Needing deliverance

I attended a wedding this week where my good friend’s mom manifested demons. I’ve offered to pray for her mom in Jesus’s name. Her mom has said thank you but refused, stating that they’ve already done prayers and just “don’t know why they won’t leave”. Only Jesus can do it. Pray for an opportunity for her to be delivered from the kingdom of darkness into light!

Confrontations

A few weeks ago, one of the believers was confronted over the phone by her brother about her faith. He was planning on coming to her house to question her. The island body of believers rallied around her in prayer. A rainstorm came which prevented her brother from coming and he has not brought it up since!
Another young believer was confronted about his faith by a family member, who is an imam. He professed his faith boldly and pointed to his changed life as evidence of his new faith. The imam was not upset, but rather asked more questions and seemed interested.
Pray for the believers as they are confronted with questions about their faith. May they stand firm and have discernment to respond wisely.

Evil spirits

Pray for D, a local believer who is also a school teacher. Recently on two different occasions students have manifested evil spirits in his classroom. Pray for wisdom and courage for him in knowing how to respond in these situations, and that these students would be set free.

Meeting

Pray for the local believers who are meeting together. Pray for their times together to be encouraging and unifying. Pray for wisdom and insight in using the Word to grow, and for their love for Jesus, for each other, and for the lost to grow.

Jonah

We’ve been testing a diglot version of Jonah in the local language with Roman and Arabic scripts. We’ve asked people across the island which cover and borders are more acceptable, and many details like fonts and footnotes. We’re now researching good quality printing options. Pray for spiritual impact, and for favour and protection as we release a printed booklet instead of digital media.

Tourism

Praise and pray for the tourism business which the team have launched. Ask the Lord to guide them as they recruit local guides, businesses, hotels, chose tourist sites, etc. Pray that these connections will develop into good relationships, and for the business to build a good reputation in the community—for the ultimate purpose of many hearing the good news, believing it, and bringing Him glory!

Little understanding

Pray for a couple who profess but have little understanding. Pray that the regular meetings for study would increase their faith and maturity. Pray that they would greet these meetings with joy and interest.

Scriptures being accepted

For various reasons many of the local believers have been slow to use the newly translated Scripture, and we have been praying that this would change. Recently some were reading together from Acts in French, however one of the local translators had opened up an app on his phone and when it came to his turn to read he read in the local language. As he read, the believers were excited that they could understand the Word in their language and talked about how having it needed to be a priority. The translator came back to us with a request that the book of Genesis (which has been completed) be provided to them as soon as possible. This is the first major request for scriptures in the Island language from believers! Pray they would treasure the Word in a new way and that the Lord would speak clearly to them.

Peace

There has been a series of riots and violence across the island caused by the indigenous people not welcoming the immigrant population, who are largely clandestine. Pray that the local believers would model Christ’s unconditional love and peace. Pray that the different gatherings of believers would be a safe place and somewhere to find true security and refuge in Christ for people of all backgrounds.

A baptism!

Praise the Lord that A, a mum of three, has publicly declared her faith in Christ and been baptised! Pray she would stand strong in her faith even amidst opposition from family. Pray she would boldly share her testimony with her neighbours and friends.

Local language used at school

The French government is encouraging local languages to be used in schools so that children grow up with a stronger understanding of their mother tongue. Pray that this would play a part in raising a generation with greater literacy and an opportunity for them to read and understand Bible stories in their heart language.

A local man goes into ministry!

Praise God that D, from a local village, is being ordained into ministry by one of the churches. Pray he would be a testimony to God’s power as he serves the church and his community. Pray that his wider family and friends would ask questions and be open to hearing more about the gospel.

Newborns

Praise God for answering prayer on “Clove Island,” giving boldness and compassion to local believers, which has led to more Islanders accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior! Pray for the brothers and sisters there to be led by the Holy Spirit in discipling these “newborns” and in intentionally meeting and modelling what it looks like to be a Follower there. Pray that the local body would start more regular fellowship times. Pray that they would continue to develop their own unique, culturally appropriate ways to fellowship in and follow Christ.

God’s good work

Praise the Lord for His good work in islanders’ lives and for growing the fellowship here! In the past three months local believers have led 3 more islanders to faith. Praise God for more of the Word being translated, for a set of children’s bible story books, and for new worship songs being written. Pray for God’s blessing on moving back to regular gatherings, for new leaders to be trained, for growth and protection from false teaching, false leaders, and false motivations.

Sermonettes

Pray for the 7 believers who have become more serious about their faith and are now on a What’sApp group, sharing Bible teachings with one another. One “worker” aided them by providing “sermonettes” and study questions and now, one follower has provided 2 of his own “sermonettes”. These brothers are sharing the truth with family & neighbors as a result! Pray for continued growth in their walk with Christ, and that their boldness to testify will increase.

Meeting and Sharing

As the month of fasting comes to an end this week, pray for continued opportunities to meet with friends in their homes and to share in their lives in special ways. Pray that Jesus will work in their hearts and that many will come to know and trust in Him.

Translation check

Pray for consult checking of the translation that is happening this week. Pray for good internet connection as the outside consultant will be video chatting into the meetings. Pray for good communication, good energy levels through hot afternoons and ultimately a faithful and dynamic translation.

Night of Power

In this last week of Ramadan, Islanders will be focusing on two main things – many will hit the streets for late night shopping hoping to find some Eid bargains. While others will be found praying and reading the Quran in the mosques all night long. Of particular importance in these last ten days is the Night of Power or Laylat al-Qadr. Thought to be the night of the first revelation of the Q to Mohammed, the Q states that the prayers on this night are worth more than prayers made during a 1000 months. This is the night when sins are forgiven and prayers are answered – some believing that there is a special window of time when God will answer any prayer, if only you can be praying at just the right time. No one is entirely sure when this night is, but it may be this Sunday 9th. Pray with us that many would hear God speaking to them on this night, and they would listen to his voice! “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”

Break through

Pray for a gathering of believers on Thursday. They will break the fast together and spend time praying for the islands, especially for the upcoming night of prayer, that God would break through and draw people to Himself. Pray for good fellowship that would deepen relationships and lead to shared vision and passion for seeing the Kingdom grow. And join them in praying for God to break through and draw many to Himself.

Vision

Pray that more Island brothers and sisters would have a vision for reaching out to their friends and neighbors like “Mama X”, who after having a dream of sharing the good news in a village, did just that and shared with the exact people she saw in her dream. Pray that as access to scriptures becomes more available in 3 dialects, that Islander believers would study, grow, and reach out to others. Pray that His kingdom would come across the Islands!

Miracle

‘Natalie’ has had poor health for over a year, requiring frequent, and sometimes lengthy, hospital stays. She already had breathing issues and maybe a weak heart, then got Covid. She was discharged from hospital, but readmitted soon afterwards. I believe the Lord spared her life through many prayers. Her husband agreed it’s a miracle. She returned home a few days ago, and is doing well at the moment. Pray for more opportunities to share truth with her and her family.

Covid outbreak

Please pray for our little island. Covid is wreaking havoc. There have been 9 deaths since last night in a population of 36,000. I know 4 of the 9, 2 in my village were old men, but the other 2 I knew in town were much younger. Pray for people to cry out to God for mercy and be saved.

Great Harvest

As more and more of the Book becomes available through apps, continue to pray that God’s word would bring a great harvest here. This month both Exodus and John will be released! Pray many would hear God’s Word and believe it!

Good Friends

Pray for Sarah, a young sister, as we try to connect her with another sister her age. Pray for a good friendship to develop between them and their families. May they be able to support one another and grow in their faith together.

Story of Noah

Praise that the app highlighting the story of Noah has been downloaded by many people over the past month! Pray that those who have downloaded it will listen and engage with the word of God.

Peaceful Sleep

Pray for a young man that another team on the island are in contact with. He hadn’t slept for two weeks, but when they gave him a Bible to take home, he read it and fell asleep! Every night since, he has fallen asleep reading his B. He asked about J miracles. “I want to know how he could do that, how he had that power”. Pray this young man would come to know the power of Jesus in his own heart and that through him God would gather a group to study and grow together.

A Woman of Faith

V is a woman of such faith and energy. However, she is discouraged by her family – particularly by her sisters who were all brought up in the faith but none of whom are actively following now. She is persistent in prayer, bold in calling them out, and loving in the way she serves them. But she is disheartened at their closed ears. Not to be stopped though, she instead pours into her daughters and nieces. She is currently staying with her sister and every morning she and her two daughters (aged 13 and 5) all read the word, sing and pray together. Just recently, another sister has also started joining them. Pray for her as she disciples these ladies! Please also pray for her physical needs – she needs to find a new house and also a job that allows her to be a present mum for her two girls. Life is not easy for her, but her joy in the Lord is an inspiration and a challenge.

Questioning the Status Quo

On the Island, cultural events have gone underground, with weddings and funerals being held quietly instead of community-wide events. Mosques are closed, a strange thing for Islanders. Pray that disruptions in the normal rhythms of life and worship would cause people to question the status quo. Pray for the brothers and sisters, both local and expat, that they would be people who resolve conflicts, forgive and work together with love and mutual respect.

WhatsApp Cell Group

During this time of isolation and social distancing, some Islanders set up a WhatsApp group for local believers to send out encouragement each day during the month of Ramadan. It is a huge step in the right direction of connecting islander believers and giving them a place to go for prayer and for encouragement in their own languages. Please pray that more members will be added to this group.

Denial

Despite cases now being confirmed on the islands and some deaths of prominent leaders, whose symptoms looked very much like the virus, some people are still refusing to believe it is here. They are still carrying on life as normal. Ask that they might realise the gravity of the situation and act accordingly. Ask that in a spiritual sense too, they would have their eyes opened to the seriousness of the situation and cry out to the only One who can truly Heal.

Translation Work

Praise God for the way the translation project has been able to continue despite lockdown.
Three-hour long phone conversations have meant drafting can continue each day, another
bel has been reading and testing finished drafts and the other local translator is finished up
an epistle by hand in his home village. With the extra time we have also been able to put
more time and thought into other aspects of the translation project – praise God for how He
continues to move us forward!

No COVID19 Confirmed

Even though numbers are slowly rising on the nearby French island, so far there have not been any cases confirmed on our islands. But we recognise that testing hasn’t been done properly either. So ask that God would protect this country – as the health system would be quickly overwhelmed. If the virus is indeed already here, ask that the government would become aware and for wisdom as they make decisions.

Certain Truth in Uncertain Times

We are still waiting for the first confirmed case of COVID19. We do not know how this is going to progress.
This is a key time for sharing truth with people, and I’ve had some great opportunities in the last few days. Ask for wisdom in our interactions with people. Given that it’s such a social culture, people are unlikely to self-isolate. The normal practice if someone is ill is to go and visit them! Pray for protection on our own health, and that we will not infect others unawares. One of the things we can do is help people understand what’s going on, and advise them about precautions, and model those ourselves.
Some other considerations: What will translation work look like if we try to do it remotely? How can we encourage followers who live in other villages, and get resources to them? Ask that this will be a time of growth for them, and a time when many people seek the Lord.

Visits

There is a visiting believer from Clove island along with a Kenyan man from an outside
organization who have come to encourage the local Body here. We are excited that believers are
meeting and getting to know each other. Pray that the Holy Spirit will move in this body and use this time for his glory!

Survey

A group from mainland Africa is coming this first week of March to do a survey of the state
of the island Body. Pray for them as they talk with brothers and sisters that they would have
clarity and discernment and would be able to provide good guidance and advice for the
future.

Faithful prayers

The events surrounding the girl with the demon has united workers and driven faith to new heights. We are excited to see what God has in store for this island. Ask with us that this would truly be a year of lasting breakthrough.

The Pearl of Great Price

Please pray for Islanders who have heard the truth about salvation through Jesus Christ to realize He is their only hope, and pray that their desire to own that pearl of great price will lead them to sell everything else they have to gain Him. Pray also for holy boldness for believers to gather together to worship their Lord and Savior.

Update on family struggling with demon

Last night about 20 believers (local, expat, and Malagasy) gathered in the family’s home to worship and cast out the evil spirit living there in the house. It had been attacking the daughter since Tuesday night – but from the outside, it couldn’t ‘enter’ her because she is a child of God! We sang, proclaimed the good news, and prayed. The spirit left! They all slept wonderfully! PTL! Pray still for the Muslim dad who was there in the midst of it all – he has great joy that his daughter is free but he doesn’t yet know that there is far greater joy awaiting him if only he would open his heart to Jesus.

Demon be gone in Jesus Name!

There is a family struggling with a demon tormenting their teenage daughter. After two intense prayer sessions, last night the demon left. However, several hours later, a demon returned. Satan wants to steal our faith in God’s ability to change this island. There is a clear choice before us, not just to stand in faith but to sound a full volume battle cry declaring that our God will be victorious. I think there is more at stake here than just freedom for this girl and for her family.
In battles there are turning points and I wonder in the long uphill struggle that is ministry here on the island, whether this is such a moment. If it is, we need to seize it, we need to stir others to join. I think this is a moment to step out. Please pray!

New small group

Lift up a group meeting to study together on a Sunday. Ask that others would be drawn to them and to the word and that they would continue to trust despite difficulties.