Baptized in an Irrigation Canal

Amisha led five women in reading prophet stories from the Bible: a good way to introduce the Word of God to Muslims. Participants then share the stories with their family and friends, and obey lessons God impresses on them during their time together.

Three of the women have had visions of Isa al Masih (Jesus the Messiah). In the dreams, He had instructed one to forgive her husband and encouraged another by confirming that she was studying His Truth. The third had a simple yet profound vision of being embraced by Jesus!

Before long, all five women became followers of Isa. Amisha baptized them in the irrigation canal of a nearby rice paddy.

Amisha is a layperson who has been trained in Disciple Making Movements and longs to hear and obey Jesus. All six women are in the process of learning to become reproducing disciple-makers. 

These women were the first in their families to come to Christ. Pray as they engage their husbands with the Word of God and encourage their spiritual leadership. This process can sometimes be messy, but it is so important in bringing the whole household to faith. 

Thank you, BEYOND donors, for the role you played in this story!

*pseudonyms

30,000-50,000 New North Indian House Churches

In 2012, Ethan and Nicole began to focus solely on disciple-making in North India. They have seen abundant fruit. 

“By God’s grace alone,” Nicole says, “we think that roughly 100,000 families have become disciples of Jesus. We stand amazed.”  In 2020 alone, they estimate that 30,000 – 50,000 new house churches were birthed. How do we know these were churches? 

It’s simple: The poor are fed, widows and orphans are cared for, the sick are healed in Jesus’ name. People are prayed for in the name of Jesus. Demons flee. Disciples are made, and they reproduce. Those disciples reproduce and launch churches that plant churches. And it goes on and on, just as described in Acts 2:42-47. That is how we know they are churches.

A report of impressive numbers, though, is just a snapshot of the Holy Spirit’s work. These numbers represent new followers of Jesus who are living new lives. 

In a recent newsletter, Ethan and Nicole shared: “Every day in these new churches we see:

  • Husbands stop beating their wives and begin to spend their income on family needs instead of alcohol
  • Wives and daughters are accepted and honored as equal
  • Families freely share with their neighbors during times of need
  • Individuals practically and wholeheartedly love former enemies — regardless of caste, religion, or political leaning
  • House churches fund literacy projects and micro-enterprise efforts in their communities
  • Miraculous healings and deliverances

To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! (Ephs 3:21). 

BEYOND donors, you have been a part of this life-changing news!

*pseudonyms.

God at Work During the Pandemic

by Jon Ralls

Amid a pandemic and uncertainty, God is still at work. His Spirit is moving all around the world.

As people have been home, at times alone and with questions, many are seeking answers to the challenges and emotions they are facing. One place they are turning to is the internet. The number of people online – searching Google, watching YouTube videos, commenting on Facebook, and more – continues to rise. The increase in social media users increases opportunities for social media ministry and discipleship.

God is truly opening doors.

From One Comes Many
Azzibidiin answered an evangelistic ad he saw on social media. He was connected with a local disciple-maker named Bishara who enthusiastically shares the gospel with anyone who will listen. Through Bishara, 300-400 people have come to faith. Though persecuted, he keeps his hand to the plow and is currently discipling and equipping Azzibidiin for ministry.

You Are Not Alone
For college students in one Asian region, God opened a door to the gospel through video clips from the Jesus Film used in a social media ad campaign. One student said, “I thought I was the only person feeling so lonely during the pandemic, yet I hear of you Christians and your love for us.” This student was not alone in hearing the love of Christ. At least three people have accepted Christ after responding to these ads.

One ad campaign asked, “What kind of prayer would you ask God to answer?” Hundreds of students replied: “God, please forgive me.” “God, please help me with things that make me afraid.” “God, please bring me someone who understands and loves me.” “God, please show me what choices to make.”

The Unreached Reaching Out
Social media is allowing many in unreached areas to connect with those who can share the Good News. For example, a Facebook ministry page gained more than 1,800 followers from an unreached group in Southeast Asia. Local Christians have been connecting with those interested in the gospel, and at least one person has already been baptized.

 Not A Coincidence
Through targeted ads and organic (non-paid) content, people are hearing about Jesus. In a country that is 99.9% Muslim, a team received this message: “Everywhere on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube I always came across things about Jesus . . . I don’t think this could be a coincidence. I wonder if … I can believe in Jesus. I wonder if I can see a miracle.”

 Extraordinary Times and Tools
Since the beginning of the Church, people have been sharing the Good News. Today, we have the tools to reach distant locations 24 hours a day.

Digital outreach does not replace living a missional life, but it allows for a radically different ministry paradigm. Seekers are reaching out to Christian workers who can converse with them (both online and offline), which can ultimately lead to a disciple who makes disciples.

Not A Magic Bullet
Digital outreach is not a magic bullet. We cannot just run a paid ad and expect thousands to be saved. Much strategy, training, and thought are needed to best leverage digital opportunities. But with those in place, this powerful tool can be used for God’s glory and the advance of his Kingdom.

Several ministries offer coaching and provide resources for Christian workers using social media. 

A few are: Media to MovementsThis team equips disciple-makers in media strategies to identify and engage seekers who accelerate movements of reproducing disciples. They provide coaching and mentorship from the first steps through ongoing outreach. mediatomovements.org 

Kingdom TrainingThis group has been doing digital outreach for years and has several excellent courses to help people get started. kingdom.training 

Mission Media UMMU is a mentored, online training platform designed to help Christ-followers be more effective in making disciples and establishing churches by using media, story, and innovative technology. missionmediau.org/foundations-of-media-strategy 

Kavanah MediaHelps mission teams and churches find seekers in their context. Specializing in training, media creation, management of campaigns, and coaching, they work with ministries to make the most of their advertising budget. They have a weekly podcast: “Christian Media Marketing.” kavanahmedia.com 

This article was shortened and used with permission from the author, it was first published on 2414now.net

Engaging the First Seekers

Hari*, the local partner of BEYOND field workers, was exhausted and ready to walk away. He was thankful for his job in the coffee industry, which allowed him to pursue his passion to see God glorified in his country and provided for his family. But Hari was tired.

He did not waiver, however. He stayed focused on God and His vision for those with whom Hari worked. His relationships with workers opened the door for him and his wife, Dewi*, to pray with families and share truths about their Source of peace and freedom from fear.

Thankfully, following a busy season of harvest, processing, and distribution, families enjoyed a slower pace of life and the ability to connect at a deeper level. 

In January, one family showed interest in learning more about the peace and freedom that Hari and Dewi spoke about. The father agreed that his whole family should explore these things together. 

Through the Holy Spirit’s work in this village, three families are now discovering biblical truths together!

Please pray for the Father to draw people in and teach them from His Word. May the message of the Kingdom spread throughout this village and into surrounding areas.

Thank you, BEYOND donors, for being a part of engaging the first seekers from this village!

*pseudonyms

Making Disciples Was His Brother’s Job

Every winter, Tazig* herders move their families to lower elevations so their herds of yak, sheep, goats, cows, and horses can pasture for the winter. These months present a golden opportunity to share the gospel with this otherwise mountain-dwelling unreached people group.

Priscilla*, the local partner of a BEYOND catalyst, recently met with a local believer named Dimar* who lives near the Tazig wintering grounds. She wanted to cast this God-sized vision to both him and his missionary brother.

When Priscilla first met with Dimar, he thought only pastors and missionaries were called to disciple others. In his mind, making disciples was his brother’s job, since the church had sent him out as a missionary.

Since November, Priscilla and another teammate have been laying the foundation of movement thinking for Dimar. They showed him the passage from Matthew 28:16-20  where God called every disciple of Jesus to make more disciples.  Understanding and vision are expanding for both Dimar and his brother!

If you are a Beyond donor, you have helped make this training possible. Please pray for these brothers as they contemplate making disciples of all nations.

*pseudonym

Using the Qu’ran to Talk About Jesus

Kersen* grew up as a Muslim but became a follower of Jesus. After learning how to use verses from the Qu’ran to talk about Jesus, he found his high school friend, Ajij*, to share what he had just learned.

Soon they transitioned to studying about Jesus and the prophets. As they studied, God began to open Ajij’s heart, and he was drawn to Jesus. Ajij started sharing what he was learning with his wife.

“You can’t study those stories,” she said. “Those are stories from the Injil (the New Testament), and that book has been corrupted.” 

Ajij mentioned this to Kersen. Using verses from the Qu’ran, Kersen showed that even the Qu’ran said the Injil had not been corrupted

Because Ajij continued studying about Jesus, his wife thought seriously about divorcing him. But she began to realize that Ajij was becoming a kind man. He took care of her and led her. “Why would I divorce a man like this?” she thought. So she began to be open to stories about Jesus. 

Before long, Ajij and his wife came to faith and were baptized! They shared the Good News with their parents. So far, three of their parents have come to faith in Jesus Christ, and they meet together as a house church. 

BEYOND donors, thank you for being part of this Kingdom growth.

*pseudonym

Women and Vision Casting

by Erika Parks

If you really wanted to do something better, and could study under the world’s leading expert, would you?

In the past few years, workers tired of seeing few results in hard places desperately went back to learn from Jesus. Through His Bible and His Spirit, they learned biblical “secrets” for how He cast vision and gave strategies for not just making a few disciples, but for launching Disciple-Making Movements in order to make disciples of all nations (ethné ). Are you desperate enough to see all peoples reached that you would change major parts of what you do, in order to reach that goal? If so, consider how Jesus cast vision.

First, Jesus modeled how to be a disciple that the Father could use. Some examples: He modeled prayer. He broke “religious” people’s expectations for the sake of reaching people. He modeled going to households rather than inviting people to synagogues. He modeled how to live the “love and obey” (shema) lifestyle[1] of Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

Laura traveled over 10,000 miles to prayer walk among her focus unreached people group (UPG). Susi was a new believer from that UPG. Laura invited Susi to join her. Susi learned about prayer walking and spiritual warfare. Amazed, Susi said, “I have never walked and prayed for my people. But I will from now on!” Since then, Susi has launched many reproducing disciples and an amazing prayer movement. Laura modeled, and Susi learned and passed it on.

Second, Jesus showed how to completely follow the Father’s heart and end-vision for all ethné  He equipped his ordinary disciples to focus on His strategy. His process produced obedient disciples who immediately became the harvest force. As He left, He told them to follow His model among all nations by teaching people “to obey everything I’ve taught you.”

Grace, an Asian artist from a UPG, became a true believer in Jesus. She soon met Lynn, recently trained in Jesus’ discipling plan. The Spirit led Grace and Lynn to hold an art exhibit designed to foster spiritual discussions. They cast vision—and believers shared invitations to the exhibit and chatted and/or prayed with attendees. The spiritually interested were visited and invited to study about God with their family or friends. Today, people in this UPG are studying His word in new Discovery Groups. Vision casting multiplied the number of workers who seek People of Peace.

Third, Jesus modeled being an outside catalyzer (spark) who starts disciple-reproducing fires through simple ways that do not depend on the outsider. These new disciple-makers depend solely on the Spirit and His Word.

Donna was invited for further training after learning these discipling paradigm shifts. She knew it was more important that her three local partners catch this vision. Donna prayed, and God provided the funding for them to be trained together. These four made needed ministry changes to follow these biblical strategies. Donna didn’t know that God had plans for her and her new husband in other places. But the DNA for reproducing disciples continues in that local team and the reproducing disciples they are training, thanks to Donna and her vision for them.

Do we women see ourselves as disciple trainers or vision casters? Busyness and the challenge of living among the unreached might make us think we can only reach and disciple a few women. But that’s not what He asked of us.

Trainings are often primarily for men. Recently, a trainer working in a culture where women are not highly valued invited women to join the training. The next day, many came. At the end, the trainers emphasized “Now, you women must go and make disciples, too! Go and obey what you have been taught! Pass it to others!” And they did! They rejoiced that women are highly valued in God’s plan. They have discipled multiple households into becoming reproducing disciples.

Women can pass on this Great Commission DNA. We can teach those we disciple to be obedient, loving, and reproducing disciples. God wants spiritual generations from these disciples, in the same way that He wants that from us.

Thus, we joyfully invite them to raise their own spiritual children and grandchildren into generations. God has called women to be Spirit-powered disciplers, harvesters and vision casters. He is an end-vision Father; Jesus is the vision-casting Savior, and the Holy Spirit enables workers to complete His vision. Faithful is the One who called us — both male and female — and He will do it! (1 Thess. 5:24)

[1] Shema Lifestyle—Intentional statements and actions that give a glimpse of the reality of who God is and how He desires to draw us to Him. Around the world, the top way DMMers find those interested in God is by serving them (with healing prayer, kind deeds and community service) while consistently pointing to God in culturally appropriate ways.

This article was first published in Mission Frontiers, it was edited with permission.