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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

He makes wars to cease

Today's Psalm, 46, contains this verse:
"He makes wars to cease in all the world;
he shatters the bow and snaps the spear 
and burns the chariots in the fire."

Truly today, making wars to cease will take supernatural power.  You may have heard that hospitals were bombed in Syria, for the 5th time.  If anything there can be worse, then surely targeting the places where people go for healing is diabolical.  All sides are blaming the other.

Closer to our hearts, the country of Uganda is less than 48 hours away from elections (Thursday the 18th).  President Museveni, who has been in power for 30 years, faces two challengers who were formerly his colleagues and allies.  The democratic process in Uganda is tenuous, fraught with tension and suspicion.  Today one man was killed and 11 wounded as police fired rubber bullets at close range into rioting opposition crowds (article here).  Would you please pray for a peaceful, fair election?  For ordinary people to be heard, and to be safe?  For our school to proceed smoothly, as teachers are in their training week with the new Headmaster in place?

And once you warm up on Uganda, don't forget Burundi where 5 grenades were thrown in public places yesterday, killing at least two.  While we are thankful that Hope Africa University, where our teams work, was able to hold graduation last week, recruiting new students into a situation of insecurity and poverty remains problematic.  And once you have prayed for both of those, you will be ready for the greatest challenge, South Sudan.  Our team is now settled in exile in Arua.  Today we talked on the phone, and the international food relief that was finally reaching the displaced people around Mundri did not get distributed due to more fighting.  The tribalism, fear, and violence are augmented by economic collapse.  People are desperate.  It is hard to see an end to the cycles of death.

So in this context, a verse like Psalm 46 strikes me as remarkable.  Our God makes wars to cease.  Destroys the very instruments of war.  It is hard for me to believe that tonight, but I know it is possible that God will do something dramatic in our region.  Let us be still and ask God to be glorified in a saving peace, particularly for these places in Africa full of people we love.

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