7th August 2023

If you follow the BMS prayer guide you will know that this week we are being asked to pray for God’s work in Tunisia and “for God’s miraculous provision of peace and comfort during turbulent, destabilising times”. As I read, so much seemed strangely familiar: political and voter frustration, the fallibility of politicians, an economy in crisis, people who are now struggling to make ends meet, refugees who are at risk of exploitation…

We need to be careful before we make comparisons and I have no first-hand knowledge of Tunisia and its problems. But it did seem that you could change the page heading to “Great Britain” and much of what is written would be relevant.

It is wonderful and encouraging to read how much good work BMS has been able to do in Tunisia in the past thirty years and how the work of local Christians is being supported. It serves as a reminder to those of us called to serve here that there is much to be done in this country where we ARE the local Christians. Many issues that we used to think of as “third world” and somehow “over there” are now sitting on our doorstep, walking our streets, joining us for coffee and being generally in our faces.

As we sang in Fred Pratt Green’s hymn on Sunday morning:

When the Church of Jesus
shuts its outer door,
lest the roar of traffic
drown the voice of prayer:
may our prayers, Lord, make us
ten times more aware
that the world we banish
is our Christian care.

Nick Parsons