October 1st | Burkina Faso
The Power Of One
A Muslim cleric applied passages from the Koran to his shamanistic rituals, and with this blend of Allah’s authority and magic, he was revered throughout the region – but hollow within. The doubt that Imani Imara* had about the authenticity of his Islamic-tinged witchcraft created an uneasy void in him, nudging him to listen to a Christian radio program from time to time. Well aware that his Fulani ancestors had brought Islam to many tribes of sub-Saharan Africa, Imara knew it was impossible to leave Islam. Then one day it was impossible not to deny the Lordship of Christ. Coming to know Jesus’ teachings, miracles, love and resurrection through the radio broadcasts showed Imara a power that dwarfed witchcraft. “He became dissatisfied with his predicament, and he began to desire Jesus to forgive his sins and to free him,” said the director of the native ministry that runs the radio station. “One day he called us, wanting to meet us to discuss it.” Imara knew something important had burst into his life; he spent five hours on a bus to reach the ministry’s office. They answered his questions, and he decided to follow Jesus and stay for a three-month training on church planting and vocational skills. After two weeks, he was baptized. Learning tailoring and receiving a sewing machine from the ministry’s discipleship training center, Imara became a self-sustained church pastor. “He returned to his rural village and led his family, along with some neighbors, to Christ, despite daily persecution,” the director said. ”The church is growing, and Imani Imara is serving well his community with his tailoring skills as he gets more and more customers. His desire is for church planters from his new church to be trained at our training center.” Native ministries throughout Africa are seeing lives transformed in the same way through such evangelism and discipleship projects, to the extent that donors help sustain them. Pray for God to protect the fledgling faith of tribal people coming to Christ.
The Christmas season offers an opportunity to tell neighbors about the Savior, when many families hear the Good News through a native ministry’s outreaches. Gifts and hot meals hearten lost and lonely people. A gift of $25 allows missionaries to show Christ’s love this Christmas. Pray for open hearts.
An indigenous missionary with Prison Outreach of Ecuador shared the gospel with Julio, whose wife and family had abandoned him, and he received Jesus. The worker’s prison Bible study group has helped Julio find hope in Jesus. Each of the ministry’s six workers need monthly financial support of $100. Pray God would answer their faith.
Children shout, “The Christians are coming,” and desperate mothers crowd around for baby formula ($37 for two weeks’ supply) and other life-sustaining aid that native ministries supply. Thus an instant bond is formed for opportunities to visit families with the gospel. Pray the love of God would draw refugee children and families to the hope Jesus offers.
Many villages in the Pamir mountain range have no electricity, and children live and study by the light of kerosene lamps. A native ministry delivering aid and Christian literature to these areas seeks 64 donors to give $100 for food aid, children’s presents and a generator for an orphanage. Pray the children would be illuminated in all ways.
A Christian woman who was jailed with her 6-month-old baby on charges of evangelizing in March was released on bail, thanks to the efforts of the Federation of National Christians of Nepal. The entity appreciates assistance in any amount to help cover legal costs of wrongly accused Christians in the majority-Hindu country. Pray for strong faith amid persecution.
A native ministry has planted more than 40 churches through holistic outreach. One such effort involves vegetable and livestock farming to reduce malnutrition in women and children and make families self-sustaining. The ministry seeks 33 donors to provide $100 each for the project. Pray that entire communities will come to Christ.
Curiosity about Christianity peaks during the Christmas season, and native missionaries find they can provide more Bibles ($6 each) and gospel literature to people displaced by violence. Thousands of Bibles in three languages will be distributed along with aid. Pray that those who receive Christ will share their faith wherever they go.
A native children’s ministry has strengthened many house churches by discipling children who have grown into mature Christians and presented a shining witness to their parents. Ministry workers are planning a camp to equip leaders for children’s ministry and seek 20 donors to provide $100 each to cover costs. Pray the Holy Spirit will be present in a special way.
Impoverished families living at the city dump in Phnom Penh find a refuge for their preschoolers at Joy Daycare, where 50 children are safe from criminals and receive a daily meal, allowing their parents to work. Many grateful parents come to the Lord through the outreach, for which missionaries seek 50 donors to give $55 each. Pray families would break the cycle of poverty and grow in Christ.
A meeting for native ministry workers throughout Bangladesh aims to bring unity and establish ways to reach the unreached. Christian Aid Mission seeks $100 for each one attending to cover travel, food and accommodation costs. Pray the members of Christ’s body would work together to reach the lost.
The kindness of the Lord is a new experience for abused children, trafficked women and troubled youths among refugees benefitting from relief aid, opening the way for them to receive the gospel. Ten donors giving $102.50 per month provides the aid. Pray for these most marginalized of refugees to put their faith in Jesus.
Agape Tribal Mission provides water buffalos to help impoverished, Christian families become self-sustaining. They then help sustain a church plant with their income. Native missionaries seek seven donors to give $102.50 for each buffalo. Pray God’s name will be revered among the tribes.
Native missionaries need Kui-language New Testaments to distribute to Kui-speaking tribal people. They have placed an order with the Bible Society of India for 3,000 copies of the Kui New Testament, the minimum necessary for publishing, and now they must pay for them ($1 per copy). Pray the Lord would provide for this need.
Every Christmas native missionaries visit orphanages to present Christian songs, gifts ($5.50 each) and the gospel. They reach 850 children, plus hundreds of parents, with the Word of God, and many place their faith in Christ. Pray the yuletide season will add to God’s people.
In a country where Islam is growing and Boko Haram terrorists are becoming a threat, Christians feel abandoned by the global church; no one seems to be aware of their challenges, native missionaries say. They seek 31 donors to provide $120 each for training missionaries and supporting their families. Pray they will be delivered from poverty and danger.
A church-planting ministry plans to provide Scripture on memory cards inserted into cell phones. Missionaries use the Bible for starting conversations in 96-percent Muslim Pakistan. The initial response has been overwhelming, and the ministry plans to produce 1,000 memory cards ($3 each) in Urdu. Pray that hearts would open to God’s Word.
Online gospel programming in digital magazines and animations, and on Facebook and phone apps, is reaching thousands of Persian-speaking children and families. Native missionaries seek 12 donors to give $100 a month for evangelism needs such as production costs. Pray the growth of underground churches will not be hindered.
Praise God for the 1,000 Wichi people who accepted Christ as Savior in the past year. The tribe’s infant mortality rate is high due to malnutrition and disease, and Associated Ministries of Argentina workers provide life-sustaining meals to 33 children ($11 per child) each month. Pray needy children will grow strong in faith.
Emmanuel Group in Saigon provides food, shelter and education to 45 orphans in a safe, Christian environment. Precious children receive love and the Word of God in a country where many abandoned kids strive to survive on the streets. The ministry seeks 23 donors to give $100 each monthly for the program. Pray the orphans will thrive in Christ.
More than 60 trained teachers from six ethnic people groups are key to reaching a new generation for Christ. Each teacher needs 10 donors to provide $55 each to cover their training costs. Pray for a great harvest for God’s kingdom.
A rescue home provides 45 poor and exploited children with shelter, guidance and fellowship at a church, and many of them have grown up and are now serving in the ministry. The food, transportation, living space and other costs amount to $66 per child each month. Pray the children will know Christ’s love and ultimate healing.
Several indigenous ministries overcome Islamist hostilities with deep, biblical training. Training centers are crucial discipleship tools, allowing those attending to gather securely, and missionaries seek assistance for such tools; 110 donors giving $100 each, for example, can build a modest training center dormitory. Pray for strong fellowship, faith and protection.
Just as sign language has enabled the deaf to hear the message of Christ’s salvation, it is now enabling the hearing to understand gospel proclamation from the deaf. A native ministry to the deaf seeks 92 people to give $107.50 each for sign language training, which also enables interpretation at church services and Christian events. Pray that hearts will hear God’s call.
To reach remote tribal villages where there are no roads, Harvester Mission needs three motorcycles for evangelistic outreaches during the fall and Christmas season, when people are more open to the gospel. Native missionaries seek 10 donors to give $85.50 for each motorcycle. Pray for a rich harvest of souls.
The war in the eastern part of the country recently drove 46 children to seek refuge and aid from a shelter run by a ministry based in Ukraine. Of the shelter’s 197 children, 62 have special needs, and native missionaries seek 30 donors to give $150 each to provide them therapy along with clothes, shoes and food. Pray the Lord would guide suffering children to the path of wholeness.
Because of discrimination, Christians who have suffered housing losses to flooding cannot access government assistance. Heavy rains have hit many Christian families, 30 of which need help replacing their roofs. They seek 40 donors to provide $81 each for 30 roofs. Pray for safe lodging and strong faith.
A woman learned a trade and faith in Christ from native missionaries, and she has since led 19 others to Jesus, including an Islamic cleric, in an area that is 95 percent Muslim. The missionaries have led thousands of Muslims to Christ through such church-based businesses, and they need assistance in any amount for motorcycles and other evangelistic tools. Pray for God’s kingdom to expand.
A native ministry’s Bible camp for 40 ethnic Maru people plans to show them how to teach the Bible, so that they will bring the Word of God back to people in their own villages. The ministry seeks 10 donors to provide $55.70 each for the camp to take place. Pray that each participant would share the Bible with 10 others.
An indigenous ministry has helped revive several churches in Nepal and India with training and guidance. The ministry seeks assistance to cover the living costs of the local missionaries leading the congregations ($60 per month each). Pray the Holy Spirit will continue to guide and grow the fellowships.
The Latin root of the word “missionary” refers to one who is “sent,” and since Pentecost the Holy Spirit has sent missionaries to make disciples within their own or nearby cultures. Today such native missionaries are doing the most to bring Christ to unreached peoples, though they lack resources. Please pray they would go unhindered, and consider a gift to help Christian Aid Mission find and assist them.