Friendships

An evangelical worker recently asked a pastor’s son, “Who is you closest friend in school? The boy replied, Mohammed! The second son said Hussein was his closest friend. The daughter replied her best friend was Aisha. Pray for cross-cultural workers, sent out as families to live among those who do not yet know Jesus as the Son of God. Pray for their living faithfully in Christ and for His protection over the families. May the friendships developed bring about fruit for the Kingdom and a light into the lives of their friends that they may no longer be held in darkness but come to Jesus.

Through the shadow of death, I will fear no evil

Funerals are opportunities for Christians to share their hope with others who do not yet understand the eternal blessings that can be theirs. We mourn the loss of a beloved Christian who was taking Bible courses to become a full time church worker. During his life he shared the Gospel with his family, village, and in neighboring areas. The student’s faith in Christ was evident not only in his life but also became his final testimony at his funeral. How different a Christian funeral is as hymns of hope are sung about resurrection rather than the typical wailing and piercing cries of unquenchable lament! Pray that those who stand in need of peace with God accept the gift of God – to be saved by grace through faith.

Proclaiming Faith through Baptism

Praise God for baptisms that took place in the Tabora region during Passion Week. Some of these baptisms are the first believers in their families. Pray for U’s family who are Nyamwezi, do not yet know Jesus, and would not come to his baptism. Pray for other sincere seekers to be encouraged by U’s public testimony to follow Christ, and even now during Ramadan, to make the same commitment to become followers of Jesus. Pray for U and the eight other believers baptized with him that they would persevere through tribulations and powerfully proclaim the Gospel to the people around them.

Translation Underway!

The first ever translation of the Old Testament into the Nyamwezi language is underway! Pray for the translation team as they meet together daily translating the book of Genesis. Pray for the team to work well together, for clear thinking and wisdom in accuracy, and be committed to the longer work of translating the entire Bible.

Biblical Foundations

Praise God for land and building permissions for a Bible school at the center of Nyamwezi land! May the Lord bless this training center. Pray for new students to enroll who will have a heart to take the Gospel to every village where the Gospel has not yet been preached. As the classroom foundation is laid brick by brick, pray the same kind of spiritually solid Biblical foundation will be built in the lives of emerging church leaders trained at this site. Pray God’s blessing and protection over the teaching staff. Pray for fifty students already trained and sent out for their ministries to bear much fruit.

Identity Struggles

Pray for a new believer, Chacha, who struggles daily with putting off the old nature and putting on the new one. He is despondent over the difficulties in his life and recently his home and all he owned was burnt to the ground, leaving him homeless. Pray that he will put on his new identity in Christ as he wars against his old nature – pray for renewing of his mind, discerning truth, knowing God’s power and presence, and knowing God’s peace that passes understanding. “Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.” (Colossians 3:10)

Generous Gifts

Praise God for the generosity of a Muslim Nyamwezi village leader who has given his land for a church. The fellowship of believers have build a temporary shelter of thatch while they construct a permanent building. The generous village leader frequently sits just outside the church on Sundays and listens to the sermons. Recently he offered another larger piece of land nearby for a church clinic. He says before he dies he wants to help his community in every way he can. Pray that he will come to Christ and not stay in the shadows, but receive the invitation of Christ to follow Him and join the fellowship of believers.

Celebrating Fellowships of New Believers!

Praise God for new church plants, now over 300 in the Tabora Region in the last ten years among the Africa Inland Church. Praise God for elders and lay leaders who faithfully lead and teach in individual local churches despite hardships. Praise God for the 51 itinerant circuit preachers who persevere, caring for and overseeing multiple local churches. Pray for three new churches launched in villages where there has never been a church. Pray that those planting churches and their families and those working with them will know the exhilarating joy and blessing to be a part of expanding the Kingdom of God. Pray the Nyamwezi Breakthrough Prayer: “Lord, remove the veil from the eyes of the Nyamwezi and give them a longing to know your truth, that they may have new life in Jesus.”

House of Prayer

Pray for a pastor’s family who live next door to a medical clinic in a village. He and his wife offer water, porridge, and prayer for those who await medical care and for those who have accompanied the sick to the clinic. The ministry is growing and the neighbors are now recognizing their home as a “house of prayer”. He and his wife have found many receive the Gospel message and are thankful for prayer for their physical and spiritual condition. Pray that they would see God’s hand at work in their lives and that new believers would join in regular fellowship with other Christians.

Faster Beats the Drum

Late into the night until the early morning the drum beats, faster and faster. Those following traditional African religion have gathered this month for large meetings, dancing to the beat of drums, loud and fast. With such intensity on their worship grounds, up on the hills – sites chosen by a witchdoctors’ revelation – those lost without God seek lost powers and answers when rains are late or sickness visits them. Locals are asked to contribute towards the purchase of the animals to be sacrificed. Pray that God would show forth His power and control, love and grace for those caught in the traditions of their ancestors’ black magic and witchcraft. Pray for present day Elijahs to share God’s rescue plan from the darkness. May the Holy Spirit lead them to choose to trust in Divine protection through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Lord, Heal and Restore the Days

Lord, we lift to You ministers of the Gospel as they interact with others and are more likely to become ill from exposure to viruses. We pray you will protect, heal, and restore strength to them. Joel 2:25 promises, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.” Pray for leaders as they encourage others during this troubling period of physical attack on the body. Pray for the ministry of the church to new widows, orphans, and those grieving. Pray for unbelievers who are anxious to know the Gospel of peace, finding peace with God in all their circumstances.

Serving with Light in the Darkness

Pray for this year’s graduates from Bible School as they return to their local villages to serve in ongoing and expanding church ministries. May they Biblically handle with wisdom any spiritual battles as they lead. These areas are steeped in witchcraft, and congregations often struggle under the burden of strongholds, and attacks from the enemy. Pray that believers will live with power and purpose in Christ and know that the authority of Christ will set them free.

Heralding the Gospel

“Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you” (Mark 5:19). Pray for widespread outreaches during the five week long break while students are home from school in Tanzania. It is planting season, so it is a busy time, but also families enjoy unhurried time together and it is an ideal time to share the story of Christmas with others. Pray for an massive response to the Gospel message, personally, with friends and family sharing what God has done for them, and in whole communities as guest speakers and choirs go on tour to new areas holding special Christmas outdoor meetings.

Pray Earnestly

A local evangelist was sent from one church to start another church. As he started the new church, he shared the Gospel in other areas and was welcomed by a person of peace in three other villages. Another church has begun with 8 households, and a house church in another village, and more people are coming to Christ, praise God! His desire is to care well for these new believers, to let them grow spiritually with sound teaching, but finds it a struggle to care well for all the new believers. After traveling to one village, he goes to the second village, leaves again, goes to the third location, then leaves again, returns and repeats the circuit as often as he can, leaving those he’s taught to continue teaching others. The believers in the new church are looking to see who from among themselves can also be equipped and sent as church leaders to serve in the new places. Please pray for the spiritual growth of new Christians and for more Gospel carriers discipled who will go teach in the villages. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)

Make Your Attributes Evident

This last week many celebrated the birth of the Prophet Mohamed. Ask the Lord God to break the seals of darkness and that instead of praise to man, there would be recitations of praise about God’s faithfulness and His attributes. May those who know God, retell their testimonies of how God has been faithful. Pray that the Nyamwezi will know that the Lord is faithful in demonstrating His perfect love, and it is without limits, immeasurable. May those who doubt find affirmation through the Spirit and knowing God’s perfect love in their lives. Ask God to breakthrough in lives which are shackled, trying to earn their salvation, and instead may those lives be liberated by salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

Prayer for Strong Marriages

Please pray for church leaders with marriage struggles throughout this region where the church is under attack not only from without, but also from within the households of Gospel servants. Ask God to heal and restore broken relationships, for good counsel and support to resolve issues. Pray that couples serving in ministry among the Nyamwezi would come to see and appreciate why God put them together, and that they would both know that God wants to use them and their marriage to be a light in their community.

Living Hopeless

I sat for hours in a grass thatched hut with a family grieving without hope and no assurance of God’s presence. Such a stark contrast to knowing Jesus is with us through and in every trial. There was no singing of hymns nor acknowledgement of God. The God of angel armies was not welcomed in this home. The sister-in-law of the mother who grieved the death of her 3 year old son was pleading the spirits to let her take on the debt of the curse that was on her brother. Pray that this household will accept God’s message of hope and that they would desire to live in right relationship with the Living God. The message of Christ is so simple and clear that the debt has already been paid, yet most in this village have chosen not to accept this truth. The mother was overcome with hopelessness and fear. Pray she would turn to God and know He wants to give her peace and bless her with purpose. Pray for whole families and villages to turn to Christ.

Many Say Yes

Pray for people’s yes to be a heart and life changing yes. Many say yes to Jesus the first time they hear the Gospel message. But it may be that they haven’t received Christ in their lives as it is acceptable culturally to lie to gain a relationship. Are they saying yes to Jesus or are they saying yes to relationship with the Gospel bearer? At the end of the day, we find many are not willing to go deeper beyond friendly tolerance of living side by side with God’s people. Pray that the seeds planted and Gospel given will work in their hearts and they will evermore grow dissatisfied with religious practice and crave instead a personal relationship with the risen Lord.

Firm Foundation

Several families have gathered to begin a church plant in their village, meeting under a mango tree. They have been taught by a teacher who volunteers his Sundays to lead this congregation. Pray for these families as they grow in faith and reach out to their community. One of the villagers has given land to build a church, praise God! On designated church work days the families have gathered together to build the walls of their new church. The foundation stones are first hand dug from up on the hill, rolled down, lifted and piled up, and then placed around for the perimeter of the foundation. Pray that as they build the church on a firm foundation, that their lives likewise will be unified in Christ, built and lived out upon His firm foundation. (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Pastoral Training

Pray for a Nyamwezi evangelist who has been instrumental in beginning new churches. Because of his enthusiasm for the Gospel and obedience to the Word, he has been invited to pastoral training. He has already completed two years of basic Bible training. Now he has gone for several weeks of intense study with 52 others also accepting the call to study to be a pastor. Pray for confirmation if this is the right next path of service for each and for their families, for growing in spiritual formation, and learning practical ministry skills. May their faith in God grow strong and may there be godly discernment in determining at the end of the pastor’s course who among these these men are indeed qualified to lead churches.

O Families of the Peoples!

“Give to the LORD, you families of the nations, give to the LORD glory and power.” (Psalm 96:7) Praise God for heads of households who have confessed Christ as Lord. Culturally, for the head of the house to say this confession implies that all in the household will now follow Jesus. We rejoice in the decision to turn to Christ as a group, but they need follow up with teaching each to confess and grow in Christ. Pray that these “families of the peoples” will grow together in walking with Jesus. When it comes to worshipping on Sundays, some households may send their kids to church, or only one adult from the household shows up for service, not bringing anyone else with them. There are usually circumstances that keep the others at home, so pray that those who come to church will retell what message was given and bring others with them next week. Pray that the Holy Spirit would work in each of their lives to grow spiritually and serve the Lord together as one: “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) Pray more households would be free from that which hinders them from being able to worship together. May the children rejoice as in Psalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

Bible School Students

Pray for twelve Bible school students, as they return home to their village ministry sites among the Nyamwezi. Each has studied evangelism and discipleship activities. Pray they would put into practice what they have learned, that the Lord would use them to lead others to Christ. Pray that new groups would be formed to discover and learn God’s Word together. “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17)

Shining Out with the Word of Life!

Praise God for new church plants that are growing! One church hosted a Vacation Bible School with 57 local children attending, another church plant has grown to 23 adults attending plus children, another church plant is praising God for four local leaders who have stepped up to oversee church affairs. And these new churches are reaching out to neighboring areas, beginning Bible studies groups and more churches. Pray that these village churches will stand strong, evangelize in their surrounding areas, and the Holy Spirit will lead men and women yet unsaved to repentance and salvation.

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 1 Peter 2:3

Medical Outreaches

Pray for a second mobile medical outreach happening June 19th, a joint effort with medically trained local believers and missionaries. Pray that this service to the community’s poor, sick, and those hurting would honor God and be a faithful witness of the love of Christ. May those being screened and cared for know that as they are physically cared them, God is also concerned for their spiritual state. May the community know as we offer care for all, so too, Christ welcomes all to come to Him in prayer concerning their physical and spiritual state. Pray that believers will invite unbelievers into relationship with Christ. Pray that local believers will be encouraged through the outreach.

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

Praise God for several small new churches taking root within the Nyamwezi region! Pray that as these believers gather together that they will take seriously reaching out to their neighbors who are living without Christ. Pray for open hearts, open doors, and conversations which invite relationship with Christ the Savior.

Not Grieving As Others Do

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15). Pray for ready hearts to receive the Gospel message of hope and peace as it is preached to unbelievers during the funeral and wake of a fellow co-worker in Christ. In front of the whole village, God’s grace is clearly explained to many who don’t know Jesus personally. On these occasions, not grieving with the same bitter despair as others do, local Christians have opportunity to explain to all gathered their eternal hope and assurance of salvation in Christ. Pray for spiritual hunger for souls to be ready to place their faith in Christ now. May a new movement begin even through this hard loss!

Asking for Soft Ground

Ask the Lord of the Harvest for soft ground where seeds have been planted among the Nyamwezi. Pray over areas where there have been distributions of audio Bibles and written Bibles among villages surrounding Tabora. Pray for listening groups and those reading Scripture would be profoundly moved by the truth encountered. Pray that the seed will go in and weeds will easily come out. Ask the Lord for eternal fruit that will be thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold. Pray for reaching the goal of 10,000 Bibles distributed among the Nyamwezi.

Soul-searching

Pray for several new churches in outlying villages to grow and be strong in the Word. Pray that the believers would love for one another. Pray they may bring comfort to those who need consoling in their villages. Pray for those soul-searching, especially youth, to turn to Christ and find encouragement from being united in fellowship in these local churches.

Lord, Bring Your Kingdom

This year we celebrate Pasaka (Easter) 2021 in Tanzania amidst 21 official Days of Mourning in memory of the late presiding president. Pray for peace through the transition time for the leaders in the country. Pray for both church and government leaders that their eyes would be on Christ. Pray for churches as they gather for Easter, that there will be a clear Gospel message of celebration concerning the hope shared in the resurrection of Christ. Ask the Lord to bring his Kingdom. Pray the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God will be fully recognized. Pray for deliverance from the evil accuser who will be thrown down. (Rev. 12:10)

Pray for Tanzania

On March 17, 2021 the president died while in office. Pray for comfort and peace in the midst of 21 days of official mourning. Pray for the government and officials to be guided by God in the transition. Pray for the health of the country. Pray for the new head of the country as she carries forth her responsibilities in leading. Pray the government will continue to support peaceful freedom of religion, so that the Gospel may be proclaimed unhindered to all parts of Tanzania.

Turning Back to God

There is a new resurgence of prayer and focus on putting God first in the country. Pray that many more will be drawn to dig deeper into what it means to be a follower of Christ. Pray that from this renewal in drawing closer to God that more will understand and accept salvation. Pray for a renewed interest in Bible study and for small groups studying God’s Written Word to multiply and expand neighborhood to neighborhood. “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17

Be the Light!

Praise God for a new church plant led by a recent Nyamwezi Bible student graduate! Pray for ten believers who were baptized in this church to be effective witnesses of the Gospel to their neighbors, most of whom do not know the Lord. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help them to grow in their faith, not standing out for their own sake, but so that those who live around them will be drawn to follow Christ. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16)

New Disciple in Christ

Please pray for a new believer who has left his former ways and is embracing time to learn about Jesus. His home family rejected his new beliefs and was beating him. He has taken shelter offered among other believers as he desires to set a new course for his life in Christ. Please pray for him, and his persecutors to know Christ too! May God give him strength through the difficulties and pray for the Spirit of God to touch his life. Pray for a solid foundation in the Word of God and for the teacher discipling him.

Diving into Scripture

Pray for Bible school students who meet for classes two weeks out of every month. Pray that they will be able to consistently carve out this time to dig deeper into Scriptures, study Biblical foundations and be equipped for service. Pray for their needs and for the staff teaching. Pray that they will have clarity in their calling in bringing God’s message to others. Pray for their assigned work on Sundays in the city and also to be effective witnesses when they return to their ministry sites the other two weeks of the month. Pray they will be able to form Christ-centered churches as they bear witness to Christ among the households where they serve.

Healings Among New Fledgling Churches

Praise God for recent demonstrations of Christ’s character revealed to Muslims who were in need of physical healing and spiritual release from demons. One man was healed from chest infirmities and oppression by demons. Local healers could do nothing. Another woman now walks after her legs were paralyzed and burned like fire for three months. God is using these acts to draw people to Himself in areas with new church growth, confirming the message that Christ “came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Praising God for His extraordinary power in these events to set people free. Pray these new believers and others in their households will grow in their faith and join in fellowship praising Almighty God with other believers.

God Has Come To Deliver Us!

Saved or unsaved, God loves the whole world. Pray that the Nyamwezi would not be blind to God’s love for them nor cold to the actions of God. Lord, open the hearts of individuals and their whole households to receiving You. Please deliver them from the domain of darkness and set them free. “And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh” Ezekiel 11:19

Burdened for Special Insight

Pray that the Nyamwezi would leave the lie believing sacrificial practices unify the living to ancestors. May they instead be “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus,” (2 Tim. 3:15) and be unified in fellowship with Christ, joining in worshipping God with other believers this Christmas season and throughout the New Year. Lord, solidify your church. Lord, draw more Nyamwezi to yourself, may they be wise for salvation.

Victory over Death!

Pray for two sisters in Christ who returned to following traditional beliefs about the death of a twin and the necessity to avert impending danger of more evil if certain rituals were not performed. Pray that they would let their faith in Christ grow bigger than their fears and that they would arm themselves with the Word hidden in their heart knowing “the Lord is on my side; I will not fear.” (Ps. 118:6) Heavenly Father, deliver all those who through fear of death subject themselves to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Pulling Down Strongholds

Three new villages for outreach have been identified by the church. These are areas where local practitioners in the occult, veiled in Islam, have deterred past religious endeavors and also resisted government medical clinics. Pray that these gatekeepers of the community would hear anew God’s message to them and accept the preaching of the Gospel. Pray that those held by the enemy would no longer be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing their minds. (Romans 12:2) Lord, we ask for profound change of hearts and salvation among the leaders and villagers. Amen.

New church begins with 10 baptisms!

Praise God for a Nyamwezi evangelist’s enthusiasm and initiative to reach out to four unreached villages. In one such village, ten believers were baptized in August, Praise God!! They have joined together to build a place of worship where they are meeting regularly. Pray for continued efforts to reach and teach in this village, for God’s lovingkindness and truth to be evident, and that men repent of their evil ways. Proverbs 16:6 “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”