This week, we are praying for our nation and our partner, Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada. We grieve with you the senseless acts of violence that took place across the province of Nova Scotia on April 18-19. We mourn the loss of all life, including the death of 23-year RCMP veteran Const. Heidi Stevenson, who lost her life in the service of others. Our prayer is for the families and friends of all those impacted by this tragedy. We know that their grief is compounded by the isolation required due to COVID-19. May they know the truth of Psalm 34 – “the Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Nova Scotia is a province famous for its lighthouses, which for centuries have guided ships through the darkness to safe harbour. Jesus came as the Light shining in the darkness and the darkness has still not overcome it.
We stand with church communities across Nova Scotia and pray that they would be as lighthouses shining comfort, peace, and hope in the darkness of this challenging time, leading people to safe harbour.
As we hold this in prayer, we also pray with our Rwandan Field Staff Darrell and Laura Lee Bustin.
He Leadeth Me (Public Domain)
Text: Joseph D. Gilmore
Tune: William Bradbury
He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful foll’wer I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
Sometimes ’mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By waters still, o’er troubled sea,
Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.
Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since ’tis my God that leadeth me.
And when my task on earth is done,
When by Thy grace the vict’ry’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.
Heavenly Father, this hymn came to mind yesterday, and music along with Scripture is so important at this time, as we trust you in the midst of the uncertainty of this COVID-19 pandemic. Today we are praying for our partner in Rwanda, the Association of Rwandan Baptist Churches (AEBR.)
We remember the people living in Rwanda, who are under a strict time of self-isolation, as they try to protect their small country from being overcome by the coronavirus. We pray for the many who are unable to work because of the lockdown, and as a result, are unable to buy food. We pray for the government leaders who are providing leadership at this time. They are trying to help reach the most vulnerable, providing them with food aid. We pray that people would be able to understand the need for such restrictions, but also that everyone would have food to eat and a means to prepare it. We thank you that in Rwanda, the number of people who have contracted the virus is low, so far and that no one has died from it. We pray you would continue to watch over the people there, and if it be your will, the virus would abate quickly, so that travel within the country would be able to take place once again. We pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in Rwanda, that they would be turning to you for strength at this hard time, and that they would be reaching out with your love and kindness to their neighbours at this time.
This also reminds us that on April 7th the people of Rwanda commemorated the 26th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Father God we continue to pray for healing in this nation. We pray for peace in people’s hearts and for comfort from you as they are still dealing with the aftereffects of this terrible time in their history. It is hard for us to imagine, but bodies continue to be found even today and we pray for the families who are still dealing with the death of their loved ones all these years later.
Father we pray for our partner, the Association of Baptist Churches of Rwanda (AEBR), and the programs that CBM supports, as they are all on hold during this time of lockdown. We pray for the head of the denomination, Rev. Emmanuel (Ndagijimana) and his leadership team, as they are evaluating how they can provide relief to some of the most vulnerable amongst their congregations. We pray for the members of the churches who may not have internet or ways to worship in a corporate manner right now, that you will help them to worship at home with their families until such time comes that they can gather freely once more.
Father, on a personal level, we pray for our unusual time of Home Assignment, as we are living in Moncton, New Brunswick. We are trying to reach out to our individual and church supporters through various methods while still following the government mandates with regard to staying at home. Father, we ask for strength and comfort for Laura Lee and our whole family as we grieve the loss of her dad. At the same time, we also pray for others who may be experiencing a similar situation.
We thank you Heavenly Father, for we know that you are always with us, and that you care for us. We thank you for your plan of salvation that culminated with the resurrection of Jesus. Please continue to be with us in Canada and with those in Rwanda at this time.
In Jesus’ name we pray.
About Darrell and Laura Lee Bustin
The Bustins work with CBM’s church partner, the Association of Baptist Churches of Rwanda (AEBR). Darrell’s primary focus is in pastoral training and church leadership development. He works both with pastors, as well as those studying to be pastors and church leaders. Laura Lee oversees the administrative details for the short-term mission (SENT) teams that come to Rwanda.