Requests from the IMB
SOMALI OF THE HORN OF AFRICA (suh-MAH-lee). In the Horn of Africa this year, rain has been scarce. The drought has claimed the lives of both humans and animals, both of which are significant among a people whose families are central to their society and whose livelihood comes in large part from their herds. In the Somali region of Ethiopia, regular power outages have resulted from a lack of sufficient hydroelectric power. In Djibouti, intense heat perpetuated during a season when rain and relief were expected. And in Somalia, the distribution of food aid is stymied by ongoing conflict. Many relief workers have been killed in Somalia this year, many organizations have disbanded their relief operations in the country, and pirates have continued to capture food shipments coming in by sea. Pray for those suffering as a result of drought and impending famine. Pray that relief organizations will be able to spread hope and the truth of the gospel as they distribute food aid in the Somali region, especially in those areas where Christian workers are not generally allowed access.
SEREER OF SENEGAL AND THE GAMBIA (suh-RARE). As she prepares for language evaluations, one of the subjects that missionary Kimberley F. has to master is to articulate the difference between her faith and the two major faiths found in Senegal. Kimberley was talking through this with O.S., a student about to graduate from secondary school who has been helping her to prepare. He is an intelligent young man who has been awarded a scholarship to a university in France. In the course of the conversation, Kimberley asked him, “O.S., what do you believe will happen when you stand before God?” He replied, “I hope that God will have pity on me. The good works I did during my lifetime must outweigh my sins; then maybe I could have a chance to enter heaven.” Voicing a prayer in her heart to God, Kimberley said, “O.S., I can tell you with all confidence that when I die, I will be in God’s presence and He will welcome me into heaven.” She continued, “I know that God is holy and I am sinful, so because of this, I cannot enter His presence on my own. It is only because I have accepted God’s gracious gift in sending His Son to die in my place that He has written my name in His book.” O.S. says that he is “curious” about this faith and wants to know more. Please pray for him as he reads the Bible on his own, claiming John 8:32 as you pray.
ZIMBABWE. Baptists in Zimbabwe are being blessed abundantly by donations from the United States through the newly formed Baptist Global Response (BGR). BGR has provided more than 100 tons of food in the form of food boxes delivered to destitute families. The boxes include staple items that could be purchased for approximately $25 U.S., but it would take more than a year’s salary for most Zimbabweans to purchase these items–if they were available in the grocery stores! One woman wept as she opened her box, “I was praying this morning, asking God what to do because I have no food to eat. Then you brought this food to me. I know God really does care about me.” An elderly man, not a Baptist, who has been surviving on one bowl of porridge a day, was overcome and could not speak for quite some time after getting his box. Everywhere people are saying that Baptists don’t just talk about God’s love, they give it away! BGR has also purchased more than $40,000 worth of essential medicines for the Sanyati Baptist Hospital and is currently working on re-vamping the hospital’s water system. Another project on the drawing board is to distribute school supplies to 25,000 needy students along with book covers imprinted with evangelistic stories and Scriptures, as well as the plan of salvation. Pray that as Baptists in Zimbabwe continue to provide for the needs of the people, many will be open to hearing the gospel, and ask that Baptists will be able to meet spiritual needs as well.
PHILIPPINES. “On site with insight” is a phrase used to explain the significance of prayerwalking. How about riding a motorcycle and a boat? Carl Miller and Pastor S in Leyte (Central Region) guided 22 men from Mindanao (Southern Region), who traveled on motorcycles, to learn about ministry opportunities on Samar and Leyte and discover where God can use them. The men hired a boat to go up river to see where God is at work among the Cebuano and Waray people of Leyte and Samar. Pray that this experience will motivate these men to effectively share the vision for a church planting movement among their home churches in Mindanao and that God will call out co-workers as a result.
KURDS OF IRAN. For several years, there has been an adequate translation of the New Testament in the Sorani Kurdish language. However, there has never been a Sorani full Bible translation. Please pray for those currently involved in this translation project. These workers have labored on this translation for many years now. There are various holdups and delays, which are causing many to grow discouraged with the project. Please pray that a deep sense of unity will come over all involved in this project, and that all involved will press on to finish the translation. Access to the whole Bible is vital to the complete and effective training of Sorani believers and leaders. It is essential for the long-term growth and development of the Sorani-speaking church. Pray that many Sorani Kurds will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as a result of this Sorani full Bible. firstname.lastname@example.org; http://centralasia.imb.org/
JAT SIKHS OF INDIA (jut SEEKS). “Hands On” is a program for young adults to spend six months on the mission field getting their hands on the work. There are positions open for two young men to spend the spring of 2009 helping with the Jat Sikh work. It requires young men who are bold and passionate about reaching the lost. These young men will plunge into the front lines of lostness as they work with Jat Sikhs. They will share the gospel, and many of the listeners will be hearing it for the first time. Please pray for the Lord to call the right people to fill this request. Maybe He is calling you or someone you know. SouthAsiaVIM@wigtake.org; http://www.go2southasia.org/
AIDS. After her husband took another wife, she was then “chased away” from her home by her stepson and forced to find another place to live; a 13-year-old was raped by a young man living in a room in her mother and stepfather’s house and is now five months pregnant; a faithful Christian recently found out her brother had been abusing her daughter–these are just a few cases of abuse occurring in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. For most women who find themselves in abusive situations, there is very little recourse since there are few laws to protect them. Statistics indicate that approximately one out of three women in southeastern Africa has suffered some form of sexual abuse as a child. For some who continue to deal with their situations as well as the possibility of contacting the HIV virus from their experiences, the nightmare continues. Pray for the plight of women and children who live in fear of abuse on a regular basis. Pray that laws will be passed and enforced, protecting them and allowing them to live healthy and happy lives. http://www.imb.org/AIDS/
The Marvelous Monday services tonight at 7 P.M. will be led by Bobby Eads and Tim & Becky Daniels. A nursery will be provided. There will be a time of fellowship following the service. Please try to attend.
The monthly share group will be at 6:30 P.M.Thursday at the Alford cabin. Please feel free to join in the food, fellowship, and devotional time. Call or email for directions.
“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” (Philippians 2:10).
Mike Benson, Editor
THE MOST DRAMATIC moment in human history makes for odd drama…
The hero is center-stage yet silent. His script is only seven lines long, some whispered, some groaned through gritted teeth. He gestures simply and seldom. He is still, pinned as it were to a prop from which neither the audience nor the other actors can easily unfasten their eyes. The stage is stark, the scenery sparse, the props peculiar — hammer, spikes, spear, dice. The action is minimal at best, at worst awkward. The lighting is at first too bright, then too night.
Other actors take the stage. Soldiers hammer and gamble, making light of the weighty moment. Bystanders assuage their boredom with blasphemy. Priests parrot their vain victory, ignorant of the irony: “If you come down, we will believe.” Followers weep and wonder, only a few and from afar. The rest, obvious in their absence, rest off-stage. Ultimately our eyes are drawn back to the main character, still still, and we listen to the seven lines and the sudden silence.
This old drama makes for odd drama. And we find ourselves left wondering less about the hero than ourselves. Where will we stand on the stage, with the deriders or the disciples? Will we stand fearfully but faithfully with the women or will we slip off to the wings unable to see or be seen? And what will we say when the next line is ours?
And if we should decide not to try out for this play, not to take part in this odd, old drama, it’s too late. By coming to this table we have already accepted a role, we have already joined the cast, we have already taken the stage. This meal is which we are invited reminds us that we are privileged to play a part, a part in the most dramatic moment in human history, in the great drama of redemption. (J. Lee Magness)
“And when they had mocked Him,
they took the purple off Him,
put His own clothes on Him,
and led Him out to crucify Him.”
Have a great day!