Father God we come to you as a people who are broken but not without hope. We are broken by a world full of struggles and worries—conflict, disease, poverty, loneliness… We are broken by our own sin and inability to fix even ourselves, never mind all that concerns us and others. But we are not without hope—hope in who you are. You are able—all-powerful. You care about all our needs. Nothing can separate us from your love. You are able and willing to forgive us. You made the ultimate sacrifice to accomplish our forgiveness. You are also all-knowing. You understand the mysteries that confound us. You are always near to us, with us, present everywhere. So, this Holy Week, we come to you—like the prodigal son returning, broken, bruised, weak but full of hope, knowing that you are waiting to embrace us, forgive us, and even honour us.
Lord, we start by asking you for good health—a concern for all right now. We pray especially for our ministry partners of the Union of Baptist Churches (UBB) in Bolivia. We pray as the country has already suffered a lot during the first and second waves of COVID-19 and braces itself for a third wave. We pray for wisdom for the government in applying wise measures of biosecurity. We pray that the people will cooperate with government efforts and through this, take part in protecting frontline workers. We ask for vaccines, and the world programs that enable them. We pray for the unique challenges of a country like Bolivia in which the government cannot afford to help people with lost income, in which 60% of the population has to work to live, in which emergency care for all who need it is unaffordable, and where even vaccines are unaffordable.
We pray for the denominational and Seminary leadership as they seek to carry on routines while promoting safety and caring for those affected by COVID-19. We pray that these organizations can overcome the challenges of doing ministry and training virtually and even thrive.
We pray for pastors: for their finances, for families, for health, for perseverance in ministry as it might be without financial support. For their ministries, creativity, and for mental health.
We pray for the children of the Emmanuel Foundation and the Casa de la Amistad and Jireh—for provision, ongoing education, and protection in homes where they may be forced to be in the presence of those who abuse.
We pray for CBM ministries around the world. The current health and financial crisis have pushed some 100 million more people into poverty—like always, the poor are most affected. Help CBM to know where in the world to focus their efforts among a sea of increased needs. We think especially of our partners in Lebanon who are facing a perfect storm of needs: COVID-19, the explosion in Beirut and the loss of homes for hundreds of thousands, a virtually non-existent government, and financial collapse. We pray for our partners who are understandably, overwhelmed by requests for help and by the needs.
Personally, we pray that we would be able to get our vaccines soon, so that we can safely return to Bolivia. We pray for our daughter, who struggles with long-haul symptoms of COVID-19. Lord, heal her. We pray for our colleague, Patty, as she grieves the loss of her father to COVID-19. We pray for the ability to continue to creatively be in contact with friends and colleagues in Bolivia, to promote ministry, and be a support from a distance.
We have much to be thankful for. We are thankful that we have been able to be closer to our daughter during her health struggles. We are thankful for all of our faithful prayer and financial supporters. We are thankful for health. We are thankful for technology that enables us to be in daily contact with ministry partners in Bolivia. We are hopeful that, any day now, things will begin to turn around. Like the Spring, we see signs of hope. We are thankful that we have hope, that we see hope growing, and that we will soon be in the full bloom of a summer of hope, in which optimism reigns. Even now, we thank you for the past year. It has been trying, but also full of unexpected blessings.
Even as we pray, we thank you, Lord Jesus, for the knowledge that You live to intercede for us. May Your will be done in and through us this week. May You be glorified in all we say and do. May Your love be evident to all. Amen.
Bill and Janice Dyck