missions, prayer

Weekly Prayer Items from Mission Network News

Greetings from Mission Network News, a daily news service of Cornerstone University of Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. This is your weekly Mission Network News prayer bulletin. You’re receiving this update because you signed our guest book. If you’d like to be removed from this list please follow the instructions at the bottom of this email.Here are your weekly prayer items. Please pray over them during your personal devotional time and at your church prayer meeting.

It’s been one year since the tsunami, much work yet to be doneIt was one year ago this past week that a massive earthquake off the coast of Indonesia changed 11 nations throughout Southeast Asia. A tsunami struck on December 26, 2004, killing more than 200,000 people. In Indonesia alone, more than 100,000 people died and entire cities and villages were destroyed. Bruce Smith with Wycliffe Associates says his organization had extensive work in Indonesia before the tsunami, but not in the hardest hit area, Banda Aceh. It was closed to Christians for a long time due to unrest in the area. But, Smith says the opening of the area up to relief and support after the tsunami was unprecedented. While physical work has been ongoing, it’s paving the way for future outreach, Smith says, especially in the areas of language research and being in contact with people groups they didn’t have contact with previously. The country of Indonesia has about 500 languages that are still without any Scripture at all, and Smith says their commitment there is long-term.Praise God for how He has worked amidst the devastation of the past year. Pray for those believers who are working and bringing the hope of Christ there. ___________________________________________________________________

Christians shore up hope as tsunami survivors face a year of change.Marking the one year anniversary of the tsunami, grief again grips Indonesia’s Aceh Province. Food For the Hungry’s John Frick says they’re projecting that the rebuilding process will take a decade, with emotional healing perhaps taking generations. Within 24 hours of the disaster last year, FHI landed emergency response. Since then, they’ve dedicated personnel teams for the long haul, with an emphasis that has shifted from aid to rebuilding. A lot of FHI’s efforts have revolved around livelihood and business restoration, as well as infrastructure and agriculture. Prior to the tsunami, Indonesian Christians were leery of going into the Aceh province because of the persecution. But, Frick says now they’re goal is to involve Indonesian believers into the mix of everything they’re doing, with the objective of sharing the love of Christ in tangible ways.Pray for those who are still suffering. Pray for the ongoing work of rebuilding and restoring what was destroyed. Pray that Indonesian believers will be a shining light of God’s hope and peace to their own people.

Amidst the wreckage of the tsunami, hope exists and rebuilds.Along the shores of India, the visible marks of the fury of the ocean are slowly receding. Like many other aid groups, Hopegivers International’s Bill Bray says they’re out of emergency mode, and well into Phase Two of their tsunami reconstruction plan. They have several buildings under construction right now. They are being built for the children. They hope to have 12 Hope Homes constructed by time they’re done. Bray says they’re working on a five-year timeline for the homes. He adds that both this phase and the next and future outreach would not have been possible without the disaster. Through the tsunami relief, there are new open doors in many of the villages for ongoing relationships and evangelism. As their projects take on a life of their own, Bray says they plan to send teams to most of these villages to do church planting and establish a long-term presence.Praise God for new open doors. Pray for relationships to be strengthened and trust built to enable many to come to know Christ.

Indonesian rebels disarm–believers watch the outcome. The civil war in Indonesia’s Aceh province may be over. Rebels have officially disarmed. Voice of the Martyr’s Todd Nettleton says peace talks between the rebels and the government were already underway prior to the tsunami. However, once the disaster struck, priorities changed and both sides saw that in order to facilitate rebuilding, they were going to need to work together. Nettleton confirms the connection between humanitarian aid, relationship building and the ongoing potential for evangelistic work. Along with a connection to the local church, there is also discipleship for new Christians. However, prayer remains essential. “Thousands of people around the world prayed for this region because Indonesia is an area that has persecution, that has hostility towards Christians but the absence of armed conflict is obviously going to be a good thing for the people of Banda Aceh, for the people of the Aceh region.”Pray for continued peace, even after the rebuilding isn’t as urgent. Pray that the peace of Christ is what stabilizes that country.

Hope fuels rebuilding along Sri Lanka’s ravaged coast.Fear of another tsunami haunts the survivors of last year’s monster wave in Sri Lanka. With this week focusing on the one-year anniversary, those thoughts are prevalent. However, that hasn’t stopped the people from resuming life. World Vision’s Steve Matthews recounts a discussion he had with a survivor they built a home for and describes the scope of Christian ministry and Gospel impact. Matthews asked the man how he felt as a Muslim, receiving help from a Christian aid agency from the West, and looked at Matthews as if it was an absurd question. But then he told how he was curious about Christians and actually went to a local church a few times to find out what Christians were all about. Thus, relationships begin. World Vision plans to serve tsunami-hit communities for the next two to five years, implementing programs that first and foremost support the capacities and aspirations of the survivors, with a special focus on the needs of children.Praise God for the witness of His people. Pray for many who have encountered Christians and have questions. Pray that God’s Spirit would draw many to Himself. ___________________________________________________________________

Mission Network News is dedicated to keeping Christians informed about missions and evangelism around the world. Our goal is to help you become engaged in missions through praying more effectively, giving or going to the field short or long term.

Thank you for your dedication and heart for world missions. Your prayers are greatly appreciated. May God richly bless you as you serve Him today!

In His grip,
Greg Yoder,
Executive Director
Mission Network News

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