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Syria peace talks bring glimmers of hope
Four sisters-in-law crammed into one small apartment with their seven children – it
hardly sounds like an ideal domestic arrangement. But for Hana* and her family, their
new home in Lebanon has one significant advantage over the life they left behind in
Syria. Here, at least, they are safe.
They lived in Aleppo in north-west Syria before fleeing to Lebanon almost a year ago. The
family had wanted to stay – but then, tragically, Hana’s son was killed in the shelling. He
was only three years old. After this, they knew they had to leave.
Rafi, aged seven, saw his little brother die. ‘He hasn’t been happy with himself since. He
has nightmares and tells me that he is scared during the day,’ Hana says.
Tearfund’s partner LSESD has been providing the family with monthly food packages,
helping them to make ends meet as they face an uncertain future.
Last week, both sides of the conflict met for the first time at the Geneva II peace talks –
in itself an answer to prayer.
The talks have seen some positive outcomes, such as the resolution to allow women and
children to leave the besieged city of Homs in western Syria. But there is still a long way
to go. Together, let’s continue to pray for peace in Syria until it becomes a reality.
Please pray:
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Thank God that the Geneva II peace talks were able to take place without
hindrance and that both sides were present.
Ask God to pour out his comfort, peace and healing on grieving families like
Hana’s.
Please lift up the ongoing negotiations in prayer. Pray that women and children
really will be able to leave Homs safely, and that aid will reach those who are still
trapped there in desperate need.
*Names have been changed to protect identities.
Prayer alert: unrest in Egypt and Pakistan
The past week has seen new outbreaks of unrest in Egypt and Pakistan.
In Egypt, at least 49 people were killed last weekend during protests marking the third
anniversary of the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak.
In Pakistan, a series of militant attacks earlier this month prompted the army to launch
air strikes against insurgents in the tribal North Waziristan region. Thousands of families
31 January 2014
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have fled the area in fear of being caught up in the fighting, and many are without any
form of shelter.
Please pray:
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Ask God to comfort all those who lost loved ones in the unrest in Egypt and
Pakistan.
As Egypt considers candidates for its presidential elections, please pray for a
peaceful, secure and well-governed future where all can thrive.
Lift up those in Pakistan who have fled their homes because of the fighting. Pray
that they will find the shelter and supplies they need, and ask God to bring about
peace and security across the country so that people will no longer live in fear.
We have great HOPE for 2014
This Friday 31 January marks the end of the HOPE 2014 season of prayer, which started
on 18 October 2013 and has been featured in One Voice since then. Thank you to all of
you who prayed and shared the prayers for HOPE with your church.
HOPE supports the UK church to do more mission together, in words and actions.
Tearfund has been part of the HOPE movement since the beginning and is excited to see
increasing numbers of churches serving their local communities in word and deed.
The goal of HOPE is to encourage lasting spiritual change in the lives of individuals and
transformed communities. HOPE has been building momentum towards this year of
mission in 2014: the whole church, reaching the whole nation, for the whole year.
‘The Bible says “The Word became flesh” (John 1:14). Being like Jesus means we can no
longer separate word and action,’ says Kiera Phyo, head of Tearfund’s Youth and
Emerging Generation Team. ‘They are more than two sides of the same coin – they are
the copper and nickel that create the coin. They are integral to one another.’
Andy Hawthorne of the Message Trust, one of HOPE’s founders, says, ‘God has been
shaking many of the things our country relies on: banks, media, politicians and more. We
are not the same country that we were last year. God is doing something new. Ask him
to raise your faith to look for new opportunities for evangelism.’
To find out more details and discover how your church can be part of HOPE 2014 visit
www.hopetogether.org.uk
Please pray:
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Join Phil Timson, HOPE’s Youth Director, praying, ‘Father, raise up a generation of
children and young people in the UK who follow you with passion. Use the HOPE
Revolution Mission Academies to train a new generation of mission-hearted young
people. May they give a lead to churches reaching out into their communities so
that many people find new life in Jesus.’
HOPE founder Mike Pilavachi of Soul Survivor says, ‘In John 1:41-42, we read that
Andrew brought his brother to meet Jesus and that brother, Simon Peter, became
a founding father of the church. Think of the people you meet each day and pray
for them by name. Ask God to give you words which will touch their lives.’
‘Loving Father, as we meet people today, please show us why you have brought
them into contact with us – perhaps because they need your touch, because they
need to know your forgiveness, or because they need reconciliation with you or
with others,’ asks HOPE’s Prayer Director Jane Holloway.
31 January 2014
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www.tearfund.org/praying
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