Sauls Still Become Pauls

Rajbir* is a fruitful disciple maker in North India. In 2012, he gave his allegiance to Jesus, was baptized, then quickly dedicated himself to making disciples of Jesus who would make other disciples. Through Rajbir’s spiritual lineage, thousands of churches have begun, and tens of thousands of people baptized. The churches and disciples are healthy and strong.  

Rajbir makes his living as a farmer. He spends his days in physical and spiritual fields. Harassment and persecution from local Hindu radicals are unrelenting. When they warn him to stop talking about Jesus, Rajbir simply responds that he will continue to obey Jesus.

Last year, right before the harvest, some local men repeatedly warned Rajbir to stop talking to Hindus about Jesus. When he didn’t, they decided there had been enough “talk.” They came to his farm, restrained him, then plowed up his harvest. The police refused to help.

Through it all, Rajbir’s “Timothys,” those he was discipling, were watching him. They took note of his response. He didn’t lash out or back down. He continued reaching out to his neighbors.

A few weeks after the attack, Rajbir visited a house church in another village. On this visit, the village leader, Pallab, approached him and said, “I sent men to cut your harvest to stop you from doing this work, but you are not stopping.”

“You have done your job by finishing my harvest,” Rajbir said. “But I cannot stop. This is truth.”

Pallab had no response. He thought about Rajbir’s answer for days. Finally, he went to speak with the house church, “Why do you call this man to visit you?”

“Rajbir is a man of integrity,” they replied.  He carries no ill will for others. He speaks truth. We used to be bothered by many evil spirits, and we did bad things, but now we are healed. We feel safe and happy.” Once again, Pallab was rendered speechless. He turned and left.  

A few weeks later, Pallab’s sister-in-law became ill. The family paid doctor after doctor to no avail. Finally, Pallab’s wife said, “I have heard many good things about the man whose harvest you destroyed. If we call him to pray, I think my sister will be fine.”

“No way,” Pallab said. “I won’t call him. He’s my enemy.”

His wife replied, “See our sister. She is in poor condition. He can pray, and she will be fine.”

With all other options exhausted, Pallab finally asked the local church to send for Rajbir. They did. Rajbir was afraid. Was this a trap? Even so, Rajbir and one of the local disciples went to the village leader’s home. Rajbir asked, “Why did you call me here?”

Pallab said, “I hate you, but my wife says good things and wants you to pray for her sister.”

Rajbir replied, “We have no magic. Our loving God heals people. If you want prayer, bring your sister-in-law to the next village where a house church meets. We will pray for her there.” [Writer’s note – We do not fully understand why Rajbir didn’t pray for the sister-in-law that day. We can only surmise that he was listening to the Lord, and this was His direction.]

Two weeks later, Pallab and his entire household went to the village, entered the home where the church was meeting and sat down. They participated, then went home. They attended every week for two months. The sister-in-law improved as they prayed for her each week. Eventually, she addressed her brother-in-law: “You hate this man, but he is good. You have seen the miracle of my recovery. You should invite him to visit us.”

“OK,” Pallab said. “I do love this man. I will call him and bring him to my home.”

Soon after, Rajbir and several others visited Pallab. They prayed for the family. After a few visits, Pallab apologized to Rajbir: “I am sorry for your harvest. I did wrong. I cannot give you money right now, but when I get my harvest in, I will give you some.” Then, he asked, “What do we do next? You prayed for my sister-in-law, and she is better. I know people in nearby villages who have similar illnesses and need prayer. Can you go with me to pray for them?”

To date, 11 families have given their allegiance to Jesus, and Pallab is now a spiritual leader.

Praise God. His Kingdom is advancing. Sauls still become Pauls in the Kingdom of our unstoppable God.

*pseudonyms

“Do People Turn into Demons When They Die?”

Thankful to be riding an air-conditioned bus on what was proving to be a scorching day, Charis* and her teammate, Heather, were on their way to meet with some new believers in another village. Turning to Heather, Charis asked, “What are you hoping to see the Holy Spirit do in their lives this month?”

Heather quickly responded that she wanted them to gain a new understanding about two of their former Buddhist practices and, ultimately, to turn away from them. First, she wanted them to no longer “feed their parents’ spirit” and second, she hoped they would come to understand that people do not become demons when they die. The two women prayed together and proceeded to review the Bible stories they had prepared to speak into these essential issues.

On the second day, after reading the prepared passages (Acts 19, Hebrews 9), one older woman’s eyes suddenly grew wide with horror and she exclaimed, “If we don’t become demons when we die, and the spirit that comes to enjoy the offerings is a real demon, then we are just like the people in the Bible who worshipped God and worshipped demons! We have been doing that four times a year! We must stop and take everything down, how do we do that?” Heather and Charis noted that the other believers also showed signs of repentance and a willingness to follow the older woman’s declaration.

Later, Charis and Heather were able to model for the new believers how to take down their idols, and then to help them do it themselves. After seeing it modeled, the villagers expressed confidence in their ability to do it for new believers in the future.

Heather was clearly touched by the Holy Spirit’s prompt answer to prayer and in the villagers’ evident growth in the month since she had last seen them. Together Charis and Heather rejoice at the beauty of seeing how the Spirit works and grows His people in the way they need!

*pseudonyms

The Parable of Good Soils

Michael and Nicole* were excited to be asked by a couple they had previously mentored to train a group of refugees living in East Asia on how to implement a Discovery Bible Study (DBS). This couple had put in the time and effort to build relationships and gain trust with the refugees, and they wanted to see them equipped with tools that would enable them to reach their communities with the Gospel.

On the first day of the training, there were twelve people from six different countries in attendance (Uganda, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and India, to name a few) including three residents from East Asia. The refugees had fled their countries for various reasons, some under duress and danger. One is a pastor from Uganda; another is from India studying to be a minister.

The group started with the parable of the soils from Luke 8. Michael and Nicole were pleased with everyone’s participation and how quickly they understood that the aim was to let scripture speak for itself through the group’s discussion of the passage and how they would apply it to their lives. The pattern of DBS, Michael and Nicole felt, was well established.

Two weeks later, Nicole went to lead the second lesson. She soon discovered that everyone had shared the Luke 8 passage with at least one other person, and Peter, the pastor from Uganda, had already started three DBS groups!

Michael and Nicole are encouraged by how well-suited DBS is to the lifestyle of the refugee and even more by the group’s willingness to hear from the Word of God and be obedient to it. They are continuing strong.

Please pray that these precious people will continue to seek the Father and encounter Him in the Word. Praise the Lord with us that this group has already seen its first fruits! A refugee woman from Egypt eagerly soaked up the studies and has recently become a follower of Jesus.

*pseudonyms 

The Unstoppable Holy Spirit in the Muslim World

Your prayers for Muslims over the 30 days of Ramadan have mattered! Though Ramadan came to a close this week, we ask that you would keep our missions catalysts who serve unreached Muslims and their work of making Jesus followers in your prayers.

The following is a small glimpse into the work of some Beyonders working among Muslim people groups.

  • The E family hosts eight-week accountability groups that have seen young people share the good news of Isa al Masih with family and friends. They ask for prayer that many of them would affirm their calling as fellow Disciple Making Movement (DMM) implementers to their own communities.
  • Thirty-one people joined a DMM training led by the M family. They learned practical methods to share their faith and were invited to join groups where they could have community and accountability as they put these tools into action. The M family asks that we pray for them to come so that many Muslims will become followers of Jesus.
  • Two trips are planned to places where whole communities have never once met a Christian. M asks us to pray that these communities of Muslims would see Jesus in the travelers and be drawn to Him. M also asks that a recent DMM training would produce twelve new Discovery Bible Groups (DBS) among Muslims.
  • Flooding has been a devastating issue for many Muslim families where the A family lives. Physical help with food has opened many doors for the A family to introduce Christ to their Muslim neighbors. Pray that God will open many hearts. The A family are also walking with a couple who are grieving the path of their 14-year-old (he is now in his second round of rehab). Please pray for this Muslim family as the A family share how God has carried them through difficult times.
  • B is relatively new to being a missionary and has recently given her first four-day DMM training to 15 fellow workers dedicated to reaching Muslims. Please pray that God would lead them to People of Peace and for strong movements to be birthed among their people group.
  • T asks that a refugee sister, “Nancy,” would become open to being a doorway to her people, a conduit to making disciples. Perhaps she is the partner for whom T has been praying for many years. T asks for wisdom and discernment from God for herself and “Nancy.”

This compilation isn’t even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what God is doing through Beyond among Muslims. There is so much more! We are passionate about reaching all unreached people groups and seeing Jesus’ command -to make disciples of all nations- fulfilled.

Now that you have spent the last 30 days praying for the Muslim world, would you go a step further and prayerfully consider supporting our work among Muslims?