Mission teams in Australia: Give thanks for the safe arrival of five Australian families for home assignment. Pray that they will have good opportunities to share about ministry and connect with people who are interested in missions. Pray also for new people to join OMF Australia’s New South Wales team as some current team members look to move on to other ministries. Pray especially for God to raise up someone with a heart for member care and another with a heart for mobilisation.
Mission workers return to Taiwan: Praise God that has passed over 100 days with no locally transmitted Covid-19 cases, although there have been a few imported cases recently. Several OMF workers have been able to return to Taiwan after home assignment in recent months and have been given the all clear to start back in ministry. Also, most churches have resumed and schools plan to open as usual at the end of August, with appropriate precautions in place.
Encouraging results from Christmas outreaches: An OMF worker in Central Thailand gives an update on the success of Christmas outreaches: “Mrs Oh is the only Christian in her village, but she again got permission to organise a Christmas celebration. Praise God that almost 100 people came, double that of 2018! Please pray for Mrs Oh as she continues to share the gospel in Nong Khaem village. At a Christmas service at Ban Phet Church on 22nd December one lady was touched by the Christmas message and testimony of an ex-prisoner who came to know Jesus while in jail. We visited her on 26th December and she decided to receive Jesus as her Saviour. Praise God! Please pray for her as she starts out following Jesus and for the church as they disciple her.”
More growth for the church in Vietnam: The number of Christians in Vietnam has doubled in the last 10 years, yet the church remains small. To help the church keep growing there’s a need for new leaders and more Christian resources. Older pastors carry a heavy burden of responsibility and would like to hand some of these over to new leaders, but there are relatively few Christians willing to make the sacrifices needed to enter the ministry. Pray for wisdom for these older leaders and for God to raise up the next generation of pastors for the Vietnamese church. Pray, too, for more Bible commentaries, theological study materials and resources for children to be translated or, even better, written by and for Vietnamese Christians to build up the church.
Transfomation of Christians in the workplaces: 1. Pray that Christians in the workplaces in Cambodia will follow Christ in every aspect of life as agents of trans-formation who give glory to God.
2. Pray for more workers to join OMF Cambodia to serve in workplaces.
Natural disasters: More earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and flooding are currently happening in Indonesia. It is a reminder to always remain vigilant if you live in Indonesia. The government believes that disaster mitigation should be taught in school. The Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives has called for every district and city administration to consolidate and coordinate its disaster mitigation office. Local disaster mitigation officers must actively communicate with national officers to minimize the number of victims. To help the public at large to be prepared, a public campaign has been launched on the use of the InaRISK Personal Application which offers real-time data and information on potential disasters. The application, downloadable on smartphones, will enable users to get precise information on where they stand and what types of threats they would likely face. The Indonesian government has agreed to allocate Rp15 trillion (£813 million) in the 2019 state budget to a fund for disaster anticipation and mitigation. Pray for wise and honest use of the funds.
Praying for Japan:1) Workers for the harvest field“Lord, raise up missionaries, pastors, evangelists, lay leaders, witnesses in the workplace”Recently we have seen a decrease in the number of new workers coming to Japan, but we need to see a significant increase. Pray to the Lord of the harvest for new workers and that the workers we have would have health and strength to do the Lord’s work. We also want to see Japanese Christians becoming pastors/evangelists as well as Christians seeking to be salt and light where they work.2) Unity and Cooperation“Lord, may churches work together, seek to overcome differences, love one another”It is sad when churches or denominations are divided. Many churches are small – could they work better together? Pray for reconciliation where there are broken relationships.3) Equipped for Battle“Lord, help your people to fight with spiritual armour and shine as lights in the darkness”The spiritual battle here is very real. We need to recognise that and pray accordingly. Pray for protection for missionaries and Japanese Christians. Pray they would really know and experience he who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.4) OMF Japan“Lord, show us clearly what we should be and do as we are here ‘for such a time as this’” We implemented a new structure in 2015 and decided on a new vision and mission in 2016. We are waiting on the Lord to show us the next steps we should take to begin to see that vision fulfilled. Pray we would be sensitive to and patient with one another.5) Spiritual Vitality“Lord, may your people worship you joyfully, serve you wholeheartedly, and witness boldly”Pray that where church is a chore, there would be joy. Where Christian living is legalistic, may there be a fresh infilling of the Spirit. Where there is a fear or reluctance to witness about their Lord, may there be boldness and power.6) Pastors and Churches“Lord, encourage and envision pastors; may churches overflow with love, joy, and hope”Many pastors struggle in small churches with little growth and financial stresses. They need encouragement. Remember pastors’ families. Pray for churches you know and those you don’t.
Praying for Thailand: Pray for more workers to come and serve with us. We would like 20 new workers every year.
Pray for more workers for Isaan (Northeast Thailand), North Thailand and South Thailand in particular, where it is necessary to learn a dialect.
Pray for all our church planting teams to plant more than one church at a time.
Pray for effective use of Project Paul (church planter’s training) to develop Thai church planters.
Pray for more churches to be established in all five regions in which we work.
Pray for us to build effective links with Thai Diaspora work.
Pray for Kanok Bannasan publishers to be strategic and effective in meeting the literature needs of the growing Thai Church.
Pray for an effective partnership with the Associated Churches in Thailand (ACT).
Pray for creative evangelistic ministries, such as Sattha (=faith) football teams and the Kwamjing (=truth).
Praying for Vietnam: The peoples of Vietnam are some of the least reached in Asia. Pray that this nation would be transformed as the good news of Jesus Christ extends to all peoples and segments of society.
The majority of Christians in Vietnam come from the minority peoples but the majority Viet Kinh (over 75 million people) has only 500,000 believers. Pray for the Holy Spirit to open their hearts!
The capital Hanoi, with a population of 7 million has less than 0.1% evangelical believers. While Ho Chi Minh City, with a population of 8-10 million, has nearly 2%, pray for the challenges and opportunities that these very different situations bring. It is increasingly easy for foreigner workers to be based in Vietnam, pray for people of faith to go.
The country is changing very rapidly and becoming increasingly globalised. The values of younger generations have become ambition and individualism. Pray that there would be increasing opportunities to tell them about Jesus. Pray for the ongoing spiritual battle as ancestors are worshiped.
Pray for revival in the 100 year old evangelical church. May the church grow in outreach to their local communities and pray the gospel would be seen as well as heard as lives are changed. Because of traditional belief Vietnamese Christians accept God as creator but pray they would also know him as Father an be sure of His grace, received through Jesus.
Education:The education system is fiercely competitiveon, so families who can afford to send their children abroad for studies wouldchoose to do so. Many of these students, and among them many are Christians. Pray that the parentsy can find suitable schools and Christian host families for their children.
China is Urbanising Rapidly:China is urbanising rapidly. With 40,000 people moving to the cities daily it’s estimated that by 2030 1 billion people will be living in China’s cities. This is what we call the ‘urban billion’. It is made up of people from every level of Chinese society, from political leaders to migrants from rural areas. Pray that many of the ‘urban billion’ would find life to the full. Pray too for Christian professionals, who often have to work on Sundays, making it difficult to get to church let alone invite friends along. Pray that God will protect their faith, and ask that he might use them in an amazing way to access those whom the church would otherwise struggle to reach.