DROUGHT WORSENING IN KENYA
More than four million people in Kenya now face starvation due to drought. That is a drastic rise from 3.5 million at the end of May. Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia face the worst drought conditions in 40 years.
Six counties in Kenya are in “emergency” status, meaning they are one step short of famine. One of those counties has never gone to this extent of drought, almost two years without rain according to a representative who works with World Concern.
In this part of Kenya, people live and die by the animals they raise. Livestock like cattle and sheep become food for the family. They are sold to pay for things like grain, school fees, or household supplies. One million animals have died from the drought so far.
Pray for abundant rain in Kenya’s drought-affected areas. Pray Kenyans will find comfort in the Lord’s mercy and love despite increasingly difficult circumstances.
– mnnonline.org. Information by permission of Mission Network News.
MINISTRY IN UKRAINE
A number of ministries and organizations are working to share the love of Christ and the Gospel message in Ukraine during this time of war. For example, Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) reports:
“We are grateful that God’s people can join together to demonstrate the compassion of Jesus to Ukrainians at a time when people desperately need encouragement. Hearts are soft and open from all that people have experienced. The fields are white with harvest as our staff and contacts share the Gospel in Ukraine.
“Many Ukrainian churches open their doors to shelter refugees passing through. CAM provides some of these churches with food – physically and spiritually. As pastors and other believers assist with physical needs, they come across unique opportunities to pray with refugees. The Christian literature they offer is an ongoing encouragement to the refugees. Some refugees choose to follow Christ. Others recommit their lives to faithfully serve the Lord.
“Our contacts shared the story of Anna that mirrors the experience of many refugees who encounter the Gospel. Anna took the first available train when she decided to leave her home, even though she didn’t know where she was going. She ended up in Chernivtsi where our contacts offered her food and shelter and invited her to an evening Bible study. ‘Two weeks later,’ Anna shared, ‘I started to pray and read the Bible for myself. I feel joy in knowing the Lord is leading me and taking care of me. …God brought me to this town under the shelling. …I learned about Him here and became part of His church.’ Anna’s story shows the impact of God’s light in the darkest of days. God’s Word and Christian literature are a voice of comfort, hope and truth to Ukrainian people in this time of distress.”
The Slavic Gospel Association (SGA) is another organization working to bring encouragement and the Gospel to the Ukrainians, including special ministry for the youth. As a representative of SGA shares, “These kids have walked with their parents down roads while there was gunfire and bombing going on, wondering if they would even get to the next town. Some have seen a parent killed.” In response, SGA partners around Ukraine have begun hosting summer camps. “The pastors are ministering to [the kids’] hearts. They’ve known only suffering and hardship. And now they’re laughing, racing, and hearing about the hope we have in Christ.”
The representative also says that a group of churches in the Zaporizhzhia region risk their lives by driving towards the fighting. “They help families literally come out of their basements since their houses are rubble. They load kids, single moms, and elderly into cars, and then drive them back to safer portions of Ukraine in the West.”
– mnnonline.org. Information by permission of Mission Network News.
Thank the Lord for CAM, SGA and other ministries/organizations that are reaching out to the people of Ukraine during this devastating time. Thank Him for the hearts He is touching with His love and Word through these ministries as well as through the Ukrainian churches. Pray for the safety of all involved and for an end to Russia’s brutal invasion of the country.
U.S. SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS ROE V. WADE
In June the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide for nearly 50 years. The ruling came in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case challenged Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, and whether it was unconstitutional. It was enacted in 2018 but was blocked after a federal court challenge. The state of Mississippi asked the high court to uphold its law and directly challenged the precedent in Roe and the 1992 Casey v. Planned Parenthood that held that states cannot ban pre-viability abortions, those done before a child can survive outside the womb.
In the final opinion, Justice Alito wrote, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” He also wrote that authority to regulate abortion rest with the political branches, not the courts. Joining Alito were Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barret.
The issue will now shift to state legislatures. It is expected that the ruling will lead to abortion bans in roughly half of the states.
Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, said: “The U.S. Supreme Court just announced one of the most significant rulings in my lifetime – officially voting to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision because it was ‘egregiously wrong from the start,’ as stated by Justice Samuel Alito. ...Pregnancy centers are already being vandalized and attacked, and our U.S. Supreme Court justices are being targeted with threats and intimidation.
“Roe v. Wade, passed 49 years ago, has resulted in the deaths of over 63 million innocent children in this country. Sadly, this decision is not an end to abortion – it pushed the battle back to the states. My prayer is that every state will enact protections for children in the womb and that our nation will value life and recognize the rights of our most vulnerable.”
Thank the Lord for this Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Thank the Lord for the courage of these justices to do the right thing and pray for their protection. Pray that many state legislatures will enact laws to protect the unborn and ban abortion. Thank the Lord for the many people in this country who are pro-life and who work so hard to defend the rights of the unborn. Pray that all life will be honored in America and beyond – born and unborn.
RELIGIOUS DECLINE IN AMERICA
Statistics from a recent Gallup survey reveal a major decline regarding the view of Americans toward God and the Bible. For example, just 20% of Americans now believe the Bible is the literal Word of God, down from 30% in 2011 and 40% in 1980. This steep decline coincides with the moral slide many Christians have discussed over the past few decades. Meanwhile, there is a new record high among Americans who believe the Bible is a collection of “fables, legends, history and moral precept recorded by man.” Just 10% held this view in 1980, though that proportion has swelled to 29% in 2022, the highest ever recorded by Gallup. A senior scientist at Gallup noted the stunning nature of this finding, writing, “This marks the first time significantly more Americans have viewed the Bible as not divinely inspired than as the literal Word of God.”
The survey also revealed the decrease in Americans’ perceived importance of religion in their lives. Just 44% said in 2022 religion is very important in their lives, down from 60% in 2002.
Pray for the Lord in His mercy to bring the spiritual awakening that is obviously needed in America as well as in many other countries.
PRAY FOR ISRAEL
The leaders of Iran, Turkey, and Russia met in Tehran on July 19th for a summit that is seen as a threat to the United States and a danger to Israel. Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Analysts say the combination of the growing alliance between these three countries, along with America’s weakness in the region and Iran’s race toward a nuclear bomb puts increasing pressure on Israel.
Iran hopes that with Russia’s support, it could pressure the U.S. to make concessions for the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal. The accord, signed between Germany, China, Britain, France, Iran, Russia and the United States, lifted most international sanctions on Tehran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.
Critics argue the original deal was poorly negotiated and gave Iran a path to a nuclear weapon by gradually lifting restrictions on its nuclear program. Proponents argue that the deal’s restrictions were actually working to slow Iran’s nuclear capabilities and were better than no deal at all. The pact collapsed in 2018 when former U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the accord and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran. President Biden wants to revive the deal, but indirect talks between Washington and Tehran stalled in March. Caught in the middle is Israel, which sees Iran as a direct threat to its very existence. Israel opposes the Iranian nuclear deal and says it has plans to attack Iran if needed.
Pray for the Lord to grant Israel wisdom and favor as she works to prevent any attack from Iran or any other enemies. Pray for the Lord to frustrate any evil intent by Iran, Turkey and Russia. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psa. 122:6).