WORLD LEADERS - “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Please pray today for Premiere Reuben Meade of Montserrat (island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico).
"For God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you showed for His name when you served the saints—and you continue to serve them."
FAR EASTERN PLAINS PEOPLES OF SOUTH ASIA - The group of nine college students roughing it in the plains this semester are healthy and well. They are having the opportunity to train lots of believers, and they have been seeing people come into a relationship with Christ and be baptized. Their health, maturity, selflessness, and fruit these past two months have been a direct result of your prayers. Give thanks to God, and continue to pray for church-planting movements in the regions where they are working!http://southasianpeoples.imb.org/
HAZARA OF AFGHANISTAN - There are 5 million Hazara (pronounced HAH-zah-rah) in Afghanistan, with the majority living in the Hazarjat area. Approximately 1 million Hazara live abroad, mainly in Pakistan and Iran. Hazaragi is the official language of the Hazara. They are Muslims of the Shia Islamic religion in a country that is predominantly Sunni Islam. Many of the Hazara are descendants from the Turkmen. Others are descendants from the Mongol warriors under Genghis Khan--a time of Mongol rule over much of Afghanistan from 1220 until 1747. The “JESUS” film, as well as many New Testament and Old Testament audio story recordings, is available in Hazaragi. Beyond these, exactly how much material has been produced in Hazaragi is unknown. Hazara believers are few, and their exact number is also unknown. Please pray for the salvation of the Hazara people.http://centralasianpeoples.imb.org/
CENTRAL THAI OF THAILAND (tie) - “When volunteer teams come to work with the Central Thai,” writes the Central Thai Team, “we take a trip to a very important temple near here: Wat Saman Rattanaram. Wat Saman is a large temple area full of idols to the gods of many world religions. At Wat Saman, a visitor can clearly see where the hearts of Thai people focus. Here you will see money being given at each idol, secret prayers being whispered into the ears of giant rats, and homage being paid to dead monks. Families gather around a monk to receive a water blessing, and others meet at the foot of the Buddha statue to teach their child how to submit themselves and make merit to a man who can give them no hope for eternity. It was here that one volunteer’s life was changed forever when she finally was able to say that the Creator God is the ‘one true God’--there can be no other gods before Him and there is no God besides Him. Please pray for Valerie* as she returns home to be baptized. Pray also that the power of God will overcome this dark place and that the hearts of the Thai people will be softened. Pray especially for the salvation of our friend Joe*, his mother and sisters and Olive*, who all work selling amulets at the temple. The ‘rice’ has been harvested--oh, that the hearts of our people would be ready to bring it into the ‘barns’!” (*pseudonyms)
CITY OF SOUTHERN SONG, CHINA - There are five new believers who want to be baptized, and they want their own Bibles to read. Pray that a safe location can be found in which to baptize them. Some mature believers are trying to order Bibles for them through the Internet, so pray that the Bibles will be able to reach this city. Also pray that a friend who is coming to visit will be able to bring a number of audio players that contain helpful teaching material.
PRECIOUS SUNSHINE CITY, EAST ASIA - Precious Sunshine City is an apt name for a city of frequent rain and overcast days. It’s set in a mountainous location where hills rise up steeply from the rivers, looking like so many gumdrops on the landscape, with clouds hugging mountaintops. Due to the difficulty of transportation caused by numerous rivers and steep mountains, this is one of the poorest locations in this part of East Asia. A dominant “religion” is atheism, but many people still call themselves Buddhists, although beliefs and practices are usually shallow. This area is tightly controlled by the government, and religious activities are monitored and severely restricted. This is not an easy place to share Christ, as the new modern god is money and the accepted religion is atheism. But there is a stirring among many of these people, who are living without hope, for something more--and that need is to know Christ. Those seeking to reach them with the Gospel are ministering to all levels of society in the hopes of seeing many become Bible-believing, active, Christ-following disciples who will share their faith, disciple others, and start churches to reach the millions in the city who are yet lost. People in this harvest field come from all walks of life: the rich and the poor, the educated and the non-literate, those who are atheists and those who are animistic in their beliefs. Please pray for the salvation of the people of Precious Sunshine City.
PEOPLE OF WHITE MOUNTAIN, EAST ASIA - The holidays are over, and the students are back in school. Life has returned to normal for the new year. Please pray for the ones who spent January focusing on lifting up unengaged unreached people groups (UUPGs) not to forget that time and to listen as the Father reveals how they are to be involved in taking the Good News to these peoples. Also please intercede for trainings that will be going on during the month. Pray for protection and for the trainings to be not just a time of fellowship with other brothers and sisters, but also a time to gain wisdom and understanding that can be used to grow many.
SOUTH ASIANS OF KENYA - A worker writes: “We prayed for opportunities to share the Truth with South Asians as we walked around the track we go to most evenings. Boom! Within days, God gave us multiple young people to talk to, and we noticed a connection in their ages and stages of life. We invited them to meet us at a popular Indian food court to see if there might be an interest in doing a Bible study together. They all came and showed an interest--at least in coming to find out what the study would be about. Pray for guidance as we take the next step and prepare for the study. Pray for open hearts to hear and receive the Truth!”
LOMWE OF MALAWI AND MOZAMBIQUE (LOHM-way) - When missionaries moved to coastal Mozambique three-and-a-half years ago, they were unsure how the rapidly-expanding Muslim population would react to chronological Bible teaching. Now that the missionaries are seeing Muslims make well-thought-out decisions for Christ, persecution is on the rise. Muslim-background believers have their businesses boycotted, or loans called in without notice. New believers hear the scoffing: “Islam is your only hope of attaining heaven, because you have more than one wife!” Please pray that Muslim-background believers will stand firm in their faith.
PEOPLES OF SOUTHEAST MADAGASCAR - The peoples of Southeast Madagascar--the Tanala (pronounced tah-NAH-lah), the Antaimoro (an-tay-MOOR-roo), the Antefasy (an-tee-FAH-see), the Antaisaka (an-tay-SOCK-ah) and the Antanosy (an-tah-NOO-see)--live in the rain forest and along the east coast of that country. Most are sustenance farmers, growing the food they need like rice, beans and cassava. The people groups along the coast are fishermen. The main religions are indigenous traditional beliefs, Islam and Christianity. Please pray for the salvation of the peoples of Southeast Madagascar.
THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION FOR THE WESTERN GATEWAY CLUSTER (WEST AFRICA) - Good theological education and leadership training provide the foundation that believers in West Africa need to withstand the struggles they face in living for Christ each day in cultures that surround them with pressures. These challenges can be overwhelming. Believers need to know scriptural defense against the “sledgehammers”: pressure from family members to return to a former religion, persecution from the community for following a different path, traditional beliefs that feed fears, and isolation from a lack of fellow followers. Believers found in villages, urban centers, churches, student groups, etc., are in need of theological education that will strengthen their spiritual lives and equip and empower them to use their gifting and fulfill their callings through the local church. With a focus on theological education and leadership training, servant-leaders will be multiplied through on-field decentralized theological training, using oral methodologies as much as possible. These students will learn stories from God’s Word that address biblical principles and doctrines, life lessons, and daily issues within the cultural context of their people. They will also be equipped in pastoral ministry skills in order to make disciples in the local churches that can plant more churches. Please pray for the effectiveness of such education and training.
NORTHERN AFRICAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN PEOPLES - Jews came to Brazil in the 15th century. Today there are approximately 96,000 Jewish people in Brazil. The lives of the Brazlian Jews are relatively peaceful, with only some occasional minor anti-Semitic incidents. However, because of the peaceful existence, they often do not turn to God. Please pray that someone among the believers will hear the call to the Brazilian Jews. Pray that the peace will continue but that their hearts will be stirred by the one and only God.
EUROPEAN PEOPLES - As reported on BBC (British Broadcasting Company): “Almost half of all adults in England say they experience feelings of loneliness, according to a BBC poll. Commissioned as part of the Faith In The World Week, the survey showed that 48% of adults feel varying degrees of loneliness.” Also according to BBC, “It can be hard to admit to feelings of loneliness. It’s not just an issue for the elderly--loneliness is rising among the young. . . . Loneliness not only makes us unhappy, it is bad for us. It can lead to lack of confidence and mental health problems like depression, stress, and anxiety. . . . At the same time, social changes such as the rise of the solo dweller and the surge in social networks, combined with an ageing population, are changing the way people interact with each other.” So what can be done about the growing problem of loneliness? Pray for the people in the British Irish Celts Cluster, asking that they will find a sense of community and hope in a fast-paced world. Pray that they will encounter the love and belonging they can experience through a relationship with Jesus.
SOUTHERN CONE CONNECTORS: ARGENTINA, CHILE, PARAGUAY AND URUGUAY - “Our Southern Cone Connectors Team encompasses the peoples of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. As ‘connector missionaries,’ we strive to identify areas where there is a great need for an evangelical presence, and then, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, locate church bodies both in the United States and in our field of service that are willing to commit to working together for the purpose of starting new churches. Our prayer requests will be varied in scope as we seek the places with the greatest need for advancing the kingdom of God. We will share the vision of reaching beyond what is comfortable in order to fulfill the Great Commission with Baptist churches on both sides of the equator. Please pray for us to have an effective ministry.”
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