Prayerline February 2024
Your Prayer Guide To Reach The World
Workers with a ministry that has a nationwide outreach led over 18,000 people to faith in Christ over the course of six months through online proclamation of the gospel, medical missions, Bible studies, and other outreaches. Around 5,600 of these new believers were added through post-trauma evangelical conferences that the ministry held in the aftermath of the three-year civil war.
A mother of three children who also worked as a laborer fell ill with a mysterious weakness that often caused her to fall. Medical tests did not find the cause, and medications and the religious rites her family undertook on her behalf had no effect. She had various injuries as a result of her falls when a local missionary visited, prayed and shared the gospel with her.
Suffering stomach pains, a mother of four who made offerings to an earth goddess and was addicted to coca leaves visited a native missionary’s church. She accepted Christ, and after the worker prayed for healing, her stomach pains subsided a few days later. The woman now seeks to travel to share her testimony with other Quechua- and Spanish-speaking communities.
Building relationships with recovered addicts and their loved ones, including home visits, native missionaries spread the Good News of Christ’s salvation to people who otherwise had almost no chance of hearing it. One substance abuser entered a native ministry’s rehabilitation center after addiction-related misdeeds that left his wife and parents devastated.
Refugees from Syria needing clean water, food and health care are facing even greater shortages because of runaway inflation. Local missionaries are helping to meet these needs, including distributions of rice, flour, sunflower oil, sugar, salt, lentils and baby food, along with clean water, soap and feminine hygiene items. “Everything is unfortunately very expensive,” the ministry leader said.
When a local missionary visited an influential villager identified as a “man of peace,” a Muslim trader was present who cast spells to harm competing vendors; hearing them discuss an impending gospel gathering, he also attended and put his faith in Christ. “His repentance was a reality with his entire family,” the local ministry leader said.
A refugee with a serious disease could not obtain critical blood transfusions because he didn’t have the legal papers that hospitals required. A local missionary found a way for him to receive Emergency Room care at a hospital, where doctors found his condition so critical that they treated him for nearly a week – enabling him to get medical documentation he needed to apply for asylum.
Many people write to a local ministry about how its Bible correspondence courses have led them to Christ. The ministry sends its Bible courses to Christian youths and adults, as well as to seekers, with non-Christians representing 25 percent of those enrolled. Workers have also designed children’s stories for Sunday schools.
While native Christian workers establish new contacts with members of an ethnic group in one area, others have been working for more than 40 years in a village where another tribe has long resisted the gospel. In that area both children and adults are addicted to alcohol and drugs. “But suddenly we have been surprised by the miracles of conversion in the last five months,” the ministry leader said.
Native ministry workers developed relationships as they provided life education programs at several schools, paving the way to bring students and school staff members to faith in Christ. Local missionaries also shared the gospel in other community engagement projects throughout the country.
Amid social, economic and political chaos, Lebanese nationals and refugees are putting their faith in Christ as local missionaries reach out to them. Distributing Bibles and gospel CDs and providing food and help finding work to the unemployed, workers also proclaimed Christ in home visits as they planted new home fellowships.
Native ministry workers reported that an Islamic scholar began reading a Bible they distributed and ordered others from his ethnic community to form Bible study groups in various villages and sent people to share the gospel with his relatives. Another Muslim leader began listening to an audio Bible with the missionary team, telling them he had “goosebumps” when he heard the complete story of creation for the first time.
The military regime in Burma continues to attack its own citizens to quash resistance, causing innocent civilians to suffer. A ministry reported that a village was destroyed just 10 minutes from its headquarters. At least 150 houses were burned, two people were burned alive, and four others are missing.
People in predominantly Muslim areas are more open to the gospel as local missionaries improve their lives with clean water, health care and education, but in some areas they brace themselves against hearing the gospel after receiving such expressions of Christ’s love.
A follower of a local religion was unable to find peace, and when native missionaries shared the gospel with him, he listened carefully as they taught from the Bible. After much consideration, he put his faith in Christ. “I have left my old behavior and character, and I am saved now,” he said.
Almost all villagers attending evangelistic jungle camps at 10 native mission centers put their faith in Christ after hearing local workers preach the gospel and witnessing the praise, prayer and testimonies of area Christians. “Seeing all these people’s enjoyment irrespective of class, creed and language, many were interested to know more about the Bible and Jesus Christ,” the ministry leader said.
A young man who served as an assistant to the leader of a mosque came to a local ministry’s church to argue with congregational leaders about Christianity. Later going through severe hardship, he had a dream that Christ was bearing his pain and had transformed His suffering on the cross to glory.
In one country where 94 percent of the population is Muslim, children have little chance of hearing the gospel, but native Christian workers reach many kids and their parents through camps, Bible classes and church events. A 7-year-old girl who attended camp said she enjoyed stories about God, Jesus and his followers.
A patient at a native ministry’s medical clinic despaired of ever being healed of a diabetic wound, and local missionaries read to her from John 5 the narrative of the invalid healed after 38 years. At the workers’ urging she prayed in Christ’s name, and she gained hope as healing advanced to miraculous stages.
On the first day of a ministry’s evangelistic event, a mentally unstable homeless woman who was addicted to alcohol rushed to the front of the room to repent and express her desire to receive Jesus Christ as Savior. While other attendees mocked her, ministry workers asked if she believed God could heal her mind, and she replied, “yes.” They prayed for her, and she was instantly healed.
A nourishing meal helps impoverished children in Paraguay to learn, grow and hope for a better future. Every Sunday morning native Christian workers provide meals and Bible stories for poor children, then visit their homes to determine needs and share the gospel.
A student at a native ministry’s school was distraught by the absence of her father, who had left her family when she was a baby, but then a local missionary shared about knowing God as her Father and spent much time sharing the gospel with her family. The girl attained joy and confidence after accepting Christ.
A family of five fled war-torn Ukraine, arriving in Spain frightened and without hope. Local missionaries spent time developing trust with them, and the family began coming to meetings at the ministry’s refugee center and accepted Christ. “God made a radical change in their lives; now they have peace of mind,” the ministry leader said.
Local missionaries providing literacy classes to poor children paid special attention to a 10-year-old boy who was anxious and withdrawn after the death of his father, and one day a teacher taught about how Christ will not leave His people as orphans (John 14:18). Listening intently with tears falling, the boy gave his life to Christ that day, and he is now an engaged and cheerful student who makes others laugh.
Workers with a local ministry led a shaman to Christ. When he became terminally ill, he sought medical treatment, but nothing helped. Upon hearing about the man’s condition, several missionaries visited him, explained the gospel, and prayed for him. He called them the following day to tell them he was completely healed, and he decided to follow Jesus and throw away his instruments for shamanic rituals.
In South Asia, the Church is growing through miraculous demonstrations of God’s power. A 55-year-old man fell from the second floor of a building and damaged his spinal cord and hips. For about five years, he was bedridden and unable to walk or stand without help. When a new house church opened in his village, the man heard about miraculous healings happening there and invited the elders to pray for him.
With native missionaries’ inspiring testimonies and intimate knowledge of their local cultures, the only thing that keeps them from bringing the gospel to more people is poverty. Even in the best of times, most native Christian workers lack the finances to bring Christ to as many of their fellow men, women and children as they long to reach.
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