The Muslim South Asian family we’ve been ministering to seem sometimes to be taking steps toward Christ, and sometimes back. One day recently I had a chance to spend time with one of the mothers in the large extended family. She shared that she is still very sad that her brother back in India died and they could not afford for her to go back for his funeral. She can’t get over her guilt for that. Nor her guilt that she is still having waves of sadness about his death. According to her religion, she should simply submit stoically to the will of God. That day we read about Jesus’ sadness over His friend Lazarus’ death, and how each of the sisters had an “if only” comment. This is a normal feeling, a normal reaction. Then we read that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. We read the testimony of Martha, who said, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” The woman listened without arguing. She also received a small book of Swahili Bible stories, and said she would read them. Please continue to pray for the salvation of the whole family.
Praise God that a S. Asian young woman from Kenya who became a believer three years ago out of Hinduism is now attending a 6 month Bible school/missionary training program in Australia. She is concerned for the salvation of her relatives living in Australia, who are still Hindu. Some of them she is seeing for the first time in years. As they reconnect and visit, please pray for her boldness and courage, and that they may come to Christ.
Praise the Lord that the South Asian family has invited their Christian neighbours to a barbecue Saturday night, where the men will have more contact. And praise the Lord that the women in the family want to continue meeting to hear Bible stories, and that one of the women is reading a Christian book about heaven. Please pray for the salvation of each person in the family, and for a spiritually profitable evening this Saturday night.
Praise God that the missionaries’ time with the South Asian family on New Year’s Eve was a time of fun and some significant introductions for the men of four families to meet one another. Pray that now the Spirit of God will prompt some of the Indian men to take initiative to connect with the missionary men again. Pray for the salvation of the entire family: men, women, and children in 2017.
Christmas Day a S. Asian family came to eat dinner, hear the account from Matthew and Luke of Jesus’ birth, and learn to sing together “Joy to the World, the Lord is Come.” One teenage girl said rapturously, “This is my first time to be invited to a Christmas party. I hope I get invited again next year!” At the end of the Christmas story they tried to articulate our differences. “You say Jesus is the Son of God, but we say He’s a prophet. And we believe Mohammed came afterwards and was the next prophet. Each of us tries to follow the teachings of our prophet and teach others to do so, too.” How to respond? We said, “There is something unique about Jesus that this account of His birth tells us. He was to be called Jesus because He would save His people from their sins. He was the Saviour, Christ, the Lord. When Elizabeth heard Mary coming to her she asked how it could be that the mother of her Lord would come visit her?” They listened, pondered, did not argue. We heard from a friend that later, after the dishes were washed and the cookies distributed and goodbye kisses given, they sang Joy to the World as they drove home. Please keep praying for the salvation of the entire family. Although no men came to the party, the extended family have invited us to come to their home for a New Year’s Eve party. The men will definitely be there, and perhaps our men will be able to make friends with them.
Missionaries have invited a S. Asian family to join them on Christmas night for food, a reading of the Christmas Story, and caroling. Please pray that the family will come, including men. Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict them of the truth of the gospel, the trustworthiness of the Saviour, and the ineffectiveness of Islam to bring them salvation.
Continue to pray for the S. Asian Muslim family who are listening to Bible stories. This week four single girls came asking to hear Bible stories from a Christian neighbour. First they saw her nativity set, and asked to hear the story of Christmas. They listened intently. Then she shared the stories from Creation to the Fall and God’s promise to Eve that her descendant would crush the serpent’s head, then ending with Isaiah’s prediction that a virgin would conceive and bear a child whose name would be Immanuel, “God with us.” Thursday the whole family group meets again together, mothers and children as well as the single girls. Pray for nothing to interrupt or prevent these weekly “Bible Classes” from happening, and pray that the whole family will put their faith in Christ.
After a second session in which they heard the story of creation, the women in a Muslim family asked for another story sooner than planned. They find it difficult to wait a whole week for the next episode. Please pray that as their appetite for God’s Word increases, their spiritual understanding will also widen and deepen, and that when they hear how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies and was our perfect sacrifice, they will take courage and put their faith in Him. Praise God for the openness the women and children exhibit. Pray for the spiritual progress of the men in the family, too.
A team of Christians meets twice a month to pray for opportunities to share the gospel in conversations with South Asians who need Christ. So far only two of the team have had those opportunities. Please pray for each person on the team to have at least one conversation about salvation in Christ with a South Asian person in the next few weeks.
The young South Asian girl who hopes to attend Bible school was very encouraged last week when a group of short-term Australian missionaries came to her church in Kenya. They gave her a donation and encouraged her not to give up hope. Please pray for the Lord to encourage this young believer that her prayers are being answered by a loving Father who is generous and kind. Pray that as she walks through the process of being called into ministry, she will learn how to ask people for prayer and declare her faith in Jesus boldly to those extended family members who she thinks will be shocked by her desire to study the Bible. Praise the Lord that her immediate family are all believers and strongly supported by their new church family.