Sorry it's been so long since I did a post like this! Some weeks I can't find enough stories to make a post, and then the weeks when I could find enough stories, I have been too busy to write one! Anyway, here are some news stories from the countries where Compassion works.
Thailand. There has been a lot of political unrest in Thailand over the past few months. If I understand it correctly, the prime minister (who is a lady, by the way) dissolved the parliament a few weeks ago. There have been a lot of protests, too. Things are getting even more intense, and the military is considering intervening. I always find stories like this interesting....I definitely don't advocate violence as a way of protesting or anything like that, but it's interesting to me to read stories of people actually doing something to change their government, whereas in America it seems we just complain about government on facebook. Or if our party is in charge, we complain about the complainers. But I digress. Be praying for the people of Thailand, that during this time of unrest, the citizens stay safe. Pray that the government officials make decisions that are best for their citizens, in order to improve their lives.
India. A few weeks ago, an Indian diplomat visiting the United States was strip-searched. People in India are now absolutely furious with the United States. They are really offended by what happened (and you know that if the tables were turned, we would be too.) Protesters have pointed out that in Indian tradition, "the guest is god" (which is a traditional saying that emphasizes India's well-known hospitality) and that the way their diplomat was treated was incredibly disrespectful and uncalled for. Whether or not the allegations (possible visa fraud and an accusation of paying a housekeeper less than legal wages) are true or not, the people of India seem to all agree that the way the envoy was treated was uncalled for- and it seems our own Secretary of State "regrets" the way the situation was handled, too. Right now, in many areas of India, there is a lot of anti-American sentiment. Flags are burned and effigies of the president are paraded in the streets. A recent report indicates that American-run schools, managed by well-intentioned people who really have nothing to do with why everyone is upset, are being targeted. Pray that this dispute will be resolved quickly. The Indian people are our allies and it makes me sad to see so many of them angry with our country. Pray for the safety of Americans living in India, and any people who may be near the protests. Pray that they stop escalating. Pray that our relationship with this beautiful country will be healed, quickly.
Haiti. Through my writing about Compassion, my buddy A., and poverty in general, I have mentioned several times on my blog that life in Haiti is really difficult. Greedy people are taking advantage of desperate Haitians, promising them safe passage to a new life in the United States, and then Haitians are dying on the dangerous voyage. It has gotten to be a big enough problem that the United States has produced a public service announcement urging Haitians not to risk their lives in this way. The smugglers are putting people on dangerous, overcrowded boats, and sending them to Puerto Rico, which is a US commonwealth. I think it's a good idea to just continually keep Haiti in your prayers- for their government, their economy, the health problems and family problems they face. Pray for the people who are so desperate to get out, that they will be safe. It's all so very sad.
Philippines. As if the people of the Philippines needed any more tragedy. We are all still praying for the recovery of the nation in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (public polls indicate that America as a whole doesn't "care" much about the typhoon anymore, but I know Compassion sponsors do!) Recently there was a tragedy at an airport in the Philippines. Gunmen disguised as police officers shot and killed a mayor and three others at an airport in Manila. Pray for the families of those who died, and pray for safety of the Filipino people during these difficult times.
Indonesia. Ok, this is probably going to sound weird, but one of the things I pray for in regards to my kids is their safety from the wildlife in their areas. Most people in the US don't have much to worry about in the way of wildlife. Some areas have bears or mountain lions, but 99% of us probably won't ever see one. Yet where our kids live, there are lions, tigers, giant snakes, crocodiles, jaguars, leopards, hippos (which are super dangerous) and a host of other crazy things. One of the most recent stories of dangerous wildlife involved a giant python that apparently just wandered up to a hotel, killed a security guard, and then LEFT. The python is still on the loose! In a very popular tourist area! So while this news story is about Indonesia, I think it's a good idea to pray for the safety of our kids, since many of them live in areas where they have a much greater chance of encountering a dangerous animal than we do.