“Lord, I have called daily upon You;
I have stretched out my hands to You.”
INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS PRAYERLINE
INTERNATIONAL MISSION BOARD
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
“[I pray] that the eyes of your heart
may be enlightened so you may know
what is the hope of His calling,”
~Ephesians 1:18a, HCSB~
Dear Intercessors, this is Eleanor Witcher of the International Prayer Strategy Office, asking you to pray for our field personnel that they will stay focused on their high calling.
Recently, I had the glorious and exhausting experience of cooking a three-course international meal from scratch. As I prepared, God reminded me of life on the field. On the one hand, I did have to be extra creative to find the right ingredients or substitutes that would not spoil the overall effect. On the field, the unusual foods were right there in the market. However, that other hand kept smacking me in the face.
Here, I drove from store to store locating chickpeas that can be eaten like nuts and the variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that made the table pop with color. On the field, I walked to the market, went to several different vendors, and slowly carried the heavy bags home. The fresh foods were cleaned in bleach water. Here, I bought meat wrapped in cling wrap and felt confident the meat was fresh. On the field, I looked for the hoof of a cow or a sheep to identify the slab sitting out under the hot sun. The meat was hacked off with an axe, and I lugged it home to clean out the bone shards and trim the fat. Here, it got pretty hot in the kitchen as I prepared soup, baked bread, seared the meat; but all I had to do was lower the thermostat to make things comfortable. On the field during the one hundred degree days, there was no air conditioning and frequently no electricity to run a fan.
God reminded me of the challenges, but He also kept placing the faces of national friends on my heart. They struggled daily with financial and physical strain but were only beginning to understand their spiritual weakness. These friends had heard the name of Jesus; but before field personnel came to their city, they had not heard the Truth.
* Please pray for the lost that their hearts would be open to hearing God’s Word.
* Ask God to bring a cooling breeze into the lives of those living in harsh summer conditions.
* Intercede for missionaries that their focus will remain on Jesus rather than circumstance.
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC (prahg). Members of the Prague Mega-City Team will join others from the Central Europe Field (CEF) this month for their annual general meeting. This will be a time of worship and fellowship together and opportunities to become better equipped for future ministries. As these IMB representatives meet, pray that their hearts will be ready to hear a word from the Lord, that they will be encouraged, and that they will have wisdom as they make strategic plans for starting churches. Pray for the volunteers from the United States as they prepare to minister. Pray also for the volunteers who will care for the children of the representatives. Pray for safety for IMB representatives and volunteers as they travel to and from this meeting. Pray that they will return to their areas of ministry refreshed and renewed, and ready to face the tasks God has given them. http://www.pragueteam.org/
Please be in prayer for the US volunteers flying to Hungary to minister to our children and us at our annual meeting. We just received the prayer request below for one volunteer’s son. Please pray for the Zinke family and the son as he recovers from a motorcycle accident. Thank you!
Regina Zinke who was coming to work with the 7-9 year olds (Miles Haltchel’s class) is not able to come as her son was in a serious motorcycle accident yesterday. He has been unable to move his legs and that is all we know at this time. Please be praying for his complete recovery.
KENYA. “A miracle unlike anything I have ever known” is the way that one woman displaced by the recent post-election chaos in Kenya describes her return home last month. This woman, who has been attending a church in Nairobi during her time of being displaced, shared this testimony one week with the church that has offered her a temporary home: Trusting God that it was safe, she travelled last month to check on her Rift Valley farm for the first time since fleeing for her life in January. As she approached her house, a member of the ethnic group that had caused her to flee ran to meet her. Asking for her forgiveness, he said he had taken her donkeys, mattresses and chickens. With a repentant heart, he asked to return all her things at once. Accepting his apology, the woman shared that she had only come to see if she could return, which she now knew she could do! The man agreed to continue caring for her things until she returned home permanently. In this beautiful part of Kenya, where one can see for miles on a clear day or night, pray that this Christian woman will truly “shine like stars in the universe” as she holds “out the word of life” (Philippians 2:16) when she returns home to live among those who caused her to flee. http://omba4kenya.blogspot.com/
Big 10 from teamromany June 2008
1. Please pray for Lisa Kail and her team from Gibson County, Tennessee who will be leading a camp from Romany youth in Romania June 29-July 5. Pray that the teens who will attend will be encouraged and challenged to grow in their faith. The campers will be sharing their faith in communities near the camp. Please pray that those who hear the gospel will respond in faith.
2. Please pray for our team as we make final preparations for FARM 2008. Pray that the summer missionaries will be blessed and will be a blessing to others in the areas where they will serve.
3. International World Changers volunteer teams will serve with teamromany in both Romania and Czech Republic this summer. We will have nearly 300 students serving alongside us. Pray for us and for the leaders in the US as we make final preparations for these events.
4. Please pray for the Banks family as they move to Braila and begin serving with teamromany. Thank God with us that He provided a nice apartment for them. Pray for the Hills as they help the Banks in this time of transition.
5. The enemy is working hard to destroy, discourage and divide some of our national partners. Please pray that God would reconcile, rebuild, and restore.
6. Please pray for Katie Steele, a student summer missionary from Missouri who will serve in the Czech Republic. Pray that she will develop meaningful relationships with Romany girls that will allow her to share her faith.
7. Pray for the Silby family as they continue orientation in Virginia in preparation for joining us in the Czech Republic. Pray for them as they say good-bye to extended family and friends in the US.
8. Pray that we will be able to find a suitable apartment for the Silby family. Rental property in Brno is scarce.
9. Please be in prayer for American students who will attend Lifeway’s Centrifuge camps this summer. Their missions’ emphasis will be on the Roma. Pray that those who attend will learn more about the Roma, be encouraged to pray more for the Roma, and will give generously to the missions offering.
10. Please pray for Daniel as he returns to Romania. Thank God for the opportunities he has had to share about God’s work among the Roma while in the US. Pray for Daniel’s strength and energy as he will be hosting 3 volunteer teams in the first three weeks he is back on the field.
‘Give It Away,’Gaither tells Baptists
By Erin Roach
INDIANAPOLIS (BP)–Bill Gaither of gospel music’s Gaither Vocal Band told Southern Baptists the answer to the nation’s economic pressures is not a political solution but a spiritual solution based on God’s people learning to “give it away.”
“I think it starts with us, and I think when the church of Jesus Christ gets organized, we’ve got the resources to do it, and we can do it when we put our heads together,” Gaither told messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Indianapolis June 10.
As part of the Executive Committee’s morning report, the Gaither Vocal Band emphasized stewardship by singing their hit song “Give It Away,” and then Gaither spoke briefly about the importance of giving.
He said he and his wife Gloria still live in the same house about 50 miles north of Indianapolis where they lived as schoolteachers during the first decade of their 45-year marriage.
“We’ve tried to model for our three kids and now they’re trying to model the same thing for their kids the joy of giving, and I’m convinced that when we find the joy of giving we will find the joy of living. It’s built into the universe,” Gaither said.
“My granddad told me this years ago and my dad told me the same thing, ‘Bill, you’ve got to make up your mind. There are two kinds of folks in the world, takers and givers,'” he added.
The lyrics to the song Give It Away include: “If you want less lonely and a lot more fun and deep satisfaction when the day is done, throw your heart wide open and give it away. If you want more happy than your heart can hold, if you want to stand taller, if the truth were told, take whatever you have and give it away.”
In remarks to Baptist Press backstage, Gaither, a member of the Church of God, said he has “felt right at home” with Southern Baptists since the beginning of his singing career and didn’t mind emphasizing stewardship during his time at this year’s convention.
“You don’t follow Jesus very long until you get into the area of giving. It’s all about giving. In fact, He says, ‘Come follow Me and die,'” Gaither said. “By the time we’re done, we’ve given it all away. We’ve spent everything we’ve got. We’ve spent every bit of energy we’ve got, we’ve spent every bit of resources we’ve got, we’ve spent every bit of health we’ve got.
“It’s over, and we go home to be with Him,” Gaither said. “That’s the basis of it. That sounds rather tough, but in the long run it’s the only way to joy and real happiness and total fulfillment.”
Gaither said he is grieved by what he called the tragic pursuit of happiness at all costs that is so evident in today’s culture. Jesus, he noted, said anyone who wants to save his life must lose it.
“That is total giving,” Gaither said. “I think somehow we’ve got to start teaching our young kids at a very, very early age the importance of giving. We’re not going to live until we learn how to give.”
A model for giving was set by his father and grandfather as he was growing up, Gaither told BP.
“I never saw two people who lived for others like they lived for others,” he said.
Gaither remembers witnessing his grandfather signing his name to the church mortgage note, taking responsibility to keep the doors of the church open, he said.
“But it didn’t stop at the church. It went home with little deeds of kindness in the community,” Gaither said. “When my dad passed away at 91, the community people said, ‘I don’t know what we’re going to do now without George here removing our snow during winter.'”
Onstage, Gaither told Southern Baptists he often advises young musicians to examine their lifestyles and make sure they don’t buy cars or houses they can’t afford.
“Save something to give away. A tenth is just the beginning, and after that there’s so much joy in learning how to give,” he said.
At Gaither Vocal Band concerts, Gaither said they’ve been giving away $1,000 each night to five different people, and they ask those people to take the money back to their communities and give it away.
“Giving is the Christian theology lived out at its fullest,” Gaither told BP.
The SBC Executive Committee’s stewardship division has emphasized in recent years “It’s a New Day,” a financial freedom initiative intended to help church members get out of debt and learn to manage their finances according to the counsel of God’s Word.
Erin Roach is a staff writer for Baptist Press. For more information, visit www.sbc.net/newday.
If you are interested in reading about the SBC annual meeting, click on “Baptist Press” at the right.
Pray for day 3 of VBS. All seems to be going well. I’m having fun in the missions classes.