19th May 2017

Tearfund Latest Prayer Points

 

Teaming up for peace

 

 

The sun is beating down on the red soil, which is kicked up in clouds as the ball lands and feet scramble for a last chance. The whistle blows. The match is over. A massive cheer goes up from the stand and Lazaro and Abdou* hot and tired shake hands.

 

This may not be a national final and there may be no media coverage, but it is a match of great significance a match with the power to bring broken communities together.

 

Restoring unity

Nelson Mandela once said: ‘Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.’ And so it is with this football match, organised by Tearfund in Boda, Central African Republic (CAR).

 

A previously peaceful community, Boda has been shattered by conflict over the last four years ripped apart by rival armed groups demolishing houses and killing civilians.

 

Stability is slowly returning to Boda. However, relationships within the community remain strained; fear and mistrust pollute the atmosphere. But Tearfund is still here, bringing hope of restored relationships and peaceful communities.

 

A sporting chance

The two players, Lazaro and Abdou, are from rival communities. Since the conflict, they have been separated and taught to fear the other group. But they find common ground in their passion for the game.

 

‘Through sport we can come to understand each other more and have a common goal to win the match,’ says Lazaro, a player in his twenties. ‘We all meet up between matches to train together and plan our tactics.’

 

During half time a drama group, employed by Tearfund, share an amusing sketch focusing on peacebuilding and community relations. While the crowd and the players were laugh along, they are able to reflect on the deeper meaning of the performance.

 

Abdou still feels traumatised by the recent conflict and worries about his family, yet he enjoys playing with his new team and feels less rejected as a result.

 

‘We want to heal and we want to live in peace,’ he says. Through activities like football, Abdou and Lazaro and others like them are beginning to build relationships. They can break down suspicion and mistrust and bring about a better future for themselves and their communities.

 

* Names changed to protect identity

 

 

PLEASE PRAY

 

 

* Praise God for bridges like football and drama that give common ground, bring people together and help open up challenging conversations.

 

* Pray for the Tearfund team in Boda, and for Lazaro and Abdou and their teammates to build strong relationships, understand one another and find healing for themselves and their communities.

 

* Bitter conflict has left thousands dead and driven nearly half a million people from their homes in CAR. Pray for peace in the nation and for reconciliation between different communities.

 

<https://gallery.mailchimp.com/cd19eb0b2a74af14054950f15/images/38bb344e-ffe3-48e6-afd4-868a7c01c6e1.jpg>

A note from...

 

 

'Football is a great way to bring people together. Staff from different departments across Tearfund play each Monday in the local park. It's fun and helps build trust and friendships, helping improve the way we work together too. It's great to see Lazaro and Abdou doing the same in Boda.'

 

James Clee

Global Fundraising, Tearfund

 

 

PRAYER POINTS FROM

AROUND THE WORLD

 

 

*

 

Prayer Item #1

 

Please give thanks for the local churches who are supporting the survivors of recent flooding in Colombia. As the threat of flooding persists, please lift up displaced families who are still living in temporary shelters and are being affected by the continuing rains.

*

 

Prayer Item #2

 

Following a period of dryness, severely impacting crops and livestock vital to the survival of so many people, rain is now falling in many parts of Uganda. Let's praise God for this, and pray for those still waiting for rain.

*

 

Prayer Item #3

 

Summer temperatures are soaring in northern Iraq. Please remember our dedicated staff there and the people they are serving, praying for energy and strength.

 

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TOTAL TOILET TRANSFORMATION

 

Children at the primary school in Nyamalimbe, Tanzania, were using very run down toilets often barefoot...

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UNASHAMED

 

Twenty-year-old Hamidullah* from Afghanistan is just like any other young man: he loves riding his bike, spending time with his friends...

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