11-year-old Dahir's brother died of hunger. His two sisters are fighting sickness and malnutrition caused by drought. Authorities want the international community to recognise the crisis as a famine. ‘I'm worried about my sisters. I wash them. I wash their faces’, says Dahir, glancing at six-year-old Mariam, coughing hoarsely and complaining of headache, and four-year-old Malyun, lethargic with sunken eyes. Measles and pneumonia are rampant, killing many younger children with immune systems weakened by malnutrition. At hospitals’ intensive care wards, doctors and nurses insert fluid drips into emaciated infants' arms and oxygen tubes into tiny nostrils. Children's limbs are dark and blistered as if severely burnt - a painful reaction to prolonged starvation. The hospital's head doctor said, ‘The world is paying attention to Somalia's drought now. We see visitors from international donors. But that doesn't mean we are getting enough support. I hope it will come soon. It is a desperate situation.’

The Chosen People and the Promised Land of scripture are testaments to God's promises. Despite limited natural resources, Israelis have developed thriving agricultural and industrial sectors in under twenty years. Home to Christian, Muslim, and Jewish sites, Jerusalem has been conquered and reconquered for 3,000 years. The Old City reflects ancient rifts between Palestinian and Jewish communities. Freedom of religion is a right, but Messianic Jews struggle for political recognition. Christians are often harassed by Jews and Muslims alike. 75% of Israel follow Judaism, barely 2% Christianity, and the rest Islam. However, the gospel is spreading, interest in the Word of God is increasing; and powerful testimonies by Christian Jews abound as they minister to their brothers and sisters in ways that others cannot. House churches grow as God empowers evangelical leaders to spread the good news that ‘the Messiah has come and is coming back soon’.

Corey Brooks, founder of New Beginnings Church, is a leading voice in the fight against the violence gripping Chicago's poorest neighbourhoods. He camped on a makeshift rooftop for 365 days, raising over $20m for a new community centre. He said, ‘We talk about trying to remove violence, trying to remove poverty; this community centre will help people change their lives. Giving them a place to accept responsibility, start trying to do things for themselves and get on their feet. It's going to be a great place, teaching trades and business, giving counselling, a place for transformation.’ He braved wet, windy, cold nights and big storms; his mother died of cancer and his daughter welcomed a baby. He continued camping through it all.

Asking permission to preach was necessary for Leonardo. Not asking could result in death from Colombian guerrillas or paramilitaries. Pastors are obstacles to guerrillas’ political ambitions, as young Christians are no longer attracted to their violent lifestyles. One Sunday gangs stopped him outside the church saying, ‘Today no church preaching!’ So with a speaker and microphone he preached outdoors to young boys. Very quickly his outdoor church grew to 70 adults and 53 children. Most had never heard the gospel, but they soon found faith in Christ and were baptised. Now Leonardo is training several others to preach. It is dangerous to share the gospel so openly, but he knows God is with him.

Albanian drug gangs use French migrant camps as recruitment grounds. They pay the passage for those prepared to work in the UK drugs industry on arrival. Senior police and immigration officials on both sides of the Channel are worried by the growing number of Albanian middlemen facilitating crossings. Albanians accounted for 1/3 of the people arriving in small boats this year. They have the right to enter France as EU tourists for up to three months without a visa., and are urged on by social media adverts promising help. Posing as an Albanian migrant, a journalist contacted two people-smugglers advertising for clients on TikTok. Both responded within half an hour, with options to pay in France or in England, and guidance for getting to Belgium or France, where a fixer would make contact. The message from both of them was ‘It's easy’.

A report has found recruitment for secondary school RE teachers was 20% below the level required. A Westminster debate was called by Conservative MP Martin Vickers, as many schools deliver the bare minimum of religious education. During the debate Conservative MPs spoke highly of RE and urged the Government to do more to protect it. Stephen Morgan, the shadow education minister, was appalled over government failure to introduce a national plan for RE, saying that an education in religion and worldviews is an important part of the school curriculum. The debate highlighted the importance of RE and the need for more specialist teacher training and recruitment.

A recent meeting of the College of Bishops discussed the next steps of the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) discernment process. LLF entails churches discussing whether to allow same-sex marriage in the CofE. One bishop, Steven Croft, published a 52-page essay on 3 November, detailing why he is calling for the Church to back same-sex marriage. It was suggested that when bishops engage with the media, they honour their pledge to be open about their diversity of perspectives. Some want the Church to be more inclusive with regards to same-sex marriage: others believe allowing gay marriage in Church would depart from Biblical teaching. Their debates will be brought to February’s General Synod for decision-making.

At the end of September, 401,537 patients had waited over 52 weeks to start treatment. The total number of people waiting for routine hospital treatment is a record high 7.1 million. NHS England and the government have set a goal of eliminating all waits of more than a year by March 2025. Meanwhile nurses are about to strike nationally, for the first time ever, sending up distress flares about the state of their service. The majority of NHS members voted to strike for fair pay and safe staffing. Strikes will be at NHS trusts or health boards which meet relevant legal requirements. Many of the biggest hospitals in England will see strike action by RCN members, but others narrowly missed the legal turnout thresholds to qualify for action. Nurses worry they cannot care as they should.

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