It is not uncommon for Muslim Background Believers to have messy lives (like the rest of us broken-but-being-transformed people) so lifestyle choices are often complex. Pray for *Euodia that she will know God’s leading and presence as she makes decisions. Pray that she might be brave and open to what God has for her.
Pray for the staff in the local government hospital where we are seeing many covid patients. There is a constant battle with fatalism, denial and misinformation even amongst the qualified staff. Pray that we can all be influencers and examples of an effective and compassionate response to the pandemic without burnout.
Pray for *Leah and *Bill. Several years ago Bill decided to follow Jesus but he is now sitting on the fence trying to blend what the Bible says with Islamic beliefs. He and his wife Leah have divorced and our hearts ache for their two children. Pray for the miracle of reconciliation and forgiveness between Bill & Leah and also between them and God their Father.
Yesterday our community commemorated “Ashura” by enacting the brutal murder of the prophet Mohammed’s grandsons. Pray that our friends and neighbours will discover a God who experienced sacrifice, pain and suffering. A God who will meet them in their pain so that they don’t need to stay in this place of historic pain and suffering, but rather that they can receive healing from one who understands sacrifice.
Please pray that the Swahili Arabs who are fasting this month will find they have no peace, that they will long for peace, and that the Prince of Peace will disclose Himself to them as their only hope.
Pray for *Mark, a kind, gentle, and smart young man. For 10 months he regularly turned up for DBS. He seemed genuinely to be seeking truth and had many deep insights as we studied creation to Christ and the first 10 chapters of John. Pray that God would cultivate and grow the many seeds that were sewn in what seemed like fertile soil and that God’s word would accomplish all that God purposed it and not return empty. Isaiah 55:11
Pray for *Euodia our dear sister in Lord! She converted to Islam years ago but was baptized in 2019 during DBS and for 18 months was discipled by our team members. We appreciate her boldness in sharing her own faith with Muslim friends. In the last few months with no team members on location she has struggled. Pray that her faith be strengthened and she will have courage to stand firm no matter what the circumstances. Phil 4:1
“Whatever things were gain to me, those I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ,” the apostle Paul said. The Swahili Arab are proud of their heritage and pedigree. They are very much like Paul who sought a righteousness through works and trusted in his ethnicity and status to give him spiritual credit. Pray that they will count everything loss for the sake of knowing Christ and being found in Him.
Pray for those Swahili Arabs who are especially proud of their heritage to come to the place of counting all things loss for the sake of gaining Christ, knowing Him, being found in Him. Pray for those who have invested much time in studying their religion to have courage to read and study the Bible with equal interest and openness. Pray that they will have a clear understanding of grace versus works, and receive grace as better.
Please pray for a young Arab Swahili man who keeps pursuing me (I believe he wants to convert me…which is great!) Pray that he would have a burning desire for the Truth and Jesus would reveal Himself. Pray that our conversations about the Kingdom of Light versus darkness would penetrate deep.
In a community center in the predominately Islamic part of the city, many young Somali, Swahili, and Arab girls come to spend time with the Christian staff. We’ve recently started a running club, and are dreaming of many other programs such as art and music classes to initiate relationships with families in this community. The goal in each of these programs, clubs, and classes is always to bring the name of Jesus into homes and to families. Please pray for us workers to be bold in making Jesus famous on the Swahili Coast! Pray specifically this week for the young 20-something girls S, L, and A! (Swahili, Arab, and Somali, respectively)— that they will be drawn to Jesus in the lives of the workers there and that intentional Gospel conversations would happen even this week!
Pray for those who are discovering the Bible through reading it with their Christian friends, that they will put their faith in Christ and find Him faithful to make them His strong and courageous witnesses, even to the ends of the earth.
The Swahili Arabs need Jesus but cling to Islam. Recently a number have begun learning about God through discovery Bible studies. Others are also asking to learn. Some have believed and confessed Christ. Pray that this movement will accelerate and that Jesus will be honored and glorified through how He works in this people.
A week ago we had a dear friend who has been studying the Scriptures come to us distraught after discovering that her husband had taken a girlfriend, presumably to eventually marry her as a second wife. She shared with us and went home. That evening she had a dream of a man in all white, surrounded by very bright light, who came and told her that he was leaving her with his peace. When she asked who he was, he told her that soon she would know. Please pray with us that the “man in white” would continue to reveal His full identity to her and that she would truly receive His lasting, eternal, soul-securing peace.
This past week we had our normal Christmas celebrations in our neighborhoods where many of our Muslim friends gathered to eat, share, and enjoy the day with us. We also had a Christmas study group where those who have been studying the Word with us all came together to study the Christmas story and share a meal together. We are so excited about this more intentional and close look at what Christmas is all about. Please lift up all who gathered, that His presence would be so close to them. Pray that as we continue to declare the name of Emmanuel, our friends would feel His love near and their hearts would be changed.
As we head toward Christmas, we remember that last year our big community celebration was met with some opposition for the first time ever. Pray that the opposition last year would actually lead to even more people joining us this year. Pray that the story of Christmas would go out even more boldly and with greater impact than it ever has before. Pray that hearts would be softened to joyfully receive their King.
In March we asked the Lord for 3 different Discovery Bible Study groups to start, with each group having 4 local people studying by the end of the year. At that point we had no one. We asked for at least 3 people who would fearlessly “start the wheel” of pursuing Jesus in our community. While our numbers were not as neat and tidy as we had prayed for, what did miraculously happen was that we had 4 groups running consistently, and at least 10 people truly and intentionally encountered the Word of God with us. Some came in and out because they traveled. Others came and went for reasons unknown. But all of them left with a better understanding of the Scriptures and having been prayed for by us and with us. There are 3 people who have started the wheel, 1 having been baptized, and 2 not believing yet but continuing to move toward Jesus. We praise Him for this supernatural response to our prayers!
Last week we had an unexpected encounter with a fisherman who took us on a hunt for a specific shell we were looking for. During the adventure, we got to share with him that Jesus loved fishermen and hung out with them often. We told him there are a number of stories in the Bible where Jesus spent time on the water with His disciples. Our fisherman excitedly told us he would like to have a Bible to read during his “boring hours” on the fishing boat. We assured him we would bring him one and before we parted he reminded us, “Please bring me your book!” Since then we have not been able to find him again. Please pray for this man and the many other Swahili men who make their living on the ocean. Pray that Jesus would draw these men to Himself and make them fishers of men.
Last week just before our study time with our one baptized believer, a 16-year-old neighbor showed up at my house. She was just home from boarding school and came to greet me. When I explained to her what we were about to do, she begged to stay. I went to get permission from her mom who was sitting outside with two other neighbors. The three women discussed it and decided it would be okay. Please pray for this normally reserved girl who was highly engaged and excited during our study! Pray she would come back this week and that her heart would be captured by the love of the King.
For many months we have been praying and hoping for a well-respected couple who would join our Bible studies and be willing to open up their home to others who are searching for the Truth too. Recently, one couple we have known for years agreed to host a study in their home but they have not been consistent or committed to it. We know that they are people of peace and that God is working in their hearts. Please pray that He would ignite a passion in them to move forward in providing a safe place for many to come to study with them. And most of all, pray that He would bring them to saving faith as they do it.
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.
Please pray for a discipleship training and outreach program that is happening May 28-July 10 along the south coast of Tanzania. 16 young men and women from a cluster of six churches are learning to lead their fellowships in discipleship outreach. Pray for the multiplication of disciples and the birth of a movement.
Last night 210 people participated in the conference! Praise God for the interest and enthusiasm of the participants for cross cultural missions. Pray we finish well and strong. Our goal is to equip and empower those the Lord has placed in strategic locations among the UPGs of the coast.
Pray for the Madavu Fellowship conference starting today in Mombasa. They are expecting over 100 workers to attend! Pray for grace and strength for Peter and Esther, who are hosting. Ask the Holy Spirit to minister to his people as they gather together.
While our people believe that Jesus ascended into heaven and is alive and with God today, they were taught that He never actually died, making our Good Friday and Easter celebrations highly offensive. Especially when we proclaim that someone they see as a perfect prophet not only died but was crucified on a cross. Please pray that this Easter season many would hear and understand the beauty of a Savior who was willing to be humiliated and put to shame on our behalf. Pray they would understand that He did it as an act of Love for us.
Praise God that a group of churches in Kilwa Masoko have recognised that it is time for them to be reaching out and sharing the gospel in villages of the area that are entirely unreached. Please pray for wisdom in how to do this, open doors, and much progress in an area that has been mostly Islamic for hundreds of years. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will produce a movement to faith in Christ.
This past week a dear friend of ours was attacked and seriously injured in a robbery. People are accustomed to violence from the “outside,” but many are quite fearful because this has come from inside of their people group. The woman who was attacked was a local young mother and the man who allegedly did it was a respected older man. Please pray that this incident would point many to the comfort and healing found in Jesus and the great mercy and great justice that is found in our Father.
One of our dear friends here has been having dreams which point to the Truths of Scripture. While her journey toward Jesus seems to be moving a bit faster, we have also seen growth in each member of her household. To see that God is responding to our prayer that He would draw entire families to Himself rather than just individuals is so encouraging. Please pray for many families to come to know Him together, and especially for S’s family, that as the Lord completes the work He has started in her, He would also be working in the hearts of her parents, siblings, and grandmother.
Pray for a forum to train church workers and missionaries in how to disciple Muslim background believers 9-14 April in Mombasa. Pray for many to come and be well equipped with vision and skills to disciple the many Swahili peoples along the coast. Ask God to bless and provide for all the preparations. Pray for 70 missionary couples to be sent out along the 700 km Kenya coast!
Mama Bird was scared … her 5 year old son had just thrown up a bowl full of blood when I walked by her home. Immediately I took the boy in my arms & asked if I could pray for him. She had seen effective prayers before in releasing our neighbor’s daughter from demonic bondage, witnessed her neighbor family’s salvation out of Islam, and had been hearing bits and pieces of God’s story. As I prayed, the boy became peaceful and rested in my arms as Mama Bird gathered their things for us to rush him to the hospital. The next day she came back with her recovering son to thank me for the prayer and emergency help. Please keep praying for opportunities to share with our beloved neighbors the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ and pray that they would not only hear, but believe with a faith that endures the persecutions to come.
Our elderly mother recently went home to Jesus. We thank God for her godly example. Her death, though sorrowful, also filled us with such peace and joy in knowing she is where her treasure was laid. The local body of Christ has surrounded us with loving compassion. And our neighbors are watching! We mourn radically different from them. We have assurance of salvation in Jesus Christ! They fear that Allah will not accept their good deeds. We praise God for the open doors He has given us to testify to the hope and salvation there is in Jesus Christ. We know our mom is rejoicing in heaven that the seeds of the gospel are being planted from her life and death in Jesus Christ. Now please pray these seeds would bear the fruit of salvation in Christ that endures!