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The PrayerLine: 1-800-395-PRAY

Friday, August 29, 2014

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“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment.” (Philippians 1:9, ESV)

Hi, this is Eleanor Witcher of IMB’s prayer office, asking you to pray for Baptist conventions in Africa.

Some years ago, a Baptist church in Georgia engaged the Maxi (pronounced mah-he) of Benin. Through their ministry, small Baptist church starts birthed by lay people were discovered and linked. These lay people had been sent into the Maxi area by the government to teach, but they also started churches. The groups joyfully formed the Maxi Baptist Association (of the Benin Baptist Convention), and they now share a joint vision for evangelizing the Maxi people. Volunteer teams from that same Georgia church and summer student workers have ministered alongside the Benin churches to fulfill that vision.

Earlier this year, the man who facilitates volunteers in Benin traveled the long, empty, dirt road to the village of Gbalin to participate in a week of evangelism to which nearly all the Maxi Baptist churches walked, biked, motorcycled or trucked (crammed together in a dump-truck bed). Five hundred Maxi Baptists arrived. The Maxi are reaching the Maxi! The Gbalin inhabitants could not help but realize the extensiveness of the Christian movement. Every afternoon the Christians marched through the town’s rough, dirt passageways, singing praises to Jesus, dancing, and stopping for three-minute evangelical sermons. The villagers, attracted by the uproar, colorful dancing and vibrant singing, gathered in large crowds to watch and listen. Ten people were attending the church start, but after the Christians came en mass to Gbalin, now 50 attend!

The month of August was the time for conventions to host their annual meetings to elect new officers and seek God’s leadership in engaging the lost. Church leaders are now returning to their villages and congregations to challenge them in Gospel outreach.

* Please pray for the Baptist conventions of Zimbabwe and Cote d’Ivoire that they will faithfully implement the plans made during their meetings.

* Give thanks for the work among the Maxi people and pray that their numbers will increase.

* Intercede for your own church that you will be equally zealous to proclaim the Gospel in the United States.

**Our offices will be closed Monday, September 1, in honor of Labor Day. The next edition of PrayerLine will be distributed Wednesday, September 3. Thank you for your understanding.**

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