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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    21 hours ago

    Tuesday 20th August

    India

    There are more urban poor in India than in any other nation and 1 in every 6 urban Indians lives in a slum. Earlier this year a group of Frontiers workers spent several days in the mega-city of Mumbai, visiting urban slums like Dharavi (the setting for the...

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    1 day ago

    An overview of the Urban Poor

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    3 days ago

    Saturday 17th August

    Different people groups in the UAE and Arab Gulf

    “Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing - as it also does among you, since the day you heard it a...

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    4 days ago

    Friday 16th August

    Outreach – stories from the UAE

    Another worker in this country shared the following:

    “It can be challenging to have meaningful interactions with the local population. People live quite private lives and, although generally warm and friendly when you...

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    5 days ago

    Thursday 15th August

    Outreach – stories from the UAE

    A family working with Frontiers in the UAE sent a very encouraging newsletter, some of which we would like to share with you here.

    “We have recently had the privilege of sharing the gospel with some that had never he...

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    6 days ago

    Wednesday 14th August

    “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

    After 40 years of outreach in the UAE, there are only a few known believers there. Howev...

    Read More

    21 hours ago

    Tuesday 20th August

    India

    There are more urban poor in India than in any other nation and 1 in every 6 urban Indians lives in a slum. Earlier this year a group of Frontiers workers spent several days in the mega-city of Mumbai, visiting urban slums like Dharavi (the setting for the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’) with a population of over 1 million people, and praying for more workers for this harvest field. You can get a brief insight of what life is like for the people of Dharavi in this short YouTube clip here.

    Surprisingly our overall impression was not one of despair or desperation, despite the living conditions, but of the warm welcome we received wherever we went, the smiles on the faces of the children and the industry of the people running the street stalls, shops and workshops which were found everywhere. Yet it was impossible to ignore the conditions people were living in, the exploitation of the weakest and the absence of awareness of a God who loves them and gave his life for them.

    • Pray for Indian Muslims living and working in the slums of Mumbai and other cities, that they would be blessed.

    • Pray for Christian workers, including Frontiers teams, to share the hope that is in Christ with poor urban Muslims in India.

    • Pray for children and young people in these neighbourhoods, that they would have the opportunity to hear the good news that God cares for them.

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    1 day ago

    An overview of the Urban Poor

    The urban poor comprise one of the biggest and fastest growing sectors of society across much of the globe, particularly in Africa and Asia where most Muslims live. Although accurate figures are hard to come by, one estimate is that there are already more than 250 million Muslims living in slums, shanty towns and poor urban neighbourhoods across the world; a number which will grow rapidly in the coming decades.

    Christian workers in poor urban neighbourhoods often report an openness to the gospel. Many of the urban poor experience deep insecurity in their day-to-day lives, as even those things that are considered to be a basic human right, such as decent housing, jobs, education and medical provision are not guaranteed. As they face this insecurity without the support structures they have relied on in their home villages, they can become receptive to new ideas and to joining new communities, such as those Jesus came to establish.

    Listen to the song ‘You’re the God of this City’ by Chris Tomlin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d61LamkXfwk and pray:

    • For the millions of Muslims living in city slums, that Jesus indeed would become their Lord.

    • For the millions more who will join them in the cities in the coming decades.

    • For many more workers to go and preach the good news in poor urban Muslim neighbourhoods.

    • For many new communities of Christ-followers to be established.

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    3 days ago

    Saturday 17th August

    Different people groups in the UAE and Arab Gulf

    “Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing - as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.” Col 1:5-8

    The Arab people are the main indigenous group in this region. They are the original Arab Bedouins of the desert. Mohammad, the founder of Islam, was from this people group. However, there are minority people groups as well. They include:

    Zanzibari Omanis: Swahili-speaking Omanis who have roots in Zanzibar, Tanzania in East Africa, since Oman ruled there during the 19th century.

    Baluchi people: The Baluchi people come from Pakistan and surrounding areas. Some have mixed in with the local Arabs and have been there for generations.

    Mahri people: They live in Yemen and Oman, straddling areas near the border of the two countries. They speak their own language which is distinct from Arabic.

    Jebeli people: These are mountain peoples from the mountains of Salalah, Oman. They too have their own distinct language and culture.

    Shuhooh Arabs: The Shuhooh are one of the Arab tribes in the UAE and the Musandam Peninsula, Oman. They are known as mountain peoples who speak a distinct dialect of Arabic.

    You can watch a short 2-minute clip about the Shuhooh of the UAE here.

    Today, of the 43 people groups in the United Arab Emirates, 25 remain unreached by the gospel and many of them are illiterate.

    • Let’s pray that the word of truth would go out to all the people groups of the region. May it transform lives among the Zanzibari Omanis, the Baluchi, the Mahri, the Jebeli, the Shuhooh and the Arab Bedouins.

    • We also ask for many (like Epaphras in the verse above) to come out of these people groups to reach their own, to be ‘faithful ministers of Christ’.

    • Let’s pray for great tribal and people group movements to Christ.

    • Social media and the internet are a great means of reaching people with the Good News there. Let’s pray that many will come across Christian material and be curious to know more.

    Source: http://www.pray-ap.info/pguides.html

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    4 days ago

    Friday 16th August

    Outreach – stories from the UAE

    Another worker in this country shared the following:

    “It can be challenging to have meaningful interactions with the local population. People live quite private lives and, although generally warm and friendly when you engage with them, they don’t initially appear very approachable. More than ever, we feel that we need to be very intentional with our time. A great opportunity for this presented itself recently.

    There was a small sign erected in our neighbourhood giving directions to a funeral. Last year we learned that in the local culture it is an expectation that all the men from a neighbourhood will attend a funeral and pay their respects, even if they don’t know the family personally. So, it was with a certain amount of nerves that I walked up to the huge tent erected in front of an even larger house a few blocks away from where we live. After the burial the “Azaa” takes place at a hall or often in a tent near the family home. It’s three days for the men and one for the women and it’s actually very simple. On entering the tent each guest must personally greet every other guest and give condolences to the close relatives of the deceased. There is often a simple meal shared by all of the guests.

    I received a warm welcome, greeting everyone and was able to chat with a few local people before sitting with the eldest son of the deceased. Although nothing tangible came from the evening, it felt very significant to be at a community event, to greet people and hopefully introduce myself as a God-fearing person.

    We would love prayer for more opportunities like this.”

    • Let’s pray for more opportunities to build relationships with the local population and for conversations that lead to kingdom fruit.

    • Please pray for local people who want to gather their friends and family to read the Bible.

    • Pray for this family to continue to be recognised as spiritual, God-fearing and grace-filled people in this community and to establish a sustainable rhythm of life.

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    5 days ago

    Thursday 15th August

    Outreach – stories from the UAE

    A family working with Frontiers in the UAE sent a very encouraging newsletter, some of which we would like to share with you here.

    “We have recently had the privilege of sharing the gospel with some that had never heard it and we continue to do this with a family that that we have been chatting with for quite some time. This can be until 4am in the morning when children are finally in bed and phones stop buzzing, so that adults can finally have the time to sit and listen!

    The family have experienced some of the Father’s love for them and are growing in their understanding of who Jesus is. They wanted us to go through passages in the Bible where Jesus declares who he is. We wanted Jesus’ words and actions in each passage to speak powerfully into this. We shared some of the stories in the gospels including the one where Jesus healed the man blind from birth and where the paralysed man was lowered through the roof. We studied the stories in depth, looking at the reactions of those around them, of the religious leaders, and it was so interesting and beautiful to share together genuine revelations from these stories. The patriarch of the family said that what stood out for him, was that everyone wanted to make an excuse to suggest the men had not been healed.

    They have asked us to continue to do more studies with them. This family is really hungry for more.”

    • Let’s pray for the patriarch of this family, that he will not find any excuse to avoid the significance of who Jesus is.

    • Pray for this family and many others in this country to experience Jesus for themselves, becoming disciples and disciple-makers.

    • Let’s pray for our workers as they share gospel truths and build a relationship with this family and others, that they would have great wisdom in what and in how they share and pray.

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    6 days ago

    Wednesday 14th August

    “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

    After 40 years of outreach in the UAE, there are only a few known believers there. However, workers in the region report that as they intentionally pray, they are seeing changes. Many of the Gulf States that were previously untouched are now seeing movements to Christ – large numbers coming to faith after many years of prayer with seemingly little fruit.

    In the age of the easy, the entitled and the instant, an expectation in the UAE and throughout the region, it is hard to see how people have any need for an intimate God. However, as the cost of living increases and families and children suffer from the effects of modern living – anxiety, depression, diabetes – an easy life often leads to sin and the consequence can be family chaos and divorce. Easy and instant don’t offer much hope.

    A couple of field workers wrote to say that during some of their prayer drives, they had been so saddened by a sense of hopelessness felt by many living there. Despite seemingly having everything, such material wealth and the promises of spiritual fulfilment and purpose in Islam, they have no hope without knowledge of the One who came to save.

    Workers said they cannot overstate the importance of prayer for this land. “This is a crucial time, where the message of the gospel really matters. It is a gospel of power, not just words. We are expectant, waiting for a move of the Spirit and praying to this end.”

    The first missionary came to the UAE in the 1960’s and his son, who recently visited, was incredibly encouraged at the perceived openness of locals to prayer compared to the time he had lived there with his parents. We thank God for this.

    • Let’s join in prayer with others across this land and region, for a move of the Spirit and for a harvest for the kingdom of God.

    • Let’s pray that Muslim men would find Jesus in this desert land and that women, who are often at home all day, would meet with Jesus there.

    • Ask that they will learn that Jesus Christ is the “Water of Life” and go to him to drink and live!

    • Let’s pray for our workers who can easily be discouraged, to rise up and know that God is with them and for them. Let’s ask for perseverance and resilience for them.

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