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Layla Murphy

Southeast Asia
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Layla Murphy's Story

IMB missionary Layla Murphy* was shopping in a vegetable market in Southeast Asia when she heard phrases she understood. Two women were speaking the language of the Buddhist country from which she had just been expelled, after laboring for years to share the gospel.

God’s providence had set her right in the middle of the gospel-hungry people that she’d felt called to serve.

Soon Layla learned that hundreds of thousands of migrant workers and refugees from her former country lived in this sprawling urban center. God’s providence had set her right in the middle of the gospel-hungry people that she’d felt called to serve. Then, a national pastor asked her to stay right there to teach, train, and disciple new believers from the country that she can’t live in but calls “home.”

On the first day of class, she planned for 15 students but 50 showed up. “God had put hunger for His Word deep in their hearts and this was the first time that they’d ever had the chance to learn [the Bible].” Though she would rather serve in the country she loves, “this deepened my trust in God.” Her students tease her that she is also a refugee—the American refugee. “That sort of binds our hearts together,” Layla says.

  1. PRAY God will continue to bring students who want to grow in their knowledge and love of Christ and that they will also be willing to share their faith with their countrymen.
  2. PRAY for immigrant factory workers, who have come to earn money to send back to families in their homeland, that while they’re “strangers in a strange land” they would gain spiritual freedom by becoming followers of Jesus.

*Name changed