In This Issue: Iran, India, North Korea, and More
- IRAN – Signs and Wonders
- DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Christmas Day Massacre
- INDIA – Tribe Opens to the Gospel
- ARABIAN PENINSULA – Domestic Workers Need Your Prayers
- NORTH KOREA – Anniversary of Revival Inspires Prayer
- EVENTS – Recent Additions to the Missions Catalyst Calendar
Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Use it to fuel your prayers, find tips and opportunities, and stay in touch with how God is building his kingdom all over the world. Please forward it freely!
Some of you have wondered about the missionary couple arrested in Gambia (reported in the December 17 edition of Missions Catalyst News Briefs. Keep praying. The Times Online reports, British Missionaries Plead Guilty to Sedition in Gambia. The Guardian reports, British Missionaries Sentenced to Hard Labor in Gambia. Breaking news, a bit brighter: The Christian Post reports, Jailed U.K. Missionaries Seek Presidential Pardon in Gambia.
You may have already seen another article which has been circulating: As an Atheist, I Truly Believe Africa Needs God. And, if you like a good debate along these lines, see Is Christianity Good For the World?
There’s much to pray in this edition – including for Shiites at this special time of Ashura, and for North Korea. Both prayer initiatives include powerful resources!
Blessings on you as you pray,
IRAN – Signs and Wonders
Source: Assemblies of God World Missions, December 2008
Nazgul, a committed Muslim, desperately wanted to feel God, so she did what she thought was necessary to achieve that. Finally she decided to kill herself so that she could be closer to Allah. Nazgul went out to her balcony, and she turned her back to the edge so that she would not be tempted to break her fall with her arms when she went over.
Just before she was to lean backwards to her death, her cell phone rang. The caller was male, and he seemed to know everything about Nazgul – her search for relationship with God, and her plans for suicide to accomplish it. Nazgul recalls that he laughed and cried with her. Hours passed while they spoke.
Days later Nazgul was walking to a destination in her city of residence when a young man stopped her and handed her a Bible in Farsi. “God told me to give you this,” he said. Nazgul opened the book and her first glance at the text read, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me.”
Full story here.
Editor’s note: Iranians observe a holiday called Ashura, which concludes Tuesday, January 6. Christian intercessors are asking you to pray and fast one day more, through Wednesday – crying out to God on Shiites’ behalf as their lives return to normal after Ashura. For more information see Shiite Bride of Christ.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Christmas Day Massacre
Source: Mission Network News, January 2, 2008
International Christian Concern reports members of the Ugandan rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army, killed 400 Christians celebrating Christmas in Congo. One of the attacks killed 150 people in Farajde City. Another source claims 75 deaths occurred during a separate attack in Duru. Other attacks near Sudan left more than 250 people dead. Thousands from that region sought refuge with churches.
There are scattered reports that the LRA was abducting children to use as soldiers.
ICC sources say the LRA denies responsibility for the attacks on December 25th and in the days following.
Full story with map and prayer points here.
See also: The Christian Post article 400 Dead in Eastern Congo Massacre.
INDIA – Resistant Tribe Opens to the Gospel
Source: Mission Network News, December 15, 2008
The Deburman tribe has long been resistant to the gospel despite many evangelical efforts, according to Mawii Pudaite of Bibles for the World. The tribe consists of about 700,000 people [living in Tripura, northeastern India].
“Recently, two educated [Deburman] young men decided to become followers of Christ after reading the Word of God,” says Pudaite. “They became so much in love with the Word of God that they kept on reading for two months nonstop.”
After all of their copious reading, the two men [used] a public address system before the people in the area to spread the gospel. As a result, Pudaite says that scores of the Deburman believed, and 42 were baptized.
“When I think about my own tribe, the first converts were five young men,” says Padaite. “Today, over 98 percent of my people have become Christian. We expect great things to happen among the Deburman people of Tripura.”
ARABIAN PENINSULA – Domestic Workers Need Your Prayers
Source: Lausanne World Pulse, December 2008
In one city in the Arabian Peninsula, an Ethiopian pastor trains every one of his church members as a missionary. There are 35,000 Ethiopians working in that country; 96 percent of them are young, female, domestic workers living on a few dollars a week. The Christians among them come (like other young Ethiopian women working in that country) hoping to send home a little money to support their families.
In just 11 months these young women have taken the JESUS Film and Arabic New Testaments into 800 Arab homes where they are able to share the film with children and read the Bible with their mothers.
These women are actively engaged in evangelism in one of the most closed mission contexts in the world [yet] will never appear in any statistics of “foreign missionaries.” They will attract little prayer or financial support from [Western] churches so concerned to “reach the unreached.”
Full story with pictures here.
NORTH KOREA – Anniversary of Revival Inspires Prayer
Source: Joel News International, January 2, 2009
January 14th, 2009, is the 102nd anniversary of the Great Pyongyang Revival, the most important Christian revival in Korean history and foundation for the profound growth of the Korean Church, [and it] took place in what is now known as North Korea. As a result of this movement of repentance the Holy Spirit came down in a powerful way and the Korean Church grew and became fruitful.
Believers from northern Korea came before the Lord in repentance, confession of sin, and prayer into the deep watches of the night. Christians worldwide are called to follow their example by holding overnight prayer meetings for ending the genocide and for revival and healing throughout northern Korea and China. Information will be available in various languages at the Global Justice Prayer Network.
National Geographic made an in-depth documentary on life in North Korea. It contains shocking footage and shows how serious the situation is. Each of the seven episodes is seven minutes long.
Sign up for Joel News here. (A contribution is required.)
EVENTS – Recent Additions to the Missions Catalyst Calendar
Source: Missions Catalyst Calendar
April 17 to 18 – Harvest Gathering of Churches for God’s Greatest Glory (Fresno, CA, USA). Keynote speakers include Wally Magdangal, Bob Sjogren, and Dr. Fermin Whittaker. For more info contact John Dupree.
“The Journey Deepens” retreats for prospective missionaries are held in various parts of the US several times a year, sponsored by a group of mission agencies. For more information see the website or contact John McVay. Three retreats are planned for spring 2009:
April 24 to 26 – North Central Regional Retreat (near Chicago, IL, USA).
May 29 to 31 – Southwest Regional Retreat (Dallas, Texas, USA).
June 26 to 28 – Northeast Regional Retreat (near Philadelphia, PA, USA).
Don’t forget… many conferences are listed on our events calendar. Friends in Canada may plan to attend MissionFest events in Winnipeg (February 6-8), Edmonton (February 20-22), Halifax (March 27-29), or Toronto (April 16-18); similar events are planned in the US for Portland (January 16-17), and Los Angeles (March 20-21). There’s a big one in Germany (April 8-13).
Questions, comments, submissions? Contact us.