Latest prayer points
Two students attended an IFES South Pacific Regional Conference in August 2018 and were inspired by the stories of student ministry, particularly in the Solomon Islands, a movement started just a few years before. They returned inspired to start Christian student witness there. By the end of 2018 they had students interested and in the new term of 2019 the first meeting of Groupe Biblique Universitaire de Nouvelle Calédonie (GBU-NC) took place. Ten students gathered, predominantly from the indigenous people group. Pray that they would be able to reach out to other communities and make GBU-NC a place where students from different backgrounds feel welcome.
Many Japanese subscribe to the practices of Buddhism and Shintoism. Even if they have no real belief in either, as is often the case, Japanese will follow these customs out of respect for community traditions or under pressure from familial expectations. Shintoism is polytheistic, teaching that many aspects of life have associated ‘spirits’ or ‘essences’ to which the Japanese can appeal at many dedicated shrines scattered across the nation. Pray that the Japanese would discover that their true needs are met in the one Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for Christians from strict Buddhist or Shinto backgrounds to shine a light and lead those around them to Christ. Pray that all of the enemy’s spiritual strongholds in Japan would be torn down.
Brunei is a tiny country in southeast Asia that suffers from severe Islamic oppression. Christians experience persecution in many areas of life. It is estimated that Brunei has more mosques per square kilometre than any other country in the world. The country is one of the few absolute monarchies left in the world. The sultan has complete executive power, unconstrained by politicians or parliament. Sadly, there are only a handful of believers among them. All Brunei Malay are classified as Muslims at birth. Conversion is considered illegal, and believers from Muslim backgrounds come under intense pressure to return to their original faith. Pray that the Lord would protect those who work among the Brunei Malay for the sake of the gospel. The Brunei Malay are generally very wealthy, with many having luxurious homes and a number of cars. Pray that worldly wealth would not leave them complacent in seeking spiritual truth. Pray for the establishment of more evangelical churches in Brunei.
The surveillance and influencing of Christians by the government is increasing. Alongside churches that have been forced to close, there is a clear message: ‘religion will damage your education, your career, and your future prospects’. Please pray for teachers, lecturers, and civil servants who are being told they should have no religious affiliations, and that active Christian life could mean they lose their job and apartment and prevent them getting any other good job. Pray also for children who are being taught that religion is anti-communist and therefore against all that China stands for. Pray that they will understand they can be a good citizen while also being a faithful Christian.
Give thanks for the developing relationships with theological colleges in Myanmar, who have been open to working with The Leprosy Mission. Pray that plans to add teaching modules about leprosy to their courses will soon be in place. Pray that students will be inspired to see the importance of mission through the local church, and that the Holy Spirit will soften their hearts to serve people affected by leprosy.
Kalikot is a very isolated area where most people depend on agriculture. The harsh climate and inadequate farming techniques mean that food can be grown for only three to six months of the year, at best. Volatile weather such as unexpected rainfall or hail storms can lead to a sudden and acute food crisis. Most families rely on their men going to India for seasonal work in order to survive. Farmers are now learning how to grow more diverse crops and produce food throughout the year. They are learning about climate change and creating tree and bamboo plantations on hillsides to protect villages and crops from landslides. Pray that life for the people of Kalikot will become more sustainable.
Shortwave radio programmes have been broadcast into Central India for many years in local languages, along with the distribution of radios and solar powered lights into remote villages. As a result, one whole tribe that lives 80 miles from the nearest town, came to know Christ, including the tribal leader. As an act of thanksgiving, the leader set aside a parcel of land to build a community church. The desire is to make this a flourishing community space providing healthcare for the people who live there. Pray for the Stream of Life Community Church as they become a beacon of light to the surrounding region, and for the gospel to spread further into remote parts of the country.
Nuwakot district has one of the highest rates of trafficking in Nepal. The risk increases when a family does not have even the basic needs for life. Parents are easily convinced to entrust their children, especially daughters, to brokers who promise high-paying jobs in the cities so they can send money back to their families. In response to this problem, CarNet Nepal, Viva’s partner network in this district, has been training and mobilising a new group of volunteers to conduct the ‘Daughter’ awareness-raising programme in their communities. This initiative is used to engage families in discussion about how to keep their children safe from trafficking recruiters. Please pray for the impact of this ‘Daughter’ programme – that many more children would be effectively protected from being at risk of trafficking, in the long-term, and that families would feel empowered to say ‘no’ to recruiters.
Pray for The Leprosy Mission’s partners running the church-led ‘Karuna Project’ (meaning ‘compassion’ in Sanskrit and Pali), that serves people affected by leprosy in the slums of Mumbai, India. Give thanks for staff and volunteers who dedicate their time to come alongside those excluded by society. Praise God for the workers who are seen as ‘angels’. Pray that their unity as a team will enable them to share Jesus’ love with those they meet.
Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated nations on earth. With a population of 167 million, almost 95% are Muslim. There are few local believers to bring them the Good News and those that do respond are often left without fellowship. The vast majority of Muslims are without any access to the gospel and the local church remains culturally divided from them. Long term workers report openness and fruitfulness among Muslims, but there is a great need for more workers. Barriers need to be broken down between people groups, local believers need to be trained and equipped and the lost reached with the Good News. Pray for more workers who would be effective in making disciples among Bangladeshi Muslims and for the local church to grow in sensitivity to the culture of the Muslims they are trying to reach.
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