8th Oct 2018

Our family met Ellen in a chance encounter at an Indian restaurant in the US.

It happened about four years ago, just before we moved overseas to live among an unengaged Muslim people group. Ellen, a young grandmother, told us she had a heart to pray and serve and she said she would pray for our ministry on the field. In fact, she was already planning to use her vacation time to go overseas to pray and bless long-term field workers like us.

We didn’t think we’d see Ellen again. But two months after we landed in our new country, Ellen came and visited.

That trip sealed her heart for the Muslim people of our country.

Little did Ellen know that she would venture back to our city three more times. Each visit, she brought more people to pray for the Muslim people God had sent us to reach.

Ellen has often prayed for God to lead us to persons of peace—men and women who can help us meet others in the community and who open the doors for us to share the message of the Gospel.

On her last visit, God answered this prayer.

We had just shown Ellen and her prayer team the new location of our business, a therapy center for those with disabilities. Ellen and another team member took a moment to walk along the street, praying.

 

As they were coming back, it happened—a divine appointment and the answer to her prayer.

 

A man named Zaydan was returning to his home, a building situated next to our business. Ellen greeted him. After a few moments of conversation, he invited her and the rest of us into his home.

Zaydan introduced us to his wife and children and served us tea. Then he told us about his long career as head of the police over the entire region. It was a position that meant he was well-known and highly respected throughout the state. We chatted about culture, religion, and faith. When he asked about our business, I shared how our goal is to bless the most vulnerable people in the community.

At that moment, Zaydan pulled out his phone and started calling other influential people—doctors, nurses, and social workers. He instructed them to come to our business within the next week. “Help them with whatever they need,” he told each of them.

In the days that followed, strangers started showing up at the business. “We’ll help you with anything you need,” many of them told us.

One of Zaydan’s friends is now organizing an inauguration for us. He intends to invite a hundred medical professionals and people of influence who can help promote the services provided through our business.

We rejoice in the divine appointment with Zaydan—which God orchestrated through Ellen’s obedient, faithful, and persistent prayers. It has opened so many opportunities—not just for the success of our business, but also for sharing the Gospel among our adopted Muslim people group.

Ask God to bless the new contacts that have come out of this special relationship with Zaydan. Pray for abundant opportunities to share the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace—that many would discover Jesus Christ as Savior.

Ask the Lord to raise up even more praying men and women like Ellen to move mountains for the Gospel in Muslim communities.

 

Has God called you to pray for the nations? 

Like Ellen, may you faithfully obey and persevere in the call God has placed on you—that you may bear much fruit for the Kingdom!

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    6 hours ago

    Tuesday 16th July

    Arab Iraqis

    Arab Iraqis are one of the country’s largest unreached people groups, making up approximately three quarters of the population. Of these it is estimated that the majority Shias number 15 million, while Sunnis total 9 million.

    Most live in ...

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    1 day ago

    Monday 15th July

    Iraq Pop: 40m Muslim: 95%

    Often known as the ‘cradle of Christianity,’ modern Iraq occupies what was once ancient Mesopotamia. Babylon was one of the most important political, religious and cultural centres of ancient Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris a...

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    3 days ago

    Saturday 13th July

    Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “J...

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    4 days ago

    Friday 12th July

    Divine opportunities

    “Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” Deut 4:6

    In the West when tal...

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    5 days ago

    Thursday 11th July

    Reaching Jordanians with the gospel

    Although refugees in Jordan are open to hearing the gospel, reaching Jordanians themselves with it
    is harder, because they do not have as much reason to be open to new things and there is great persecution for those who bec...

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    6 days ago

    Wednesday 10th July

    Refugees in Jordan

    From as early as 1948, Jordan has accepted refugees from neighbouring countries in conflict. The first refugees were from Palestine, following the Arab-Israeli War in 1948 -1949, while another wave of Palestinians arrived in 1967 following the...

    Read More

    6 hours ago

    Tuesday 16th July

    Arab Iraqis

    Arab Iraqis are one of the country’s largest unreached people groups, making up approximately three quarters of the population. Of these it is estimated that the majority Shias number 15 million, while Sunnis total 9 million.

    Most live in towns or villages. Individual dwellings tend to be elaborately decorated, flat-roofed homes called townhouses. Lime-wash and brickwork are used around the windows as a form of artistic design. The rooms usually have some type of carpeting, and when entering the house, one must leave shoes at the door. The walls are lined with mattresses to lean against and the floor with cushions to sit on. A main reception room and a kitchen are located on the top floor. The flat roofs are used by the women for drying laundry.

    Social life is extremely important to Arabs. They like to share time together each day, sitting on the floor and drinking coffee from cups without handles. Their diet consists of wheat bread and porridge made with boiled meat or chicken. Village farmers grow wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, coffee, melons, dates and pomegranates and raise cattle and sheep. Domestic animals are kept to supply milk and eggs.

    In 1968, the Iraqi constitution established Islam as the religion of the state. However many Iraqi Arabs have a great spiritual hunger, which has increased since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Others are hearing His name for the very first time and are responding.

    • The greatest spiritual need that must be met among the Iraqi Arabs is training for evangelistic workers, church planters, children's workers and pastors. Let’s pray for these needs to be met.

    • Praise God that Christian literature has been printed. Let’s pray for its distribution and for the Word of God to be taught.

    • There are opportunities to share the love of God with Iraqi Arabs. Let’s pray for believers to be bold in sharing that Jesus is not merely a prophet or a teacher, but God's Son.

    Source: https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/12247/IZ

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    1 day ago

    Monday 15th July

    Iraq Pop: 40m Muslim: 95%

    Often known as the ‘cradle of Christianity,’ modern Iraq occupies what was once ancient Mesopotamia. Babylon was one of the most important political, religious and cultural centres of ancient Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in present-day Iraq. The Old Testament prophets such as Adam, Abraham, Jeremiah and Daniel lived in what today is Iraq.

    By the early Middle Ages, Iraq was the heart of the Islamic Empire. Today, of its population of over 40 million people, 95% is Muslim. The vast majority of these, 98%, remain unreached with the gospel message. The remaining 5% of the population is Christian.

    Iraq has suffered decades of conflict from outside and within and divisions between different ethnic and religious groups continue to cause unrest. The Shia-led government is distrusted by many of the minority Sunni population and is in conflict with the Kurdish administration in the north of the country.

    Oppression from IS led to nearly 3.5 million refugees displaced in Iraq or in neighbouring countries. They live in refugee camps or in towns suffering economic hardship, inadequate medical care, psychological trauma and uncertain futures. Although IS has lost territory, its ideology remains.

    Iraq is listed as 13th on the Open Doors World Watch List this year. Followers of Christ and other religious and ethnic minorities have faced a massive increase in persecution in recent years. Many have fled the country. Yet against this backdrop, unreached people groups are now experiencing the love of Christ and Muslims are turning to Jesus in unprecedented numbers, even from extremist backgrounds. God’s love reaches into every corner of this broken nation and His heart is for each one to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

    Watch a Prayercast video and learn more about Iraq here.

    • Pray for hostility and divisions to be overcome by the power and love of Christ and His people.

    • Pray that God will change the hearts of those who support the ideology of extremist groups such as IS.

    • Pray for the gospel message to break through hearts hardened by longstanding divisions and intense rivalries.

    • Pray for believers to courageously stand firm in their faith despite persecution and hardship.

    Source: https://prayercast.com/iraq.html

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    3 days ago

    Saturday 13th July

    Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Mark 10:46-48

    In the Middle East, groups of believers are multiplying exponentially as new movements of faith emerge. Among one major Muslim people group in the region, hundreds of groups are meeting to study the Bible. In another Middle Eastern country, more than 2,000 men and women from Muslim backgrounds have embraced Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

    Despite the progress we’ve seen, there are still key parts of the Middle East where the gospel has yet to flourish. This includes Jordan. According to the Operation World, 14 of the 21 people groups in Jordan have not heard the gospel. This will only change if there are more workers to bring the Good News.

    In Mark 10:46-52, we read the story of Bartimaeus, the blind beggar. He called out to Jesus as He passed by and when told by the crowd to keep quiet, he called shouted all the more loudly. Jesus asked them to call Bartimaeus. So they called him saying, "Take courage; get up; he's calling you!"(Mark10:49) Jesus healed his sight and commended him for his faith. Yet we also see that others helped to guide him to Jesus.

    So too, Muslims living in Jordan need believers to bring them to Jesus.

    • Pray for more workers to go to Jordan and to notice who is open to hearing about Jesus.

    • Pray that workers will flourish in spite of the many challenges they face on the field, including health issues.

    • Pray for the spread of the gospel in Jordan and for new movements to Christ to emerge.

    • We thank God for the way he is strengthening the church in Jordan through the efforts of faithful workers, supporters and prayer warriors like you.

    If you want to continue to pray for Jordan, you can download an app to your smartphone called ‘Awaken Jordan.’ Click on this link for Apple (iOS) https://apps.apple.com/us/app/awaken-jordan/id1464995034 and the following link for Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.mdyearofprayer.AwakenJordan

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    4 days ago

    Friday 12th July

    Divine opportunities

    “Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” Deut 4:6

    In the West when talking to people, we usually say ‘look’ when trying to make a point. In Jordan you are more likely to hear the word ‘listen.’ In Deuteronomy (4:6-9), the Hebrew command was to listen. How then might believers take everyday interactions and connect them to spiritual truths in order to reach Jordanians with the Good News?
    When a Christian worker met his Muslim friend as he was putting away his prayer mat after the required daily prayers, he explained to his friend that he can talk to Jesus more than five times a day and a conversation about the importance of prayer and listening to God ensued.

    When the worker had his 33rd birthday, he started a conversation with his friends, saying he often wondered how Jesus felt at that same age when he faced crucifixion. This led to chatting about Jesus’ death and resurrection.

    As this worker loves to stroll around the neighbourhood, it gives him opportunities to pray and to interact with those he meets. He lives in a town where now and again at a time when school finishes, he sees a shepherd crossing the road with his flock of sheep wandering amongst the busy traffic! When the shepherd was asked by a security guard at the school if he could come at a quieter time of the day when it would cause less chaos, the shepherd said his family had been following this route at this time for generations and why would he change? Imagine a shepherd taking his flock through the busy streets of our towns!

    Yet this gives an amazing opportunity to engage in Biblical truths about the Good Shepherd with the local people.

    • Pray for believers to notice opportunities and have the courage to naturally start a conversation that identifies them as a follower of Jesus and opens up a conversation about Him.

    • Pray for Muslims to really listen and respond to the gospel message.

    • Pray for many Muslims to come to know the Good Shepherd and listen to His voice.

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    5 days ago

    Thursday 11th July

    Reaching Jordanians with the gospel

    Although refugees in Jordan are open to hearing the gospel, reaching Jordanians themselves with it
    is harder, because they do not have as much reason to be open to new things and there is great persecution for those who become believers.

    Appearances are everything, so when a family member chooses to leave Islam, it brings great shame on their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and wider family. Muslims who choose to follow Christ in Jordan risk so much, including their home and their ability to find a job. If they are married, they risk divorce and if they have children, they risk losing custody. There are reports of beatings, interrogations and imprisonment.

    However, there are Jordanian Muslims coming to Christ and more than at any time previously, although the number is still fairly small.

    Praise God, Mission Network News reported earlier this year of four Jordanians who took the rare step of being publicly baptised. Each was from a Muslim background and gave their testimony of how they had come to faith in Christ.

    • Let’s pray for boldness and protection for the four Jordanians recently baptised and for all Jordanian Muslim background believers. Pray that they would stand strong, despite any pressure to return to Islam and the likelihood of persecution.

    • Pray that the cultural stronghold of shame and honour would not prevent Muslims from finding and following Jesus in the country of Jordan.

    • Pray for those who are afraid of what might happen if they should choose to follow Christ. May the Lord give them courage, but may He also work in the hearts of family members, so they too choose to follow Him!

    • Pray for the persecutors and the authorities. May their eyes be opened so they will have an opportunity to hear about the One who offers them hope and freedom.

    Sources: Mission Network News https://www.mnnonline.org/news/jordanian-christian-population-decreasing-but-more-people-are-open-to-christ/
    https://www.mnnonline.org/news/four-new-believers-brave-public-baptism/
    and Arab World Media https://www.arabworldmedia.org/prayer-guides/breakthrough-january-2018/

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    6 days ago

    Wednesday 10th July

    Refugees in Jordan

    From as early as 1948, Jordan has accepted refugees from neighbouring countries in conflict. The first refugees were from Palestine, following the Arab-Israeli War in 1948 -1949, while another wave of Palestinians arrived in 1967 following the Six-Day War. Today over 2 million Palestinians live in Jordan, although most have Jordanian citizenship.

    Following the 2003 Iraq war, over 1 million Iraqi refugees arrived in Jordan. Although many have since returned home, approximately 130,000 still remain.

    Syrian refugees make up the largest number, estimated at between 1.3 and 1.4 million. They face the daily hardships of financial struggles, exploitation, broken marriages, health issues and missing relatives in Syria. 85% live below the poverty line.

    There are also refugees from Libya and Yemen living there. While Jordan continues to accept refugees, the recent large influx from Syria has placed substantial strain on national resources and infrastructure. This is especially challenging for the government. The Jordanian foreign minister said that the country had spent £7.7 billion in hosting them, putting enormous pressure on its already overstretched resources.

    But God is working among refugees there. Many Muslims are becoming believers. Syrians are becoming peace-makers as they gather together and study the Scriptures. They are supporting each other in prayer and with acts of faith each week.

    • Let’s ask that as refugees become followers of Christ, they will be a blessing to Jordan and not a burden.

    • Pray for healing and restoration for all refugees and for the many who have crossed into Jordan to hear the truth of the gospel clearly.

    • Let’s ask God to bless Jordan for its history in taking in the refugee and for continuing to do so, despite the immense cost.

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