Tearfund Prayer Diary March 2017

Tearfund Prayer Diary March 2017


Seeking peace in the Central African Republic: 26 February – 4 March

In 2013, the Central African Republic (CAR) fellinto conflict when a coalition of rebel groups(Seleka) took control of the capital, and a'self-defence' group called Anti-balaka formed inresponse. Violent acts were committed involvinglooting, raping and burning of property. CentralAfricans are still suffering the effects from thiscrisis. In a country that has been unstable sinceindependence in 1960, displacement, ill health andtrauma are ongoing realities.

Sunday 26 February

Ericaine was forced from her home three yearsago. Her husband and baby were killed and herhouse burnt down. She found safety in a camp fordisplaced people, but the conditions were terriblewith no sanitation. With the help of Tearfund, herlife is now very different, Ericaine helps to maintainnew local latrines and educate her friends aboutthe importance of handwashing. Pray for all thosewho are still displaced from their homes, that theycan live in safety and dignity.

Monday 27 February

For people living in camps for displaced peoplethere is a huge risk of disease. The highconcentration of people living in crampedconditions results in dangerous living conditions.Pray for protection against illness, particularlycholera – a highly infectious disease that iscurrently spreading.

Tuesday 28 February

'Maythe Lord of peace himself give you peace atall times and in every way. The Lord be with all ofyou.' 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Lift up people who have witnessed horrificviolence, especially women and girls who haveexperienced sexual violence. Pray that God willprovide healing, even where there is deep hurt andtrauma.

Wednesday 1 March

Insecurity still reigns in CAR. Frequent attacks arecarried out on civilians, humanitarian workers andbetween armed groups. Tearfund is trainingleaders to be peacemakers to bring aboutgrass-roots change. Pray that God will bringhealing and reconciliation throughout communitiesin CAR.

Thursday 2 March

Biamey was previously a chicken farmer. He wastargeted in the attacks and lost everything. ThankGod that Tearfund is providing food securitytraining to farmers like Biamey. 'I can see a futurenow,' says Biamey. 'I still worry, but now I worryabout how I can educate my children. I don't worryabout how I can feed them anymore. I don't worryabout them dying of hunger in their sleep.'

Friday 3 March

Pray for the churches and denominations acrossCAR to be united. Tearfund's Church andCommunity Mobilisation Process enableschurches to work with their local communities tohelp people lift themselves out of poverty. ThankGod that the church is shining God's light in theircommunities.

Saturday 4 March

Dear Lord, thank you that you are the one whogives life. We pray for all the people in CAR to livein your hope. Give strength and courage tofamilies who are hurting, and bless leadersseeking peace in your name. Amen.Some names have been changed this week toprotect people's identities.

Vanuatu two years on: 5 – 11 March

Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu, an archipelago of 65inhabited islands, in March 2015. Winds of up toaround 180mph flattened homes and destroyedaround 90 per cent of the coffee harvest on TannaIsland alone. Since subsistence farming is themain source of income for the vast majority ofVanuatu's population, damage to crops wasdevastating.

Sunday 5 March

The Government of Tanna has praised Tearfundpartner Nasi Tuan's coordination, which led to allsix area councils being reached with agriculturalrecovery assistance. Thank God for the way hehas used Nasi Tuan in the recovery of Tanna.

Monday 6 March

Some 36,000 seedlings were donated to farmersto rehabilitate coffee farms. Others were trained inpeanut production as an alternative. To enhancetheir collective selling power at market, farmersorganised themselves into groups and were ableto sell directly to Nasi Tuan's social enterprise,Tau'd. Thank God that the quick growth of thepeanuts has enabled farmers to regain economicgrowth and replenish food supplies.

Tuesday 7 March

Nasi Tuan delivered training to farmers on organiccomposting and pesticides, new crop varieties androw spacing to address soil erosion, soil qualityand crop yield in an environmentally sustainableway. As Chief Albert says, 'This will really helpbecause for the small space we can have a goodharvest.' Pray that the community will use thesetechniques to further increase food production.

Wednesday 8 March

After Cyclone Pam, many farmers had a toughtime clearing their plantations. Nasi Tuan workedwith Talao Coffee Co-op to subsidise theemployment of young people to rehabilitate plotsinstead. Praise God for the young people'swillingness, and pray that their involvement willinspire the next generation of farmers.

Thursday 9 March

'If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live atpeace with everyone.' Romans 12:18

Previously on Tanna there were tensions betweendifferent religious groups. The establishment offarmers groups gave people a common goal tofocus on and this has unexpectedly brought aboutincreased unity. Thank God that he can transformeven the most challenging situations.

Friday 10 March

Women were particularly enthusiastic aboutpeanut production as this has increasedhousehold income, enabling mothers to pay fortheir children's schooling. One mother says, 'Ricewill run out but the knowledge from what NasiTuan has taught us will remain.' Pray thatchallenges to traditional attitude and gender normswould yield positive results across the communityand that each member will be valued.

Saturday 11 March

Consider the blessings promised to the Israelitesin return for obedience in Leviticus 26:1-13.Father, thank you for Nasi Tuan's expression ofChrist's love. Pour out your blessings on them asthey serve and obey you on Tanna. Through theirwitness and ministry, we ask you to be merciful tothe cyclone-affected communities. Send rain in itsseason and cause the land to be fruitful. Amen.

Beauty from ashes: 12 – 18 March

Our God is in the business of transformation:beauty from ashes, joy from despair. And as hisfollowers, so are we. This week we'll be thinkingabout how we can transform the way that we useour resources – turning our trash intotreasure – and be part of God's work renewingcreation.

Sunday 12 March

God has entrusted his beautiful world to our care.Spend some time giving thanks for all he hasmade – the oceans, mountains, deserts andforests; the magnificent array of birds, animals andfish; the abundant varieties of plants that provideus with food and medicine. Be still and reflect onwhat it means to be a steward of creation.

Monday 13 March

In the UK we consume three times our fair shareof the earth's resources. We also produce hugeamounts of waste which ends up in landfill and inour oceans, leading to climate change andpollution. Lord, forgive us for not treading gently onthe earth. Help us to take steps to live more in stepwith your creation.

Tuesday 14 March

Nothing is wasted in nature. If we followed asimilar approach – adopting a 'circular economy'based on the principle of renewal andrestoration – this could lead to better jobs,healthier and more resilient communities. Givethanks for Tearfund's partners in Brazil, India andKenya who are showing how this can work (fordetails visit

Wednesday 15 March

Pause and think about how we can take simpleactions in our own lives. In the UK, householdsthrow away 22 per cent of the food they buy. Aswell as being a waste, the methane it produceswhen it goes to landfill leads to climate change.Ask God how you could reduce food waste in yourhome.

Thursday 16 March

How could we reuse products that we view aswaste? Give thanks for the community of youngpeople in Nigeria who set up the Jos GreenCentre – there they recycle plastic waste into itemsthat can be sold, whilst campaigning to reduceplastic pollution. Reflect on the items in your homethat could be repaired, recycled or given away.

Friday 17 March

Give thanks that each part of the Body of Christhas a unique role to play in the renewing of ourworld. Churches across the world are takingpowerful steps – switching energy to renewable,reducing waste and bearing witness to people inpositions of power. Ask God to show you how yourchurch community could play a part.

Saturday 18 March

Sometimes we may feel the world is too broken tofix. Then we remember that God often worksthrough our small offerings to create huge impact.Like the small stones in David's sling ... a boy withfive loaves and two fish ... a tiny mustard seed.Thank God that he is able to do abundantly morethan all we could ask or imagine Ephesians 3:20.Amen.

Hope for the fatherless: 19 – 25 March

After the fall of communism, many people acrossCentral Asia lost their jobs. This led to thebreakdown of family units – women travelled tofind work and men could often not provide for theirfamilies so they turned to alcohol. This left manychildren destitute. Today, thousands of childrenacross Central Asia are in orphanages or living onthe streets.

Sunday 19 March

Lift up the thousands of vulnerable orphans whoare currently homeless in Central Asia. Pray thatthese precious children would be protected fromall harm. Ask that more foster families will beinspired to provide orphans with safe and lovinghomes.

Monday 20 March

When children leave orphanages aged 16, they nolonger receive support from the state and are leftto fend for themselves. Pray that Tearfund's andour partner's advocacy work would be successfuland legislation will be introduced to protect therights and well-being of teenage orphans acrossCentral Asia.

Tuesday 21 March

With no place to go, teenage orphans arevulnerable to exploitation, trafficking and addiction.One of our partners works with these young adultsto find secure housing and medical care. Theyalso provide legal support and career advice. Givethanks for our partners' innovative work, and praythat this programme will continue to expand so itwill bring hope to more orphans.

Wednesday 22 March

Antonina is an orphan who now enjoys a better lifethan she ever expected. Supported by churchnetworks, once Antonina was expelled from herorphanage, she completed a hairdressing course.Antonina is now housed, financially secure andrespected professionally. Praise God fortestimonies like Antonina's, and for the localchurch who support vulnerable young adults withgreat love and sacrifice.

Thursday 23 March

Orphaned children have no one to help themnavigate through adolescence, and so one of ourpartners provides menstrual health and hygienetraining for girls. Pray that the course will helpthem maintain their dignity, and that the girls willbe emboldened to share their new-foundknowledge with their friends.

Friday 24 March

One partner tells us, 'One boy had a house whichbelonged to his family but the neighbours took itand he was threatened and beaten. A lawyer inthe church provided him with legal support and hishouse was returned.' Thank God for all those whocare for, and actively defend the rights of orphansacross Central Asia with passion and commitment.

Saturday 25 March

Father, we long to see strengthened family unitsrooted in love. Lord, restore damagedrelationships, break the hold of addictions, protectvulnerable people, and may fatherless childrenknow the unfailing love of you, their heavenlyFather. Amen.Some names have been changed this week toprotect people's identities.

Mean Bean Challenge: 26 March – 1 April

Five days of eating beans and rice in smallquantities is a tough challenge. It offers people asmall insight into the physical and emotionalside-effects of an inadequate diet. Many peopleare taking on Tearfund's Mean Bean Challengethis week. We join them and reflect on the wordsof people who took part last year.

Sunday 26 March

Yasmin from Chad has had to face terrible,gnawing hunger for too much of her short life.Most of the time she can't even enjoy the simplepleasures of childhood. 'Yasmin goes to play, saysJumana, Yasmin's mum. 'But her hunger preventsher from playing.' Pray that lots of funds are raisedto help change lives for those like Yasmin.

Monday 27 March

'I went to clear this drain of leaves and as I did so,small ant-like creatures scattered ... It was all a bitgrim, but my overwhelming thought was, "this iswhat it is like for people like Jumana [fromChad]" – this is their equivalent of shopping! I haveso much to be thankful for.' So do we all. Spendtime giving thanks.

Tuesday 28 March

'The first day was so hard. I hadn't anticipated thesugar and caffeine withdrawal... I'm a vegan, I eatrice, beans or both every day. And it was still reallyhard. I have raised money for organisations likeTearfund before, but this has really hit me.' Prayfor people starting their Mean Bean Challengetoday, that they will feel God's presence close tothem.

Wednesday 29 March

When you do not have enough to eat, physically itdrains you but also emotionally too, 'We've foundalready, on our second day of the challenge, thatthis hunger business is not fun. We're tired andmoaning more than usual.' Thousands of peoplego hungry every day, lift them up now to God andconsider how you could make a difference.

Thursday 30 March

What's the most delicious memorable meal youhave experienced? No doubt you will think aboutthe smells, the taste, maybe the feel of the food.Fundraisers are participating this week becausefor many, there isn't even a few grains of rice toeat. Pray that this week's challenge is life-

changing for those taking part.

Friday 31 March

'If you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungryand satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then yourlight will rise in the darkness, and your night willbecome like the noonday.' Isaiah 58:10

Mean Bean participants have sacrificed their usualdiets this week to help others. Ask God tochallenge you to take action to stretch your faith.

Saturday 1 April

'It's certainly been educational. Possibly the mosteffective education I've had over many years'supporting Tearfund. The stomach seems to be apowerful way of learning how urgently aid anddevelopment matter.' Pray for a huge impact as aresult of the Mean Bean Challenge and givethanks for those who participated and those yet tocomplete it.

Tearfund Prayer Diary March 2017 –