We produced a 2017 calendar complete with the proverbs of Solomon and island proverbs – in both the local language and English. We will be giving these out over the next few weeks in many different locations. Pray that God’s word would surprise and provoke further interest, pray for good conversations as we distribute them.
Pray for the Islanders hailing from the islands of the Indian Ocean, with sizeable communities also found in France and Madagascar. Nearly all Islanders are Muslims. Those who have chosen to follow Jesus tend to live isolated lives and many experience pressure and persecution from their families, villages and government. 2 Thess 3:1 “Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honoured, just as it was with you.” Pray that God would move in power and reveal Himself to Islanders- young and old, male and female. Pray that He would draw families and communities to Himself that they might support each other on the journey. Pray that believers would be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and that they would be strong and courageous.
Our island is hosting a 2 week translation workshop, which started Monday. It is going well- the content and learning are excellent, but there are signs of fatigue and some sickness. Pray for the logistics of the workshop. Pray for the health, strength and capacity of the translation team. Pray for the translators’ families who have been deeply affected by their interactions with the Word. There will be a lot of hard work in the coming months but big returns as we hope to produce accurate Bible stories in the native island story-telling style. Pray for the Word of God to come to the islands with power!
There is a lot of testing and translation of the Word happening at the moment – with both believers and non believers alike. Pray that as islanders read and listen to God’s word it would be as sweet as honey to them drawing them back for more and more. Pray that it would be like blows of a hammer shattering pride and other strongholds in their hearts. Pray that it would pierce their hearts like a double edged sword. Pray that no islander would walk away from an encounter with God’s word unchanged!
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.