Life as a widow can be so difficult, but in many places in Asia, becoming a widow is like living in hell on earth. Society often believes widows have sinned in some horrible way which resulted in their husbands’ deaths, and, as a result, widows can be labelled as cursed and rejected as outcasts. Pray that widows will be able to grieve their husbands’ deaths, and for God to provide for each widow’s needs. Pray each widow will find hope and the joy of Jesus for her and her children’s future.
The COVID-19 pandemic is like an evil tidal wave, rushing around the world, bringing death and untold destruction wherever it lands. As we watch the news and see with horror the estimates of the number of people who might die in the UK, we know that India and South Asia are just now at the start of what promises to be a nightmare.
Our hearts are broken for what we see today – and for what we know is just around the corner. Already, we see that the limited medical resources will be overwhelmed – but what is most heart-breaking is to know that before long, the most immediate danger for millions will be the prospect of starvation.
In the middle of a 21-day lockdown and with proper approval from their local governing authorities, our brothers and sisters serving in Asia are walking the streets, being God’s hands and feet to the poorest and most disadvantaged people in their communities.
Please keep our brothers and sisters serving in Asia in your prayers as they continue to seek ways to help the most disadvantaged people suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dzongkha translation of the New Testament is currently being distributed so please pray for the effective spread of God’s Word among the Bhutanese. Christians from neighbouring countries are active in ministry to the people of Bhutan and indeed many Bhutanese have come to Christ through these efforts. Nevertheless, among the five largest peoples (Dzongkha, Tshangla, Lepcha, Kheng and Gurung) only the Lepcha have any significant Christian population in Bhutan. Ask the Lord to build vibrant groups of witnessing Bhutanese believers in every ethnic group.
Pray for the church in Bhutan. Christians comprise less than 1% of the population in this mainly Buddhist nation and the government discourages churches from worshipping openly. Pray particularly for Christians in the south of the country, who are mostly ethnic Nepalese and who have suffered harassment and discrimination from the government, local officials and others. Finally, pray that the proposal for anti-conversion laws being considered by the National Assembly will come to nothing. Christians fear that, if made law, the loosely worded Bill would restrict church activities as similar laws have been abused in India.
Population: 742,737 (2012)
Official languages: Dzongkha
GDP (PPP) per capita: $8,762 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 67 years
Religions: 75% Buddhist, 24% Hindu, 1% other religions