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Thank you!

Pray

Friday, May 14:

First Believer Among the Dem

Logan and Kendra Teall minister among the Dem people of Asia Pacific. “They [heard] Monday April 12 (or Sunday night April 11th US time), about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, and the 400 plus will be faced with a decision. To trust Jesus or not. Can you imagine the anticipation of the team? A quick update from Kendra … about the first Dem believer... ‘This is Eriak. Our team has known him since the beginning. He has been our co-worker Dylan’s main language helper and now translation helper for the past seven years. Each week Dylan goes over the lessons with him for the following week. He does this to be sure everything is correct and ready to be taught. Because of this, Eriak has had the privilege of hearing everything first. [Recently] Eriak heard about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. And this is what he said, “I believe that Jesus' blood paid for my sins. I can't and no one or nothing else can save me, but Jesus can and has saved me. This is it. This is the main talk that we've all been waiting for.’” Pray as the Dem church is being born.

Thursday, May 13:

Translation Progress

David and Shari Ogg minister among the Simbari people of Papua New Guinea but are now in the USA on home assignment. “Over a year ago we began an in-depth proofreading and revision process of all 10,000+ verses that have been translated to date. Most of the 'revisions' were just small adjustments to the text for it to flow more naturally. We are happy to report that we have completed that step of the preparations for printing. Now we will be spell-checking the revised portions. After that we will be completing the cross-referencing notes and editing the hyphen-break points for our longest words. Pray for us as we work through the final steps to print the Simbari Bible translation. It won't be long and it will be ready for typesetting.” Watch a video about culture.

Wednesday, May 12:

Lessons for the Book of Mark

Jonathan and Heidi Bamford minister among the Isnag people of the Philippines. “Translation is usually a front burner task for me, but last week the Isnag Bible teachers ran out of lessons and sent an urgent request for more materials. It is very good to know that they have been meeting regularly and want help with curriculum. So last week I put translation on the back burner and started writing lessons for the book of Mark. I was able to send three lessons via email to my language helper in town who was able to print them and take them back to teach in the village. That is the first time that we have accomplished such a transfer of information and we are very pleased to be able to help even though we are far away. I hope to produce 18 or 20 lessons before I return to translation work. Please pray that the lessons I write will help them to understand more Bible truth and deepen their love for Jesus. Pray for God’s guiding in our plans...”

Tuesday, May 11:

Exciting Things Happening in Papua New Guinea

Melanie Keeney ministers in Papua New Guinea (PNG). “At the end of February, PNG began experiencing a surge of COVID cases, which has continued to increase. [On] February 28, there were just over 1300 cases and 13 deaths. As of April 1, there are now over 6,400 cases with 60 known deaths. The prime minister has stated that they likely know of only 30% of the actual cases in the country. There has been a lot of exciting things happening around PNG as well. Translation Checks — In the last month or so, our consultants have checked translations of 14 books (some were portions of books) in two different languages. Two missionaries are currently visiting from the [USA] to do further checking and revisions of the translations they are working on. Orientation — Classes have begun for new arrivals to PNG, both for the eight families who are working in support and for the nine families who want to do church planting. In addition to their classes, these families are also working to learn the language and the culture of PNG. Literacy — The Maliyali people celebrated the completion of their first literacy class with 12 graduates! These are the first people in that entire language group who can read and write their own previously unwritten language. Consultants — One location in PNG had consultants come to evaluate how well they are learning the language of the people group they are working in; they determined that they are half-way to fluency! Another location in PNG had church planting consultants visit to evaluate the health and maturity of the local church, giving encouragement and guidance to the missionaries.”

Monday, May 10:

Key Old Testament Stories

Barbara Lee is the Education Consultant for Asia Pacific. “In my January letter I asked you to join me in praying for the teaching that would be starting soon among the Dem people. The teaching has progressed through the key Old Testament stories and moved into the life of Christ. On April 15 (the 14th for those of you in the USA), the Dem [heard] about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Over 400 people have been attending the teaching. The missionary kids help by walking around to show pictures of the stories — or helping to act out the stories. Homeschooling is still happening. As for me, I continue to work from home to support our families with the various challenges of raising and educating their kids overseas. Please join me in praying for the Dem: for those preparing and teaching the lessons, for those attending the lessons that they would understand and respond to the gospel message and for the four families and 12 kids on the Dem team.”

Friday, May 07:

Bible Teaching

Matthew and Debi Zook minister among people groups in Mozambique. “We recently started a Bible lesson listening program with solar powered audio players with over 40 people. We are putting on the Creation to Eternity lessons, five at a time, for a week. Then we are meeting in small review groups. It will take around six months for listeners to complete the program. Please pray that these audio lessons will bear good fruit. Debi is still meeting with small groups of women every afternoon. Please pray that the Good News of Great Joy will reach the hearts of many people.”

Thursday, May 06:

Faithful Ladies!

Mike and Cher Riepma minister among the Ese Ejja people of Bolivia. “For years it seemed like the Ese Ejja women were far behind their believing husbands in their understanding of truth and in their walk with the Lord. Some were still insisting on seeking help from a witchdoctor for a very sick child. Now, after many years, the Word is starting to produce fruit in their lives. They are faithfully attending the church meetings, and some are teaching in the ladies’ meetings. Several young couples teach Sunday School and lead the singing in church together. Gossip was always the Ese Ejja way of social control, with the women leading the way. Now they are realizing how sinful and cruel the tongue can be. So, James 3 has been a topic of teaching the women come back to regularly. Pray for the Christian parents to take seriously their job to teach their children to obey, to have biblical values and to come to know the Lord as their Savior. Pray especially for the Christian parents to see their responsibility before God to make rules, be examples and teach their children God’s Word.”

Wednesday, May 05:

Reaching

Brent and Jodi Ristau minister among First Nations people in Canada. “We are so excited to share with you that God has opened up an indigenous community for us to be a part of, even in the midst of COVID, when most communities have been closed to outsiders. A pastor from Whitehorse planted a tiny church in that community about five years ago and has recently invited us to partner with him and to begin sharing the load of shepherding that little church as he desires to step back. We see involvement in this church as a gateway opportunity to be present in the larger community and as a chance to build relationships with the indigenous groups there. We value your prayers as we look at the possibility of relocating to this community and begin building bridges in a land of much historical and present-day hurt. We truly need wisdom in how to communicate well, as there are a lot of negative views on anything religious, church-related, missionary-related, etc. … Please pray that we can honestly and organically share what we are about and keep doors open for relationship, without pressing these hot buttons.”

Tuesday, May 04:

That Is When the Angels Rejoice!

G and T minister in Southeast Asia. “Do you remember this old Gaither song? ‘There's only one thing that we're sure about, that can make those angels jump and shout. It's when a sinner makes the Lord His choice, that's when the angels rejoice!’ It is with great joy that we invite to you to rejoice with the angels. Several months ago, we joined our … church in a medical outreach event. G helped prepare syringes in the injection clinic, and T was at the medication table, working with a pharmacist named Fai. Over the course of the day, we had the chance to share who we are, why we are here and how we knew the organizers of the event. Fai was not a believer. In February, Pastor Sai wrote to make sure we were planning on being at church the next Sunday because Fai wanted to come and talk to us more about what it means to trust in Christ. Since then, she has been attending regularly and studying the Word with Pastor Sai and his wife Eet. She made the decision to trust Christ a couple of weeks ago. There is a new member of the body here in [this] province.” Pray for Fai’s continued growth and witness.

Monday, May 03:

Teaching Videos

Matthew and Debi Zook minister among a people group in Mozambique. “Last year we made a handful of topical Bible teaching videos in the local language and received good feedback, so when a volunteer came by with a camera, we took the opportunity to film some more. We ended up with 22 videos that, when edited, were around 13 hours of video. We have started to pass them around and will be loading them on the memory cards. … Please pray that these videos will bear good fruit.”

Friday, Apr 30:

Encouraging and Teaching the Believers

Dan and Judy Burke minister among the Chimane people of Bolivia. “Dan is studying the book of 1 Timothy in preparation for future teaching in a discipleship course. I am in the final lesson in my book on the life of Joseph, almost done with the first rough draft in Chimane. I’ll have Dan read through it and offer any suggestions or corrections. Then I will turn the Chimane copy over … for corrections in spelling, grammar and clarity in Chimane. While he works on that, I will do that back-to-English version so that I can give it to someone to make a Spanish translation. The final product will be a long time coming, but it is well in the works. Even though we are not out with the Chimanes right now, our Chimane elders are remaining active in the ministry. They are always off visiting different Chimane communities (there are more than 130 villages) where they encourage and teach the believers. We are looking forward to the time, hopefully soon, when we will be able to start up the discipleship courses and get a bit more done on the discipleship center construction.”

Thursday, Apr 29:

Amdu Bible Translation Check

: Bart and Emily Allen minister among the Amdu people of Papua New Guinea. “For various reasons, only one Amdu man was able to help with the check. As our consultant Jason and I sat with him, I read portions of God’s Word that I had translated, and the helper, using the trade language, would tell Jason what he heard. It is a painstaking process, but it is necessary, to check both the accuracy and the naturalness of the translation. We had about 450 verses in Mark, Acts and the first two chapters of Romans to check … [We moved] well through the chapters in Mark with minimal problems. When we moved on to Acts, Jason told me that our helper would probably slow down somewhat since he was no doubt less familiar with those stories than he was with the stories in Mark, and that turned out to be true. The helper was much slower giving back the portions of Acts we were working through, but these things helped to highlight weaknesses in how I translated it. It also drew attention to terms that are not working as well as they should and shows our team things we need to talk through a little more. [I was] worried for the two chapters of Romans that I had prepared to check. I was pretty convinced it was going to be a huge slowdown and a lot of work trying to get through it. I was flat-out dreading it. And I was shocked to find the exact opposite. We flew through it. It absolutely ‘sang’ beautifully to our helper.” Pray for the ministry among the Amdu people.

Wednesday, Apr 28:

Outreach to New Area of the Piapoco People

Wayne and Patsy Gibson minister among the Piapoco people of Colombia. “Misael and Elvira brought their family from a neighboring country where conditions have been deteriorating, economically and spiritually. There are 15 Piapoco villages over there, and it has been a burden to see the villagers reached with the clear presentation of the gospel. Reinaldo and Misael were able to make a trip there to talk with Piapoco leaders and assess the situation. Reinaldo reported to us that many Piapocos expressed a desire to hear God’s Word taught to them in their own language. However, there would be a problem in hosting a teaching team over there for a few weeks, as the food shortage is prevalent, even with the available gardens. Recently, two leaders from there arrived to discuss the possibility of hosting Piapoco couples on this side of the border, to teach them the Foundational series [and] then train those who express faith in Christ to return to teach others in their villages. ‘We want to hear teaching from God’s Word,’ they told us. ‘There is no one in our villages [who] can teach us.’ These two Piapocos and five other leader couples they named would be able to come and be taught and trained by the team of teachers here, both men and women. Pray for the Lord’s direction for this outreach and for all the details of hosting the group of Piapocos from across the border, possibly in June or July.”

Tuesday, Apr 27:

Wait for It ...

Adam and Julie Martin minister among the Akolet people of Papua New Guinea. “The translation of the book of Mark just got checked this month and has been approved for printing. This puts the Akolet New Testament at ... wait for it ... 45% complete, with another 17% in various stages of the process. Praise God for His faithfulness. Two young women, Rau and Feli, were each being taught from Creation to Christ. Wait for it ... both have now placed their faith in Christ! Praise God! Please pray for these two young ladies to be grounded in their faith. Rau especially has a tough situation with her dad being very opposed to her ‘joining our group,’ so she would especially appreciate your prayers.”

Monday, Apr 26:

What a Joy for Them

Merrill and Teresa minister in Latin America. “Our team got back from P-land after living with them for a good three weeks. What a glorious time they had. …. They had great times of fellowship and teaching with the saints. What a joy for them to witness the little village schools kick into action as soon as the school supplies arrived. They also enjoyed the meetings each afternoon in their host village when the pastor would take the believers through the Old Testament teaching, using the lessons that we had sent in earlier. So yes, the team was encouraged with all that God is doing there in P-land, and we, of course, were also blessed and encouraged with all the good news. We are still enjoying the audios and letters that were sent to us from pastors and other believers. When one of the believers was sharing, he said. ‘Now that I'm a paid-for-in-full-one with Jesus, I'm in the safe place, the place of no casting out, and the place of no shame.’ Pray that the Word of God would continue to move powerfully in P-land. We just sent off another book of Bible lessons in the P language to our host country for printing. Pray that they get shipped from the print shop in time to get them into the hands of the believers this dry season.”

Friday, Apr 23:

"Behold the Lamb of God ..."

Logan and Kendra Teall minister among the Dem people of Asia Pacific. “Since our last update, our Dem friends found out that Jesus Christ, the son of God, IS our Deliverer. It was exciting to watch as they heard all the prophecies about the coming Deliverer from the Old Testament. Then as we reached the New Testament, they heard how some of those prophecies were fulfilled. When the story of the birth of John the Baptist was told, our Dem friends heard about the faith of Zacharias. He believed and trusted that God was going to send the Deliverer, and Zacharias knew that the Deliverer would be the LORD himself (Luke 1:76). Later when they heard the story of the birth of Jesus, they learned that Jesus’ name meant Savior [and] that He would also be called Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us!’ They learned that Jesus had no earthly physical father, but God was His father. They learned God sent HIS son as a man to be the Deliverer. Then, as Jesus started his ministry on earth, our Dem friends heard the words of John the Baptist before he baptized Jesus, ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World.’ In the coming weeks we will continue to teach through the New Testament. Each day our Dem friends will learn more about Jesus, our Deliverer. Keep praying for open hearts and minds, for clear teaching and complete understanding. The lesson of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is coming, so keep [praying].”

Thursday, Apr 22:

God is working!

Darcy Berglund ministers as a translator in Asia Pacific. “Thank you for continuing to pray for the Dem people who are hearing the gospel in their heart language for the first time. They have now finished the Old Testament portions, and they heard about John the Baptist’s declaration of the Promised Deliverer, ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’ Pray that the Lord will open their spiritually blinded eyes and that they will come to know the Lamb of God who loves them dearly and paid for their sin on the cross. One of the Dem men, Elia, said … to one of the missionaries, ‘My legs are shaking. I’m scared. We Dem people are all like Cain. You need to tell us how we can be right with God.’ … He came again and said, ‘I can’t speak for everyone else here, but I’m a bad man. I do bad things all the time.’ And with tears in his eyes he said, ‘I want the blood of Jesus to wash away my sins!’ Please pray for Elia and for all of our Dem friends.”

Wednesday, Apr 21:

GUH

Phil and Jackie Burns minister in the USA on maintenance and as a secretary. “GUH — represents the Guahibo language group of Colombia. Joyce Cain, a retired missionary from Colombia, was excited after vising Colombia again recently. Comprehension checks were done on Old Testament portion verses that her deceased husband, Mark, and a Guahibo man had translated. According to Joyce, ‘Lord willing, around October of this year, 15,000 copies of the Guahibo Bible should be printed. The Bible consists of one-quarter of the OT … and all of the wonderfully revised, very clearly understood New Testament. How thrilled he (Mark) would have been had he known those last OT portions he worked hard on would be included in the Guahibo Bible which he spent 17 ½ years on.’ Please pray for these Bibles to get into the hands of the Guahibo people soon.” Read more from the Burnses.

Tuesday, Apr 20:

From Year to Year

Chad and Janeene Mankins minister among the Tobo people of Papua New Guinea. “March 2020 (then): Ambox was teaching the believers through the book of Efesus (Ephesians). I was stoked to be there and hear not just Ambox, but also another man and two other ladies taking turns reading the passages with good fluency. During and after the lesson that day, several of the women like Daisa offered some words of personal testimony and volunteered to pray. The men were quieter and yet seemed to be tracking well with the lesson. March 2021 (now): Ambox is now teaching the believers through the book of Rom (Romans). For some, it is a review. But for many others, it is new material which they are evidently enjoying! Ambox cheerfully shared that at least three other men in the church — Saku, Rams and Sakai (a young man who became a believer over the summer) — have not only been tracking with the lessons but also have begun to publicly express in words the things they are learning. They've been speaking up in church, reiterating some of the key points of the lessons and reinforcing his teaching in that way. Several of the women have continued to be involved with sharing testimony and praying over the past several years [and] the men [are] taking a more vocal role in the church. This is huge. As it currently stands, the Tobo church in the village now consists of more than 40 men, women and children who gather thrice weekly in Ambox and Nailen's home. And it's getting a bit crowded even by village standards.” Pray for continued growth among the Tobo church.

Monday, Apr 19:

Deep Understanding for the Dem People

Barbara Lee ministers as Education Consultant in Asia Pacific. “It has been so exciting to see what God is doing as the Dem people have the opportunity to attend daily chronological Bible lessons that are taught in their own heart language. This approach leads to a deep understanding and prepares people to fully comprehend the gospel. After weeks of teaching through key portions of the Old Testament and building a foundational understanding, they are now moving into the life of Christ. There has been a good turnout (400+ people each day), and so many are tracking well with the lessons and eagerly waiting to hear about the promised Deliverer. The teaching will continue through April. Please join me in praying for the Dem people as well as the team of four missionary families who are on the front lines of teaching and serving the Dem.”