Where Prayer and Missions Connect | May Resource Reviews


  1. EVENT: Prayercast Ramadan Challenge
  2. APPLICATION: Daily Prayer
  3. ARTICLE: Just Don’t Do It!
  4. ARTICLES: Latest from Lausanne Global Analysis
  5. EVENTS: June Conferences, Courses, and More


“If added power attends the united prayer of two or three, what mighty triumphs there will be when hundreds of thousands of consistent members of the Church are with one accord day by day making intercession for the extension of Christ’s Kingdom.”

— John R. Mott


Source: Operation World, May 12, 2017

Operation World (OW), the definitive global prayer handbook, has been used by more than a million Christians to pray for the nations. Now, with a new prayer app for mobile devices, you can receive reminders to pray for the “country of the day,” research statistics on each country, and read the in-depth prayer request and praise reports given for each country of the world.

You may find this handy for folding prayer for the nations into daily devotions, small group meetings, and more. Mobilizers, this could be a good follow-up to prayer for the Muslim world (see above) or a discipline to invite those you mentor to consider.

» Download for free from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

EVENT: Prayercast Ramadan Challenge

A Simple Plan to Profoundly Impact the Muslim World

Source: Prayercast

We are bombarded almost daily with news of barbaric acts of terrorism. But if all we know about Islam is what we see on the news, we are missing an incredible story:

  • The greatest turning of Muslims to Christ in history is happening now.
  • Everywhere Islam exists, people are being drawn to Jesus Christ.
  • This is happening in direct correlation to increased movements of prayer.

God is MOVING, and he’s inviting you to join him.

Now is the time to PRAY because Jesus loves and died to save every one of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today.

Join Prayercast on a journey across the Muslim world during the month of Ramadan (this year May 27 to June 25). Each week we will focus on a different region, loving and lifting up representative nations in prayer.

Join the Prayercast Ramadan Challenge:

  1. Pray for the featured topic each day.
  2. Sign up below to receive daily reminders.
  3. Invite at least one other person to join you.

» Learn more or sign up here or TEXT ramadan to 22828, and poke around the Prayercast website for lots of great prayer videos and other resources.

» See also the more widespread and established campaign, 30 Days of Payer for the Muslim World, and/or pray with and for those you know serving in the Muslim world during this season of heightened spiritual awareness (and sometimes violence or tension).

ARTICLE: Just Don’t Do It!

Becoming a Missionary: Smart Steps toward Serving

Source: SEND International, The Missions Blog, May 16, 2017

We hear over and over again from our missionaries that their paths to the field started with a still small voice that amplified over months, years, sometimes even decades.

Maybe you’ve heard the whisper but don’t yet know if it’s time to go. You aren’t raising support, packing your bags, or saying goodbye yet, but your daily decisions can still significantly help—or hinder—your ability to effectively engage the unreached in a cross-cultural setting.

If even in the very back of your mind you think you might want to become a missionary, here are some pitfalls to avoid:

  1. Don’t ignore your local church.
  2. Don’t focus solely on your home culture.
  3. Don’t stay put.
  4. Don’t take on more debt.

» Read the article. You could share it with prospective missionaries in your world or consider adding The Missions Blog to your regular reading list.

» See also The Christian Missions Blog (from TEAM), which recently featured eight public speaking tips for missionaries and eight things missionaries wish their supporters knew.

ARTICLES: Latest from Lausanne Global Analysis

Source: Lausanne Movement, May 2017

Lausanne Global Analysis seeks to deliver strategic and credible information and insight from an international network of evangelical analysts to equip influencers of global mission. Browse all the past issues and/or subscribe to email alerts to be notified as soon as new issues are published.

The May issue has a strong theme of engaging with and reaching out to Muslims. They look at how refugees in Europe are turning to Christ and in turn reviving the church there; assess disciple-making movements as a biblical solution for the remaining task of reaching least evangelized peoples; consider how we should view Islam and the importance of developing a biblical worldview that gives a framework for relating to Muslims; and, finally, ask what the Caliphate means and how we should respond to many Muslims’ aspirations for it.

» Read the editor’s overview of this edition. The next issue is scheduled to come out in July.

EVENTS: June Conference, Courses, and More

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

June 2-3, Prayer ConneXion (Portland, OR, USA). Where prayer and mission connect. Provided by Mission ConneXion.

June 4, International Day for the Unreached (international).

June 4, Global Day of Prayer (global). An annual event (see downloadable resources from WayMakers)

June 5-10, TOTAL It Up! Taste of Translation and Linguistics (Orlando, FL, USA). Provided by Wycliffe Bible Translators.

June 5-16, ACQUIRE (Joplin, MO, USA). Language and culture acquisition training for cross-cultural workers provided by TRAIN International.

June 5 to August 13, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course (online). Provided by the Perspectives Study Program.

June 5 to August 27, Encountering the World of Islam (online). A 12-week course on embracing Muslims with the love of Christ.

June 8-10, Serving Internationals (Virginia Beach, VA, USA). Annual conference by the Association of Christians Ministering among Internationals (ACMI).

June 9-10, The Justice Conference (Chicago, IL, USA). Annual event to promote dialogue around justice-related issues such as human trafficking, slavery, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and human rights.

June 12-16, Global DMM Catalyst Camp (Nairobi, Kenya). See inside disciple-making movements.

June 17-25, Single Vision Retreat (Basel, Switzerland). A member care program for singles in the mission community.

June 18, World Refugee Sunday (international). Churches praying for refugees and displaced people. Some also observing this event June 25.

June 19-21, Honor-Shame Conference (Wheaton, IL, USA). Inaugurating the Honor-Shame Network, working together to reframe our message for 21st-century ministry.

June 19-30, Engaging Islam Institute (Boulder, CO, USA). Provided by Horizons International.

June 20-24, Sahara Challenge (St. Paul, MN, USA). Training in ministry to Muslims provided by Crescent Project.

June 21 to July 1, Breathe (Wilderswil, Switzerland). Ten-day retreat for the renewal of cross-cultural workers, provided by Catalyst International.

June 22-24, National African-American Missions Conference (McLean, VA, USA). Theme: “Send Me.”

June 23-25, Rethinking Forum 2017 (Houston, TX, USA). Conference for those walking alongside Hindus as they explore a relationship with Jesus.

June 25-30, TOTAL It Up! Taste of Translation and Linguistics (Lancaster, PA, USA). Provided by Wycliffe Bible Translators.

June 26-27, Personal Support Raising Boot Camp (Orlando, FL, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

June 27-29, Amplify Conference (Naperville, IL, USA). National conference on evangelism sponsored by the Billy Graham Center (and others).

» View the complete calendar. Please let us know about mistakes or omissions. For more about a specific event, contact event organizers.

Worship in the Wilderness | World News Briefs


In This Issue:

  1. ERITREA: Anniversary Protest Vigil
  2. CHINA: When You Can’t Blend In
  3. INDONESIA: Christian Governor Imprisoned for Blasphemy
  4. VIETNAM: Overcoming Difficulties
  5. ZIMBABWE: Father of Gospel Music

Helen Berhane 2

Helen is an Eritrean gospel singer who spent 32 months imprisoned by the Eritrean authorities in a shipping container. Freezing cold at night and burning hot by day, and even tortured, Helen chose to worship. In her wilderness, God gave her a new song. See story below.


Do you know that there are more than 30 “protracted” refugee situations in the world today? In each situation, more than over 25,000 refugees have been displaced for more than five years with no resolution in sight. Want to educate your fellowship about refugees with World Refugee Sunday approaching? As I sleuth for news I’ve found some really good stuff that will reveal the depths of their plight and give you some fresh ideas on how you can help.

Thursday, May 18, a coalition for the persecuted in Eritrea will protest in the UK as they declare 15 years of oppression is enough. See the story below.

Praying for those without hope,

ERITREA: Anniversary Protest Vigil

Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, April 26, 2017

While imprisoned in a shipping container, God gave Helen Berhane a new song, enabling her to endure the beatings, torture, and imprisonment designed to break her and destroy her faith. Helen was eventually released after a severe and debilitating assault and was able to flee the country. Others aren’t as fortunate. Thousands of Eritreans of all faiths and none are currently imprisoned without charge, trial, or prospect of release, and unknown numbers have died in detention.

It’s now 15 years since the Eritrean government shut down churches from all but three denominations and began a campaign of mass arrests that also affects members of permitted denominations.

On Thursday, May 18, CSW will be joining with Church in Chains, the Evangelical Alliance, Human Rights Concern Eritrea, the Medhani Alem Eritrean Orthodox Church, and Release Eritrea to protest the continuing repression suffered by the people of Eritrea and to pray for change.

» Read complete article. Listen to Helen Berhane’s story in Worship in the Wilderness (less than six minutes in length).

» Have an hour? Check out The Eritrean Exodus documentary, well worth the US$3.99 I paid to stream it. Proceeds support refugees. Watch trailer.

CHINA: When You Can’t Blend In

Source: OMF International, May 3, 2017

I expected the bizarre scrutiny of the locals, to some degree, anyway. Foreigners were strange people they occasionally saw on TV. If such a being was somehow in the vicinity, their pale skin and curious dress sense caused them to stand out—that and the crowd of people staring at them. However, I don’t think I was quite prepared for the strangely amusing shock that my being black would be for the Chinese.

In China, basketball enjoys a popularity equivalent to that of football in Britain, so a bald-headed black man in Northwest China could only mean one of two things: a holidaying NBA star or one who was lost. I found the phrase “Wo bu shi Michael Jordan” (“I am not Michael Jordan”) extremely useful.

It suddenly clicked that this unexpected “fame” would be a great way to get conversations (albeit limited ones) going, and to share the gospel. Top idea, I thought. One of the things I grew to realize more and more during my seven weeks in China was that God’s ideas are so much better than mine.

» Read full story to see how God worked during Kenton’s visit to China. Please pray for others who will spend a few weeks or months in cross-cultural service this summer. Ask the Lord to bless them and make them a blessing.

INDONESIA: Christian Governor Imprisoned for Blasphemy

Source: WEA Religious Liberty Commission newsletter, May 15, 2017

On May 9, 2017, the governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, was convicted on charges of blasphemy against Islam and sentenced to two years in jail by the North Jakarta District Court.

Purnama, Indonesia’s foremost Christian politician, was appointed as governor of Jakarta in 2014. However, in the wake of blasphemy allegations, Purnama lost his bid for re-election last month.

According to reports, prosecutors had recommended a suspended one-year jail sentence on charges of hate speech. The judges, nevertheless, ignored the prosecutors’ demand. Following the verdict, Purnama’s lawyers stated that they would appeal the court’s ruling. The governor, though, is expected to remain imprisoned during the appeal process.

  • Pray that the District Court’s decision will be overturned by a higher court.
  • Pray for the quick release of Purnama.
  • Pray for God’s protection over him during his imprisonment.
  • Pray for God’s comforting presence upon his family and loved ones during this time of distress.

» Read full story or subscribe to the WEA newsletters.

» See also a related article Christian Governor in Indonesia Found Guilty of Blasphemy against Islam (New York Times) and read about a further development, Indonesia to Review Anti-blasphemy Laws (Straits Times).