Jonah

We have printed the book of Jonah in the local language in Arabic script. This makes Scripture accessible to those who have never learned to read an alphabet other than the Arabic alphabet. When I gave the book of Jonah to Mama Levi, she absolutely loved it and we read the whole book in one sitting. Then I was completely surprised when she asked if I had any books about Jesus. Pray for Mama Levi’s heart to be open as she reads and re-reads the book of Jonah. May the Holy Spirit reveal truth to her through this story. Pray for the opportunity to give Mama Levi the book of Mark and pray for her to have eyes to see and ears to hear. Pray for the many islanders who have read Arabic words this Ramadan, and not understood what they read, to hunger for truth. Pray for our team as we continue to distribute Jonah and for the translation team as they continue to get more books ready to be printed.

The moon has been sighted!

“O mwezi uoneha!” The cry goes up as people pass the word onto their family and neighbors: “The moon has been sighted!” Ramadan has begun. For Islanders not a drop of water or a crumb of food will pass their lips from sunrise to sunset for 30 days. They will even endeavor to spit out rather than swallow their own saliva. It’s a long and strenuous month as Muslims all over the world seek to please God and earn points with their efforts. Please pray for the 700,000 people who hail from these Islands. Pray that their tomorrow will be different from today through coming to faith in Christ our Lord. Lift up the small but growing number of Island believers across the nation, that they would be protected by the Lord of Hosts as they boldly and courageously proclaim Christ as their Lord and Savior and share how he has transformed their lives.

Enthusiastic

Pray for a family who was visited by a team member and a local believer and shared Truth with the family. The little 8 year old girl excitedly stated that she would share this story with her dad when he got home. Please keep praying for more and more opportunities to share with this family and for all of them to share in this little girl’s enthusiasm about sharing the Truth about Jesus.

Access to the Word

Pray for a great movement among the Body here on Vanilla Island. Pray that the Lord will continue to strengthen the believers through His Word and presence. Many are being encouraged as they get access to more and more scripture in their language. Pray the Lord will use this to grow His small gathering here on the island.

Transformation

Pray for a great harvest in Madagascar: for all those who are reaching out to islanders to see a great transformation in the hearts of the islanders they love. Pray for many islanders to come to know the Lord.

Talks

Pray for upcoming talks about how to move forward with leadership training and development with local islander believers, leaders and co-workers. Pray for wisdom in and guidance to know when to do these meetings, when to start and who to invite to be a part of this training process.

Translation printed!

Praise God for the progress of the translation work- they’ve printed the first book in the local language of “Vanilla Island”. Prayer is needed for wisdom in how to distribute it without jeopardizing the work there.

Evil plans thwarted

On “Clove Island,” there is a sister whose family had asked her to renounce her faith or face serious consequences. On the day a family member and an religious leader would be coming to see her, their plans were thwarted and they never came. Give thanks that so far there has been no new conflict/meetings; the sister’s faith remains strong and she has talked about having peace.

New believer

Praise God for a new believer, who heard to gospel from other local believers! Pray for his protection, growth, and witness.

Kingdom of Light

Pray for a family as they begin studying Bible stories about living in the Kingdom of Light. Ask the Lord to speak to them and grant them faith to believe.

Fun classes

Pray for our relationships with our English students as we have some fun classes going on right now. Pray for friendships to grow and for more than just English to be shared with our new friends.

Open doors

Pray for the work among the islanders living in Madagascar. Pray for open doors into islanders’ lives and homes and for hearts to be transformed by the word of God.

Monthly gathering

One of the sisters wants to see the local believers grow in fasting and prayer. She wants everyone to gather for monthly corporate fasting. Ask God to guide them. Pray for unity amongst the body here and they would continue to make meeting together and encouraging one another a priority.

Healing

Pray for the healing of a long standing rift between 2 groups of believers here. Praise Father for a small group of sisters (2 families from different groups) who have recently started meeting to read and encourage one another. They live in the same village but neither knew of the others. May they grow in love and trust for one another and pave the way for reconciliation.

Woes

Economic woes have led “Mark,” a leader of the body, to leave the island and try to take a clandestine boat to I4. Pray for the Lord to lead, protect, and help Mark to trust Him. Pray for all Island believers who are driven to extreme measures by their poverty. “Donna”, a local believer is threatened by her family who is trying to force her to recant. Ask the Lord to strengthen Donna and all who are persecuted.

Longing for a breakthrough

The kingdom is growing on the islands, the word is being translated and taught, and the gospel is being shared. Our teams are strong and determined. And yet, we long for breakthroughs, and for strong, stable churches to be planted and multiply.
Believers are plagued by false teaching and division. Ask the Lord to destroy false teaching and drive false teachers away. Ask for true repentance and truth!

Comparison

Recently, we gave A something to read. It is a personal account and comparison of Jesus and Mohamed in our two books. Ask that he will be challenged by what he reads and that the Holy Spirit would open his heart to the Truth.

Riots

The riots and protests on the island have significantly increased this past month. So much so that a few neighborhoods have closed all businesses and schools. The mayor has said that there’s not much the police can do to stop the gangs. Please pray for peace, security and for change of hearts.

Blows

Pray for our friends, a believing couple whom we’ve prayed with and for many times. The wife’s mother passed away recently. The mother had once claimed Jesus as Lord in her life but then fell back into old ways afterwards. Before she passed, her daughter prayed with her many times. Pray for hearts in this difficult situation. Soon after this, the husband’s nephew that he cared for passed away as well which was a very hard blow. Pray for emotional healing in this sad time and for Jesus to be so close to this couple and their families right now.

Healing and salvation

K sells second-hand clothes on the main road. We’ve prayed for various health needs in her family but have not had more spiritual conversations. I recently invited her and her family over. During the visit, she shared how she’d previously travelled abroad for healthcare but was told nothing could be done. But while she was there, she went to pray in a church and was healed! She also shared that she knew the good news about Jesus through my previous team-mates. Please ask for more opportunities to talk about power in Jesus’s name that not only heals but saves.

Surrender

Pray for a seeker who is from Vanilla Island and came to Madagascar a year ago. He has been exposed much to the Gospel and has a good relationship with those discipling him, often listening to their advice. May the seeds that they continue to sow in his life fall on good soil that he may come to surrender his heart to Jesus.

Sick and Lost

The mother of a believing couple on one of the islands is very sick. The family is poor and can’t afford to send her to get treatment. Pray for wisdom and provision regarding where to send her for treatment. Pray also for family members as they care for her.
A sister here was recently questioned by her brother about her beliefs. She didn’t deny Jesus and happily welcomed him to her house to discuss more. He didn’t end up going, but they have talked on the phone since then and all seems to be okay. Pray for D’s brother to be saved.

Start studying

One of the teachers who had stopped studying our Book came to me after class and said that he wanted to resume learning about the things he’d recently heard. So, for the past month, my team leader has met with two of the Arabic teachers, reading the Word and processing through a set of questions designed to help them engage and understand the common themes. Praise Father!
A few weeks ago, one of the teachers confided in me that his wife had had a third miscarriage. I told him that I’d like to meet her and pray for her. Last week, she came to our house. After some small talk, we got to share the good news and she let us pray for her in Jesus’s name. I wasn’t really sure what she thought of it all, but at the end she looked up and expressed how grateful she was. She has never had a friend to discuss meaningful things with or take time to pray over difficult news. Hopefully this is the start of a fruitful friendship. The teacher has told me that he wants me to start studying the Book with his wife. Pray that this might be her desire too!

R&C

R is one of our best language helpers. She’s been with us for more than 6 months. We are growing close to her family, but when it comes to spiritual matters, they are quite closed. I once asked for help translating the creation story, but there were parts they wouldn’t discuss or even give me the words for, such as the idea of being ‘created in God’s image’. Please ask for openness.
C hasn’t been around for a couple of weeks due to exams but she came back this week and has continued to ask questions about our Book. We are happy to answer but would like to do a more thorough study with her. As she is under 18, we will be seeking permission from her parents and want to also invite the whole family. Ask for a fruitful time together.

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.