Happy Fast Day!
I have recently listened to a few of David Platt's Radical sermons. Found here if you are interested. Along with that I have been reading a few books and doing some research....
What I've found is what all of us have discovered when traveling to an impoverished nation. We go, thinking we are going to pour into and minister to these precious people. And we do, don't get me wrong. We are able to provide food, water and other resources. But somewhere in the midst, we realize that these poor people might just know more about Jesus than we do.
The truth is that the Church is going exponentially in many of these countries. People are coming to Jesus and not the easy way... (raise a hand in a church service :-) They are risking their lives to come to the Lord. Then, as believers they are giving it all away to risk their lives for their fellow countrymen to see Him more clearly.
This week, I was thinking that we might want to take a day to consider the church. To spend the day in prayer and intercession for the mighty work the Lord is doing in growing His church across the nations and to pray that people would continue to answer to His call and to live out lives of surrender to Him. Might we also ask the Lord to radically change our churches? To change the church of the West where we've made Jesus easy and accessible and for some reason have stopped growing. Might we ask the Lord what HE has to teach each and every one of us through the believers we have met in the poorest places on earth? Might we search our hearts to see if we have the same level of surrender that the Muslim Iman has when considering whether to follow Jesus. The same kind of trust that the widow who can't feed her grandchildren has in the Lord. The joy that the man who lives as a slave in a brick kiln has. Oh Jesus, today as we consider the poor, the hungry and the oppressed search our hearts Lord and teach us. Show us where our own faith is lacking as we pray that you will be all that you are to the needy throughout the land.
Remember the Poor:
Praying for freedom for the western church. Praying that we would no longer be slaves to sin, and that Christ would set us free from slavery to sin, from bondage to worldliness, from the desire to be rich that plunges us into ruin and destruction. Asking the Lord that instead we would desire His Spirit, for where the Spirit of the Lord is there is FREEDOM!
Please pray for our upcoming trips to Uganda and Ethiopia. Deadlines are approaching (or here) for people to come. Pray He prepares the hearts of the people
Please Pray for our sites that have launched sponsorship, but don't have all the kids sponsored. Pray that people would step up and pray for ideas, strength and perserverence for the sponsorship coordinators for these sites.
Pray for our in country staff in Russia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Swaziland and South Africa
Pray for upcoming trips to Moldova and India, pray that HE brings about the contacts where we need to partner
As we prepare for our new launches in India and Moldova as well as our continued work in our graduate programs in Russia, our hearts are again torn by the trafficking issues. Please join us in praying for the girls who will today be lured by promises of a new job and be forced into a life of sex slavery. Pray for the little girls in India who live in brothels (one of our possible Indian partners recently heard of 5=8 girls being held in a brothel and they are planning a rescue even now.) PRAY that God will stir the hearts of people to act to bring about JUSTICE for these precious ones.
Orphan Relief and Rescue
-We've been focusing on and going over Gal 2:20 as a team these past few days, asking God to call to mind areas that we're "interested, but not identified with Christ". Those holdout areas. God has shone light into dark corners and redeemed those we've allowed him to touch. As always, grace is gentler and more thorough than we imagine, I think....
Requests from Orphan Relief and Rescue this week:
- As our President, Tim Pratt, is in Liberia to bolster our field team, pouring into them with prayer and devos and one-on-one times, pray that God would continue to lift up, encourage, challenge and reveal.
- Please continue to remember Michael (teenager with liver disease undergoing longterm treatment), Korpu (underweight girl in foster care), and Mardea (infant with CP in hospital).
- One group we often overlook in prayer: our workers. Please pray for our masons, carpenters, security guards, monitors -- for health and strength, provision for their families, and most of all spiritual growth in Christ.
Bless you guys as you keep up the prayers. We appreciate your toil, really and truly