In the past few months we have given out 4 Bibles to people who are seeking. Every single person handled them with tenderness, gently opening the front cover and reading the first words of Genesis. We have seen the power of the Word in this place. Please pray that whether the Word of God goes out in written or spoken form that it will land on good soil. Pray for protection over the Bibles that are in unwelcoming homes. Pray and believe with us that God’s Word will not return void.
A few months ago we started studying with a young man who seemed to be craving access to the Scriptures despite his devotion to Islam. We started our Scripture study in Genesis and 14 weeks later, we are fast approaching the stories of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Please pray with us that as he encounters these stories in the next few weeks his heart would be deeply moved and stirred by the Spirit. Pray that he would understand this Good News is given for him and that he would receive it with great joy!
We continue to ask the Lord to grow the numbers of those who are studying the Scriptures with us in our DBS groups. Please join us in praying that God would move in the hearts of those who are already studying with us to invite their neighbors and friends in. Pray that Jesus would use them as the catalyst for growing the groups so that by the end of the year, we would have 12 people studying with us regularly.
We recently began studying the Scriptures with a woman who came from a churched background. But years ago, after experiencing a lot of hurt and disappointment from the church, she converted to Islam. She is illiterate so our study with her is the first one that is strictly oral. Please pray that Jesus would capture her heart and she would find Him to be her source of salvation and healing. Pray as well for others to join this study who may be illiterate but can come and hear the Word of God.
Recently we have had 3 Discovery Bible Study groups start and gain traction in our town. Last night we invited another couple who we have known to be people of peace for years and they said yes to reading with us next weekend! They are an influential couple in town who are known for their gift of teaching and their kind hearts. Please pray that this fourth study would truly start in this coming week and that this couple’s hearts would be captivated by the Scriptures.
We have decided to ask the Lord to give us 3 separate Discovery Bible Study groups with 4 local people studying in each by the end of the year. This is a huge, bold ask of the Father in a place like this and we know it won’t come without great prayer and fasting. It will likely be a bit like a fly wheel- that first rotation is hard and slow but each time it turns it picks up momentum. Similarly, we believe that what we need most is those first 3 people who are willing to pave the way in committing to study with us and once they are there, we will more quickly gain traction with others. Will you please ask the Father to quickly bring us 3 S people who would be willing to “start the wheel?”
One of our most precious S friends has been a part of all our lives for years. She has been willing to read the Word, had dreams of spiritual truth, has been prayed for by us and has prayed with us. Lately it has been a bit harder to know what she is thinking about spiritual things and we have been asking the Spirit to not give up on pursuing her heart. Her sister just died quite unexpectedly and she is broken-hearted. Please pray with us that this sudden crisis would make a way for her heart to be softened to the truth that through Jesus, death has lost its sting and hope can be found.
For the first time, this year’s Christmas celebrations among the Swahili Arab people were met with some clear opposition. While it was naturally discouraging to deal with, our hearts couldn’t help but be encouraged as we reflected on the truth that when Jesus’ name is being celebrated, people will come against it. The reason we were celebrating was clear. Would you pray Jesus’ words over those who stood with us, that anyone who receives us, would receive Him. And for those who came against the celebration, pray for the Father’s mercy to soften their hearts and lead them to repentance.
This season of Ramadan has brought a lot of opportunities to have spiritual conversations as we break the fast with friends and neighbors in the evenings. Recently we enjoyed iftar with a family who are certainly people of peace. We spent over an hour talking about our respective beliefs and were able to share that while we could see that the people in this community are very good and kind people, they still had not been transformed by the love of Jesus. The father of the family listened intently to what was shared and even agreed that he should be willing to read the Bible. Please pray for families like these to realize that their striving for their own righteousness is not enough to be reconciled to God and that total transformation is available to them through Jesus.
Mid-way through Ramadhan, people here on the coast are finding life hard. This is the month they are trying to appease Allah, and hopefully feel satisfied in that. Of course from scripture we know it is an endless trail. Pray that the people of Kilwa Masoko and the South Coast would be drawn to Jesus, the only one that truly satisfies.