5th Nov 2018

I often wonder how God looks at us whenever we get caught up scurrying around—collecting strategies and best practices and the top 10 ways to be effective evangelists, parents, Sunday school teachers, or pastors.

Strategies and best practices are essential for a healthy ministry. It’s important to learn about what tends to work.

And yet, God is so creative! He often works outside our boxes and shows up in the strangest ways and places.

Here are a few of the strange ways my team has seen our creative God at work in the lives of our Muslim friends on the field.

Layla is fiery and full of passion. And her steps of faith are directly connected to ballroom dancing! She made a friend in her dance class who loves Jesus and who shared the Gospel with her. God literally danced Layla into the Kingdom!

Another woman named Aisha wanted to read about Jesus Christ in the Word. But her husband told her he wanted her to have nothing to do with the Bible. His opposition increased her desire to learn more, and she eventually embraced Jesus Christ. This infuriated her parents, and her husband divorced her.

Even so, Aisha says that out of great loss, she has found her greatest treasure in the Saviour.

And then there’s our old bathtub with its slow-leaking drain. Recently, it was used to baptize our friend Halima, for whom we’d been praying for years. Halima was ready to follow Jesus Christ, even though she knew it meant sacrificing much for the Kingdom. So, we filled the leaky tub and celebrated as we welcomed our new sister into the family. What a moment!

We don’t always get to see the fruit of our prayers of faith and our labour in the harvest.

But when we catch a glimpse of God’s strange and creative ways—like bathtubs and ballroom dancing—we celebrate that more Muslim men and women are embracing Jesus Christ!

God is using miracles both big and small to draw Muslims into the Kingdom. 

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14 hours ago

Friday 16th November

Gorontalo people – an unreached people group Pop: 1 Million Muslim: 98%

Among over 1 million Gorontalo in Sulawesi, there are believed to be only about 3,200 followers of Christ. This people group live in the northern part of the island, in an area made up o...

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1 day ago

Thursday 15th November

The Bugis – an unreached people group Pop: >5 million Muslim: 99%

The Bugis are the dominant people group in Sulawesi. They number over five million and live mainly in the south of the island.

They make their living by hunting, fishing, farming,...

Read More

2 days ago

Wednesday 14th November

Los Pueblos Abandonados – written by a Frontiers worker

I asked a Spanish-speaking friend, “What’s the word for ‘unengaged peoples’ in Spanish?”

What he said went right to my heart.

“Los pueblos abandonados,” he said, which ...

Read More

3 days ago

Tuesday 13th November

Recent earthquake and tsunami

There are several large islands in Indonesia, including Sulawesi, which is the world’s eleventh largest island. This was where the recent earthquake struck on the 28th of September.

The 7.5 magnitude earthquake triggere...

Read More

4 days ago

Monday 12th November

Introducing Indonesia Pop: 260 million Muslim: 215 million (83%)

With thousands of islands, Indonesia is a unique and fascinating archipelago situated between Australia and mainland Asia. Indonesia draws tourists in their millions each year and has generated ...

Read More

6 days ago

Saturday 10th November

Tragedies and miracles – a story from a Southeast Asian country
A small path leads to the hut that was built to give shelter to a small family: Faadl and Elmas who are 14 and 16 years old, their mother and little Hasuma who is 3 years old. The house has a big li...

Read More

14 hours ago

Friday 16th November

Gorontalo people – an unreached people group Pop: 1 Million Muslim: 98%

Among over 1 million Gorontalo in Sulawesi, there are believed to be only about 3,200 followers of Christ. This people group live in the northern part of the island, in an area made up of extensive coastlines, rugged mountains and a large central valley with a beautiful lake at its centre.

The Gorontalo have traditionally lived along the coast and in the fertile lowlands beside rivers and streams. They make their living by farming or fishing. Today quite a few are active in various businesses, from selling used clothing in the marketplace to running national companies. A number are powerful national figures.

The Gorontalo have been Muslim since the 16th century. They observe Friday prayers with colleagues from work. Many residents also walk to their neighbourhood mosque for evening prayers. Each village has one to three mosques.

Despite being strongly Islamic, many Gorontalo still believe in motolohuta (supernatural creatures) and hulobalangi (mysterious powers) of which they are both fearful and fascinated. Others believe that the graves of people who possessed supernatural power in ancient days are sacred.

Yet their beliefs do not bring them the life they so desire. Perhaps this is illustrated by a story published by Global Prayer Digest about Jawaria, a Gorontalo woman and a faithful follower of Islam. She was introduced to Ati who followed Jesus and was radically different from anyone else Jawaria had ever known. Ati trained Jawaria to take selected Bible stories, one at a time, and then discuss them with her household.

As Jawaria honestly thought about her life, she realised she had many unmet needs. She felt like one who had been invited to know Allah and yet was always separated by a great chasm between herself and a holy and just God. She wondered if the stories in the Bible held the answer.

• Pray for those such as Jawaria who have studied the Bible, but are torn between their long-held Islamic beliefs and the truth of the Word of God. Let’s pray the veil is removed and they can begin a life-giving relationship with our good and loving Father.

• We praise God for bold and faithful workers such as Ati and yet we know so many more workers are needed. Please pray to God to move people’s hearts to go to these unreached people.

• Pray for the church-planting efforts among the Gorontalo so many may find God’s true and straight pathway found in Jesus alone.

Sources: https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/11931/ID
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/issue/day/2013/06/27

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1 day ago

Thursday 15th November

The Bugis – an unreached people group Pop: >5 million Muslim: 99%

The Bugis are the dominant people group in Sulawesi. They number over five million and live mainly in the south of the island.

They make their living by hunting, fishing, farming, raising livestock or making handicrafts. Those who live in the mountains make their livelihood as farmers and those living along the coastal regions usually work as fishermen. They are known for their craftsmanship in boat-building. However, many Bugis have left their home area to seek success and wealth and have moved to other large Indonesian islands and nearby Malaysia.

Two of the most important cultural values for Bugis are siri (personal honour) and siri-pesse (communal honour). A person must defend, maintain and build his own siri. If a person’s siri is offended, serious forms of revenge may follow.

The Bugis believe very strongly that certain days are special, with good fortune for events and activities held on the first Wednesday and last Thursday of each month. Conversely, they consider Saturday to be a bad day and more likely to bring misfortune.

The Bugis are well known for their fervent adherence to Sunni Islam. Global Prayer Digest reported how this has led to hostility towards Christianity, so few Christian workers have persevered in reaching them. While on a prayer drive a few years ago, church-planting mission teams realised how crucial prayer was to begin reaching people. Even so, after two years of sharing Christ, follow up and prayer, only one household had become believers. Three other households had received Christ through this network, bringing the total to seventeen people that came to the Light. There are only approximately ten known Bugis churches, and they are presently not reproducing.

Prayer is a key to breaking spiritual strongholds and rescuing people from the kingdom of darkness and bringing them into the Kingdom of Light.

• Let’s pray that the eyes of the Bugis will be opened to see Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

• Since we know that prayer is crucial in preparing hearts to receive Christ, let’s cry out to God for many Bugis households to turn from the strongholds of Islam to freedom in Christ.

• Pray for workers who are willing to persevere in this hostile environment.
Do you know? The origin of the name ‘bogeyman’? During the Spice Islands trade of centuries ago, the Bugis people were known as marauding sea-faring pirates. Parents would tell their children that they must behave or they would be given over to the ‘bogeyman.’

Sources: http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/issue/day/2014/06/27

http://www.prayingforindonesia.com/the-islands-of-indonesia/sulawesi/

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2 days ago

Wednesday 14th November

Los Pueblos Abandonados – written by a Frontiers worker

I asked a Spanish-speaking friend, “What’s the word for ‘unengaged peoples’ in Spanish?”

What he said went right to my heart.

“Los pueblos abandonados,” he said, which means the abandoned people.

Does your heart cry out for los abandonados?

There are enough workers in the eminently liveable cities of London and Vienna, Istanbul and Amman! There must be more courageous Christians who want to go where there is no path, where no footsteps have gone ahead, where there are no pins in the missions map.

The places where some of the pueblos abandonados live are among the 17 million Indonesians on the island of Sulawesi.

Official statistics put the Muslim population there at just over 96%, with Protestant and Catholic Christians numbering just above 2%. This is where more workers are needed in Indonesia to bring the good news of the gospel and even more so following the recent tragic events we read about yesterday.

• Pray for the Holy Spirit to open doors and create opportunities for the gospel in the lives of individuals, families, villages and communities in Sulawesi.

• Pray for more labourers to go and live and represent our Lord Jesus Christ in Sulawesi.

• Pray that churches across the world would be moved by the numbers of ‘abandoned people’ in Sulawesi yet to meet Jesus, and that they would become sending churches.
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:14)

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3 days ago

Tuesday 13th November

Recent earthquake and tsunami

There are several large islands in Indonesia, including Sulawesi, which is the world’s eleventh largest island. This was where the recent earthquake struck on the 28th of September.

The 7.5 magnitude earthquake triggered a devastating 3 metre high tsunami, which together has led to over 1,950 deaths and injuries to more than 2,300 people. Over 5,000 people are reported missing and over 62,000 internally displaced.

Palu in Central Sulawesi on the west coast was the hardest hit city as this was where the tsunami came into the bay and destroyed many surrounding towns and villages. Thousands of homes, hotels, shopping centres and several mosques were destroyed. There are over 2.4 million people affected and over 16,000 in Palu city alone were displaced. The tsunami also came into the beach area of Donggala about an hour north of Palu on the west coast, causing huge devastation there. Rivers of soil swept away entire neighbourhoods in this whole area.

The central part of the island is very mountainous, meaning the peninsulas are remote from each other. This geography, combined with collapsed infrastructure, cracked roads and loss of power lines makes communication and reaching those affected on the island very difficult.

This was the second earthquake in two months to hit Indonesia and claim hundreds of lives.

International aid of food, water and medical supplies has helped, but many are now left to try to come to terms with the loss of their loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods.

• Let’s pray for the people of Indonesia and particularly of Sulawesi as they come to terms with this disaster and try to rebuild their lives.

• Pray for God’s saving grace for those who do not yet know Him and let’s pray that through this disaster, Muslims will come to find the One who is dependable.
“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” Matt 7:25

• We thank God for all those involved in the continued coordination of rescue and relief efforts. Pray these efforts will be efficiently and safely carried out and through this people will see the love of Jesus.

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4 days ago

Monday 12th November

Introducing Indonesia Pop: 260 million Muslim: 215 million (83%)

With thousands of islands, Indonesia is a unique and fascinating archipelago situated between Australia and mainland Asia. Indonesia draws tourists in their millions each year and has generated a great deal of scientific interest in its natural marvels and plethora of plant and animal species. For a single country it boasts the most incredible array of peoples, cultures and biodiversity; one that you might expect from several different nations combined.

The fact that Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population originates from Arab settlement on the islands back in the 4th century. Islamic influence grew with the birth of Islam a few centuries later - often melding with Indonesian spiritual traditions. European conquest is believed to have catalysed this growth, as Indonesians sought to oppose Westerners’ presence by adopting stronger Islamic values. Islam now plays a significant role in Indonesian life; notably in government, politics and spiritual practices.

Following Indonesia’s independence from the Dutch in 1949, the church suffered persecution from the country’s second president, Suharto, and his government. Evangelism was hugely restricted during this time, leaving the church unprepared for the task of sharing the gospel with its Muslim neighbours when Suharto’s leadership ended in 1998. Indonesia is now developing a greater openness to other faiths, which is creating new opportunities for gospel witness.

The effort of long-term workers in Indonesia is playing a significant role. Over the years, many of these workers have seen fruit in working in partnership with Indonesian believers to develop their hearts for the unreached Muslim peoples around them. Today Indonesia is seeing large movements of Muslims coming to faith. Almost all are being led by local believers... and sometimes believers who were led to faith by foreign workers. There’s something exciting happening; kingdom growth amongst Muslims in Indonesia is greater than has been seen in any other area of the world.

However, nearly 182 million people live within people groups that have no access to the good news. There is an immense task ahead in Indonesia - for the existing church, for the body of new believers and for those who come alongside to envision and disciple them. Most unreached peoples are found in villages and rural areas, and more intentional effort is needed to cross the cultural and physical divides in order for them to hear the good news of Jesus. Time, patience and investment in relationships are then essential to seeing long term impacts of God’s love in each of these communities.

We are now at a key time for more workers to both pioneer, and continue mobilising and joining in with the efforts of local churches. With more discipleship of indigenous believers, raising up of visionary leaders and more workers sent to places where the gospel hasn’t gone before, we can believe for many more to turn to the Saviour.

• Pray for the effectiveness of the Word of God as it is distributed throughout the region and as Muslims read it for the very first time.

• Ask for revival among national believers and that they would share their faith with their Muslim neighbours.

• Islamic practice there is steeped in folk traditions. Ask God to help workers discover how to share His infinite love and power with Muslims.

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6 days ago

Saturday 10th November

Tragedies and miracles – a story from a Southeast Asian country
A small path leads to the hut that was built to give shelter to a small family: Faadl and Elmas who are 14 and 16 years old, their mother and little Hasuma who is 3 years old. The house has a big living area and a few smaller rooms for kitchen and sleeping areas, one for mum and the baby, one for the two boys and a third one for the uncle who moved in after their father’s death.

Faadl shares what happened on the day his father died. He was on the way to sell chickens. This was the business he set up after he fled from Myanmar with his wife and Faadl as a baby. He worked hard to buy chickens, feed them and sell them to costumers in the surrounding villages and town areas. He did that using his motor bike. He was able to earn a little money – at least enough to provide for his family, always fearing that the police could arrest him anytime. As a refugee in this country he wasn’t allowed to work at all.

There were troubles with the local community. They didn’t like the business. The chickens were smelly and noisy, especially when preparing them for selling. And some neighbours were jealous. Therefore Faadl’s father searched for an area cheap enough to rent or buy something and to use for his chicken business. He couldn’t find anything, until he found the swampland in between the railroad and the barbwire wall. The house he built was simple, yet big enough to hold the whole family and guarantee a safe home, at least when it didn’t rain much.

The day when the accident happened, Faadl’s father had left the house to sell some chickens. He had to stop at one of the main roads, but needed to cross it in order to deliver a few of his chickens. Nobody exactly knows what happened but a lorry driver didn’t see him and the father of three was hit. He died on the spot. With tear-filled eyes and a sense of hopelessness, Faadl ends his story.

Almost a year after this tragedy Faadl and Elmas are struggling to keep up the business and pursue their education in a nearby refugee school. They go to school in the morning and sell chickens in the afternoon. Faadl is at breaking point because of the immense responsibility he has to carry. Being the eldest son, he is eager to provide for his family. But he cannot go as far as his hardworking father could; he cannot use the bike to deliver chicken, since he doesn’t own a license. If the police catch him and send him into detention, nobody would be able to provide for the family anymore.

Hopeless, abandoned, futureless Faadl and Elmas are devastated. And so is their mum. Following Rohingya culture, her husband used to do every work outside the house for her. Now she has to go shopping, not able to speak the local language, since she didn’t have to leave the house before. The uncle (her brother) moved in after the accident and tries his best to support the family wherever possible.

When a flood hit the state, thousands were affected. A lot of Rohingya lost their possessions, among them Faadl and Elmas’ family. During the flood, water rose so high inside the house that they could only stay in the highest area on a small platform. The school closed for a few days, because the students weren’t able to attend school. Two trees were uprooted during the heavy storm and rain. A third tree that would have hit and destroyed their house did not fall. After the flood the situation improved, with support from the school and other people. They were able to renovate the house a little.

Hope arose. They also started seeing a white man walking through their dreams. They haven’t understood the significance of this yet. In front of their house one of the trees that was uprooted has started growing again and is now bearing new branches with green leaves as before. They are surrounded by miracles. We thank God for His protection during the flood and for sparing their house from being destroyed.

• Ask God to reveal himself that they might see his glory and ultimately encounter “Isa Al-Masih” as the Rohingya call Jesus.

• Ask God to give strength to bear daily life with all the pain and suffering this family and two boys have to go through.

• Ask God for a revelation of His father heart, that He might become their peace, hope and future.

Source: https://www.pray4rohingya.org/prayer-story-27-tragedy-and-miracles/

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Bathtubs and Ballroom Dancing Overlay

Bathtubs and Ballroom Dancing 5th Nov 2018

Here are a few of the stranger ways my team has seen our creative God at work in the lives of our Muslim friends on the field.

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Pray Now Overlay

Pray Now

Friday 16th November

Gorontalo people – an unreached people group Pop: 1 Million Muslim: 98%

Among over 1 million Gorontalo in Sulawesi, there are believed to be only about 3,200 ...

Pray Now
Islam: Getting to the Heart Overlay 02 Dec 2018 08 Dec 2018
Overlay

Islam: Getting to the Heart

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