced by IS militants to convert to Islam or be killed.

·         Pray for the thousands of Yazidi children and families still stranded on Iraq’s Mount Sinjar as IS militants tighten their siege on the mountain. On October 20, Islamic State fighters began a renewed assault on several Yazidi residential compounds, forcing inhabitants to flee up the mountain.

·         Please pray for the safety and freedom of all minorities targeted by Islamic State militants. Pray for peace and stability in this region.

 

United States

·         Keep in prayer the loved ones and friends of those killed in a school shooting near Seattle on October 25. The young man who allegedly shot five friends in the school’s cafeteria lured his victims there via text message. Fourteen-year-old Zoe Galasso and 14-year-old Gia Soriano were allegedly shot by 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg who took his own life. http://tinyurl.com/kk8ozez  http://tinyurl.com/q562v6e  http://tinyurl.com/kpnpvr3

·         Pray God will bring healing to those injured in the shooting. Pray for 14-year-old Shaylee Chuckulnaskit who is in critical condition and for Jaylen’s cousins, 14-year-old Nate Hatch and 15-year-old Andrew Fryberg, who are also hospitalized. Pray for their parents and families as they care for these teens.

·         Please remember in prayer the students and staff at Marysville-Pilchuck High School during this season of loss and grief. Pray they will sense God’s comfort through the love and support of the community. Pray they will have access to grief counselors as they deal with the trauma of this shooting.

·         Give God thanks for the actions of first year teacher Megan Silberberger who intervened in the attack when the gunman paused, possibly to reload.

·         Pray for Jaylen’s family as they deal with his death and the shock of his actions. Jaylen was a popular, well-loved student at the school—he was a football player, on the Homecoming court, and a member of the Tulalip Indian tribes. Pray for his Tulalip Tribe community as they struggle to cope with this tragedy. http://tinyurl.com/ky3s6ez

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Pray for Children at Risk–Oct. 20

Prayer Concerns for the Week of October 20, 2014

Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea

The deadly Ebola outbreak continues to devastate communities in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. It threatens to cause political instability in areas recovering from civil war, as well as posing a threat to international peace and security. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates new cases could reach 10,000 per week by December and in a worst case scenario, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the total number of cases could reach 1.4 million in the next four months. The total number of confirmed, probable, or suspected Ebola cases has reached 8,914 with 4,447 deaths. http://tinyurl.com/qzytqpt   http://tinyurl.com/pmvgjsd

In Liberia, the country’s social problem of broken, single-parent families stems from the civil conflict that ended in 2003. A generation of psychologically scarred men who are uneducated and unemployed have rejected marriage and family values leaving their girlfriends to fend for themselves when they become pregnant. And now, over half of Liberia’s women with children are believed to be single mothers. When single mothers contract the Ebola virus, their children become the caregivers and often breadwinners. An estimated 300 children have been orphaned when their mothers died of the virus. And to make matters worse, the community ostracizes Ebola orphans for fear of contracting the disease. Ebola has reached 14 of Liberia’s 15 counties with infections doubling every 24 days.  http://tinyurl.com/pw7r6af

·         Continue to lift the children and people of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea in prayer as the Ebola outbreak spreads rapidly in West Africa. Pray for those who are ill and for those who are grieving.

·         Pray new Ebola patients can be identified and isolated quickly in order to reverse the tide of this disease. Pray God will provide the people and resources needed to stop this deadly outbreak.

·         Please keep in prayer the children of Liberia who have been affected by the Ebola outbreak. Pray for children who have been orphaned because of this deadly virus.

·         Pray for children like 16-year-old Lydia, 11-year-old Blessing, 9-year-old Pauline, and 5-year-old Paul whose mother died of Ebola. There are no fathers in the picture (each of them has a different father) and now the children are on their own. Give thanks to God for the organization that is helping them in this dark and difficult season.

·         Please pray Ebola orphans will receive the support they so desperately need. Pray for compassionate caregivers for each child. Pray for members of the orphans’ communities who threaten or exclude them out of fear of contracting the disease.

·         Pray for health workers and gravediggers who deal with Ebola-infected patients and bodies. Pray for their safety and protection from the virus and from those who attack them out of fear, mistrust, or because of misinformation.

 

United States

On September 22, 2014, police officer Lavern “Bundy” Littlewind died from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident in Michigan, ND. Bundy’s four children were with him when their car hit a moose and went into a ditch. Bundy was ejected from the car and then killed when he was struck by a tractor trailer truck. His three sons and daughter were hospitalized with various injuries. Four year old Jerome died earlier this month from injuries he received in the accident. Bundy, a police officer serving the Spirit Lake Nation and community, had been involved in a custody fight with the mother of two of his children and believed they’d been abused when in her care. http://tinyurl.com/ke8uzn9  http://tinyurl.com/l3njoww  http://tinyurl.com/qyo8tyy  http://tinyurl.com/oe2mjds

·         Please be in prayer for the Littlewind family on the Spirit Lake Reservation in their season of loss and sorrow. Pray they will feel God’s comforting presence in this difficult time.

·         Pray for Bundy’s friends and his law enforcement family at Spirit Lake.

·         Pray especially for Raeleigh, Dylan, and LJ as they grieve the loss of their father and brother. Pray for the best possible placement for these hurting children. Pray for the safety and protection of the children involved in the custody suit.

·         Pray for Jerome’s mother as she navigates this dark season, especially given the high rate of depression and suicide on the reservation.

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Pray for Children at Risk–Oct. 13

Prayer Concerns for the Week of October 13, 2014

 Liberia

Due to the Ebola outbreak, schools in Liberia are closed and activities where groups of children come together are discouraged in hopes of preventing the spread of the deadly virus. The staff of Hinds Feet Ministries (HFM) has been giving away books and homework to lower income families in order that learning will continue even with this unwanted hiatus from school. Hinds Feet Ministries sponsors the early childhood education of some of central Monrovia’s poorest children, many of whom come from homes in which there isn’t access to reading materials, much less games or entertainment. www.hindsfeetministries.org

·         Please keep the children and families served by Hinds Feet Ministries close in prayer during this frightening time. Pray God will provide for their immediate and deepest needs and keep them healthy.

·         Give thanks to God for the staff and volunteers with HFM and their dedication to vulnerable children and families. Pray for their protection and safety from this deadly disease. Pray they will feel God’s comforting embrace and that the emotional strain will be lifted from them.

·         Pray God will provide the resources HFM needs to serve this impoverished community during a season of fear and sickness. The ministry is short on food, disinfectants, buckets, soap, and other sanitary supplies needed to combat the Ebola virus.

 

Pakistan, Nigeria, Afghanistan

Polio has become a public health emergency in Pakistan as another new case was diagnosed last week, bringing the total for 2014 to 202 cases. This marks Pakistan’s highest transmission rate of the disease in more than 12 years. Health officials are worried there will be even more cases by the end of the year. Pakistan now accounts for 80 percent of all polio cases in the world and is one of only three countries, including Nigeria and Afghanistan, at risk of exporting the disease outside its borders. Health officials in Pakistan and around the world are very concerned about the spread of the disease and Pakistan’s ability to halt it. Because of a deep mistrust of vaccination teams, some parents and religious leaders in remote areas of Pakistan will not allow their children to receive the vaccine. The Taliban and other Islamist militants have killed more than 50 health workers and security officials after discovering the CIA had used a vaccination campaign to track down Osama bin Laden.  http://tinyurl.com/k62b2ls

·         Please pray for children who live in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan as those countries are the only ones left in the world where the virus is endemic due to violent conflicts, weak health systems, and poor sanitation. Pray for children in these countries under age five—they are most vulnerable to contracting the polio virus.

·         Give God thanks that relief workers were able to administer 700,000 vaccinations in Pakistan this past summer. Pray the vaccination campaigns will be successful this winter and spring.

·         Please pray polio can be eradicated throughout Pakistan. Pray the efforts to vaccinate every child in the country will be fruitful and that political unrest and the fight against terrorism won’t stop the forward progress of the vaccination campaign.

·         Continue to praise God that India is now considered polio-free by the World Health Organization (WHO). Thanks be to God for the efforts of India’s millions of public health workers who have immunized hundreds of millions of children in this almost 20-year-long program to eradicate polio.

·         Pray polio will be eradicated from the face of the earth.


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Pray for Children at Risk–Sept. 29

Prayer Concerns for the Week of September 29, 2014

Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger

Boko Haram continues to terrorize the people of northeast Nigeria with daily raids, murders, and abductions in their campaign to establish an Islamic Sharia state in that region. Tens of thousands of people have fled this violence to the neighboring countries of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. An estimated three million people have been affected by the fighting. Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden,” generally targets Christians, but a large number of their victims have been Muslim. The militant group has looted villages and burned homes and churches to the ground in their raids. They’ve also been reported to use boys and girls as young as 10 as soldiers. Self-defense militias that have sprung up in the absence of a strong Nigerian military presence are also reported to recruit children as soldiers, spies, and cooks. In a new development, Boko Haram has begun using female suicide bombers in their campaign of terror. Most of them have been teenage girls, possibly the children of Boko Haram fighters or poor girls lured by the promise of financial security.  http://tinyurl.com/pg5gx4o   http://tinyurl.com/nusds88    http://tinyurl.com/n59yyy2

·         Please continue to pray for children and families who’ve been affected by Boko Haram’s violent campaign. Pray for those who’ve had loved ones killed or injured in attacks by this militant group. Pray for children and families who have lost their homes and communities. Pray God will provide for their immediate and deepest needs.

·         Pray for children who have been forcibly recruited as child soldiers by Boko Haram as well as other warring factions. Pray for those who’ve been abducted and for those subjected to sexual violence.

·         Keep in prayer captured child soldiers who are held in Nigerian military detention facilities known for their mistreatment of prisoners. Pray for their protection, release, and rehabilitation.

·         Please continue to pray for peace in Nigeria’s troubled northeast region. Pray for Nigeria’s government and military leaders during this challenging season. Pray for wisdom and courage to do the right thing for their fellow Nigerians, especially the children of this fractured country.

·         Pray for Boko Haram’s leaders—that God would change the hearts of those who use violence to achieve goals.

 

Uganda

Baraka, a 7-year-old boy with brittle bone disease, is unable to walk because of complications from a surgery several years ago. His family lives in an upstairs apartment without an elevator, so Baraka’s mother or father must carry him up and down. Last summer, Baraka’s teacher was carrying him downstairs when she fell. He suffered several broken bones in that fall. Baraka recently had another surgery and is still in immense pain and experiencing a lot of bleeding.

·         Please continue to pray that God will bring healing to Baraka and lift the terrible pain. Pray his little body will experience a miracle of complete healing.

·         Pray for Baraka’s mother and father and his four brothers and sisters as they help care for him.

 

United States      

Last spring, 4-year-old Jordan had surgery to remove one of her kidneys that had a fist-sized tumor wrapped around it. Several days after that surgery, Jordan had another operation to remove a tumor in one of her lungs. On a happy note, Jordan finished 10 days of radiation and chemotherapy the day before her baby sister Leslie was born. Jordan recently had her first CT scan after completing several months of chemotherapy and there were no indications of abnormalities—everything looks good!

·         Thanks be to God for Jordan’s wonderful medical news! And give thanks to God that her energy level is back to normal, her hair is growing back, and she loves her new school. Please continue to pray for Jordan…that she will remain tumor-free.

·         Continue to keep Jordan’s parents, Jerin and Kristen, in prayer as they care for Jordan and her baby sister. Jordan’s parents shared their gratitude for the support they’ve been given during this ordeal. They praise God for those who’ve been in prayer for their family and say the prayers carried them through.

·         Give God thanks for the joy baby Leslie has brought to her big sister and their family in such a challenging season.

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Pray for Children at Risk–Sept. 22

Prayer Concerns for the Week of September 22, 2014

 Pakistan, India

Kashmir, a disputed territory administered by India, Pakistan and China, recently experienced some of the heaviest rains in the region in over 50 years. More than 500 people have been killed in the resulting flash floods and landslides on both sides of this disputed Himalayan territory. Over three million people have been affected by this extensive flooding. Thousands of villages have been submerged by floodwaters, trapping people on rooftops for days. Displaced families struggle to find fuel, food, and medicines. http://tinyurl.com/k9u6tsx http://tinyurl.com/q4hmk7q

·         Please keep the children, youth, and adults of the Kashmir region close in prayer as they deal with the deadly flooding and landslides. Pray for those who’ve been uprooted from their homes and communities and for those who have lost everything.

·         Pray God will comfort those who’ve lost loved ones in this disaster. Pray for children who have been injured by flash floods or landslides.

·         Please pray for peace and reconciliation in this disputed region. Pray authorities in both Indian and Pakistan territories will serve their people with wisdom and fairness during this difficult season.

 

Syria, Iraq

The three-year-long civil war in Syria continues to endanger and disrupt the lives of children, not only in that country, but also in Iraq and other neighboring countries. Human rights groups have accused the Syrian army of committing atrocities against its population including the use of chemical agents, barrel bombs on civilian neighborhoods, and the torture and sexual abuse of prisoners. Rebels fighting the Syrian government have also been accused of recruiting children to fight, act as snipers, man checkpoints, treat the wounded on battlefields, haul supplies to the front lines, and carry out car bombings or suicide attacks. http://tinyurl.com/oe49uqv  http://tinyurl.com/lo5g8og

 

Militants with Islamic State (IS), formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have taken advantage of the chaos to expand their territory in Syria. This brutal offshoot of al-Qaeda has taken control of large portions of Iraq and eastern Syria in a violent campaign to restore an Islamic state in the area. They’ve been accused of mass atrocities in Syria: recruiting children as fighters and suicide bombers, holding public executions, carrying out beheadings, crucifixions, mass killings, amputations, and whippings. Islamic State militants are accused of intentionally using savagery as a tool to divide the population, to pit Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims against one another, and restore an Islamic caliphate based on strict, medieval Sunni Muslim precepts. http://tinyurl.com/o4fwxvw (warning: disturbing content)

·         Please continue in prayer for children and families affected by the fighting in Syria and Iraq. Pray for those affected by Islamic State’s extremely savage form of violence.

·         Pray for children who’ve been recruited by the Syrian government, opposition forces, and those recruited by IS. Please pray for their safe release and healing from the trauma of violence.

·         Pray for those who have been displaced from their villages because of the conflict in Syria and Iraq.

·         Pray for Iraq and Syria’s leaders during this challenging season. Pray they will seek God’s guidance in all of their decisions concerning the people in their respective countries.

·         Pray for peace in this region. Pray for a change of heart in those who kill and destroy to fulfill their warped goals. Pray for those who kill and destroy in the name of their religion.

 

 

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Pray for Children at Risk–Sept. 15

Prayer Concerns for the Week of September 15, 2014

 Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Democratic Republic of Congo

The Ebola epidemic, the largest outbreak ever, has infected more than 2,600 people in six West African countries and killed over 1,500 since March. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that more than 20,000 people could be infected by the epidemic as it continues its rapid spread. The outbreak of this deadly disease, for which there is no known vaccine or cure, has the potential to destabilize stricken countries and their neighbors. It’s already caused panic buying, food shortages, price hikes, and, in quarantined areas, rioting. The outbreak has also led to strikes by medical staff who refuse to work under such dangerous conditions—more than 120 healthcare workers have died in the outbreak. http://tinyurl.com/nx56l3g   http://tinyurl.com/lrypphm   http://tinyurl.com/nbsl5tl

·         Please keep close in prayer the children, youth, and adults of West Africa who’ve been affected by this massive Ebola outbreak. Pray for their health and safety. Pray God will bring healing to those who are ill with this disease that causes high fever, bleeding, central nervous system damage, severe diarrhea, and vomiting.

·         Pray God will comfort those who have lost loved ones in this epidemic. Pray for the safety of those who take care of the deceased as traditional burial customs can expose people to the virus which is spread through bodily fluids.

·         Please pray for raised awareness about how to prevent the spread of this disease. Pray the demand for fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans and possibly the virus’ natural host, will stop through education about the risks.

·         Pray the global community will come together to help stop this deadly Ebola outbreak. Pray field hospitals with isolation wards, mobile medical laboratories, and biological disaster response teams will be dispatched quickly to areas most in need. Please pray a viable vaccine for the Ebola virus will be developed soon.

 

United States

High Sky Children’s Ranch in Midland, TX provides a home for troubled and abused children. It also provides therapeutic services for traumatized children, foster children, and for struggling families. High Sky has two emergency shelters for children, as well as programs for runaway prevention, horse therapy, life skills, and preparation for independent living. The organization is dedicated to healing abused children and promoting family wholeness. http://highsky.org/

·         Keep the children and youth at High Sky close in prayer as they heal from abuse and trauma. Pray they might experience the unconditional love of Jesus in this community of support. Pray for healing and peace in their lives.

·         Pray for the staff at High Sky as they work with and serve emotionally fragile children and young people. Pray God will sustain and guide them in every aspect of their work.

·         Give thanks to God for the new program St. Nicholas Episcopalian Church is sharing with elementary-age children from High Sky. Pray the Godly Play church school program will be a blessing to these hurting children.

 

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Pray for Children at Risk–Sept. 8

Prayer Concerns for the Week of September 8, 2014

 China, North Korea

Crossing Borders, a faith based, nonprofit organization, provides North Korean refugees who cross the border into China with food and medical assistance. The organization has several group homes for North Korean children who’ve been abandoned by their parents. Recently, the Chinese government has increased pressure on foreigners and others who help North Korean refugees. Crossing Borders staff and volunteers risk arrest or deportation for their support of refugees from North Korea. http://crossingbordersnk.org/wp/

·         Pray for 11-year-old Juhee* whose mother was arrested in China four years ago and sent back to a North Korean prison camp. Her mother had been trafficked into China and sold to Juhee’s father. Pray God will provide for Juhee who lives in extreme poverty with her father. Give God thanks Juhee is able to go to a local private school because of help from the Crossing Borders program Second Wave. Pray for Juhee’s mother whose status is unknown. *Name changed for confidentiality and/or protection.

·         Pray for the children in Crossing Borders’ group homes and other programs. Pray for their physical, emotional, and spiritual healing from the traumas they’ve experienced in their young lives.

·         Give thanks for the Crossing Borders staff and volunteers and their willingness to witness Jesus’ love to abandoned, orphaned, and neglected North Korean children. Pray for their protection and safety.

 

Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, North Africa

More than three million Syrians, almost half the country’s population, have been forced to flee their homes because of Syria’s civil war and attacks by the Islamic State militant group (formerly ISIS). Over half of those who’ve fled are children. The majority of Syrian refugees, almost 1.2 million, have escaped to Lebanon, but Turkey is host to more than 800,000 refugees, and Jordan, over 600,000. Others have fled to Iraq, Egypt, and North Africa. Of these Syrian refugee households, one in four is headed by women who struggle to provide food and shelter for their families. In Lebanon, an estimated 50,000 Syrian refugee children are working long hours every day as street vendors, in coffee shops or markets, on farms or construction sites, or as street beggars in order to help their families. In Syria, there are an estimated six and a half million IDPs (internally displaced people) struggling to survive. The numbers are bleak regarding those who haven’t survived this three-year civil war—more than 191,000 people have been killed with at least 8,800 of those being children. http://tinyurl.com/lsoxyck  http://tinyurl.com/kxcoggz  http://tinyurl.com/obfed5w  http://tinyurl.com/nnkra92

·         Please continue to keep in prayer the children, youth, and adults affected by this devastating conflict in Syria.

·         Pray for those who’ve fled the violence and lost their homes and livelihoods. Pray for families who’ve spent a year or more traveling throughout Syria to reach safety in refugee camps in neighboring countries. Pray for children who arrive in the camps exhausted and frightened by their long ordeal.

·         Pray for Syrian refugee women who are caring for their families in insecure shelters or overcrowded homes. Pray God will provide for their immediate and deepest needs as they try to make ends meet.

·         Pray for the safety and health of Syrian refugee children who labor in dangerous jobs for long hours. Pray they may be freed from this heavy responsibility of providing for their families so they can pursue an education.

·         Keep in prayer children who have lost family members…children who are traumatized by their experiences…and children who have been physically injured in this violent conflict.

·         Please pray humanitarian aid organizations will secure the resources needed to help the millions of Syrian refugees and IDPs. Pray for raised awareness throughout the world about this enormous humanitarian emergency.

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Pray for Children at Risk–Sept. 1

Prayer Concerns for the Week of September 1, 2014

 Kenya

Eighty percent of Kenyan children attend primary school, which is free, but less than half are able to pursue a secondary education because of the cost. This disparity leaves millions of poor children vulnerable to trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, child labor, or early marriage. There are an estimated one million child laborers in Kenya. Most live in rural communities and are often trafficked into urban or tourist settings where they are sold into commercial sex work, domestic work, or agricultural work. Girls from poor families are often given in marriage at an early age for the dowry or bride price. http://tinyurl.com/oxcespb

·         Please pray all children in Kenya are able to receive both a primary and secondary education. Pray the promise made by Kenya’s president to introduce free secondary education within three years will become a reality.

·         Pray for children who attend school now, but are so tired from caring for siblings, fetching water, making fires, cooking, and/or tending fields they cannot focus on school work. Pray for children at risk of dropping out of school because they are too fatigued to keep up with homework.

·         Please pray for the health, safety, and freedom of all child laborers in Kenya. Pray for an end to the cycle of poverty that perpetuates this form of child abuse.

·         Pray the laws against child labor in Kenya will be enforced and those who exploit children will be punished. Pray children are seen as beloved children of God and not as commodities to be exploited.

 

Mexico

The violence between powerful drug cartels and the military has displaced hundreds of thousands of people in what non-governmental organizations consider a hidden humanitarian crisis. Many have been forced from their homes in Mexico’s northern and western rural communities by violent drug cartels intent on seizing land. This displacement hasn’t been publicly acknowledged by Mexican authorities because often those fleeing are in small groups and the mass migration of Central Americans moving through Mexico to the U.S. masks the issue. Many families fleeing drug cartel violence have experienced kidnappings, killings, extortion, and threats. Children and adults who’ve escaped often lack identity papers, housing, medical care, and jobs. Without identity papers, children may not attend school and adults may not work. Children who lack these documents are at great risk of being recruited by drug cartels because they won’t leave identifiable fingerprints at crime scenes.  http://tinyurl.com/ozufr2u

·         Please pray for displaced children and families in Mexico. Pray they’ll find safe shelter from the violence and support from Mexico’s federal government which has an emergency system in place to assist the displaced.

·         Pray for families who’ve lost everything to cartel violence. Pray for children who’ve been separated from their families because of the violence.

·         Please keep in prayer the loved ones of those killed by drug gangs or in the fighting between the military and cartels. More than 85,000 people have been killed in this violence since 2006.

·         Pray for peace and healing in the regions of Mexico affected by drug violence. Pray the demand for illegal drugs in North America and around the world will stop. Pray for those addicted to illegal narcotics—that they may be freed from the addictions that fuel drug trafficking and violence.

 

South Sudan

Thousands of children are affected by a rapidly spreading cholera epidemic in South Sudan. Cholera causes severe diarrhea and can kill within hours if left untreated. The beginning of the rainy season, a lack of sanitary facilities, and a scarcity of safe drinking water threaten to intensify the epidemic. Adding to the misery, aid agencies believe the country is on the brink of a massive man-made famine. Months of fighting between the government and rebels has displaced more than a million people and disrupted food supplies in the northern regions of the country. Aid agencies are treating more than 1,000 children a month for malnourishment. http://tinyurl.com/mvaawje  http://tinyurl.com/l43enjm

·         Please keep children affected by the cholera epidemic in South Sudan close in prayer. Pray those who’ve contracted this frightening disease will have access to medical care and make a full recovery.

·         Pray for increased awareness about the ways to avoid contracting cholera. Pray communities will understand the importance of treating drinking water and providing proper sanitary facilities.

·         Pray for children who are suffering from malnutrition, who lack food and medical care because of the civil war. Pray for those who are hiding in the bush and have gone for months without sufficient food.

·         Pray aid agencies will be able to reach children and families in greatest need and that government and rebel troops will stop looting these much-needed supplies.

·         Please pray for a lasting peace between the government of South Sudan and rebel troops.

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Pray for Children at Risk–Aug. 25

Prayer Concerns for the Week of August 25, 2014

 Burma

Several years ago, Nancy* formed a children’s home in Burma called Hallelujah Orphanage. She and her family care for 11 abused, neglected, or orphaned children in their home. They provide a loving environment that is safe and stable for these vulnerable children. The children who live at Hallelujah Orphanage are able to pursue an education and experience daily the abundant love of Jesus Christ. This time of year in Burma, there is a lot of illness and the hospital in Nancy’s community is overwhelmed with sick children and adults. Nancy’s father, mother and three of the children are ill with fevers. One of the little boys has been diagnosed with tuberculosis and is on medication for six months. Nancy’s friend Beth* took her 6-year-old daughter to the hospital and it was so overcrowded there were no more beds available—people had to stay on the porch. Beth’s daughter died late last month.

·         Please pray God’s healing touch will be upon Nancy’s family and the children at Hallelujah Orphanage. Pray for their complete recovery. Pray the other children and family members will remain healthy.

·         Pray for Beth and her family as they grieve the loss of this precious daughter. Pray God will comfort them in this season of sadness. Pray God will also bring comfort to the children at Hallelujah Orphanage who were good friends with this little girl.

·         Please pray God will provide the resources Nancy and her family need to continue helping these children.

 

Burma, China

The Salween River is Southeast Asia’s second longest river and flows through China, Thailand, and Burma to the Andaman Sea. The river is a lifeline for the six million mostly ethnic and religious minority people groups living in its watershed as it provides food and jobs. This precious resource is threatened by the proposed development of 13 hydropower dams along the Salween River in China and another six in Burma. Most of the electricity produced would be exported to China and Thailand. The proposed dams in Burma are located in former or current conflict zones which has led to increased fighting between the Burma Army and ethnic rebels over control of this natural resource. Reports of land grabs, forced labor, and forced relocation of communities by the Burma Army have also surfaced. Because this region isn’t well known, it is much easier to exploit. The Burma Army also silences any opposition with threats or violence.  http://tinyurl.com/ngwkuju

·         Please pray for the children and families of Burma’s ethnic and religious minorities who are affected by the development of hydropower dams along the Salween River.

·         Pray for families who’ve been forcibly removed from their homes and communities. Pray God will provide for their immediate needs. Please pray they will have safe shelter, clean water, sufficient food, and medical care while displaced from their communities.

·         Pray for those who face the loss of livelihood and culture because of the dam developments.

·         Please pray for leaders in these ethnic and religious people groups as they risk their lives to raise awareness about the destructiveness of overdeveloping the Salween River.

·         Pray the leaders in countries bordering this lifeline can forge an agreement on how to develop and sustain the Salween River basin.

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Pray for Children at Risk–Aug. 18

Prayer Concerns for the Week of August 18, 2014

 

Iraq, Syria

Rebels from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/ISIS, now known as Islamic State (IS), have taken control of large portions of Iraq and eastern Syria in a campaign to restore an Islamic state in this area that is based on strict, medieval Sunni Muslim precepts. This offshoot of Al-Qaeda is considered far more brutal than Al-Qaeda. They consider Shi’ite Muslims (the majority of Iraq’s population) to be heretics deserving of death, but also target minorities and civilians with brutal punishments and death threats. Minority religious groups that have lived in Iraq for centuries—Christians, Turkmen, Yazidis, Shabak, Sabian Mandaeans, Bahais, Kakais, and Faili Kurds—are forced by IS to convert to their form of Islam or die. In the most recent attacks by IS militants, tens of thousands of Iraq’s religious minorities, including a quarter of the country’s Christians, have fled north to escape violent assaults. Thousands of Yazidis (a secretive religious minority group viewed by the militants as devil worshipers), remain trapped in the mountains near Sinjar, surrounded by IS forces. They have little or no water, food, shelter, medicine, or fuel and children are dying from dehydration. An estimated 30,000 Yazidis were able to escape after a week of being trapped in the mountains, possibly because of U.S. airstrikes on IS militant positions. Many Yazidis have crossed into Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region.  http://tinyurl.com/kr4g6je   http://tinyurl.com/nxnsh2d   http://tinyurl.com/mesrm6j  http://tinyurl.com/lvb9odt   http://tinyurl.com/odcp4q2   http://tinyurl.com/ltkvbqw

·         Continue in prayer for children and families affected by IS militant attacks and persecution of religious minorities. Pray for those displaced from their homes and communities by the fighting. Pray for the injured and grieving.

·         Give God thanks for the escape of so many Yazidis who had been trapped in the mountains. Pray for children and their caregivers who are weak from exhaustion, dehydration, and exposure to the sun.

·         Pray for the safety and freedom of the remaining children and families trapped in the mountains near Sinjar. Pray God will provide for their most immediate needs. Pray for those who were too weak to escape after the airstrikes.

·         Please pray for peace in this region.

·         Pray for Iraq and Syria’s leaders during this challenging season. Pray they will seek God’s guidance in all of their decisions concerning the people in their respective countries.

·         Pray for those who kill and destroy in the name of their religion. Pray for a change of heart and mind.

 

Israel, Palestine, Egypt

In the ongoing, violent conflict between Israel and Hamas, almost 2,000 people have been killed (as of August 10). The majority of those killed were civilians in Gaza, including 452 children. More than 2,800 Palestinian children have been injured in the violence. Over a half million people have been displaced. http://tinyurl.com/m65a9ou

http://tinyurl.com/lnangb2   http://tinyurl.com/qjlof5s   http://tinyurl.com/krbawhl   http://tinyurl.com/m3ty586

http://tinyurl.com/ohrmtor   http://tinyurl.com/lnangb2

·         Pray for those on both sides of this conflict who are grieving the loss of loved ones. Pray for God’s comforting peace to surround and sustain them.

·         Please pray for the thousands of children and families made homeless in Gaza. Pray for those in Israel who have had to abandon their homes and communities.

·         Pray God will bring healing to the hundreds of thousands of children who’ve seen horrors no child should ever have to witness. Pray for children who have already lived through multiple wars in their short lifetimes.

·         Please pray for a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire agreement between Israeli troops and Hamas militants. Give God thanks for the previous ceasefires that have allowed more humanitarian aid into Gaza.

·         Pray the diplomatic talks in Cairo, Egypt will bear fruit—that mediators will reach a peace agreement that stops this devastating conflict. Pray for a sustainable peace in this region.

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Pray for Children at Risk–Aug. 11

Prayer Concerns for the Week of August 11, 2014

 China

In addition to caring for special needs orphans, New Day Foster Home also reaches children living in government institutions across China through its Formula Project. New Day supplies nutritious infant formula to partner orphanages that are under-resourced. Babies, especially those with complex medical needs, are at great risk of hunger and malnourishment in orphanages that don’t have the means to provide sufficient, nourishing infant formula.  http://tinyurl.com/mgtmshc

·         Thanks be to God for the staff and volunteers with New Day Foster Home and their willingness to care for children throughout China. Pray God will continue to provide the resources New Day needs to supply infant formula to these partner orphanages.

·         Pray God will bring healing to babies and toddlers with complex medical needs who live in these partner orphanages. Pray for the staff at these facilities as they care for special needs children. Pray God will sustain them for this important, demanding work.

 

United States

Four young girls are at great risk of continued physical and emotional abuse by their biological father. The oldest girl was able to escape from the situation after suffering the brunt of his abuse and is now with her biological mother. However, the three younger girls are still with him and their stepmother.

·         Please pray for the safety and freedom of these girls. Pray for their spiritual, emotional, and physical healing from the trauma of this abuse.

·         Pray the courts will make an informed decision in their case—that they will decide the very best placement for the girls and do it quickly.

·         Pray for their mother who desires permanent custody of the girls.

·         Pray God will bring healing to their father’s hardened heart. Pray he will stop the abuse and accept responsibility for his actions.

 

The only homeless shelter in northwestern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota that’s able to accommodate single men, single women, and both one- and two-parent families is bursting at the seams. Churches United for the Homeless is the only shelter in the Fargo-Moorhead area that offers space for full families to stay together, but has been at capacity for years. Churches United for the Homeless, formed in 1987 by more than 50 area churches, offers safe shelter and support in a spiritual setting to those who find themselves homeless. The organization provides temporary shelter and refers residents to appropriate services such as job service, social services, mental health services, and programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Instead of building a larger shelter, Churches United for the Homeless has proposed building affordable housing for homeless families, single residents age 55 and older, veterans, and disabled adults. However, residents near the proposed building site for this new apartment complex have expressed fears about the homeless being too close to them. http://www.churches-united.org/   http://tinyurl.com/lwn7q3q

·         Please pray for the children currently living in the Moorhead shelter. Pray they won’t be adversely affected by the negative publicity surrounding the proposed building. Please pray each child will have a safe place to call home.

·         Pray for their parents as they work to achieve independence and permanent housing.

·         Give thanks to God for so many churches working together to help those who are homeless. Pray for the leadership of Churches United for the Homeless as they navigate this current challenge. Pray the affordable housing project will become a blessing for this community.

·         Pray for residents whose fear blinds them to the deep needs of others. Pray they might see Christ within those struggling to make a fresh start.

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Pray for Children at Risk–Aug. 4

Prayer Concerns for the Week of August 4, 2014

 Thailand, Burma

An estimated 120,000 Burmese refugees live in camps along Thailand’s border with Burma. Many fled persecution, violence, or poverty in Burma for life in one of 10 refugee camps in Thailand. And many have lived in these camps for more than two decades. Children have limited access to education in the camps and adults aren’t legally allowed to work. The Thai government considers this refugee population a burden and is taking steps to send them back to Burma. News of the repatriation is causing anxiety within the refugee population as they fear what will happen when they’re sent back to conflict zones within Burma. Refugees are also afraid they won’t be able to find work in their former communities. Nongovernmental organizations working with refugees are concerned by the lack of infrastructure in Burma and fear this repatriation would create chaos at a tense time for both Thailand and Burma.  http://tinyurl.com/nzwq9xu

·         Please keep the ethnic hill tribe children living in these refugee camps close in prayer. Pray God will comfort them during this season of uncertainty. Pray God will provide for their deepest and most immediate needs.

·         Please pray for the parents and caregivers of children in the camps. Pray God will also comfort and guide them during this stressful time. Pray they will know God’s peace that surpasses all understanding as they care for their children in the midst of this upheaval.

·         Pray the Thai government will treat these refugees with fairness and compassion. Pray the Burmese government will also respond to the needs of this marginalized people group with fair-mindedness. Please pray God will prepare the hearts of all those in both governments who will interact and work with these refugees.

 

Nigeria

Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group, has increased attacks on predominately Christian communities in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state. The group is intent on overthrowing the Nigerian government in order to establish an Islamic Sharia state. Boko Haram (which means “Western education is forbidden”) targets civilians and has killed more than 2,000 people this year. It also kidnaps girls and women to use as porters, cooks, sex slaves, and possibly, suicide bombers. A recent assault on Damboa displaced more than 15,000 people. http://tinyurl.com/lj8pbqs  http://tinyurl.com/pczlp5w

In April 2014, an estimated 234 girls were abducted from a government school in Chibok by Boko Haram. Authorities believe the girls are being held in the Sambisa Forest, a wildlife preserve with thick jungle that’s infested with poisonous snakes and malarial mosquitoes. Since the girls’ kidnapping, 11 of their parents have died. Seven of the girls’ fathers were killed in a Boko Haram attack. Four more parents died of trauma-related illnesses. Thankfully, an estimated 63 girls and women were able to escape from Boko Haram in early July. http://tinyurl.com/o844s95  http://tinyurl.com/mlywkfr

The Nigerian government has started a program based on the teachings at an Islamic School in Kaduna in which the violent ideology of Boko Haram is condemned—that what Boko Haram is doing is a total misunderstanding of Islam. The school teaches its students tolerance and correct interpretations of the Koran. They challenge Boko Haram’s claim that Western teaching is not Islamic and encourage students, male and female, to pursue secular courses. The government’s new program will incorporate these themes as well as include an economic facet that will address Borno state’s issue of chronic poverty. http://tinyurl.com/pd3q3y3

·         Please continue to pray for the school girls and other victims still held by Boko Haram. Pray for their safety and that they might be rescued soon. Pray for those who have become ill. Please pray God will encourage and sustain all of Boko Haram’s kidnapping victims.

·         Give thanks to God for the escape of some of the girls and women previously kidnapped by Boko Haram. Thanks be to God they’re receiving therapy and counseling for the trauma they endured. Pray for their continued recovery from this terrifying experience. Pray they will know God’s peace and comfort during this healing journey.

·         Please pray for the parents and families of those still under Boko Haram’s control. Pray for loved ones grieving the tragic deaths of the fathers and mothers of the Chibok school girls.

·         Pray for families that have been displaced by Boko Haram’s violent attacks. Pray for those who have lost everything because of Boko Haram’s assaults on their villages. Pray God will provide children and families with the resources needed to survive. Pray for families in neighboring villages who are taking in displaced families. Please pray God will also provide for their immediate needs.

·         Pray the new government program will be successful in stopping radicalized Islamic movements like Boko Haram. Pray Nigeria’s government will protect all its citizens in the north and truly address the underlying issues of poverty and ignorance that contribute to radical Islamic ideology.

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Pray for Children at Risk–July 28

Prayer Concerns for the Week of July 28, 2014

 Burma

In Burma’s western Rakhine (formerly Arakan) state, more than 140,000 Muslim Rohingya people have been displaced by inter-religious violence between Burma’s majority Buddhist Rakhine population and its ethnic Muslim minority. Most of those displaced live in squalid IDP (internally displaced people) camps in Rakhine state where they have very limited access to basic health, education, water, and sanitation services. Their freedom of movement inside and out of the camps is also severely restricted. The level of human suffering in the camps is the worst one senior UN aid official said she’d ever witnessed. Many aid groups have left the region because of attacks on their personnel and offices. This departure has resulted in a major health crisis in the camps; one which the Burma government has dismissed. Muslim Rohingya people aren’t recognized as citizens of Burma by the government. They’re considered Bengalis—illegal immigrants from Bangladesh—even though some families have lived in camps in Rakhine state for generations.  http://tinyurl.com/oszt9y5  http://tinyurl.com/qe4zu8e

·         Please pray for Rohingya children and families struggling to survive the appalling conditions in these IDP camps. Pray God will provide for their deepest and most immediate needs. Pray God’s comfort and peace will heal children traumatized by the violence and suffering in Rakhine state.

·         Pray for the staff and volunteers of aid organizations still struggling to work under very difficult circumstances in the IDP camps. Give thanks to God for their commitment to stay and serve this marginalized population.

·         Give thanks to God for the work of the staff and volunteers with Partners Relief and Development and other humanitarian aid organizations as they bring hope, help, and love to those in need in Burma.

·         Please pray for peace between Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya ethnic groups in this region. Animosity between the groups goes back many years when the Rohingya first came to Burma from Bangladesh. Pray for reconciliation and understanding between these two ethnic people groups.

 

Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone

West Africa is experiencing its largest outbreak of the Ebola virus since its appearance in Africa in 1976. More than 500 people have died and almost 900 confirmed cases have been recorded since last February. The Ebola virus causes vomiting and diarrhea, impairs kidney and liver function, and can cause internal and external bleeding. It is spread by close contact with the body fluid, blood, or tissue of those infected by it. There is no treatment or vaccine for the virus which can kill up to 90 percent of those infected. Cultural burial practices—like cleaning the corpse, attending funerals for Ebola victims, and stroking their bodies as part of the mourning ritual—can contribute to the spread of the virus. The disease has continued to spread in Sierra Leone and Liberia (but slowed somewhat in Guinea) and is straining the resources of aid groups. The scale of the Ebola epidemic hasn’t been acknowledged by civil society groups, governments, and religious authorities in these three countries, making it much harder to stop the outbreak.  http://tinyurl.com/mmg3k2l   http://tinyurl.com/m85mbdp   http://tinyurl.com/pkh4fq7

·         Please pray for children, young people, and adults who have contracted the Ebola virus. Pray for God’s healing touch upon each one. Pray for the loved ones of those with the virus as they help care for them.

·         Pray God will comfort the loved ones of those who have died from the virus.

·         Pray for staff and volunteers with medical aid organizations as they try to treat victims of this deadly virus.

·         Please pray God will provide the resources to bring this Ebola epidemic under control and prevent it from spreading further. Pray for education on how to handle the virus and not spread it.

·         Pray for good coordination and communication between the governments of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

 

Ukraine, Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Vietnam, Philippines, United States, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong

On July 17, Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17, a Boeing 777 passenger jet, was shot down by a surface-to-air missile fired from Ukrainian separatist territory. All 298 people on board, including 77 children and three infants, were killed in the crash near the eastern border of Ukraine. The majority of victims were from the Netherlands and Malaysia, but also included people from Australia, Indonesia, the U.K., Germany, Belgium, Vietnam, the Philippines, the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. http://tinyurl.com/ozhm7zw  http://tinyurl.com/m3dfgdo

·         Please keep close in prayer the loved ones of those killed in the crash of this flight. Pray God will bring healing and peace to each of them in this season of sorrow and tremendous loss.

·         Pray for authorities working to secure information from the crash site in Ukraine’s separatist-held territory.

·         Pray for those who shot this jet down, possibly mistaking it for a Ukrainian military airplane. Pray for justice for the victims of this horrific incident.

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Pray for Children at Risk–July 14

Prayer Concerns for the Week of July 14, 2014

 India

Sixty-three children were rescued last May at a Delhi railway station in one of the year’s largest joint rescue operations between anti-trafficking and railway police, and child rights groups. The children were mostly from the northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and were between 7 and 17 years of age. Thousands of children from rural areas are taken to India’s larger cities every year by trafficking gangs who sell them into bonded labor or hire them out to dishonest employers. Trafficked children often go missing—their families are unable to find or track them down.

Traffickers convinced parents their children would send money home from factory jobs. They also tricked children into thinking they would be given large amounts of money, have a much better life, or receive an education if they went with the traffickers. Twenty-three alleged traffickers were arrested in this joint operation. http://tinyurl.com/ozuq9wn

·         Give God thanks for the rescue of so many children! Thanks be to God they were intercepted before traffickers could sell them off in cities around India. Pray all these children will be reunited with their families.

·         Please pray for vulnerable children in impoverished communities where desperation and hopelessness lead parents to make the difficult decision to send their children away. Pray for community awareness and education about the ways in which traffickers can take advantage of vulnerable children.

·         Pray for healing of the underlying issues that cause parents to make these desperate decisions. Pray those in authority and leadership in India will address the abject poverty that destabilizes communities and families.

·         Give thanks to God for the anti-trafficking and railway police as well as for the members of the child rights groups that helped with this rescue operation. Pray for their safety as they work to help even more vulnerable children escape from human traffickers.

 

Italy

Last month, more than 2,500 men, women, and children were rescued by the Italian navy from 17 overcrowded boats in the Mediterranean Sea. An estimated 25,000 migrants—including Syrians fleeing civil war and Eritreans evading military conscription—have reached Italy so far this year. A majority of migrants are from sub-Saharan Africa and travel in small, unsafe boats from North Africa to an islet between Tunisia and Sicily. After so many boats capsized last year, killing hundreds of migrants, Italy set up a search and rescue mission that patrols the waters between Italy and Africa in order to prevent further tragedies. Italy has requested help from the European Union to patrol these waters and also help with the flood of refugees overwhelming Italy’s immigration centers.  http://tinyurl.com/lfths6u   http://tinyurl.com/pnnhdtx

·         Please pray for children, young people, and adults who risk everything by traveling in unsafe boats to escape violence, persecution, and/or poverty in their home countries.

·         Pray for children who have lost loved ones when the boats on which they were traveling to Italy capsized. Pray for parents whose children have drowned during these dangerous crossings. Pray for God’s comfort and provision for those who grieve.

·         Please keep in prayer migrant children and families who are awaiting processing in Italy’s immigration centers. Pray for overwhelmed bureaucrats struggling to process the tens of thousands of requests for asylum or immigration.

·         Pray for Italy’s navy and coast guard members as they rescue migrants, recover bodies, and patrol this popular migrant sea route.

·         Pray for those who take advantage of migrants; for those who smuggle migrants in unstable boats; and for those who charge exorbitant fees to smuggle them to Italy.

·         Pray the root causes of this massive migration—the poverty and violence in migrants’ home countries—will be resolved.

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Pray for Children at Risk–July 7

Prayer Concerns for the Week of July 7, 2014

 India, Nepal

Seven-year-old Prashant Magar is from Jaigaon, a small town in India’s West Bengal state near the Bhutan border. He is blind in both eyes and was abandoned by his family. His parents are divorced and his father is an alcoholic. Last February, a pastor with the Treasure Commission in India made arrangements for Prashant to attend a school for the blind in Kalimpong. Prashant couldn’t afford the school tuition or housing costs.

·         Please hold Prashant close in prayer as he struggles to find his way in this difficult season. Pray God will provide the resources Prashant needs to attend school and live in Kalimpong. Pray Prashant will feel God’s love through a strong community of support during this trying time.

·         Give thanks to God for Pastor Bijay Darjee and his care and concern for Prashant. Pray for all of the pastors and missionaries with the Treasure Commission as they spread the Good News of Jesus Christ in India and Nepal.

 

North Korea

Nine orphans fled North Korea to escape starvation and illness. All were malnourished and sickly and had lived on the streets scavenging for food. One by one, they crossed into China where they received help from a South Korean couple living there. The couple kept the nine in their home for between five months and three years before helping them escape to Laos. After arriving in Laos, the orphans were taken into custody by Laotian authorities who accused the South Korean couple of trafficking the teens and young adults. The nine were forcibly repatriated back to North Korea in May 2013 then exploited for propaganda purposes. Daily NK reports the orphans were sent back to their home provinces after going through an intense investigation and propaganda training in Pyongyang. The orphans, ranging in age from 15 to 23, are now under special surveillance in their home counties and have been given papers so they may work or go to school. http://tinyurl.com/pufyzh8  http://tinyurl.com/oudtelv  http://tinyurl.com/ken8r8e  http://tinyurl.com/ofkvy6h

·         Please continue to pray for these teenagers and young people and give God thanks they weren’t executed or forced into “re-education camps.” Pray for their safety and emotional well-being. Pray they will know the comfort and peace of the Holy Spirit during this difficult season in their lives.

·         Pray the faith these nine orphans began to develop while living with the couple in China will sustain them. Pray for girls: 15-year-old Noh Ae-Ji and 16-year-old Chang Guk-Hwa; and boys: 16-year-old Ryu Cheol-Ryong, 18-year-old Park Gwang-Hyuk, 18-year-old Lee Gwang-Hyuk, 19-year-old Ryu Gwang-Hyuk, 20-year-old Baek Young-Won, 20-year-old Jung Gwang-Young, and 23-year-old Moon Cheol.

·         Pray for children and youth who struggle to survive in North Korea and dream of escaping this harsh regime. Pray for the safety of those who attempt to escape.

·         Please pray for the protection of aid workers, Christian missionaries, pastors, and church congregations who help smuggle people out of North Korea through China and Southeast Asia. Give thanks to God for their courage and faith in the face of great danger. http://www.nkfreedom.org/

 

 

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Pray for Children at Risk–June 30

Prayer Concerns for the Week of June 30, 2014

 Nigeria

An Islamic group called Boko Haram (which means “Western education is sinful”) has employed extreme violence in its campaign to establish an Islamic Sharia state in northeast Nigeria. They generally target Christians, but a large proportion of their victims have been Muslim. The extremist group continues its campaign of terror in the remote villages of Borno in northeast Nigeria with near daily raids, murders, and abductions. They have looted villages and burned homes and churches to the ground in their raids. Boko Haram has also attacked police and UN headquarters in the capital, and set off bombs in the central city of Jos.  http://tinyurl.com/porhwky   http://tinyurl.com/kstelek  http://tinyurl.com/q4c6zjt

In April, the group kidnapped 276 girls from a secondary school in Chibok. Boko Haram demands the release of its imprisoned militants in exchange for the girls, but the Nigerian government refuses to negotiate with them. More than 560 civilians have been killed by Boko Haram since the school girls’ abduction in April and more than 100 women and children have been taken from their villages. Thousands of people have fled the violence in the region and an estimated three million people are affected by it.  http://tinyurl.com/pnocrjw   http://tinyurl.com/osl8ll7   http://tinyurl.com/lzo4xcj

·         Pray for children and families who’ve been affected by Boko Haram’s violent campaign. Pray for those who have had loved ones killed or injured in attacks by this militant group. Pray for children and families who have lost their homes. Pray God will provide for their immediate and deepest needs.

·         Continue to pray for the safe release of the school girls, as well as the women and children kidnapped by Boko Haram. Pray for those who’ve been forced to convert from Christianity to Islam. Pray for God’s comfort and peace during this frightening time. Pray for the loved ones of these kidnap victims.

·         Please pray for peace in Nigeria’s troubled northeast region. Pray for Nigeria’s government and military leaders during this challenging season. Pray for wisdom and courage to do the right thing for their fellow Nigerians, especially the children of this fractured country.

·         Pray for Boko Haram’s leaders—that God would change the hearts of those who use violence to achieve goals.

 

United States, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador

The number of unaccompanied children coming to the United States from Central America continues to grow. Since last October, an estimated 52,000 unaccompanied migrant children have been detained after crossing into the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas from Mexico. Most of them are fleeing drug cartel or gang violence in Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador. The average age of children crossing is 14, but arrests of unaccompanied children under age 2 have been reported. This flood of migrant children has strained detention centers in Texas and forced authorities to find alternative housing for those who’ve come to the U.S. without parents or guardians. http://tinyurl.com/qdmkv6s

 

This massive influx of children is thought to be caused by a misconception among migrants that traveling with children will allow them to enter the U.S. and that minor children won’t be deported. Coyotes (human smugglers) perpetuate this mistaken belief in order to profit from it. Unaccompanied children are held in detention facilities until they can be placed with a parent or guardian in the U.S. They are required to reappear for a deportation hearing. http://tinyurl.com/mn4vrrc

·         Please continue to keep in prayer unaccompanied children who are migrating or have migrated to the U.S. Pray for those who have experienced violence at home, only to go through it again during their journey north. Pray for children who have been apprehended and are now in shelters. Pray for those who are frightened and feeling alone.

·         Pray for children and young people who have endured great abuse and hardship during their trips north. Pray for those who have been attacked, robbed, chased, sexually assaulted, or kidnapped and trafficked by drug cartels. Pray for those who endure hunger, thirst, illness, or exposure to extreme heat or cold. Pray for those who have witnessed brutal or traumatizing events during their long journey north.

·         Please keep in prayer law enforcement officers and those who process or work with unaccompanied migrant children along the U.S./Mexico border. Pray God will grant them wisdom and compassion while working with traumatized children.

·         Pray for parents who make difficult life and death decisions about their children…whether to keep their children home where they’re vulnerable to extreme violence from drug cartels and gangs or send them north on a treacherous journey where they’re vulnerable to being trafficked.

·         Please pray for the leaders and people of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Pray God will bring healing to their nations. Pray for an end to poverty, gang violence, and the desperation that causes parents to send their children over a thousand miles away so they won’t be killed.

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Pray for Children at Risk–June 23

Prayer Concerns for the Week of June 23, 2014

 Burma

Ever since Burma gained independence from Britain in 1948, ethnic minority states have struggled to obtain independence from the government of Burma. Three years ago, fighting between Kachin Independence Army (KIA) fighters and Burma Army troops erupted, ending a 17-year ceasefire. More than 100,000 people have been displaced in Kachin state because of this fighting. Human rights groups report that government forces have tortured civilians in order to extract information about the movement and strength of the KIA and deprive them of civilian support. These abuses have undermined current Burma government attempts to forge a ceasefire agreement with the KIA. Fourteen other ethnic-minority guerrilla forces have signed ceasefire pacts with the government, but the KIA’s deep mistrust of Burma’s military has stalled that process. The Burma Army ignored a presidential order to cease its offensive against the KIA in December 2011.  http://tinyurl.com/koe2qdf

·         Please keep the Kachin ethnic hill tribe people in prayer as they flee Burma Army attacks. Pray for those who have been displaced from their homes and communities and are now in temporary IDP (internally displaced people) camps or staying with relatives in distant cities.

·         Pray for children who’ve been separated from their families. Pray for those who have been conscripted into the Burma military or KIA forces. Pray for children who have been tortured or abused by the Burma Army and for those who have been forced to serve as porters or human land mine sweeps.

·         Please pray for parents who have lost a child or children when their villages were attacked by the Burma military. Pray God will comfort them in their season of grief. Pray for God’s peace and comfort for a mother, Jay Ya, whose young son drowned as they crossed a fast-flowing river while fleeing the Burma Army.

·         Please pray for peace and reconciliation in Burma’s conflict zones. Pray for freedom and justice for the ethnic hill tribe people of this beautiful country. Pray all its children may have the freedom to attend school in peace, have access to medical care, be recognized as citizens of Burma, and hope for a future filled with opportunity.

·         Pray for a change of heart within Burma’s government and military leadership. Pray they will recognize the sovereignty of God and the sacredness of all human life.

 

Iraq, Syria

Rebels from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have taken control of large portions of Iraq and eastern Syria in a campaign to restore an Islamic state, or caliphate, to this whole area. This offshoot of al-Qaeda is considered far more brutal than al-Qaeda and governs a nation-size tract of territory stretching from Aleppo in Syria to Fallujah in western Iraq and Mosul in the north of Iraq. ISIS is trying to establish a caliphate that is based on strict, medieval Sunni Muslim precepts. They consider Shi’ite Muslims, the majority of Iraq’s population, to be heretics deserving of death and target civilians with shockingly brutal punishments such as beheadings and amputations. An estimated 500,000 Iraqis have fled the violence in northern Iraq—up to half of those fleeing are children. http://tinyurl.com/nqmlkzg   http://tinyurl.com/mawzfhx   http://tinyurl.com/q55yxgt   http://tinyurl.com/ogzwsm6   http://tinyurl.com/ory3mjz

·         Please pray for children and families affected by ISIS’ attacks and brutal behavior. Pray for those who have been displaced from their homes, villages, or communities because of the fighting.

·         Pray for children and families sheltering in schools, hospitals, and mosques in Mosul. Pray God will provide for their most immediate needs as many don’t have access to sanitation, drinking water, or shelter from the heat.

·         Please pray for children and families trapped in their homes in Tal Afar, near Mosul, Iraq, by heavy fighting between ISIS forces and Shi’ite police and troops. Pray for the safety of these children and pray they might escape the fighting. Pray God will provide for those whose supplies are running low.

·         Pray for peace in this region. Pray for a change of heart in those who kill and destroy to fulfill their warped goals.

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Pray for Children at Risk–June 16

Prayer Concerns for the Week of June 16, 2014

Bosnia, Serbia

The heaviest rains in 120 years caused massive flooding and landslides in both Bosnia and Serbia last month. More than a million people in Bosnia have been affected by this disaster and more than 25,000 in Serbia have been affected. Thousands of people in both countries have been displaced by the flooding and more than 50 have lost their lives with that number expected to rise as cleanup efforts continue. Landslides or floods have destroyed thousands of houses, roads, and bridges and as the waters recede, thousands of animal carcasses have been revealed. There is also great concern that drinking water will be contaminated by the large number of dead animals in the water and a toxic mix of chemicals, fuel, and sewage that leaked during flooding. http://tinyurl.com/k37369z  http://tinyurl.com/mrkt79x   http://tinyurl.com/nrjxk36   http://tinyurl.com/m64ahg7

·         Please pray for children affected by this disaster. Pray for those who lost loved ones in the flooding or landslides. Pray for God’s comforting presence for children who have been traumatized and for those who grieve.

·         Pray for children and families whose homes were destroyed or made uninhabitable. Pray for those trying to find shelter in the midst of the wreckage and devastation. Pray for families who have lost their livelihoods.

·         Pray for children who don’t have access to clean drinking water or uncontaminated food. Pray God will provide for their deepest and most immediate needs.

·         Pray for local and national authorities as they discern the best ways to assist those affected by the flooding.

 

China

One-year-old Reese was born with a severe gastrointestinal defect and abandoned when he was 6 months old. He was transferred into the care of New Day Foster Home last December and in February 2014, he received a new liver in a transplant surgery. The surgery was successful, but Reese developed a lung infection that kept him in the ICU for some time. He was recently released from the hospital after a four-month battle for his life. http://tinyurl.com/qfnfgsy

  • Give thanks to God for answering prayers about Reese. Pray he continues to gain strength as his little body heals.

One-year-old Albert, who was also born with a very severe gastrointestinal defect and abandoned at 3 months old, had a liver transplant in April 2014. He has struggled to recover because the new liver wasn’t functioning properly. Doctors placed a shunt in his new liver several days ago with the hope that Albert won’t need another liver transplant.  http://tinyurl.com/me63s72   http://tinyurl.com/nnf3ajl

  • Please continue to pray for Albert as he recovers from this major surgery. Pray the shunt will help his new liver function properly and that he can leave the hospital soon.

 

United States

Two 12-year-old girls have been accused of trying to kill a third 12-year-old girl in a plot they planned months ahead of time. The girls hoped to win the favor of a fictional Internet character called Slenderman by stabbing their classmate to death. The May 31 attack occurred in a wooded park in southeastern Wisconsin where the two girls took their friend and distracted her with a game of hide-and-seek. The victim was able to crawl out of the woods to a road where she was found by a bicyclist. She was released from the hospital following surgery to repair her damaged organs and is continuing recovery at home. Her two classmates have been charged as adults with attempted homicide. http://tinyurl.com/pzmcrcu   http://tinyurl.com/letsmez   http://tinyurl.com/ncb84ox

·         Thanks be to God the victim’s wounds are healing quickly and that her pain has decreased. Pray this 12-year-old’s emotional and psychological wounds will also heal. Give God thanks for her incredibly strong will to survive.

·         Pray for the victim’s parents as they care for and walk with her through this challenging season. Please pray Christ’s peace will bring healing to them all.

·         Pray for the 12-year-old classmates who allegedly attacked their friend. Pray especially for the one who didn’t express or feel any remorse. Pray both girls will be freed from their dangerous fixation with this online horror character. Pray for their parents as they go through this heartbreaking situation and try to help their daughters.

 

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Pray for Children at Risk–June 9

Prayer Concerns for the Week of June 9, 2014

Brazil

The 2014 FIFA World Cup begins this week in 12 host cities across Brazil. Organizations like YWAM (Youth with a Mission) Belo Horizonte have been working hard for months to raise awareness about the potential for increased sexual exploitation, trafficking, and violence against children during the World Cup. Groups that work with vulnerable children fear the massive influx of people attending World Cup events will cause the already-occurring commercial sexual exploitation of children to skyrocket. They are also concerned there may be demonstrations and protests against the government that have the potential to become violent. A large percentage of Brazilians are dissatisfied with their government spending so much money on World Cup stadiums instead of health care and education. http://tinyurl.com/kajuvqa

·         Please be in prayer for the YWAM Belo Horizonte teams and all the people joining them for awareness-raising and evangelical events during the World Cup. Pray God will protect them and keep them safe as they serve throughout Brazil.

·         Thanks be to God so many young people from different churches are enthusiastic about YWAM Belo Horizonte’s work and that more and more continue to join in it. Pray for their safety during these events.

·         Please continue to pray for the safety and protection of children at risk of sexual abuse in Brazil, and especially those in the 12 World Cup host cities. Pray the campaigns to raise awareness about this sexual exploitation of children will continue to spread throughout Brazil and create a community alert to the abuse and willing to stop it.

·         Continue to pray for law enforcement officials and government authorities as they work to prevent the abuse of children. Pray the focus will be on the arrest of those who abuse children, from the pimps to the customers.

 

China

One-year-old Albert was born with a very severe gastrointestinal defect and abandoned when he was 3 months old. He was transferred into the care of New Day Foster Home in August 2013. In April 2014, he had a liver transplant but has not completely recovered. Albert’s new liver isn’t functioning the way surgeons had hoped and he may need another liver transplant. http://tinyurl.com/me63s72  http://tinyurl.com/nnf3ajl

·         Please pray for a miracle of healing for Albert. Pray his new liver will function properly and he won’t have to undergo another liver transplant.

·         Pray for Albert’s physicians and hospital staff as they care for him. Give thanks to God for the New Day Foster Home nanny that stays with Albert the entire time he is in the hospital. Pray God will sustain Albert’s nanny for this important work and ministry.

 

Uganda

Seven-year-old Baraka is unable to walk due to a medical condition and must be carried everywhere he goes. His family lives in an upstairs apartment without an elevator, so his mother or father must carry him up and down. Several weeks ago, Baraka’s teacher was carrying him downstairs when she fell. Baraka suffered several broken bones in the fall.

  • Please pray Baraka’s injuries will heal correctly and completely. Pray for the teacher who was carrying Baraka. Pray for his parents and brother as they provide care for him. Give God thanks for the blessing of a lightweight, portable stroller for Baraka—a mission team is bringing it with them when they travel to Uganda this month.

 

 

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World Weekend of Prayer for Children at Risk

June 7-8 is World Weekend of Prayer for Children at Risk.Involve the kids in your family or class in praying for children at risk. Participate in the World Weekend of Prayer on June 7-8. This year’s theme is Child-Friendly Communities. Viva International provides separate activity guides for children and teens that include prayer requests. There’s also a bookmark you can download.

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Pray for Children at Risk–June 2

Prayer Concerns for the Week of June 2, 2014

 Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger, Algeria

The northern part of Mali has long been a hotbed of violence as Tuareg rebels and Islamist militants struggle for independence from the government of Mali. In January 2012, increased fighting between these groups, followed by international intervention the next year, caused a surge in refugees fleeing to neighboring countries. In January 2013, farmer Massaya and his wife Taghri and their six young children fled central Mali along with half of the members of their village. They walked five days to reach Mbera refugee camp across the border in Mauritania, part of an influx of 15,000 refugees arriving in the camp that month. An estimated 60,000 refugees struggle to survive shortages of water and food in the 122 F degree heat. Shortly after their arrival, Taghri realized she was pregnant. An ultrasound revealed she was carrying quadruplets. With help from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Taghri delivered the three boys and one girl five weeks early by caesarian section. http://tinyurl.com/m7q8lwe   http://tinyurl.com/qcehh39    http://tinyurl.com/p8re3e7

·         Thanks be to God for the safe delivery of the quadruplets who are now 4 months old and in very good health.

·         Give thanks to God Taghri was able to access medical help—living in the refugee camp gave her access to care she might not have had at home in Mali.

·         Please pray for Massaya and Taghri as they raise their 10 children while living in a swelteringly hot tent in the Mbera refugee camp. Give God thanks for the compassionate neighbors who help out with the four babies and six other children while Massaya tries to find work. Pray their children will be able to continue their education and have hope for a future.

·         Pray for all of the refugees in this camp and in others in Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Algeria. Please pray God will provide for their physical and spiritual needs while living in such difficult circumstances.

·         Pray the situation in Mali will stabilize and refugees will be able to return home.

 

Turkey

An explosion at a coal mine in Soma killed 301 miners on May 13, 2014. An electrical fault is believed to have triggered the blast and cut power to the elevators, trapping coal miners more than a mile below the surface and several miles from the mine entrance. Many miners died of carbon monoxide poisoning or were killed in the pit collapse. Four hundred and fifty miners were rescued with 80 suffering minor injuries. Coal mining is a major industry in Soma, but safety issues have long been a concern. Protests about this mine disaster broke out in two of Turkey’s major cities and three mine company personnel have been arrested and charged with negligence, including the mine company’s operations manager. http://tinyurl.com/ngwvvp4   http://tinyurl.com/nahoshb

·         Please keep close in prayer the loved ones—the parents, spouses, children, grandchildren, siblings—and friends of those killed in this mine disaster. Pray for the children and loved ones of those still missing. Please pray each of them will feel God’s comforting presence in this difficult season.

·         Please pray for the survivors as they process this frightening experience and the trauma it may have caused.

·         Pray for the safety of those still involved in the recovery process at the mine.

·         Pray the cause of this disaster will be revealed and, if there is negligence involved, that justice will be obtained.

 

United States

Eight-year-old Tyler* and his 3-year-old sister Rebecca* were caught in a bitter custody battle between their grandparents and their mother. Their mother Anna* is pregnant and unable to take her medications for bipolar disorder, making her quite emotionally volatile. *Name changed for confidentiality and/or protection.

·         Give God thanks for answering prayers about Tyler and Rebecca’s custody. Their grandparents were recently awarded custody of Tyler and Rebecca’s birth father has custody of her. Please continue to pray Tyler and Rebecca will feel God’s loving arms around them throughout this chaotic time.

·         Pray for Anna as she struggles with her mental illness and her relationships.

·         Pray for peace, reconciliation, and healing in all of these relationships.

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Pray for Children at Risk–May 26

Prayer Concerns for the Week of May 26, 2014

Colombia

On May 18, 2014, an overcrowded bus returning from a church service in Fundacion, Colombia caught fire. At least 32 children were killed as the fire spread quickly. Twenty-five others, including an adult, were injured and seriously burned. Reports vary as to the cause. Survivors report the bus driver was handling a gasoline container on the bus and emergency responders say he was trying to start a broken down engine. http://tinyurl.com/kvgmjk2

·         Please hold close in prayer the loved ones of those killed in this tragedy. Pray for God’s comfort and peace to surround them in this difficult time.

·         Pray for healing for those who were burned or injured in the vehicle fire. Keep in prayer the families of those injured as they help care for their loved ones.

·         Pray for the bus driver who disappeared after the accident. Local residents blame him for causing the fire.

 

Kenya

There are an estimated one-and-a-half million Somalian refugees living in Kenya following Somalia’s 1991 civil war. Because of the string of terrorist attacks in Kenya, believed to have been committed by Somali-based al Shabaab, Kenyan authorities have been arresting thousands of immigrants. Last month, authorities began arresting people and deporting them or sending them to overcrowded refugee camps. Since the operation began, Kenyan police have arrested more than 4,000 immigrants and refugees, many of them ethnic Somalis. Authorities have also arrested and deported hundreds of other illegal immigrants, including those from Ethiopia, South Sudan, Congo, Cameroon, and Uganda. Non-government organizations are discovering a number of children and babies have been left behind unattended when their parents are deported or sent to refugee camps. http://tinyurl.com/onc3qvb

·         Keep in prayer children left without caregivers when their parents were arrested. Pray for their safety and provision. Pray God will provide for all refugee children who’ve been separated from their parents in this anti-terrorist operation. Pray for the 9-year-old who was left to care for her twin siblings who are less than a year old.

·         Pray for anxious parents who were taken from their children and not given an opportunity to obtain interim caregivers. Please pray these families will be reunited soon.

 

United States

Four-year-old Jordan had surgery to remove a kidney with a fist-sized-tumor wrapped around it and several days later had surgery to remove another tumor in one of her lungs. Jordan finished 10 days of radiation and chemotherapy the day before her baby sister Leslie was born. She recently completed weekly chemotherapy treatments and will only have to go back every three weeks for treatment until she finishes in August.

·         Pray for God’s healing touch to be upon Jordan. Pray she will feel God’s comfort and love during this difficult time. Give God thanks Jordan is feeling better and has a break from chemotherapy treatment for a little while.

·         Please continue to pray for Jordan’s parents, Jerin and Kristen, as they navigate the medical issues facing Jordan and care for newborn Leslie.

 

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Pray for Children at Risk–May 19

Prayer Concerns for the Week of May 19, 2014

Brazil

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup a month away, organizations serving vulnerable children in Brazil are working hard to raise awareness about the potential for increased sexual exploitation and violence against children. Groups working with vulnerable children fear the massive influx of people attending World Cup events will cause the already occurring commercial sexual exploitation of children to skyrocket. Sexual violence is the second most reported crime against children in Brazil with more than 10,000 children and adolescents reported to be victims of sexual abuse in 2011 alone. Most of the victims were between 10 and 14 years old. http://tinyurl.com/mlbt3rh

·         Give God thanks and praise for children’s charity organizations like Plan International that work to protect children and educate the public about child sex tourism during the World Cup. Thanks be to God for the programs Plan International has created to aid at-risk girls, boys, and young people. Pray these programs will help vulnerable children develop their potential and reduce their risk of exploitation.

·         Please pray for the safety and protection of children at risk of sexual abuse in Brazil, and especially those in the World Cup host cities. Pray the campaigns to raise awareness about this sexual exploitation of children will spread throughout Brazil and create a community that is alert to the abuse and will work to stop it.

·         Please pray for law enforcement officials and government authorities as they work to prevent the abuse of children. Pray the focus will be on the arrest of those who abuse children, from the pimps to the customers.

·         And pray for those who prey upon children in order to fulfill their sexual or financial cravings. Pray for justice for children who have been abused by such predators.

 

Thailand

On Monday, May 5, 2014, a strong earthquake hit northern Thailand near Chiang Rai, a mountainous region popular to foreign tourists. The 6.3 magnitude quake, the strongest in decades, had more than 100 aftershocks and caused multiple injuries and damage to roads, houses, hotels, hospitals, schools, shops, and temples in the area. Faces of Children has provided prayer support throughout the years to the children and staff of the Mae Ka Children’s Home, a home for 150 at-risk, ethnic hill tribe children that is located near the epicenter of this quake. http://tinyurl.com/n29g9of   http://tinyurl.com/nxfjfl5  http://tinyurl.com/mt6hxvp

·         Please pray for those affected by this major earthquake. Pray for children whose schools and homes have been destroyed or damaged. Pray for those injured by the quake or its multiple aftershocks. Keep in prayer those who are still displaced from their homes.

·         Give God thanks that all the children and staff at the Mae Ka Chan Children’s Home are okay. Pray for children who were frightened by the earthquake and aftershocks. Thanks be to God the children’s housing wasn’t damaged. Pray for the staff at the children’s home as they provide selflessly for so many vulnerable children.

United States

A southern Minnesota teen was arrested earlier this month and charged with planning an attack on a school in his rural community. The 17-year-old had planned to kill his family, set a fire to distract authorities, and then attack a building that houses both the community’s junior and senior high schools. There are more than 900 students that attend these schools. He had also planned to set off bombs during lunch, set fires in the school, shoot students and staff, and then be killed by law enforcement authorities. The 17-year-old had collected bomb-making materials, firearms, and ammunition as well as detailed his intentions in a journal. He idolized one of the Columbine gunmen and referred to that 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado in his journal. http://tinyurl.com/lyj64a5

·         Give God grateful thanks this young man was arrested before he could inflict pain and destruction on others. Thanks be to God for the vigilant person who observed the 17-year-old acting suspiciously and called police.

·         Please keep the students and staff at the schools close in prayer as they deal with the effects of this close call. Pray God will comfort them and their parents/families. Pray the peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding will guard their hearts against anxiety and fear.

·         Pray for the 17-year-old young man…that God will bring healing into his brokenness. Pray for his parents and siblings as they deal with the consequences of his actions. Pray for God’s comfort and peace for these family members, as well.

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Pray for Children at Risk–May 12

Prayer Concerns for the Week of May 12, 2014

Nigeria

Shortly after midnight on April 14, 2014, 276 girls were abducted from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in northeast Nigeria. An Islamic extremist group called Boko Haram (which means “Western education is sinful”) is believed to be responsible for the kidnapping of the girls who are between 16 and 18 years of age. Boko Haram uses violence in its efforts to establish an Islamic Sharia state in northeast Nigeria and has threatened to sell the girls, a majority of whom are believed to be Christian. The group has abducted girls in previous attacks to use as porters, cooks, and sex slaves; however, the kidnapping of so many girls from one school has outraged Nigerians and the global community. In a recent video, Boko Haram showed about half of the kidnapped girls and demanded the release of all imprisoned militants in exchange for the girls. http://tinyurl.com/mqlhfm7  http://tinyurl.com/n72lfcz

·         Please continue to pray for the safe release of each girl taken from the school by Boko Haram militants. Pray for those who have been forced to convert from Christianity to Islam.

·         Pray for the parents and loved ones of the kidnapped students as they wait for news of their daughters. Pray they will feel God’s comfort and peace during this very frightening time.

·         Pray for the militants who say the girls should get married instead of going to school. Pray God would change the hearts of those who use violence to achieve their goals.

·         Please pray for peace in Nigeria’s troubled northeast region.

 

United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Belgium

Fourteen men were recently arrested for operating a secret, members-only child pornography website in which 251 children were sexually exploited. The underground website shared sexually explicit videos of children, mostly boys between the ages of 10 and 17, with more than 27,000 subscribers. Seven of the victims were under age 9 with one of them 3 years old or younger. Authorities with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement said 228 of the alleged victims came from 39 states in the U.S. and 23 other victims were identified in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Belgium. http://tinyurl.com/omo83et   http://tinyurl.com/k3e7hcp

·         Pray for all of the young victims of this devastating exploitation. Please pray for their emotional, physical, spiritual, and psychological healing. Pray they will be surrounded by a community of support and love. Pray these children will have access to the resources they need during their healing process.

·         Give thanks to God this child pornography ring has been exposed. Pray God will protect the minds and hearts of law enforcement officials involved in this case as they go through thousands of disturbing images depicting sexually exploited children and sort through massive amounts of data seized in this operation.

·         Pray for those arrested and charged with operating a child exploitation enterprise. Pray for the thousands of predators who subscribed to the website. Pray for justice in this case.

·         Pray for raised awareness and education about the online sexual abuse of children. Pray the growing trend of children being enticed by adults into sharing sexually explicit material online will cease because of this education.

 

United States

·         Please continue to keep close in prayer 8-year-old Tyler* and his 3-year-old sister Rebecca* during a difficult season in their lives.   *Name changed for confidentiality and/or protection.

·         Pray for Tyler and Rebecca’s grandparents who are struggling to get custody of the children and deal with their daughter Anna* (the children’s mother) whose emotional state is very volatile. Pray for Anna who is pregnant and unable to take her medication for bipolar disorder.

·         Pray Tyler and Rebecca will feel God’s loving arms around them throughout this chaotic time.

·         Pray for peace, reconciliation, and healing in all of these relationships.

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Pray for Children at Risk–May 5

Prayer Concerns for the Week of May 5, 2014

Burma

Several years ago, Nancy* formed a children’s home in Burma called Hallelujah Orphanage. She and her family care for 11 abused, neglected, or orphaned children in their home. They provide a loving environment that is safe and stable for these very vulnerable children. The children who live at Hallelujah Orphanage are able to pursue an education and experience daily the abundant love of Jesus Christ.   *Name changed for confidentiality and/or protection.

·         Please pray God will provide the resources Nancy and her family need to continue helping these children. Pray God will also bring healing to Nancy as she suffers from frequent, severe headaches.

·         Give thanks to God the children have done so well on their year-end exams. Please pray for God’s comfort for the one girl who did not pass her final exam and will have to stay in the same class next year.

·         Pray God will bring rain to their province soon so they might be able to work their land and tend the crops.

 

Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, United States

The number of unaccompanied migrant children entering the United States has increased drastically in the last three years. A total of 38,833 minors traveling without families were detained in the U.S. last year alone—more than half of them apprehended along the southeastern edge of Texas. Three-quarters of the detained youths are male; however, more girls and children, some as young as 5 or 6, are crossing into the U.S. now. Immigration advocates believe the majority of youth and children are fleeing violence in their home countries in Central America. They say drug cartel and gang violence in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are driving out many of these young people and children. Apprehended children and young people tell disturbing stories of abuse and hardship during their trips north. Many have been attacked, robbed, chased, sexually assaulted, or kidnapped and trafficked by drug cartels; struggled with hunger, thirst, illness, and exposure to extreme heat or cold; or witnessed brutal and traumatizing events.  http://tinyurl.com/l3bqak7

·         Please keep in prayer unaccompanied children who are migrating or have migrated to the U.S. Pray for those who have experienced violence at home, only to go through it again during their journey north. Pray for children who have been apprehended and are now in shelters and in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the U.S. Please pray for those who are frightened and feeling alone.

·         Pray for parents who make tough life and death decisions about their children…whether to keep their children home where they’re vulnerable to extreme violence from drug cartels and gangs or send them north on a treacherous journey.

 

United States

Please keep 2-year-old Jake close in prayer as he receives treatment for leukemia. Pray God’s healing touch will be upon this little one. Pray for his parents as they make important decisions about Jake’s medical care.

 

Last summer, sixth-grader Shianne Stull was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a congenital heart condition. Shianne’s thick heart muscle is stiff, making it difficult for the heart to relax and blood to fill the chambers. She has gone through three surgeries, but the only cure is a heart transplant. Shianne’s condition must worsen before she can be placed on a transplant list. She tires easily and cannot participate in any sports activities at school. http://tinyurl.com/kjfjcb2

·         Please keep Shianne close in prayer as she goes through this challenging season in her young life. Pray God will sustain and encourage her, especially in those times when she is feeling anxiety and fear.

·         Pray for her parents as they navigate the medical system and make decisions about her care and treatment. Pray God will also comfort them when they are frightened for their daughter but don’t want her to see their fear.

·         Give thanks to God for the strong support system surrounding Shianne and her family.

 

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