Many prayers have been lifted up for a Muslim-background believer from the Wolof people group who's living in Paris. He's navigated the ins and outs of getting his paperwork up to date so he can legally work in France. Praise God that Ousmane* has been able to work for the past two months and help support his family in Senegal! This has been a burden for him, especially since his father passed away two years ago. He's one of many West Africans who immigrate to Europe each year in hopes of finding work in order to support their families. Pray for Ousmane to become more independent and settled into life in Paris. Many immigrants are marginalized and easily overlooked, making life there lonely and difficult. Ousmane is homesick for his family. Pray that as he gets more involved with the local church, his church will become his family and he will sense God's deep love through the love of his church family. Ousmane has been invited to visit the United States and share his testimony, encouraging churches to keep sending out missionaries. He came to faith by the work of missionaries in his hometown in Senegal when he was 14. (*name changed)
(muh-NOWS) - A missionary family will be returning to the field this month after their stateside assignment. Please pray for them during this transition, especially as their oldest daughter will be staying in college in the United States.
Thank you for praying for a ministry to blind people in South Asia. During December, gatherings were held in several locations, canes were distributed, and the gospel was shared. Pray for those who attended, asking that they will receive spiritual sight through Jesus, the Light of the world.
Some Jewish people from a Muslim country are insisting on staying where they are even though they are greatly in the minority. They love the country and their Muslim friends. Some have immigrated to their ancient homeland and formed a community there, keeping their customs from their adopted homeland. Some believers have befriended these lovely people and have enjoyed holidays and other cultural events with them, even traveling to the land from which they came to visit the families of those who left and settled elsewhere. Some of these Jewish people have begun to become very interested in the believers' faith. Ask the Father for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the adopted country and the ancient homeland so that these Jewish people will come to know the Light.
(MAH-ti-lee) - Local leaders Tara,* Sunil,* and Mika* are working together to equip new believers to share their faith. Pray for these leaders and believers as they work together to see no place left among the Maithili-speaking people where the gospel hasn't been shared. Please also pray for Laksha* and Sumitra,* who recently have said that they want to follow Jesus. Follow-up in discipleship has been difficult, and Sumitra is now wavering in her desire to follow Him. Please pray that Laksha will persevere and that Sumitra will push through this to true faith. Pray likewise for all those in South Asia who are wanting to follow Jesus but are struggling with similar issues. Petition for good discipleship to happen and for endurance in the faith. (*names changed)
(kohl-KAH-tah) - Please pray for the Bengali-speaking Jains of the state of West Bengal, India. Kolkata is home to the Parshwanath Jain temple that was built in 1867. This is a historic place of pilgrimage for many Jains, and it is also a central location for this particular unreached people group, which has a global population of approximately 115,000. Pray that the Lord will help churches and believers in Kolkata to identify "persons of peace" (Luke 10:6) in this community and that evangelistic efforts will begin.
(DER-bun) - "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3 ESV). Gender-based violence is a huge problem in Durban and in all of South Africa for a variety of reasons: unemployment, the COVID-19 lockdown, shacks and huts without locks, people living in crowded rooms and houses, the excessive use of alcohol and drugs, etc. It is deeply rooted in South African culture. As the government, churches, and other nongovernmental organizations begin to work together to educate, train, and equip people to deal with it, pray for God to be at work, transforming hearts and lives, which is ultimately what is required for change to take place in society. Pray that men will see women in a different way and that they will respect and honor them. Pray for women and girls to learn how to protect themselves through the choices they make in the ways they dress, the environment in which they live (especially college-age girls), and other critical choices.
Worker Naya Wilder* has been very encouraged by the faithfulness of several Deaf brothers in a Southeast Asian country. She shares that these men are a beautiful example of the simplicity of the gospel. Their hunger for the Word inspires and challenges her. Their thirst to know Jesus more encourages her. Every time she talks with them, she's reminded to obey and trust God. She's so thankful for these brothers. Praise the Lord for Naya and the brothers in Christ who inspire her, challenge her, and encourage her! Pray that these believers will remain faithful to the work of God's kingdom, and pray that many Deaf will come to faith in Christ. (*name changed)
A new year means new goals to set and achieve! Pray for believers who are sensing a call to missions will be bold in their faith and tell their churches about their desire to serve in an unreached area. Pray that those considering a call to missions will receive the equipping they need to begin serving away from their home and church in a new setting this year. Pray that any resources that are needed to take forth the gospel will be made available to those whom the Lord is calling to the unreached.
Pray for believers in northern Africa and the Middle East who are reaching Chinese with the gospel. One family of believers recently moved to a new city there and needs to learn many new things and find a house or apartment, all during the busy holiday and vacation season. Pray for their smooth transition so that January will be a great start to the year! Pray for believers to stay healthy and find good medical care when they need it. Finding good medical and dental care can be challenging. Pray for wisdom for good decisions, and peace of mind once decisions are made. "Dear Father, help believers in that part of the world keep their minds focused on you. Give them perfect peace even when life is challenging, and help them to be a good example to others in how to trust in you" (Isaiah 26:3).
(BANG-kok) - For much of this year, universities in Bangkok have remained closed due to COVID-19. Only recently have they begun to slowly open to allow in-person learning again. As members of the Bangkok University Team begin to work on campuses again, ask God for many opportunities to meet students and start Bible studies. Already in the short time since they have reopened, many students have been forced to stay in their dorms for quarantine again as cases of COVID-19 are detected in their dorms. Please pray for IMB representatives to have wisdom in continuing to deal with these obstacles as they arise.