Pray for the presidential elections this weekend. Pray for a free and fair election, and for peace during the voting and announcement of results later in the week. Pray God would have mercy on these islands and draw many to Himself.
Pray for B, who was involved in translating the God Story film when he was a student in Madagascar. He is back home now and finding it hard to find regular fellowship. Pray he would be bold in seeking out other believers, and that he’d continue to read the Word. Ask Father that he would remember his first love and not fall into fear or distractions.
Pray for the group of believers in the capital as they look for a new leader. Pray they would be united as they seek the Father’s will together and that He would provide the person of His choosing. Pray the Lord would bless them and fill them with His Spirit and give them boldness to share His love and truth with others.
For the next couple months, the island translators are working on a project to create some Bible storybooks that they can use with their children. They are working with a worker they’ve never worked with before, so pray for good communication and that the project would be a success and a good tool for helping islanders share their hope with their children.
Several people on Volcano have heard the Good news this week, including some of young G’s soccer friends, a couple of taxi drivers and passengers, English students and neighbors. Ask that these seeds wouldn’t be snatched away. Ask for people to be pondering these thoughts anew today. Ask for more opportunities to share this week. Ask for renewed hope to share.
Last week the team released the 2019 Proverbs calendar, which combines the proverbs of Solomon and local proverbs, in English and local language. After an invitation at the party last week, a good number of people interested in further discussion of proverbs and parables met this week with members of the team. There was good discussion and continued interest.
Pray that the Spirit would be working on people’s hearts, piquing their interest in the Word, and for boldness for the team to present more of the story. Ask for further meetings and discussions of the Word to follow.
There is a cult on the islands, which has cropped up this week in a small group of seekers led by an islander friend. He is distraught that his friends/sheep are being led astray by another islander (part of this cult) who is paying people to come to meetings of the group involved with the cult. Pray for God’s mercy on these seekers, that they would know the Truth and not be deceived.
Christmas always gives us opportunities to share. Pray for the Christmas English Club party and for other opportunities as they come. The brothers and sisters also hope to get together to celebrate, most likely on the weekend before Christmas (22nd or 23rd).
Please remember a young local brother who has been facing increased persecution in the village he lives in. He was taken in by a local woman, but last week, they preached at the mosque that no one should feed him, so he didn’t get to eat much last week. Praise that he is standing firm, continuing to meet with other believers and seekers and continuing to pray for sick people among his family and friends. Ask for encouragement and for his witness to draw others to Jesus.
Lift up a local believer who is having opportunities to share with government officials. Ask for boldness, for faith against fear and for a fruitful witness. Give thanks for how the current political climate could open people’s minds to search for lasting change and hope.
The group of seekers has continued to meet and discuss weekly. Attendance is inconsistent, and they often circle back and canvas the same issues. T is considering directing individuals toward some books and resources that would challenge them where they are. Pray for discernment and that the individuals could move past the obstacles that keep hindering the group from making decisions.
On Friday evenings we are working through stories from the book of Acts with our group of Shibushi believers and seekers. Pray for them all to move forward in their journey and to know and follow Jesus.
Pray for believers to come together for worship, for them to have deep conviction, boldness and courage to share with friends and family!
Pray for blessing on the translation project. Pray for the Word to be spread via apps. Pray for wisdom for those working on the apps. There have been some difficulties launching them. Pray for the Word to be widely shared and read and believed!
Pray for a brother here who is facing persecution from his family. He spent a couple years on another island to escape this, but returned in the last few months. Last week, this persecution culminated when he came home one day to find his uncle had taken all his things out of his room and burned them. He reported his uncle to the authorities, but they sided with the uncle (that it was in his right as a parent to teach his “son” a lesson for converting.) His mother told him she was worried for him and that he should leave the island again. He spoke with team members and a local brother, who encouraged him. For now, he has decided to go to a different island. Ask for him to connect with local brothers and sisters there and for him to grow in strength and boldness.
Today a good friend came to ask a worker for money for him to buy special prayers from an imam for his newborn daughter. The worker told him he thought this was magic, not prayer, and offered instead to come pray in the name of Jesus, who has all authority in heaven and on Earth. This new dad agreed but wasn’t home at the agreed time. The battle rages! Ask for the Lord to make himself known to this family.
A local sister shared recently that their group was tipped off that the police would be visiting their Sunday gathering. They prayed together, chose 2 spokespeople and prayed some more, then began worshipping. Sure enough, a little later came a “hodi” at the door and in walked 4 policemen. They were duly welcomed and when they’d sat down, they asked “What are you all doing here?”. The spokeswoman said “We’re reading this Bible, see?” And she showed them what they were reading. “And we’re singing-do you want to hear a song?” And they all sang a song. Then the spokesman said, “And we’re praying. Nothing bad is happening; we’re not drinking, we’re not doing anything immoral. Do you want to pray with us?” They didn’t (yet), but they were satisfied nothing wrong was happening and they said their goodbyes. The sister sharing this story said, “See! We don’t have to be afraid!” Ask for more faith against fear and more bold worship among islanders.
An islander called “Farrell” has been asking for just one other person from his village to decide to follow Jesus so he won’t be alone. He attended a CP training recently and tried out some of the fruitful practices he learned. He shared with a young man in his village who struggles with a drug addiction. This young man decided to follow Jesus and Farrell reported that this man’s wife has noticed a difference in him. Recently, after they had an argument, when his old self would have gone off to get high, he instead went to their bedroom to pray. His wife was surprised… And even more so when he told her what he was doing! Ask for this wife and many others in this village to turn to Jesus. Ask that the Lord would send Farrell and this new brother out as a “two by two” pair in their village.
Pray for islanders making the pilgrimage to Mecca this week. Ask that they would see the underside of Islam there and would be filled with questions that Islam can’t answer. May they have courage to seek Truth, wherever it is found.
Tana is a city where many islanders go for university studies or health care and then return to the islands. There is a group of believers in the city who meet regularly to pray for the islanders, and have arranged their lives to be able to meet islander students and share the good news with them. Pray for wisdom in meeting with islander patients. Ask the Lord to bless this group with wisdom, unity, and favor, and to open a door for fruitful ministry among students and patients.
Praise God for the opportunity to explain faith in a public setting tomorrow! Pray the truth will be clearly presented without compromise or ’embracing the good of all religions’. Ask for hearts to be sensitive to hear and challenged to consider what is shared.
Pray for the small groups of believers that are meeting. Pray that these groups would be places where believers would come to understand more and more their new identity in Jesus. And where they are equipped to do the good works that God has prepared them to do. Pray that their meetings would be characterised by worship, love for one another and joy.
Pray that believers would be motivated to meet together. Pray against all that might keep them apart whether it be busyness, fear, lack of trust or something else. Pray that love might grow and that they would begin to see each other as family.
While sharing her testimony during an English club recently, friends who know “A” now were astonished to hear what she had been like before she gave her life to Jesus. They loved hearing about what Jesus had done and wanted to hear more. So another team member told her story too. A few days later, some of these friends were together with a third team member and they asked for her story too. After hearing these, one woman said, “So, how do you know all these things? How do you learn more about God?” Team members offered to study God’s Word with her and they’ve been doing that regularly since. Ask for more to join this woman in studying God’s Word and for this woman’s eyes to be opened so she too can give her life to Jesus.
S. is like many Islanders who have had the truth laid out before them in incredible ways, and yet still reject it – or rather still reject Him. This is a reminder that people are spiritually blind and need Jesus to open their eyes. We can plant a seed, we can water, but it is only Him who makes the seed grow! Please pray that the word planted in this man’s life, and others like him, would grow and bear fruit.
Some complete families have recently turned to Christ on the islands! Pray that these new believers would cling to the Word of God and to each other. Pray for courage to share the good things God has done for them.
As islanders seek to earn their salvation through fasting and extra ritual prayers, pray they would feel the hopelessness of their efforts. Ask God to reveal His grace and mercy to them- that He came to seek and save the lost.
Workers this month will have more opportunities to share than the rest of the year combined! Pray they would share boldly and with passion and wisdom. Pray islanders would walk away from conversations unsettled, thinking deeply, and unable to forget what they heard.
The month of Ramadan is a particularly challenging month for local believers as they come under extra scrutiny and pressure to conform. The vast majority of them are isolated and walk a lonely path. Pray today for their encouragement. Pray that the additional pressure would only serve to press them closer to Jesus. Pray they would remember the hope that they have. Ask for boldness and wisdom in sharing this hope with others.
In the past year or so there are signs that this quiet little island is being awakened after a long sleep. The mix of workers living there have seen a whole family, married couples and a married woman come to faith. However, the fruit of these new lives and the translation work that is carried on in plain sight have not come without opposition from local religious teachers and certain government officials.
Pray that the Spirit would continue to blow through Vanilla island, that the ‘least’ of these islands would lead the way into the kingdom and that workers would remember that as long as God holds open the door no one can close it!
Pray for Mama Sy, a new friend who has a troubled home life. She has been very open so far to our good news, ask for wisdom in sharing and for her heart to receive. May she meet her saviour in her suffering.
Pray for the women that team members are testing the translation drafts with. Pray for good conversations about what is being read. Pray that these women would be so impacted by reading/hearing the Word in their language. Pray that they would hear God speaking directly to their hearts.
Continue to pray for the newly translated book of Jonah, that God’s word would speed through this land. Pray that it would be passed from phone to phone and that as people read and listen they would recognise the voice of God speaking to them in their language. Pray that the Spirit would convict, challenge and comfort, and the people would repent like the Ninevites!
Pray for one island sister that has been under increased negative scrutiny from family members because of her leadership role in the body here. Pray for courage and wisdom for her and softened hearts for her family.
On this Good Friday, pray for many opportunities to share the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection; most people here believe that God rescued Jesus from the cross by substituting Judas in his place. Pray that God would open blind eyes to the truth and as people hear the good news they would not only believe that Jesus died, but that he died for them. Pray that many islanders’ hearts would be broken as they discover a God who came to seek and save the lost.
Pray for the book of Jonah’s release into the community through a phone app and audio resource in two languages in the coming weeks. Pray for many people to come across this, the first splash in making the Word available here. This is a big deal. High risk. High impact. Please pray!
Today and tomorrow the members of the unit who are involved in translation are meeting together to make plans and decisions! Pray for a great spirit of thankfulness and celebration for all the work that has been done. Pray for clarity of communication and thought in our discussions. Pray that we would be guided by the Spirit in all the decisions and plans we make.
Pray for O as she grows in her faith, pray that she would be protected from evil and that she would experience true freedom from the darkness of her past.
Pray for one local believer who is working on five different Scripture songs. He is using several different local music styles and we hope the songs will inspire others to write their own songs, as well as help believers memorise Scripture and make sung worship a key part of their gatherings. Pray for the Spirit’s inspiration as he writes these songs and that even as he writes them he too would be changed by them.
Another translation consulting check will begin today the 15th of January. Pray for the technology to function well and for the work to continue to move forward.