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Pray

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.”

Friday, Apr 16:

Another Huge Change Approaches

Penny Warner ministers among the J people of West Africa. “Another huge change approaches. I moved [here] Thanksgiving Day, November 1982. So, I have lived here about 38 years. But after much prayer and talking things over with leadership and Mammadu [my language helper], I have made the decision to leave the village. I had so hoped to see a church established and to leave a good group of believers behind when I/we missionaries left. However, the villagers in power seem to have made it quite clear they do not want the gospel. So disappointing to me, but God knows His timing and location as well for the J church. I had also very much hoped to finish the New Testament here. I do hope to have the epistles mostly finished before I leave the village, but I don’t see Matthew being finished before I leave … as I have chosen to leave at the end of June. This change has been in prayer and thoughts for about two years. But I do think it is time. As I am reading through the New Testament, I am again seeing how Jesus moved on. In the Acts when Paul met stubborn opposition many times, he moved on. So please pray for me as I prepare to move on. Praise God, He does not change. He will be my stability and strength as I change locations. My desire is still to finish the New Testament; that hasn’t changed. Please pray for wisdom in this.”

Thursday, Apr 15:

Operation Printing Completed!

Esme Street ministers in West Africa. “Shortly before Christmas, I was asked if I could print some fresh copies of literacy resources which have been used for some time in one of the villages. These booklets have been developed by the village team in the language of the people they work among, enabling the people to read and write in their own language. Just after Christmas, I took advantage of a quiet time in our office building and managed to complete all the printing for the 80 booklets needed. Within a couple of weeks, the laminating and stapling was done, and the booklets were all boxed up and ready to go. Toward the end of February, these resources and the Bible translation books were on their way south with two missionary ladies to be used among [the] people group [in which they work]. Pray for the literacy groups continuing in their village and also the literacy groups being started by someone else in another village. Pray this would open doors for chronological teaching and for printed Scripture to be shared there too. Pray that the faith of the believers will grow and that the Scriptures they read would draw them closer to the Savior and give them a firm foundation in Him.”

Wednesday, Apr 14:

Internal or External?

Brian and Rachel Rich minister among the Maki people of South America. “It is one thing for a person to go to a church and adopt a certain code of conduct. It is quite another for a person to trust in Christ alone and be born again. In the same way, it is easier for a missionary to pass on a ritual or some external behavior than to change someone's beliefs. People are often surprised that we have been with these people for this amount of time and haven't begun church meetings. I'm quite certain that, if we began meetings today, the entire village would say they are Christians. But if you were able to ask them why God should let them into heaven, they would probably say, ‘Because I stopped drinking, I don't dance, and I can sing the hymns.’ Nothing about Christ or the cross. We heard recently that some of the other villages now have a different denomination working with them which very much places their adherents under law. So now these villages say they are part of that denomination. Apparently, they have a strict dress code and other similar things, such as the women not being allowed to paint their nails. Although some of these external things may be difficult to do all the time, they are not difficult to understand. People naturally gravitate toward something they can do. But it is much more difficult for people to understand and accept (even in our own culture) that we are all charity cases in need of God's grace and that the work has already been finished on the cross.” Pray for the Maki people to understand grace.

Tuesday, Apr 13:

The Yaminawa People

Misael and Celia Rodríguez are new missionaries with Ethnos360’s global partner in Bolivia. “After completing the three years of training [in] November 2019, we moved back to our sending church for a year to spend time helping out there with a dual purpose: for them to get to know us better and for us to help them be more aware of their responsibility and become more involved in reaching the least-reached with the gospel. I, Misael, was … able to make a survey trip to the Brazilian border to check on a new group our mission would like to start [ministering] with, the Yaminawa. Our mission has never worked with this group before in Bolivia, though there has been work done in Brazil. ... The Yaminawa people were very receptive and have invited us to move in there to live and work among them. In the meantime, however, the mission leadership asked us to come back to the missionary training center to help out until June 2021 so we can get a better feel for working together as a team. Please pray with us for wisdom about the next survey trip to the Yaminawa which we’re tentatively planning for April or May. Mission consultants will be going with us in order to evaluate the situation and help us develop the best strategy for this [ministry].”

Monday, Apr 12:

The Creator's Talk

Stephen and Carolyn Crockett minister among the Moi people of Asia-Pacific. "’When I read the Creator's talk in [the national language], it's just a talk, but when I read it in Moi , it's an amazing talk,’ said Madu. Madu is learning [the national language] in school but was telling me how much the Word speaks to her in her own language. Comments like this keep us motivated to keep putting the Bible into their heart language.” Pray for the Moi believers to find the richness of God’s Word in their heart language.

Monday, Apr 12:

The Creator's Talk

Stephen and Carolyn Crockett minister among the Moi people of Asia Pacific. "’When I read the Creator's talk in [the national language], it's just a talk, but when I read it in Moi, it's an amazing talk,’ said Madu. Madu is learning [the national language] in school but was telling me how much the Word speaks to her in her own language. Comments like this keep us motivated to keep putting the Bible into their heart language.” Pray for the Moi believers to find the richness of God’s Word in their heart language.

Friday, Apr 09:

Changes Are Happening

: Penny Warner ministers among the J people of West Africa. “Changes are happening so fast I can hardly keep up with them. Many of you know that I finished the draft of the last epistle on December 31. Mammadu, [my language helper], and I have been working them through the process. Galatians, 1 Peter and 2 Timothy are ready for the [comprehension] check along with Ruth, Numbers 13-14 and Deuteronomy 34. Hebrews finally had the last comprehension check. … We are working through the pre-check questions for the above books. God has answered prayer for comprehension check helpers. But only one of them is from [in the village we are in]. The others are from two other nearby villages, but the road is very nasty. I went to see the newest [helper]. Mammadu felt he would be a good choice for the check. I did casually work with the fellow for a short time, but I agreed with Mammadu’s choice. We asked the man to join us for the check which was scheduled to start on March 22… [but he] wrote that his mother was just found to have a potentially serious health issue. … He is going to postpone the check. He is thinking of June, but we don’t have anything firm. … We will keep moving on to the rest of the epistles and Joshua also. There is a lot of comprehension checking to do yet.” Pray for God’s timing for these things.

Thursday, Apr 08:

Mamusi Churches Doing Well

Tim and Sharon Simmonds are retired from ministry among the Mamusi people of Papua New Guinea. “We have had some very encouraging news about the Mamusi churches whom we worked with during the 14 years we spent in Papua New Guinea. Last fall, one of our expat co-workers, along with the leaders from the Mengen churches where he worked, visited the Mamusi churches. Their report stated that the churches and leaders are remaining faithful to the Scriptures and are willing to learn and grow. They are doing a good job of evaluating and equipping new trainees for teaching and leadership roles and strategizing to take the gospel to the Kakuna language group, which is a related, but very different dialect of Mamusi. They are joining together with other indigenous church leaders of Bible-believing churches in the area to provide leadership and accountability in helping each of the churches move toward maturity.”

Wednesday, Apr 07:

Gimi and Mihi

Bill and Karen Michaud minister in Papua New Guinea. “Bill is looking forward to spending time with the men pictured … as he travels with them to two different ministry locations. The first stop will be in the Gimi [people] where these men faithfully serve the churches and help lead a group of teachers that are involved with outreaches in many locations around the country. The main purpose for this trip is to encourage and strengthen the believers. The second stop is in [a Mihi village]. Please pray as these men and Bill spend time with the very young church. The new believers have not been taught much beyond the Gospel, please pray as we work together to help this group get the teaching that they need to grow into mature Christians that are grounded in the Word of God.”

Tuesday, Apr 06:

God's Timing Was Perfect

Rachel Chapman ministers among the Nahuatl people of Mexico. “We once again hosted a dental clinic since the village chose to invite the dentists … . We are so thankful that we were able to help 130 people. The Nahuatl believers decided that they would be more involved this year and were a huge help. Together we cleaned the village clinic, hauled all the dental equipment there [and] set it up, and then they helped clean up each day after the dentists were done. A few of the youth expressed interest in helping in the daily tasks, and they learned to work the reception desk and sterilize instruments. God's timing was perfect, as they were able to take over these roles when Katie got sick and had to stay home for two days. While the dentists were visiting, we invited the Nahuatl believers to join us one night, and we had a time of singing around the fire. It was special to sing together in English, Spanish and Nahuatl. Not everyone could communicate, but we were united in our worship of Jesus Christ.”

Monday, Apr 05:

Trend Setter

Stephen and Carolyn Crockett minister among the Moi people of Asia Pacific. “Doigumbi and Dumanitadi gave birth to their first child in December. Doigumbi has been a real ‘trend setter’ and enjoys carrying his little son ‘Bakabutau’ around. (‘Not Selfish’ is the name Doigumbi gave his son because he's reminded how generous the Creator God is with us.) In a culture where the father shows little attention to their kids and zero attention to their newborns, he's been the talk of the town. Some are quite cynical of him breaking the cultural norms. You will also notice how clean [Bakabutau] is. Moms are starting to give their babies baths!” Pray for more Moi men and women to be trend setters for the truth.

Friday, Apr 02:

God Is Fixing Us!

Rachel Chapman ministers among the Nahuatl people of Mexico. “Reyna and I were sitting at the dining room table working through the initial draft of the beginning of Philippians. As we got to this verse, I suggested some words to convey this idea, but I wasn’t sure if the concrete Nahuatl words ‘work’ and ‘fix’ would transfer to this invisible task that God does inside us. I said, ‘What I am trying to say is that when we believe, God begins to change us.’ ‘Yes!’ she said. ‘I know just what you are talking about. God starts changing us little by little! I’ve seen it in my son, Victor. For a long time, he wasn’t interested in going to the believers’ meetings even though I would tell him, “Let’s go!” But lately, he’s getting up and getting ready on his own on Sundays. And during the week while we are home, I see him reading his Bible. God is fixing him little by little. And me, too,’ she continued, ‘I used to be very quick to get angry and would yell. But … now I have more patience, and anger doesn’t get the better of me so quickly. That is God, fixing me little by little,’ she said. Pray for the believers and us that God would continue ‘fixing us’ little by little and that the believers would remain strong as God does His transforming work while the rest of the village watches them.”

Thursday, Apr 01:

Quarantine in Papua New Guinea

Dave and Nancy Brunn minister as International Bible Translation Consultants. “International travel is more complicated these days. Traveling to Papua New Guinea (PNG), we had to carry a stack of forms with us, including our negative COVID-19 test results and present them at various points on our journey. Also, we had to take the long way around the world, flying across the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, then changing planes in the Persian Gulf region and again in Southeast Asia. That meant we had over 30 hours of actual flight time, compared to the normal 20 hours. Our total travel time including layovers was almost 60 hours. Nancy and I are just a few days away from completing our 14-day quarantine time. After that, we plan to fly to the Islands Region of PNG and spend about six weeks with the Lamogai translation team to do further work on the last several books of the Old Testament. Please pray that we will be able to complete the goals for this trip and pray for health and safety while we are here in PNG. Also pray about our return trip to the [United] States. There are not a lot of travel options right now. We don’t know our route or travel date yet.”

Wednesday, Mar 31:

Encouraging Missionaries

Mark and Katherine Rittersbach minister as Ethnos360 representatives. “Katherine and I have been thankful for the opportunities we have had to challenge teachers and young people at a local Christian school. We have recently been able to connect and encourage missionaries in our area. We are thankful that February and March filled up and [that] our home church had a Missions Conference ... the end of February. In March we attended two conferences, and we had four speaking engagements. Please pray [that] God would impact hearts and minds, raise up future laborers and create more opportunities through these interactions. [And considering Asia Pacific], please be praying for the Dem people group. They are currently hearing the overarching story of the Bible and complete message of the gospel for the first time in their history. It has been exciting to see what God is doing in the hearts and minds of the Dem. As the truth of God's Word is being taught, their worldview is being challenged, and their hearts are conflicted over what they are hearing.”

Tuesday, Mar 30:

More Scripture Being Checked

Levi and Robyn Lenz minister among the Wahgi people of Papua New Guinea. “It is a beautiful thing to see more printed Scripture make it into the hands of the Wahgi church. Please be in prayer for our co-worker Dan, our translation consultants and translation helpers Gabriel and David as they’ll be working to check approximately 1,200 more verses of the North Wahgi New Testament. These verses will contain some heavy content like the books of Revelation and Hebrews along with some other epistles. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will burn off the brain fog and that the helpers will be able to retain and clearly recall and retell what they heard read to them.”

Monday, Mar 29:

Filling in All the Answers

Stephen and Carolyn Crockett minister among the Moi people of Asia Pacific. “We handed out books on marriage to Moi couples last summer. Well, it was neat to see their enthusiasm over going through the books as a couple. Bunebido and Bumambea here won a wok for filling in all the answers. Seven other couples won the prize too. We were not there to know who finished first, so we ended up giving prizes to the first eight couples who handed in their books with the answers filled in.” Pray for more creative ways to reinforce God’s truth into the hearts of the Moi believers.

Friday, Mar 26:

Greetings from Muddy Ecuador!

Andy and Chrissy Shaub minister from Colombia with the Awa church planting team in Ecuador. “We have lots of rain, as usual for this time of year. The rains cause mudslides and disintegrate roadbeds. This picture is from the road by our house. After a few hours and with a few boards, they made it over. We’re coming up on Eastertime with our yearly believers' conference. This year we plan to have our baptism that we’ve asked prayer for many times over the past months. Some plans fell through because of COVID. Others [fell through] because of family issues. We have the possibility of 10 people who have expressed interest. Pray that they’ll be ready to take this step. Pray for the Awa that are contemplating baptism: for clear faith, [for] readiness to publicly identify with Christ and [for] no complicating family issues to interfere. Pray for men to desire God and to serve the church as leaders — this is so crucial.”

Thursday, Mar 25:

Transitions

Peter and Liesl Hypki minister in Mexico. “After being back in Chihuahua for just under a month, Pete made another trip with a fellow leader and the team [planning] to begin working with the Tzeltal people in southern Mexico. They spent five days investigating possible ministry locations deep in the jungle. The final village we visited already had a small church planted there. They gathered to celebrate a birthday and made delicious tamales, atole and cake. Though the church is healthy, it lacks a translation in their own dialect of Tzeltal and is surrounded by communities where the gospel has yet to reach. ... Now, back in town, Pete will formally begin serving as the Mexico field chairman. [Back among the Nahuatl people group], our co-worker Rachel continues the translation, having finished 1 Timothy and now translating Philippians. Our co-worker Katie continues to lead a youth group and teach women there. And our co-workers Jordan and Amy continue to study Nahuatl language and culture in order to take on a greater role in the teaching and discipleship of the Nahuatl believers.” Pray for the new work among the Tzeltal and for the growing Nahuatl church.