A Bold Witness

A Bold Witness

Yeng is Khmer (most Khmers are Buddhist) who comes from a big family. Her husband, Pouch, is blind; her 97 years old mother-in-law and three grandsons all live with her. Yeng works hard to provide for the needs of her family. Every day she sells green leaves at the market to support her family. It is not much, but with the money that she earns from selling these leaves, she is able to provide meals for her family.

Recently, while Yeng was at the market a lady, who is also really poor, came by to visit. Yeng kindly shared some of her vegetables with her visitor. After the visitor left, the seller who sits near Yeng asked her why she would give food away for free like she had. She asked, “Are you a Christian?”

Immediately, Yeng said: “Yes, I believe in Jesus”. To which the seller replied: “you are like Jesus.  You have a good heart; you are loving and kind to people”.

Yeng saw this statement as a great opportunity to share about what Jesus had done on the cross for all mankind. At the end of the conversation, the seller said: “I believe in Jesus too, but I don’t have a heart like yours. I’m so busy with my work, that sometimes I don’t feel close to God.  My family does not believe in Jesus yet, and often they pray to our ancestors, and sometimes I do that too.”

“No, you cannot worship ancestors; they are not God you need to worship the ONE and TRUE God who is our Lord Jesus Christ only”, said Yeng. The chatted a little more and Yeng invited the seller to the house church that meets in her home. The seller promised that she would come when she had time. Pray for Yeng, that she would continue in her bold witness for the Lord and that she would remain an example of His love and kindness. Pray for Yeng’s friend, that she will seek Yeng out for more conversations about God.

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SHARING JESUS STORIES IN THE MARKET
Looking at the group of women gathered to study Bible stories in the humid wet market, Amy’s* heart was moved. She thought back to how it had all begun. 
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FINDING GOD’S PREPARED PEOPLE
As Daw and his partner walked down the village road, a young man came walking toward them. read more …

LIVING OUT LOUD
As they talked, many curious people came over to engage Grace in conversation. One man asked about her religion.  read more …

A New Year of Life and Death

A New Year of Life and Death

On the very first day of this new year, a large earthquake shook Japan once again. Buildings tumbled, streets buckled, fires erupted. Memories of the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 2011 fueled fears all the more. Death and destruction were on full display. Believers around the world prayed,“God have mercy on Japan!” How many are perishing without knowledge and understanding of the Savior? How many are seeking some good news in the midst of this tumultuous world? When will they hear? When will they believe? When will they turn from sin and experience LIFE in the Lord?

But let’s rewind. Before the earthquake on January 1st, something wonderful happened. On a quiet beach on an island of Malaysia, just as the sun had come up on 2024, LIFE was in full display. Four Japanese people obediently followed Jesus in baptism. The very first baptisms of Japanese people that our team has witnessed in Malaysia. Praise God! He is at work. These four will most certainly face opposition and condemnation for their faith in Jesus, especially if they return to Japan. But here they stand, declaring their allegiance to the only One who can rescue them from sin and death. 

Join us in prayer for these new Japanese disciples to multiply!

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THE ENCOURAGING EAVESDROPPER
For several weeks, Tucker* and his friend, Peter*, have been visiting a local food stall to look for people of peace (Luke 10:5-6)
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PRAY, WAIT, LISTEN AND OBEY
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BECAUSE THEY STAYED
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Is Downsizing Ever Better?

Is Downsizing Ever Better?

A BEYOND team member attended a training in a large East Asian country. The 16 trainees were leaders of various Discovery Bible groups that had started in the past year. These trainees had belonged to a growing church in the city.

The church, however, had recently come to a startling revelation: the more the church grew numerically, the fewer disciples they made. Their focus on excellent preaching had failed to produce any real lifestyle changes in their church members. Additionally, they found that as the church grew, they had fewer new believers attending. Their desire to grow numerically actually made them less effective as a church.

In a bold move, the church leaders decided to structure the church to once again meet in small groups. They trained leaders in the Discovery Bible Study group process and ensured all their members attended a small group. 

Shortly after they made this decision, government officials demanded they shut down their large Sunday meeting place. If this decision had come a few months earlier, it could have been disastrous, but these leaders saw God’s hand in the timing of these events. They decided that it was confirmation of God’s will and leading. They would not seek another place for their large meeting. Instead, they would continue meeting as house churches and use the new Discovery Bible Study process.

Pray that God will spur churches to evaluate the true purpose of the Church. Ask God to equip bold leaders like these as they move to fulfill the true purposes of the Church.

 

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AN AHA MOMENT
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GO SMALL TO GO BIG
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WHEN THE CHURCH OBEYS …
One team of disciple-makers in Indonesia had been praying and pondering how they could send out more national workers to unreached areas. read more …

“Does the Stone Idol Ever Answer Anyone?”

“Does the Stone Idol Ever Answer Anyone?”

Two years ago Luke and Rhinna* were new to East Asia and starting language study in their new home. They were praying to meet people right away that God had prepared to hear about His plan for redemption. One spring day, as he took his children outside to play, Luke met a couple with twin boys whom he greeted in their native language. They greeted him in English! After chatting a while, Luke invited the couple to dinner. 

When the night arrived, the couple brought along the wife’s brother, Hero, who was a senior in high school. Everyone enjoyed the pizza and the story of Creation that Luke shared as they ate. Hero shared photos of the shamanistic site they had visited that day. But when Luke asked, “Does the stone idol ever answer anyone?” Hero became quite defensive. Even so, Luke and Rhinna suspected that they did not  hold tightly to the belief in shamanism.

After they left, Luke and Rhinna prayed that Hero would not be present again until his heart was softened and ready to listen. They didn’t want Hero’s arguments to draw the family away from interest in Christ. 

The following week, the young family invited Luke and Rhinna to their home to try some native dishes, and Hero was there again! The couple showed their wedding video, giving Luke and Rhinna a beautiful cultural lesson in the process. Then Hero followed with an excellent presentation on local history, which Luke and Rhinna listened to attentively. Luke ended the night by sharing the Bible story of Adam and Eve’s fall. When asked about the story, all three responded with great insight from the story. “God is like a Father who wants to have a relationship with His children. Sin broke their relationship with God. This is like grown children turning away from their father. But God acted to reconcile them to Himself. We must believe!” 

From this dinner, a relationship with Hero grew. Hero asked Luke to come round and meet his friends so they could practice their English. As the young people shared their personal histories, Luke listened and was able to share how Jesus had changed his life. Everyone enjoyed their time, even though there had been a young man sitting at a nearby table cracking jokes the whole time. At the group’s second meeting, Hero asked about American holidays, and Luke shared the reasons behind our Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter celebrations. When Luke proposed they read a Book that told more stories of the Creator and his relationship with people, the rest of the group of young people was amenable.

Together they studied many stories from the Bible. Each time they came away with a greater understanding of God and what He wants for and from His creation. They began to apply this knowledge to their lives. At one point, the young man who had been cracking jokes during the first meeting asked to join the group. His name was Clear. Luke gave him a Bible, and Clear read 35 chapters of Genesis in a week to catch up before the next meeting.

Over several months Luke was able to pour into these young men and women. They talked about issues they were having with their parents, their changing attitudes towards Buddhism (the majority religion of the country), Christianity, and lots more. They even presented Luke with a beautiful mural they created of his family’s names and theirs written in their ancient script.

When Luke and Rhinna moved from the capital city to a new, remote location, the group was able to continue with Hero at the helm. Luke had taught them how to conduct Discovery Bible studies and empowered them to continue engaging with the Word. He kept in touch as the young people began attending college, having many spiritual conversations with them. Luke has even been able to join in a Bible study via an online video call. 

Recently, back in the capital city, Luke met with Hero and Clear.  Clear had read through many books of the Bible on his own. Hero had just read the book of Matthew and had some questions. Luke answered Hero’s questions by retelling the story of Jesus from baptism through crucifixion to resurrection. After Luke was finished, Clear said, “I have waited ten years to choose my religion, today I choose Jesus Christ.” Hero and Clear both made decisions to accept Jesus Christ on the same day! 

*psuedonyms