Thursday, July 12, 2007

The 40 Day Fast - pray for a nation

There are many many needs all around me. I live in a city of between 20 and 25 million people, one quarter of whom live in total poverty. It's a city of massive contrasts.

Porsches and BMWs and Mercedes sweep past the city of the dead - this is the city's cemetery, also home to between 30,000 and one million people who are still alive.

Glittering skyscrapers and five star hotels (Four Seasons, Marriott, Grand Hyatt) are jostling for space with decrepit and crumbling buildings and homes, gradually returning to the dust of the Nile valley from which they were built.

One of the seven wonders of the world (the original ones!) dominates the skyline to the west of the city, and yet some of the most awful stories of suffering and pain originate here.

I work for Maadi Community Church, an international congregation in a suburb in the south of Cairo. Apart from gathering worshippers from fifty different nations and over fifty different denominations every week to meet and worship together in unity, we are trying to do something to bring a redemptive ending to some of those stories.

Cairo is the home to hundreds of thousands of refugees from Sudan, mostly from the Christian/Animist south. They fled from civil war and injustice, from terrible stories of brutalisation and trauma. They came to Cairo seeing it as a gateway to refuge and safety and prosperity in the west, but got trapped here by a mixture of neglect, racism, broken promises and a UN office overwhelmed and demoralised by sheer numbers.

Having planted five churches in these Sudanese communties in the last year, our vision is to raise up Sudanese leaders who love God, and train them up to one day return to South Sudan and become the leaders who rebuild their nation with God at the centre. We think we have a five year window to accomplish this. So we are running vocational programmes to train teachers, nurses, carpenters, plumbers, electricians and pastors in their crafts and callings so that they can be the next generation of leaders in South Sudan.

So on today's 40 Day Fast we are praying and fasting for the nation of South Sudan.

Please pray for us to find a new property that is large enough to house all of this activity on the same campus as our church and the school that we are partners with.

Please pray for a release of funding from the West to enable these programmes to take off and reach the people that God is highlighting.

Please pray for hope and light to dawn in the lives of these broken and damaged people, and that their Saviour will lead them back to rebuild their nation as part of His story of redemption.


Discontented Refuge said...

Hope your trip home was safe, and know we are praying for you today as you fast!

euphrony said...

Throughout Africa there is much to pray for. Sudan, and South Sudan as it tries to break free of the anarchy of the North, especially need such prayer. I will be praying for you and the Sudanese today.

kat's mom said...

Thank you for the info on the Sudanese - there is so much need in this world. I will be praying for you and for them today!

Mark said...

Awesome. Thanks for the post, and on behalf of Christians who aren't close enough to Sudan to do the kind of work your fellowship is doing: God bless you and grant you favor. You are standing in a critical gap right now. It excites me to see a church involved in nation-building--seeing how bad the UN and other governments are at it!

Praying with you today, my friend.

Tressa said...

Thank you for sharing today. I hear the Sudanese people are precious. Im praying for you and for your church today. I bet its AMAZING to gather at the Maadi Community Church and worship with people from all the different nations. Its an honor and a privaledge to do what you get to do!

e said...

What an important ministry you're involved with. Thanks for informing us so we can pray about it!

Chaotic Hammer said...

Thanks for this post. Praying with you for the people of South Sudan today.

Mark Jaffrey said...

Thank you all so much for your prayers and for these encouraging comments. It is so reassuring to know that you guys are out there and we're all on the same side.

jeff said...

Hi Mark

Don't know if you remember me from recreate but was reading about your church and realized that this might be the kind of thing our missions team has been looking. They want to form a long term partnership with a church or organization to send resources people etc to help in whatever way we are equipped to do.
I have sent them a link to your blog and see what happens. great to see what is happening with you and your ministry. blessings.
Jeff Coleman

Blogging Nana said...

We have been following your blog since you passed through SoCal and stayed at our home. Keep up the good work, and we will continue to pray for you. Anna and Barry Teats