Sunday, May 19, 2013
missions for life™
NAME January 2013
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (A-dis AH-bah-bah) - Give thanks to God that some of the groups are continuing in their training. Many are being very obedient to the Word. Some of the groups are getting to lessons regarding baptism. Please pray that these followers of Jesus will continue in their obedience in baptism. Persecution is most prevalent after this act of obedience. Ask the Father to provide them the perseverance and strength needed to walk through the persecution when it comes.
AMHARA OF ETHIOPIA (ahm-HAR-ah) - A health school has a two-year training program to develop health-care workers who will one day be sent to isolated, rural areas to work. Some mature believers are focusing on sharing the Gospel with these health students, as well as training the newer believers in discipleship and multiplying small groups. Please pray for many students to be born again and grow in the Lord; seek Him earnestly; and grow in wisdom, knowledge and passion for reaching the lost. Pray for many to be discipled and equipped to reach the farmers and their families with the Gospel, and to disciple several people who will disciple several other people, and so on. Pray for these health-care students to be mightily used by God to start a church-planting movement that sweeps across the rural highlands of Ethiopia.
CONSERVATIVE CLERICS AND STUDENTS OF ISLAM IN THE UNITED KINGDOM - E, a new believer, is a young woman who is a single mother of a 2 year old. She has been reading her Bible daily and spending time in prayer. She has a strong desire to grow in her walk with the Lord. She has a lot of obstacles to overcome in her personal life. Pray that she will trust the Lord to help her overcome these obstacles, and pray that she will continue to grow in her faith.
FRENCH-SPEAKING JEWS OF FRANCE AND ISRAEL - Since the mid-20th century, all except the Orthodox French Jews have abandoned communal life and have dispersed themselves among the general urban population. Approximately 375,000 Jews live in and around Paris. The rest are in Marseilles (80,000), Lyons (25,000), Toulouse (23,000) and Strasbourg (18,000). Precise numbers are not available, as compiling ethnic statistics is illegal in France. There are 300,000 French-speaking Jews in Israel, the majority being retirees. The principle language of Jews in France is French. It is not uncommon to hear English and some Hebrew. There is 100 percent literacy. Education levels in all Jewish streams fall at the upper end of French society, including, but not limited to, doctors, lawyers, editors, department-store owners, vice-presidents of major corporations, etc. Judaism holds the Torah as sacred and assigns great importance to the Talmudic writings. All cultural and denominational streams largely adhere to the biblical calendar, placing emphasis on the seventh-day Sabbath, weekly Torah readings, holidays and life-cycle events. A synagogue service consists of congregational singing of prayers, biblical text in Hebrew, and short rabbinic commentary in the local language. Documented anti-Semitism is on the rise, causing many French Jews to consider moving to Israel. There is a discernible tension present around Jewish gathering places, which are usually heavily guarded. Metal detectors at the door are status-quo in France and Israel. This adds to the feelings of distrust that French Jews feel toward non-Jews. This distrust makes access to this people group difficult, particularly in France. Please pray for the salvation of French-speaking Jews.
FRENCH-SPEAKING JEWS OF FRANCE AND ISRAEL - Some believing families have recently begun to share the Truth with the French-speaking Jews. Like Jesus prayed, please ask “that they may be one just as We are one” (John 17:22b). These families live in different countries and have several issues that are proving to be challenges to living in those countries. For example, some family members have food allergies that make it difficult to find food that nourishes. Ask the Father for healing, wisdom, strength and patience. Some of these families are learning a second or third language. Ask the Lord to instill these new languages into their minds so that they will be able to communicate His heart of love and forgiveness to the people to whom the Lord leads them. Access to this people group is difficult. Pray that God will lead each family to people whom the Holy Spirit has prepared for Truth. Finally, ask the Father to bless this work, changing hearts and minds in a mighty and powerful way. Ask for an abundant harvest among the French-speaking Jews of France and Israel.
GULF ARAB BEDOUIN (BED-oo-in) - The restrictions placed on Bedouin women vary greatly from region to region or tribe to tribe. In the most conservative areas, outside of the home women may be required to be completely covered in black from head to toe, including the face. This affords them little opportunity to interact with anyone outside the family circle. Please pray that these women, who not only live in remote, sparsely populated places but are also hidden behind yards of black fabric, will come to know their loving Creator, who sees and knows them. Pray that they will have a personal encounter with Jesus, whether through dreams or visions, spiritual encounters, or conversations with believers.
GURAGE OF ETHIOPIA (goo-ra-gay) - It will soon be time for several of the new believers to be baptized. Often baptism is the first time that these former Muslims will be required to take a stand and show his or her commitment to Jesus in an open way. Please pray that leaders will find a good place and time to carry out the baptism so that it will be visible but not invite harassment. Ask that the ones to be baptized will be prepared and taught well concerning the significance of their baptism and their obedience to Jesus. Pray that the day will be blessed by God and bring glory to Him. Thank God for these precious followers!
HADRAMAUT YEMENI ARABS OF YEMEN (HAH-drah-maht YEH-muh-nee) - The Hadramaut’s landscape is rich with places to keep hostages, and evil men are holding several foreigners captive. The Lord instructs us to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44b, HCSB). Pray that God will speak to the captors through visions and dreams, through radio and television programs, through a verbal witness, and even through God’s Word being given to them. Pray that they will confess their sins, receive the Savior, and release their captives.
HIJAZI SAUDI ARABS OF SAUDI ARABIA (hi-JAH-zee) - The accessibility of the Internet has opened the eyes of many Hijazis to the realities of the outside world. (It is estimated that 90 million YouTube videos a day are downloaded in Saudi Arabia.) Many people, especially the youth, are searching for something deeper. A growing number of people are quietly professing to be atheists. Pray that their search for deeper meaning will lead them to websites and YouTube videos that will lead them to the truth of Jesus.
MIDDLE EASTERN ARABS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM - “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain” (Psalm 127:1). Thank you for your support and encouragement through prayer in the work of the language school. The school has now been handed off to a new believing owner, who will not only continue with the school, but will broaden its reach and vision. Praise the Father, who is building the school! Give thanks to Him for empowering and blessing the believers to stay faithful to the task of establishing the school, and for destroying every deceit and trap that came against them. Thank Him for the many opportunities to pray for and speak Truth into the lives of people from all over the Middle East and Europe. Through these opportunities, many students with a multitude of problems and issues have been helped to survive in a new and extremely different language and culture. Praise the Father, who is watching over the city!
NORTHERN AFRICAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN PEOPLES - “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Please lift up those who are involved with following up with interested individuals. Some of these helpers are from an Islamic background, so sometimes this can be challenging for them as they may suffer persecution from other people who do not favor their new choice, or who are unwilling to accept their words. At other times, this can serve as a great positive reinforcement towards belief. Pray for them to have the discernment to know what to say and also to identify those whose hearts are favorable.
NORTHERN AFRICAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN UNENGAGED PEOPLES - Do you like dates, those natural sweet treats of desert oases? Those delicious dates come from date palm trees, the primary agricultural resource of the Chaamba Bedouin of Algeria. Once camel-raising nomads, these Sulaymi Arabs now reside in the northern Sahara Desert and farm the oases. These particular Saharan Bedouin, numbering 115,000, are not being engaged by anybody with the Gospel, so please ask God to send workers into the harvest oases. They have access to the New Testament, but not the whole Bible, so ask God to provide translators to complete this work. With deep gratitude, thank God for the “JESUS” film and the few other tools that do exist, and ask Him to visit the Chaamba in dreams and visions that will motivate these Arab Bedouin to seek Him with their whole hearts. The Chaamba have no indigenous “churches” as such, but praise God that there is at least one ongoing discipleship group that meets regularly! Ask God to nurture and develop this handful of young believers in their “oasis group” so they can water and harvest other “spiritual dates.” The next time you see, buy or eat a date, please pray for the Chaamba Bedouin, the date farmers of the oases, to experience a fresh wind from the Holy Spirit that will result in an abundant harvest of premier quality “sweet dates” for His glory!
PALESTINIAN ARABS OF THE MIDDLE EAST (pal-uh-STIN-ee-uhn) - Palestinians have been in the headlines recently. The world’s attention has been recaptured, and Palestinians hope that their vision of statehood has been recast. During a recent meeting, a prayer request was voiced, based on the deep desire of Palestinians for a sovereign state. These are the words of the request: “My prayer is that Palestinians will desire citizenship in the kingdom of God even more than they dream of citizenship in a Palestinian state.” What a beautiful request! We have an eternal citizenship to share with Palestinian Arabs, with the King of kings as our leader, and His kingdom never fades. Pray for Palestinian Arabs to search beyond the cause of statehood or religion to find true peace. Ask that they will have dreams and visions that will draw them to faith in the Son. Pray for believers living among the Palestinians as they learn new strategies for sharing the Truth and helping new believers to become followers. Pray for open doors of ministry where the Truth can be given. Ask God to bless those who have accepted copies of Scripture. Ask that they will read, understand and follow Jesus.
PALESTINIAN ARABS OF THE MIDDLE EAST (pal-uh-STIN-ee-uhn) - Many Palestinians live in a small strip of land known as Gaza, which is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. It is difficult to convey how hard life is in Gaza, with massive unemployment, shortages of basic goods, electricity only a few hours a day, and very limited movement out of this tiny area. Please pray for the people of Gaza. Ask that their hearts will be open and that they will find true hope and peace in Jesus. Pray for the believers in Gaza. They face additional pressure because of their faith and minority status. Ask God to renew their strength and give them His power. Pray that they will be united and that they will encourage one another.
SHAWIYA BERBERS OF NORTHERN AFRICA AND EUROPE (sha-WEE-yah BER-bers) - K does not like to be the center of attention, but the Father has His way of identifying His chosen ones. As K spoke, all eyes and ears were mesmerized. K shared her story of being upset with her sister for years when her sister chose to follow the Way. K had never heard of her people becoming followers of Jesus, only the other way around, so this was not a concept she favored. Then one day, she decided to read the Bible and found it absolutely irresistible. The angels rejoiced as K believed, and today she is among those who continue to praise Him. Please ask God to give boldness, vision and protection to all new Shawiya believers.
SOMALI OF THE HORN OF AFRICA (suh-MAH-lee) - Rejoice that a new family has entered the kingdom! They are like Lydia and her household (Acts 16:13-15). Pray that they will be a light in their neighborhood. As they continue to be trained and discipled, pray that they will be baptized as a family. Intercede for their witness as they travel around the region. Pray that many more families will enter the kingdom!
SOMALI OF THE HORN OF AFRICA (suh-MAH-lee) - Pray for continued access in difficult-to-reach areas. Rejoice that even in difficult places the Internet, radio, and cell phones are bringing the Word to people. Ask that those who hear stories, New Testament recordings, and worship songs will be brought to the feet of the Father. Pray for many ears to hear and to be opened as the Holy Spirit uses creative ways to allow people access to His Word. Pray also for the protection of those whose feet are fitted with the readiness of the Gospel (Ephesians 6:15). Ask that they will be bold witnesses in a dark world and that their words will fall on open ears.
SWAHILI-SPEAKING ARABS OF EAST AFRICA (swah-HEE-lee) - Broad seed sowing has been a focus among the Swahili-speaking Arabs, with more audio Scripture portions and DVDs of special movies recently being distributed. Praise the Father that the materials were well received! Please pray that these materials will be circulated among the people. As families, friends and neighbors watch the movies and listen to the Scripture, ask that the Father will move mightily and that many will come to faith.
TUNISIAN ARABS OF SOUTHERN TUNISIA (too-NEE-zhan) - Last month you were asked to lift up a young church in a southern city. In recent days, the division among believers in this church has dissipated and a new unity is forming. Pray that they will be united as one in Jesus, thereby showing the world that they are His disciples. This young church has also agreed to allow other Tunisians to come and train them in how to share their faith immediately and deeply with others. Pray that this one small group will allow God’s Word to take root in their hearts and that they will begin to share the Good News faithfully with others and start other groups that will do the same!
TUNISIAN ARABS OF SOUTHERN TUNISIA (too-NEE-zhan) - January 14, 2013, marks the second anniversary of Tunisia’s monumental “Jasmine Revolution,” the uprising that sparked the Arab Spring. Many things have changed as a result of this event. An openness to the Gospel is evident, and many doors have been opened for those who are seeking to find Jesus through friendships, the Internet, Facebook, etc. Pray that the Gospel will sweep across this land and find receptive hearts among the lost. Ask God to raise up laborers from among the harvest and send them out into the harvest as well.
TUNISIAN ARABS OF TUNISIA (too-NEE-zhan) - As 2013 begins, please pray for an outpouring of prayer for the people of Tunisia. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send forth laborers to His fields. Ask that all of the political uncertainty and economic hardship will cause the Tunisians to hunger and thirst after righteousness. Pray that each day there will be more options for them to receive God’s Word--through the Internet and other media outlets such as books, videos, and television or radio programs. Pray that Tunisians will have more opportunities to meet believers who can share God’s love and truth with them. Ask that God will raise up “people of peace” (Luke 10:6) who can influence many people in their social networks to follow Jesus.