17th Aug 2018

“When we first arrived on the field, there were no Muslim-background followers of Jesus,” says Joshua, a Frontiers field worker in Southeast Asia. “We did evangelism work for a few years with no visible fruit.”

Joshua and his team recognized that they needed to try something different, so they started working with local Christians who had hearts to reach their Muslim neighbours. “We both learned from and trained local Christians and sent them out as teams to different areas among our Muslim people group.”

Over time, the local teams started to see fruit—usually after four or more years of ministry. It even grew into a network of house churches that involved over 600 active Muslim-background believers. But the numbers of new fellowships plateaued as they faced struggles in developing leaders among the new believers.

Four years ago, Joshua and his teammates attended a Frontiers conference where they discovered practices that lead to movements of faith in Jesus Christ. They learned about finding men and women who open doors into communities, teaching people obedience to the Word, and the importance of prayer. When they returned to Southeast Asia, they introduced their local teams to these movement-oriented principles and trained them to start reproducing Bible-centered fellowships.

 

“Since implementation [of movement principles],” says Joshua, “the ministry has almost tripled, our leaders and workers are more focused, and Muslim-background believers are more active in leading the majority of our groups.”

 

The number of Muslim-background believers has now surpassed 1,800, with fellowships continuing to grow and multiply. Joshua reports that this is largely because “movement training gave our leaders and workers concrete direction and a renewed vision of what God can do.”

It is a new day in ministry as Joshua’s team coaches and trains the leaders of this blossoming work!

Despite tremendous responsiveness to the message of Jesus in some locations, over 1,000 Muslim people groups still have no Gospel witness among them. To reach these unengaged people groups, Frontiers provides field workers with critical training in planting reproducing fellowships that transform whole communities and nations.

Sowing the Gospel into groups leads to more resilient, reproducing churches that are less likely to be snuffed out. A Frontiers leader supervising teams in one Muslim region says that “movement training encourages people to think in terms of a community being the smallest unit in which to plant the seed of the Gospel.”

Since 2011, Frontiers has hosted several dozen global training events, webinars, and conferences on movement principles. Field workers receive ongoing coaching through peer groups, regional networks, and skilled mentors. New workers also benefit from critical pre-field training that prepares them to put key strategies into practice as soon as they arrive.

The tools they discover are both practical and adaptable. Workers learn creative ways to identify people who are interested in studying the Word, as well as ways to encourage reproduction of Bible studies. This organization-wide training has given Frontiers teams renewed vision and growing expectation to see reproducing churches planted in Muslim communities.

 

The initial results are impressive. Many teams—even in the hardest corners of the Muslim world—are seeing growth and multiplication of churches as they apply movement principles to their ministries.

 

In part of South Asia, well over a hundred Bible study groups have been established, leading to numerous reproducing church plants. One team in the region reports that they’ve seen a Bible study group multiply and start two new groups in just a few weeks.

In another region, a team leader writes, “Our team has been greatly impacted by movement training in everything we do. We know how to spend our time, we have a clearer focus, we have expanded our network and are thinking [in terms of reaching the whole nation], and on and on.”

Field workers agree that this training has strengthened their witness and helped them engage Muslims with the Word on a daily basis. Teams are discovering new opportunities to catalyze reproducing church movements, and Muslims are studying the Bible in areas where there was previously no spiritual response.

A new wind is blowing in the Muslim world, and teams are more focused than ever as they invite many to follow and serve Jesus Christ. Pray with us for more movements to Christ that result in churches planted firmly on God’s Word.
 

** Names and places have been changed for security.**

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1 day ago

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1 day ago

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“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

In Islam, there are 99 names for Allah, but “father” is not among them. The whole idea of a relational God is alien to Bedouins.

Bedouins will often point out just how much Muslims and Christians have in common. But the greatest stumbling block remains the cross. God’s divine plan of salvation to bring life through death, glory through humiliation, and victory through utter defeat is a notion that is alien to Muslim Bedouins. And yet, this wonderful truth has the power to transform their current and future destinies.

Another stumbling block is the fear of losing their belonging and identity in the tribe. Each Bedouin sees himself not as an individual, but as a part of the bigger collective of the tribe. In the tribe, each family member is traditionally bound by obligations of mutual assistance. Because of their strong group culture and need to conform, it is complicated for an individual to start following Jesus within their own tribe. This may lead to persecution with some facing death threats and banishment from the tribe and also the risk of losing their job and family.

Some known Bedouin believers live isolated lives, not integrated into fellowships of other believers. Because the Bedouin live in rural places, discipleship by mature believers from outside their communities is risky and logistically hard.

• Lord Jesus, strengthen new believers to hold fast to your Word, even in the face of persecution, that they may develop godly character.

• We pray the Bedouin will see, hear and understand the mystery of the cross so that they may turn to you, freely enter into your presence and receive your healing, joy and peace.

• Heavenly Father, we ask you to draw not just individuals to yourself, but whole families, that they may start following Jesus within their own tribe, transforming and redeeming their tribe from within, according to your purposes. Bless those who are persecuted out of their tribes, that they may find their identity and security in you.

• Lord, bring a huge harvest among the Bedouin! Stir up movements for Jesus in many places and tribes. Make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

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2 days ago

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The Arabian Peninsula Bedouin are no longer moving their tents and herds of camels with the rain. Almost all have moved into some sort of fixed building, often with government help. Some have moved to the big cities and only go back ‘home’ during Eid festivals or weddings or to visit a sick relative. Others go out almost every weekend and are still attached to their desert lifestyle and herds of camels. Most have a Sudanese or Pakistani to shepherd their camels.

Only a few cross-cultural workers are living in close proximity with the Bedouin communities throughout the Gulf. Many more workers are needed in their city neighbourhoods and out in the thousands of villages.

• Father, we ask you to bless the Bedouin in the Arabian Peninsula and for more workers to move into their neighbourhoods as a witness.

• We ask you to show your greatness and holiness to these Bedouin tribes, and make yourself known to them, so that they will know that you are Lord. We then ask that they will go back to their villages as ambassadors for your Kingdom.

“So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 38:23

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3 days ago

Thursday 13th June

Bedouin tribes in Jordan in the Middle East

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The Zuwayda tribe live in the rural south of Jordan in the beautiful Wadi Rum area. They are Muslims but used to be a Christian tribe a long time ago. They converted to Islam when they were stricken with poverty and were no longer able to pay the Islamic tax for unbelievers. To this day, they mark their camels with crosses.

The Ghayath tribe live in the north-eastern part of Jordan, close to the Iraqi border. Most of them don’t have citizenship and many are very poor. Due to lack of job opportunities many of the men are involved in the smuggling of drugs and are looked down upon by other Bedouins.

• Lord we ask that you redeem the Ghayath tribe and use them to bless the other tribes, just like you did with Gideon. We ask you to free them from the bondage of drug addiction and smuggling and that they would instead take the gospel to unreached places.

• Pray that the cross may make its way into the hearts of the Zuwayda again. Let’s ask God to bring the Zuwayda back under His wings, put His laws into their hearts and write them on their minds, that they may be His people once again.

• Lord, let there be a breakthrough among the Bedouin tribes of Jordan, leading to a movement among them. Send more workers to live and witness amongst them. Bring forth your blessings to the Bedouin like rivers in the desert.

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds.” Hebrews 10:16

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4 days ago

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Upon hearing the gospel, a Bedouin man could not get over the fact that God had sacrificed his own son for him. He stood up in front of a group of men and asked how many of them had sons. He exclaimed: “Would you give up your son for me?”

He went on to tell them that he had committed a murder and now needed someone to take his place in order to make amends. The other men started shouting, “Don’t give him your son, he’s not worth it!” Some were willing, however, to offer him blood money instead.

Blood feuds are still normal among Bedouins, and when someone is killed, a ransom needs to be paid.

After an animated discussion, the man finally explained that he had not committed a murder but wanted to illustrate to them how amazing it was that God Almighty gave his own son to pay for the sin of another.

This illiterate Bedouin had understood the core message of salvation through listening to an audio Bible.

Listen to a beautiful worship song by Andrew Peterson called Is He Worthy? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIahc83Kvp4

• Father, we praise you that your Word is available in audio format for the many illiterate Bedouin and ask that many more come to see you as the ransom for their sin and shame.

• Many Muslims throughout the world are being drawn to faith in Christ through dreams and visions, often of a man with a shining face and a shining robe calling to them. Pray that God will give dreams of Christ to the Bedouin tribes scattered throughout the Middle East and North Africa and visions to draw them to Himself.

• Ask for the Bedouins to have a revelation of the truth, that Jesus purchased their life by His death on the cross.

“And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9

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5 days ago

Tuesday 11th June

Bedouin tribes in Sinai in Egypt, North Africa

You may hear about North Sinai in the news as a haven for terrorists and where the persecution of Christians is commonplace. However, there are also many Bedouin tribes seeking to live a peaceful life in the land.

The Tarabin are a tribe that live primarily in the town of Nuweiba and surrounding desert villages in the eastern part of the Sinai Peninsula. The men work in tourism as desert guides or as fishermen. The women make beautiful jewellery.

South Sinai is a mountainous desert region with only a few springs of water here and there. It is famous for Mount Sinai as well as for the Red Sea coast and lush coral reefs. The Bedouins have lived in the region for several hundred years and have recently settled into towns because of better work prospects. There are at least seven different tribes.

One of these is the Muzeina tribe. This tribe are the largest in South Sinai with families represented in most of the towns and villages. They are a generous people always ready to invite friends and strangers alike in for tea or a meal.

Another tribe is the Jabelaya. They live in the mountains and wadis surrounding Mt. Sinai, in and around the village of St. Katherine. Like the Tarabin, the men primarily work in tourism as hiking guides and the women do beautiful beading and embroidery. As tourism has decreased, they need more work opportunities for families and adequate health care.

• Pray that the Jabelaya will have the opportunity to hear God’s Word and will find all their needs are met in Him.

• Pray that the Muzeina will have open hearts to the Lord and that He will reveal himself to them through His word and through dreams and visions. May He draw many Muzeina to himself and to salvation in Jesus Christ.

• Pray for more field workers to bring the gospel to the Tarabin and that a movement towards Jesus will spread through them into Northern Sinai.

• There are currently no known field workers in North Sinai, in part due to the military prohibiting foreigners from entering. Pray for peace and hope to return to this region, so will be an open door for workers and that God will reveal himself to the people there in supernatural ways.

“And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:1

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6 days ago

Monday 10th June

Who are the Arab Bedouins?

Bedouin are traditionally shepherds, keeping camels, goats or sheep. However, they are increasingly exchanging the tent for permanent settlement, due to changing economic and social circumstances in the region, but many still keep a small flock of goats or sheep.

The word bedouin comes from the Arab word bedu which means desert dweller. Today they live in countries across North Africa and the Middle East.

They live in tight-knit communities, usually as part of the larger tribe to which they belong. Many are illiterate (this is especially true for the women), and their dialect is quite different from the surrounding urban dialects.

They are renowned for their loyalty, hospitality and generosity. It is a Bedouin’s most sacred duty to honour his guest in every way possible.

They are, however, almost completely unexposed to the gospel. Indeed, for centuries they have been largely ignored, with no witness to Christ amongst them whatsoever. Bedouins are proud Muslims. The first converts to Islam came from the Bedouin tribes living in and around Mecca. Islam has become embedded and deeply rooted in Bedouin culture. Bedouins also believe very strongly in demons called jinn or genie. They believe that demons hide in bathrooms and caves protecting buried treasure. Bedouins will mumble the name of God before entering a tent, a room or a car and also before eating, drinking or performing any task. This is thought to ward off evil spirits. Bedouins will visit “witch doctors” for many problems, hoping the séances and charms will help them.

But praise God, momentum is building for a wonderful breakthrough among the Bedouin. A little spring is starting to burst forth, which we want to see turn into a mighty river of blessing in the desert areas of the Middle East and North Africa.
• Lord, we pray for movements to sweep through all the Bedouin tribes across North Africa and the Middle East, expanding the Kingdom and seeing transformation in their communities.

• Heavenly Father, we ask that the Bedouin across the Middle East and North Africa will come to know Jesus as the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for them, that they will learn to know his voice and follow him.

• Father, we ask that you would send out more workers amongst the Bedouin peoples and work in the hearts of your people to move them to love these tribes and see Christ declared and followed in their midst.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

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