Latest prayer points
Getting God’s Word into North Korea remains an extraordinary challenge; pray for current efforts to be fruitful. Pray for technological solutions where importing paper Bibles is impossible. Ask for Spirit-led understanding of God and His ways among those with access to even a carefully preserved page of a Bible. May His Word give deep comfort to the suffering. Some North Korean refugees have (amazingly) managed to flee the country and are trekking across Asia to find a new and safe place to call home; pray that they would meet Christians and be lovingly welcomed. Pray also for the Korean women and children who have been drawn all too easily into slavery in China.
Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. One Japanese person attempts suicide every 15 minutes. While the suicide rate in Japan has decreased somewhat recently, mental health remains a top concern. Suicide among Japanese children is the highest in the world, and suicide is the leading cause of death for young people aged 15-29. Christians in Japan, through churches and other organisations, are working to minister to those at risk. Emmanuel, the God who came to save the lost and heal the broken-hearted, is at work in Japan. Pray with us that he would work powerfully through his church in Japan to bring hope and light for those on the edge of hope.
The IFES movement in Vanuatu, Gud Nius Yunivesiti Felosip (GNYF), praises God that permission has been granted for their groups to meet on campus at the University of the South Pacific. Please pray for them to be able to expand their ministry into seven tertiary colleges and a new bilingual French-English university opening next year. Pray also for Australian Joel, who leads the movement, to be able to remain in the country, and for local graduates to be able to take on leadership, particularly challenging as most of their graduates move to Vanuatu to study from other Pacific Islands, and then move home after graduation.
Some Taiwanese have student-exchange programmes with universities in mainland China, allowing hundreds of mainland Chinese students to go to Taiwan. Most have been taught that there is no God and that belief in a deity is for the weak. Yet some come with curiosity, wanting to know what the Bible teaches. Pray that exchange students will hear the gospel, study the Word, and respond. Ask that preconceived ideas will be removed, and truth will be evident. Pray that they will count the cost, open their hearts to Christ, and take advantage of every opportunity, while in Taiwan, to grow and be discipled.
There are strict limitations on ministry in this country but foreign NGOs, both Korean and Western, are active through aid and development projects. The very presence of believers can make a difference in many lives through this ‘ground force’. But there is also an ‘air force’. Radio is able to reach into North Korea, and despite many radios being pre-tuned to government stations, greater numbers of tuneable radios from China are making their way into the country. Pray for the impact of Reach Beyond gospel broadcasts that are transmitted via shortwave radio from Australia, and more opportunities for local people to tune in.
An IFES movement in Central Asia praises God that, with the help of local churches, they have been able to get permission to import gospels designed for students into the country. Pray for Christian students as they invite friends to study God’s word. In a neighbouring country, God is helping IFES to share the gospel with international students from South Asia and elsewhere in Central Asia. The South Asian students had been very badly treated, so the witness of Christians who loved and served them was very powerful. IFES spoke to police, landlords and even hired a lawyer to defend them. This practical ministry showed students the reality of gospel truth. Ask God to continue to bless this growing ministry.
The country is going through a difficult time as inflation is beyond control and the situation is unstable. Pray as elections are coming up in October and they are expected to be complicated. In this context, more non-Christians are attending the Sunday services. People coming to Christ are helped on by keen Christians who keep in contact with them. Pray for many more to find hope in God at this tumultuous time.
Jamaica has the most churches per square mile than any other country in the world, but widespread poverty means that there is pervasive scamming and dishonesty. Volunteer Winsome asks for prayer that Christian students would stand for integrity on campus and in society and trust God to provide for them. Student Kenneka shares that she and her peers also face a lot of peer pressure to be sexually active, and to find their identity far from Christ. She would appreciate prayer for God to give them strength to live pure lives and that Jamaican students would reject confusion caused by campus society and social media about identity and values. Instead may they seek God’s approval.
People belonging to most of the 19 distinct indigenous groups in Paraguay live and die with almost no access to God’s good news. SIM Paraguay is addressing this by partnering with other missions to record scriptures and Bible materials in the heart languages of these communities. By sending ministry teams to disciple and train believers from indigenous communities, we pray that as leaders, these indigenous believers will, in turn, effectively convey the gospel to other groups.
Please pray for political stability in Haiti. Recent protests and strikes have meant that Haiti Christian Schools have struggled to source food and supplies, and when they have, prices have been inflated. Currently, they feed 130 children each day, so this is a huge concern for them.