Many islanders enter into marriage with low expectations- they don’t expect faithfulness, longevity or love. Husbands and wives first loyalty and connection usually remans tied to their families rather than creating a united bond with their spouse.
Pray for all those who are hurting and in pain from betrayal, for all those who live in loveless cold marriages, for all those who long for something more but don’t know how to go about building a marriage that will last. Pray for those who bear the shame of being unmarried or cast off for not producing children. Pray that men and women would meet One who sees their hearts and their burdens, pray that they would cry out to Him for comfort, pray that God would transform the culture of marriage here and it would become the gift he intended it to be.
Pray for those who have expressed a desire to know more but then the busyness of life gets in the way. Ask that God would reignite a desire to know and learn, and that they would pursue Jesus just as he is pursuing them!
Praise God that he did just this in the life of a new believer on Vanilla Island. Life had become very busy for her and she had stopped meeting with workers to study and pray together. The other day however she appeared in a bit of a flurry and said they must start meeting again – when asked why she explained that Jesus had spoken to her in a dream and asked her why she had stopped!
Pray for the local translators on Clove Island. Both are believers married to unbelievers, and both of their spouses not only know what they’re doing but also add in their own ideas! Recently E’s husband said “If people actually believed all of this then the world would be totally different!” Pray that these translators would be living examples of God’s word, and that God would remove the stumbling blocks that are keeping their spouses from running to their Father.
Pray also for a local translator on Vanilla Island who has expressed a desire to find out things for herself – despite discouragement from family and a religious leader. She is recently married and her husband hasn’t discouraged her from working on translation. Her father also seems disillusioned with the majority faith and is talking to workers about what they believe. Pray that God would lead this whole family into his kingdom.
Praise God for a recent women’s retreat where nine local women gathered to worship and pray together. Some of these women came to faith through locals rather than workers and now some of these newer believers are sharing with others! Pray for strong third and fourth generation believers and that these women would continue to meet together and build one another up in unity.
Pray for one woman who has had many dreams from God – she has seen both her prophet and Jesus in the dreams. She said ‘Mohamed was nothing like Jesus, he was all dressed in black and wizened, but Jesus was all in white and shining’. Pray that she would be freshly amazed that God is speaking to her! Pray that she would begin to pursue him wholeheartedly.
Pray for many opportunities to share the story of Abraham’s sacrifice this month. This story is remembered and celebrated during the Eid festival happening this week. Pray that the story would prompt questions about the character of God, and their own relationship with him. Pray for the desire to hear more stories.
Baba S has been our go-to person to help write Bible stories and gospel presentations. He loves to record and memorise them, and he recently asked us if he could play them to his whole family! Pray that as they listen they will be transformed by them. Mama Bey is elderly and house-bound. She always asks to hear stories about Jesus, and recently told us that she now follows Him! Angel is a young mum who is married to a strong believer, they are both illegal immigrants. She has been soaking up the Word and recently decided to follow Jesus and be baptised!
I was chatting with a couple women in a shop and when I mentioned Jesus, they immediately said: ‘We don’t know much about Jesus, will you tell us about him?’. And so I shared the big story of the Bible, building up for them a picture of why Jesus came. Her friend was in and out of the conversation, customers came and went but Karla was engaged and asking questions. Today I popped by her shop again and without any prompting she told me that I really needed to teach them more, and how her friend had said that they needed to gather others together and really learn about these things! Praise God for curious hearts! Pray that they would put their idea in action, and we would be able to meet together to study God’s word. Pray that as they discover more of who God is, their hearts will be captivated with a love for him.
A local brother who lives in a distant village was going to visit an old, poor, sick relative. He planned to bring him the hope of the gospel and had in his bag a copy of the NT. But somehow some men in the town got wind of his visit and came in the house looking to make trouble. They pulled his NT from his bag and took a close look at it. Miraculously, after a careful look one man said, “Why this is a just a copy of our book.” He handed the NT to another man who agreed with him and said that this was “their book”. Then they apologized for the intrusion and left. Praise for our Father blinding the eyes of those who would make trouble as he opens the eyes of those who are searching for Him.
Praise God for a new female believer in Vanilla Island. After watching a video that took her through God’s story from creation to the second coming she said “I’m not even in His family and yet he carried my sins and they are really heavy! He loves me so much!’” Pray that she would daily grow in her faith and that she would develop a deep intimacy with J. Pray that God would place an urgency and a passion for sharing him with others. Pray that her husband would see her being changed by God’s love and recognise he needs what she has discovered!