I've just had a quick look at what's in the world news today. Obviously the Euro crisis is high on the agenda, but look at some of the other BBC headlines:
- "Deadly mudslide strikes western Colombia"
- "Nigeria Islamist raid 'kills 63'"
- "Kenya: Grenade attack on church in Garissa kills two"
- "Honduras arrests 176 police in corruption purge"
- "Ex-general wins Guatemala run-off"
- "Bangkok flood evacuation widens"
- "Pakistan bomber kills ex-official"
- "Egypt bus crash kills Hungarian tourists"
Well that's just a fairly random handful, but what strikes me about it is that there is Scripture Union work in every one of those countries. That means at least two things. First, potentially SU has some ministry involvement in those situations. Second, it also means that the SU family may well be directly affected. Now the number of SU links with the world news is not surprising given that SU is working in more than 120 countries. (There are more movements than that but some countries have more than one, Australia being the prime example with eight. If you've got my eye for spotting irrelevant facts, you'll notice that only one of the eight starts with a letter from the first half of the alphabet!) But on these dark, grey November days it's easy to forget that there are people who share your SU commitment and involvement but are living it out in very different contexts.
This week (November 6-12) is the SU International Week of Prayer. As well as encouraging SU people around the world to pray for each other, the aim is to raise awareness of SU as a worldwide movement. But a dangerous thing about prayer is that God can use it to arouse our interest in new things. So as well as praying about the requests for this week of prayer, why not find out a bit more about those countries and the SU work there? The SU Britain and Ireland website will help. But back to the headlines. What are the SU links? Here are a few snippets!
- Colombia - exciting and growing work with children in poorest areas
- Nigeria - two movements (north and south) with huge number of members but affected by current violence
- Kenya - large work in schools
- Honduras - again, good work in schools and camps but social unrest affects everyone
- Guatemala - recently the son of their schools worker was shot dead on the street
- Thailand - 40th anniversary celebrations postponed because of floods
- Pakistan - lots of children's work but security is a big issue
- Egypt - small work linked with Bible Society but also youth work training for churches by SU visitors
- Hungary - thriving work with children, English language camps and Bible focused publishing.
So, next time you watch the news or look at a news website, why not turn it into an opportunity to pray for SU?