September 1st | North Africa
The Power Of One
The government of a country in North Africa might regard Kachi* as dead, but she is alive in another country – where she is bringing life in Christ back to her own countrymen. She’s reaching her own, largely Muslim people through a native ministry’s e-church. Government officials believe Kachi is dead because her family, having failed to beat her into returning to Islam, officially announced her death. Her loneliness in a country where she doesn’t know the language is just one way she has suffered since leaving her comfortable position as a teacher to go to Egypt and follow Christ. “My family followed me there, trying to find where I was living, and many times they were near, but God saved me,” Kachi said. With her brothers seeking to kill her for becoming a Christian, Kachi went to a third country. The Internet has allowed her to connect with the cyber-church in her home country, where her gifts in evangelism and discipleship emerged. “She’s a very active member in the e-church and a very effective missionary for the ministry to those who are searching like she was,” the leader of the native ministry said. The ministry is providing church-planter training to more than 20 former Muslims living abroad as Christian refugees. It is also reaching seekers in its own country through its website and social media outlets, following up with those who express interest in the gospel and connecting them with teams for discipleship training. The ministry seeks assistance of $75 or $100 as it establishes teams in the country’s 10 largest cities to plant reproducing house churches. Pray that God’s servants abroad would find their home in Him, and that a strong witness would spread.
For many people in the region, the idea of worshipping in a home is an obstacle to embracing Christ. Besides lacking legitimacy in their eyes, worship outside of a temple is problematic as the caste system inhibits people from going into the homes of people of other castes. A native ministry in the region builds temporary huts for worship when a church grows to 30 believers but needs donations of $75 or $100 for land and materials. Pray the Lord would break down all barriers to people in great darkness seeing Jesus Christ as sole Lord of the universe.
A native ministry brings the gospel to people in the Andes and northern Peru through evangelistic events and radio broadcasts. Through a Christian kindergarten where they provide food, clothing and medicine, workers are able to share their faith. Native missionaries who themselves have few resources would like to provide shoes and clothing to at least 120 poor children ($35 per child). Pray that the churches they are planting would thrive.
In largely secular countries such as Albania, a country with a nominally Muslim majority and a few nominally Christian denominations that pay scant attention to the Bible, native missionaries invite seekers for coffee, lunch or dinner and build relationships for the gospel. As hearts soften, workers offer tracts and other Christian literature that are effective in making Christ known. For tools such as these that help native missionaries engage thirsty souls, assistance in any amount is needed throughout the region. Pray the gospel would find receptive soil among those whose countries’ history and cultures have hardened them to faith.
Even in the most closed countries of the Middle East, the gospel is making its way into hearts as God gives native missionaries creative means to share the Good News and shrewdness in how to follow up with those who put their faith in Christ. For example, youths and young adults in Persian-speaking countries, including Iran, are discovering Christ through a native ministry’s Internet programs, including an online, multimedia magazine and gospel animations. For such online programs and other evangelism and discipleship tools, donations of $25, $50 or $75 are sought. Pray such tools would continue to strengthen growing underground churches.
Native missionaries are engaging their communities for Christ by empowering widows and other poor women with skills to earn a living and support their families. A tailoring project equips women with sewing machines to make and sell clothing and provide school uniforms for their children, and the native missionaries help support themselves with such income-earning projects as well. They seek donations of $50 or $100 for this holistic family project and other community engagement efforts that equip the poor both spiritually and economically. Pray that income-generating projects will bring more people to encounter the risen Christ.
A native ministry teaches between 3,000 and 4,000 new people through its Bible correspondence courses every year – many of them non-Christians in the 96-percent Muslim country. With more than 25 courses in Urdu and 50-plus courses in English, different theological topics are covered and different books of the Bible are studied in-depth. To print copies of each course and expand into online courses, donations of $25, $50 or $75 are sought. Pray that the courses will help make Muslims more tolerant of Christians and more open to Christ.
Life is often hardest in remote, rural areas – poverty cruelly rules, educational levels are low, and opposition to the gospel can be fierce. In these areas native missionaries who left their lives in the cities show the love of Christ to needy children through compassionate aid such as food, clothing and medical care. Caring for urgent physical needs among these remote, unreached people is a first step for the gospel in places where it is hardest to gain a platform. For such pioneering work, native missionaries need donations of $35 or $70. Pray for impoverished souls to find hope as they put their faith in Jesus.
When a native ministry is undertaking several established evangelistic outreaches, lack of adequate transportation can slow or even bring them to a screeching halt. Workers need a reliable vehicle for transporting children to and from Christian camps, buying and delivering food for their home for seniors, and for other ministries that serve as gospel platforms. That is just one item in an evangelism and discipleship toolbox for which native missionaries in this country ask that you prayerfully consider a donation. Pray for the removal of all hindrances to gospel proclamation and acceptance.
Humble church buildings are important tools in establishing a witness for Christ in villages in Southeast Asia, as they legitimize the work of the Lord among the unreached. For example, a native missionary from Vietnam notes that it is hard for people to worship in the same building where native workers’ families reside, as the culture does not view their homes as sacred. Assistance of $50, $75 or $100 for church building needs such as materials or land helps spread the gospel in impoverished and unreached parts of the region. Pray for these gathering places to be beacons of light.
Hindus in this Himalayan country are becoming more hard-line every day, increasing the need for new Christians, evangelists and church leaders to be solidly grounded in their faith. As more Christians face legal and physical harassment from neighbors and government officials, trainings by three native ministries are crucial for maintaining kingdom presence. Workers are trained to return to their own villages to plant churches, and youths learn biblical tenets of faith and mission. For food and accommodation, travel, materials and other training costs, donations of any amount are sought. Pray that new Christians and leaders would stand strong.
Native missionaries walk through the doors the Lord opens to bring salvation in the least likely places. A native missionary from Indonesia who was in prison when he put his faith in Christ now brings the gospel to hardened criminals in a maximum-security prison. Missionary support of any amount enables him and other faithful missionaries to bring the Good News throughout Southeast Asia, turning modern day Sauls into Pauls. Pray that gospel workers will be equipped with all that they need.
Laboring tirelessly to share the gospel among refugees, native missionaries are seeing a great harvest of souls. Those reaching Muslims face the added pressures of persecution. One native missionary couple has had to flee their home and live in various locations for more than nine months due to threats on their lives, yet they unflinchingly continue to make Christ known to Muslims. Your gift of $60 helps meet the needs of indigenous missionaries and encourages workers such as these who live in constant danger. Pray for protection and provision as they declare the Good News to the lost.
Muslims who have become Christ-followers face intense pressures from family and friends in their former religion. A native ministry aims to help them overcome these pressures with training across the region in personal evangelism and discipleship. This is just one example of projects native ministries in North Africa are undertaking to strengthen churches, equip leaders and plant churches. Working in countries where evangelism often is illegal, they seek donations of $50, $75 or another amount you are led to give in order to grow strong, sustainable churches. Pray that hearts would be softened to hear the message of Christ’s salvation.
A pioneering ministry working in areas where there is no Christian presence has 3,046 native missionaries spreading the gospel, but 1,000 of them are working without the $150 per month they need in living expenses. They are inspired to continue by the zeal of the ministry leader, who is motivated by the horror of witnessing a couple throw their baby into the River Ganges as a sacrifice to a god. The director and his workers want to reach many with the Good News that Christ was the ultimate sacrifice for sin. For support, Bibles and other tools, ministries throughout India ask that you prayerfully consider a donation of any amount. Pray the one true God would reveal Himself to those in darkness.
Native missionaries throughout the region respond to urgent needs for food, baby formula and other life-sustaining aid, which provides opportunity to share the gospel. In Turkey, for example, refugees are unable to speak Turkish or get legal jobs, and many who sympathized with the opposition cannot return to Syria as their lives would be in danger. Remaining in unofficial camps in desperate circumstances, they are unwanted in Turkey and in their home country – and are responsive to the call of Christ, whose love they experience through native missionaries who welcome donations of $35, $75 or $105. Pray that refugees who feel forgotten would encounter the One who calls them by name.
There has been a spike in physical and legal assaults on churches in India and other parts of South Asia. Both Hindus and Muslims opposed to the gospel, along with animists angry over villagers refusing to sacrifice to their gods, are wounding and killing Christians and terrorizing families and congregations. Donations of any amount are sought for critical aid. Pray that Christians would find encouragement in the loving support from the international community.
In the island country where Buddhists, Hindus and pseudo-Christian sects from the West are blocking people from knowing eternal life in Christ, native missionaries are working hard to teach people to discern truth from error. Proclaiming Christ’s salvation and planting churches, they teach people to pray in Christ’s name and call upon His power. Donations of $25 or $50 are needed for tools of evangelism and discipleship such as training, Bibles in both Tamil and Sinhala languages and Bible school, among others. Pray that God would go before workers to prepare hearts to receive Him.
Urgent prayer is needed for the underground church as Christians face ever-increasing pressure. Finding creative, clandestine ways to meet, study and pray, believers dive deep into God’s Word to sustain them. Likewise, churches must be “wise as serpents and gentle as doves” in order to share the Good News of eternal life in Christ, even as they count the cost of their faith. Please prayerfully consider a gift to help propel the gospel forward despite mounting obstacles. Pray the Lord would protect and provide for native missionaries and others as they go about their everyday lives – expecting opportunities to share the gospel they bear within.
As churches are planted and grow among remote tribal Amazonian peoples, the need for strong leadership becomes clear. Native ministries provide training for pastors and other Christian leaders from various tribes. This is one way it supports evangelism and discipleship along with Bible training, Bible translations, pioneer church planting and building worship halls. Donations of $35 or $70 help indigenous ministries to share the gospel throughout Brazil. Pray that remote tribal peoples would hear God’s Word and take Jesus into their hearts.
Compassionate aid for refugees from the Middle East and North Africa is not only an effective way to engage people with the gospel but also helps with living and medical expenses for those who are persecuted for their new faith in Christ. Such aid has been a God-send for an evangelist who was stoned nearly to death, for example. As he and his wife continue to present Christ in the face of danger, the couple along with others need assistance of $35, $70 or $105 in ongoing aid. There is an unprecedented open door among Muslim refugees to hear about Christ; pray that God would work in those ministering to them.
Heresies abound among the Christian majority, and ancestral worship and animism permeate the religious beliefs of many. Fledgling churches desperately need Bibles, discipleship materials and training so that leaders can mature in faith and resist heresy. Muslims make up only 2 to 5 percent of the population but Islam is growing, and a ministry aims to train 600 leaders to plant churches in Muslim areas; already in one area, five Muslims have put their faith in Christ. Workers seek assistance of $30, $60 or $120 to undertake a broad array of evangelism and discipleship efforts. Pray for new Christians facing hostility from Muslim leaders and daunting spiritual and financial challenges.
After native missionaries provided education assistance to unreached tribal children in the Philippines, a Muslim leader stated, “There are indeed good-hearted Christians, let’s make friends with them.” Child education projects providing school supplies, scholarships or uniforms are just some of the community engagement efforts made possible by donations of $25, $50 or $75, helping native missionaries to build relationships and reach the lost with the gospel. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s help as workers reach Muslim communities.
Women in Egypt are frequently denigrated and abused, and a native ministry is helping to heal them with counseling, Christian lectures, group workshops, Bible study and medical outreach, among other means. Focusing especially on poor Muslim women, workers also present sessions to improve the health of their families and develop English and computer skills. With the aim of helping them to grow in the knowledge of the Lord and heal from all wounds and pain, they welcome a donation in any amount for these and other community engagement projects. Pray for hope and healing for hurting people.
Islamic extremists in the north and animists in the west killed and wounded Christians last spring, but native missionaries praise God that none of their churches have closed down. In an increasingly Islamist country, 59 new church planters have found 21 “people of peace” who have made their homes available for weekly Bible studies. The native missionaries mostly use audio Bible devices for the studies, one of many such evangelism and discipleship efforts made possible by donations of any amount. Every gift helps. They plead for prayer for protection and provision, and that Bible studies will become churches that multiply.
Dire poverty and ignorance contribute to villagers in remote areas unwittingly allowing their daughters to be taken away, believing they will find good-paying jobs in the city. Instead, they are either sold into prostitution or put in circuses. Native missionaries at a safehouse for trafficked children care for them with the love of Christ demonstrated in tangible ways: literacy classes and vocational training to help them earn a living, Christian counseling and Bible study, and loving discipleship. Donations of any amount are sought to make this love available to traumatized girls. Pray for healing and spiritual wholeness.
A native ministry in Vietnam reports that only 25 percent of the 7,100 new Christians in a central Highlands tribal group have a Bible. The ministry is meeting this need through underground printing presses and its house-church network. These congregations are adding new Christians every day. For Bibles and other critical tools for gospel work and discipleship, native missionaries in the region seek donations of $30, $60 or $90. Pray that new Christians will receive the Word of God and grow deeply in their faith.
In remote mountain villages, 23 native missionaries are working among seven tribes, living among them and gathering them together to proclaim the gospel. Workers visit others in their homes to make Christ known and share the Bible with families. With a strong record of planting churches, this year the ministry aims to reach 1,200 tribal people with the gospel and see at least 60 put their faith in Christ and be baptized. The missionaries need donations of $60 or $120 in order to meet their monthly expenses. Pray the Holy Spirit would work powerfully among them.
Native missionaries have planted a church in every major city in this 96-percent Muslim country and numerous towns and villages, but thousands of communities remain unreached by the gospel. Handing out Bibles and other Christian literature, bold evangelists build relationships and share the message of eternal life in Christ. Ministries are also training pastors to fill a leadership void. For these evangelism and discipleship efforts they seek donations of $35 or $70. Pray the Word of God would find good soil in which to take root.
Missionaries sent to their own people are among some of the poorest in the world, but they consider themselves the most privileged. Privileged to be children of God; privileged to reveal the mystery that had been hidden for ages; privileged to live lives that continue the New Testament thrust to advance God’s kingdom. As Christian Aid Mission is privileged to find, evaluate and equip native missionaries, you have the privilege of helping us help them. Please consider a donation today, and pray for God’s kingdom to be fulfilled.