June 1st | Peru
The Power Of One
When Benito Aguirre heads out before dawn by bus for a jungle village in Peru two hours away each Sunday, he sometimes thinks about the rocky path that brought him to this winding road. He used to fight with the local native missionary, for one thing. An Ashaninca tribal native known for his arrogance and short temper, Benito would try to bait the native missionary with taunts – oftentimes in a drunken stupor. He stirred up other villagers against the missionary. Benito was never able to get him to retaliate. When the missionary continued treating him with gentleness and respect, Benito began to see him as something more than someone trying to steer people away from the drunken festivals and other rituals that brought revenues to those promoting the idolatrous celebrations. The beginning of the end of his old self came when he began to see that Jesus – not himself always insisting on his own way – was Lord of the universe. His acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior was just the first step in a journey of learning that often saw him stumble. The native missionary spent years discipling him and developing a close friendship with him. Taking in huge amounts of the Word of God over a long span, Benito’s transformation was slow but thorough. “Now it is a joy to see Benito and his young son going every Sunday at 6 a.m. to another rural jungle village about two hours away, where he is teaching the Bible and leads a worship meeting with the intention to plant a new congregation,” the native missionary said. “Also, Benito helps at another rural village teaching the Bible classes and leading the local congregation.” Like many once unreached tribal natives, Benito has committed to following the Lord’s call to serve as a missionary to his own people after close discipleship and Bible training from an indigenous missionary. The ministry is trusting the Lord for regular financial support for six such faithful servants ($60/monthly each). Pray that people in every remote village would hear the Good News of Christ’s redeeming love.
Clean well water brings health and happiness to impoverished communities sweltering in summer heat – not only saving untold lives from disease but softening hearts to the message of Christ’s love. Evangelists who help build wells are readily accepted into the community, and receptivity to the gospel follows. To provide one well, workers seek 25 donors giving $100 each. Pray that God’s Word would flow into people’s lives along with the water.
Refugees whose Muslim countries of origin are highly resistant to the gospel are putting their faith in Christ. These new Christians receive intensive discipleship, and many then reach their family and friends with the gospel. Needing supplies, transport and materials to reach them through evangelistic outreaches and discipleship during the warm summer months, native missionaries seek assistance of $25, $50 and $75. Pray that vibrant, indigenous churches would be established in the home countries of those reached in Europe.
A woman whose marriage was on the verge of breaking up due to her drunken rages recently put her faith in Christ after hearing a native missionary preach on Christ’s death and resurrection. In two other villages, workers have planted two new churches. Gifts of $25, $50 or $75 enable native missionaries to go door-to-door, put on gospel events and youth camps and reach out to orphans and other needy children to start such churches. Pray for protection for evangelists and pastors working amid persecution.
God continues to protect and provide for indigenous missionaries, who recently planted house churches in two more cities. In a country that is officially atheist – and 61 percent of the population is atheist – the native missionaries found people have a deep need for God’s love and forgiveness in Christ. As more fellowships emerge in once unreached areas, your gift of $20, $50 or $75 enables them to rent places for worship. Pray for strong churches under God’s protection.
Native missionaries well-versed in the different cultures of Jews, Arabs and Palestinians know the best ways for bringing the gospel to each group, including street evangelism, military care packages and Christ-centered celebrations of Jewish holidays. Your gift of $20, $40 or $60 brings the evangelistic books and tracts that undergird these creative efforts, bringing many to saving faith. Pray that those who read the materials will see the King for who He is.
In countries where people turn to Hindu idols, objects in nature or Buddhist rituals to cope with their worries and needs, many people in South Asia put their faith in Christ after they have tasted the truth of the gospel in the Bible. Native missionaries dedicated to the Lord’s call on their lives amid hostility and indifference are surprised at how often people express a strong desire to receive the free Bibles, made possible by your gift of $16, $32 or $64. Pray that God’s Word would cut through barriers.
Sometimes referred to as “elder orphans,” seniors abandoned without ability to care for themselves find a haven and a family in a native ministry’s home for the elderly. Some of the residents devoted their lives to serving Christ, trusting God for provision. Your gift of $30, $60 or $90 enables them and residents who don’t know the Lord to feel the lovingkindness of God through the Body of Christ in their time of need. Pray that seniors would receive the gospel as they receive compassionate aid.
Indigenous missionaries in an area where many Christians are persecuted use the Bible as a starting point for conversations with people in the 96-percent Muslim country. They use Scripture to boldly proclaim Christ. Relationships grow out of these conversations – as do churches – and native ministries seek gifts of $30, $60 and $90 for such evangelism and discipleship. Pray God protect and provide for the workers.
An Oravan tribal man recently became dizzy, fell and was unable to rise. He had broken some bones and could not move from his bed. Too poor to take him to a doctor, his family after four months called native missionaries, who prayed and fasted two days for him. God healed him completely, he and his family put their faith in Christ, and now 20 people meet in their house for worship. Your gift of $25, $50 or $75 equips native missionaries in India to work in the same way. Pray they would be encouraged as they co-labor with God.
A 43-year-old woman on the verge of suicide finds God (and a fiancé) in a native ministry’s inner healing course; a 14-year-old girl abandoned by her parents finds hope for making a living from the ministry’s tailor training, and native missionaries encourage her musical and poetry skills; 24 people more than 70 years old receive bags of corn during a deadly food shortage. These are just some of native ministries’ programs to engage communities and bring them the love of Christ made possible by your gifts of $35, $70 or $105. Pray that lives touched by God’s love will praise Jesus.
When refugees from war atrocities in the Middle East and Africa arrive at the doors of Europe, their infants and small children are at the greatest risk of serious illness. The kindness of Christ is new to those who have known only trauma, and they are deeply grateful for relief aid made possible by your gift of $35, $70 or $104. They then often respond to the living gospel that transforms lives and futures. Pray that a generation of dedicated Christ followers would emerge from “the least of these.”
Summer brings more children to kids’ programs for the underprivileged in Lebanon, including Syrian refugees and the Druze people. A well-established native ministry reaches them through children’s clubs and drama productions, with 200 to 300 kids attending bi-weekly Bible clubs, all made possibly by your gift of $30, $60 or $90. Pray that entire families will place their hope in Christ.
Native missionaries are seeing people come to Christ among the Maru, Chakma and Bawm peoples, among others, in a majority-Muslim country where many people also offer devotion to objects in nature and pray to ancestors. With the goal of reaching the 11 tribes of the Hill districts and eventually 1,200 ethnic groups throughout the country with the gospel of Christ, native missionaries seek gifts of $25, $50 or $75 in order to see more churches spring up in remote, impoverished areas. Pray that God and the worldwide body of Christ will encourage their hearts.
People fleeing violence continue to stream into camps for Internally Displaced People, needing to feed their children and traumatized after losing land, home and family members. The increases in displaced people – and Muslims among them coming to Christ and needing resettlement – and other humanitarian outreach, such as drilling water wells, leave workers hard-pressed to meet demand. They need assistance of $35, $70 or $105 to meet mounting needs. Pray for their safety and provision amid calamity.
For years an unreached, Muslim people group in a remote village refused to allow Christian workers among them. Indigenous missionaries recently got an ongoing opportunity, however, when the only elementary school in the area invited them to work as volunteers. With arts and crafts and other educational tools made possible by gifts of $30, $60 or $90, the volunteers are seeing smiles from the children and are building relationships. Pray that curious kids and others would ask about the workers’ faith.
In Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic cultures where religious buildings are signs of legitimacy and respectability, church buildings help bring down barriers to the gospel. Native missionaries are seeing people come to the Christ but lack church buildings for worship, discipleship, training up children, caring for the needy and welcoming seekers. They seek gifts of $30, $60 or $90. Pray that God’s name would be honored and worshipped in areas where churches are planted.
The Quechua people are descendants of the ancient Inca empire, whose culture was focused on family and community. When an indigenous ministry helps poor Quechua children, it opens doors for workers to form relationships with families and share the message of Christ’s saving death and sacrifice. Workers are planning an evangelistic event where they would like to provide shoes and clothing for at least 50 impoverished Quechua children ($25 each). Pray that the Holy Spirit will go before these missionaries and prepare the hearts and minds of all who hear.
There were so many drug dealers, addicts and thugs in an area that police warned native missionaries not to go there. Entrusting themselves to God, evangelists began preaching Christ, and a few people put their faith in Him. Later when floods came and Christians were the only ones to provide aid, the workers shared the gospel with more people, and 11 were baptized. For such evangelism and discipleship throughout the country, workers seek gifts of $25, $50 or $75.
An Iraqi refugee received food, clothing and medical help from a native ministry, and the resulting relationship led him to join a Bible study. Now he and his whole family have put their faith in Jesus and are devoted workers in a church. Your gift of $35, $70 or $105 provides the compassionate aid that unlocks hearts to receive the Lord Jesus. Pray for each traumatized refugee to find healing in the aid provided by native missionaries and the wholeness that comes from drawing near to the Lord.
In a nearly 100-percent Muslim country with deep poverty, hundreds of people have seen their lives brightened as indigenous missionaries provide tailoring skills and sewing machines to young people, and livestock to aged mothers, so they can earn a living. Workers teach disadvantaged children, assist some kids with school supplies and others with tuition, and help pay hospital bills for the sick – all in the name of Christ amid hostility toward the Name. Gifts of $25, $50 or $75 sustain the work. Pray for strength, wisdom and protection.
Pioneering native missionaries are making initial contact with people groups who have never heard the gospel throughout Southeast Asia, such as the Pubiao in Vietnam. Trusting in God to go before them, native missionaries in Vietnam plan to see a fledgling church planted within three years, despite increasing pressure against Christians in Vietnam. They seek gifts of $30, $60 or $90/Pray for those who sow seeds in faith, and that unreached peoples would come to know Christ as Lord and Savior.
Native missionaries are focused on bringing the gospel to unreached people groups such as the Dainet of northern Rakhine state. One effective way to engage a new community in the majority-Buddhist country is to meet a basic need, such as providing clean water by drilling wells during the dry season. Your gift of $25, $50 or $75 provides such services, building relationships and opening doors in the community to share the gospel. Pray that unreached groups such as the Dainet will drink deeply of the living Water.
In the hardscrabble lives of the poor, the visits they receive from indigenous missionaries during a crisis such as serious illness or death touches them deeply. The workers help meet physical and emotional needs with visits to homes and medical centers, providing food and clothing. They also assist children who have lost parents, keeping them from dropping out of school, all made possible by your gifts of $25, $50 or $75. Many work amid Islamic hostilities; pray the Lord would protect those who are protecting the poor.
Native missionaries offer the first touch to desperate Muslim refugees from the Middle East and Africa, helping them find medical assistance and assisting with paperwork. Refugees often suffer illness and develop chronic conditions from the trauma and rigors of living stateless and homeless. Relationships growing out of this medical aid from your gift of $15, $30 or $45 have led many to trust in Christ for eternal life and become contributing members of churches. Pray for a strong and expanding gospel witness among former Muslims in Europe who first saw Christ in the medical help they received.
With Bible studies and churches springing up throughout the majority-Hindu country, workers say many more people would come to Christ if native ministries had enough workers to reach them. To organize evangelism and leadership trainings in order to send more workers to their own ethnic group so they can hear the gospel in their own language, ministries seek gifts of 40$ for materials, teacher pay and accommodation, among other costs.
Pastors, evangelists and other workers in remote, lonely outposts will gather for a native ministry’s annual convention that will also serve as its 50th anniversary celebration on Oct. 17-20. The ministry is preparing gift bags ($20 each) for those attending to equip and encourage them in their kingdom work. Many well-known, senior servants of the Lord from India and abroad are among the more than 400 people expected to attend the Golden Jubilee Convention and Pastors’ Seminar. Pray they will be blessed.
The Lord is working in western Africa. Indigenous workers in Ivory Coast recently planted churches in three towns, raised 12 cell groups in Abidjan and saw 80 people put their faith in Christ at Abidjan City Church. A Bible school in Liberia trained 30 new missionaries. In Guinea, eight new house churches with 30 members each were established. Two new churches sprouted in Mali, and in Sierra Leone native missionaries have introduced community cells that evangelize the unreached and disciple church members. Your gift of $30, $60 or $90 makes this work possible. Pray that God would enable, anoint and strengthen those working in poverty.
Indigenous missionaries in the region face significant opposition from harsh terrain, political regimes, and dominant religious groups, sometimes resulting in persecution, imprisonment and physical harm. Support for these missionaries with gifts of $30, $60 or $120 allows them to sustain their families and travel to remote peoples with the gospel. Pray that they would be protected and encouraged as they welcome new brothers and sisters into God’s family.
When Robert (Bob) V. Finley went into the heavenly presence of the Lord Jesus on March 22 at the age of 96, he left a legacy as the first man to find and support native missionaries to finish the task of establishing a witness for Christ among every people. He had passion for indigenous missionaries, however, because he had passion for the gospel. As a result, millions of people have been saved, and you have the opportunity today to give today to help his ministry further find, evaluate and assist native missionaries who are finishing the task. Pray that the task would be finished in our lifetime.