Can Christians Mess Up the Plan?

Can Christians Mess Up the Plan?

After Bahar became a disciple, he, Samir*, and Frank* planned to do additional flood relief in Azville,* Bahar’s old village. Most people in Azville are Hindu, but some Muslims live there also. Before the plan was put into action, however, another group of Christians and church leaders arrived in Azville. They went door-to-door, passing out Bibles in foreign languages and offering free meals worth far more than what people in the village could afford. They didn’t know the local culture, local practices, or the local language. Although they most likely had good intentions, their visits caused much division. Eventually, this group was run out of town, and people became very antagonistic toward the Good News and other Christians. 

Because of this, Bahar feared returning to his old village, and Samir and his team decided to wait and not go as they had planned. Instead, they committed to pray for Azville. After some time had passed, Frank became discouraged, fearing that the opportunity was lost. He became quite frustrated with the group of Christians who messed up “the plan.” 

But God was still working in Azville. Unbeknownst to them, Gia*, a cousin of Bahar and the village chief, heard how Jesus had rescued Bahar from slavery, and she started to pray in the name of Jesus for her sick husband to be healed. Miraculously, he received healing! Gia and her family decided to follow Jesus. Immediately, the entire family felt the presence and love of the Father, and Gia knew that her entire village also needed Jesus. 

Gia remembered the group of Christians who had come to her village, “They didn’t know us, our language, or our culture. They gave us expensive food, but not true spiritual food. They wanted to be the leaders and have us rely on them. They wanted to preach at us, not train us. And they caused disunity in our village.” So, without the influence of a Bible, a church, or other Christians, Gia decided through the Spirit’s leading that she should be the one to reach her village for Jesus. 

Though she was filled with passion, Gia didn’t know where to start, what to say, or what to do. She had heard, however, about a young man named Samir who trained people on how to be a disciple who makes other disciples who multiply. So, knowing only the name of the city where Samir lives, Gia, along with two cousins and her young son, set out in search of him. Eventually, by the Holy Spirit’s leading and asking people along the way, they arrived at Samir’s house. 



Bahar and his paternal uncle, Navi, traveled to a faraway province in their South Asian country in search of work. read more …

Not long after his miraculous escape from slavery, Bahar moved his family to a new town. But catastrophic flooding read more …

Journey to Discipleship

Journey to Discipleship

Two of Jane’s* young children were watching and hearing about Sasa’s* openness to Isa (Jesus). They also wanted to tell Sasa how God had made a difference in their lives. So that evening, they each sweetly shared the gospel with her. Sasa was amazed at what God had done in their young hearts and lives and saw it as evidence of Jesus. 

Jane suggested a way that she and Sasa could begin to study God’s word. Before they read stories about the events of Jesus’ life, Jane would start with a quick summary of the people in the Old Testament who offered sacrifices – people like Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, etc. They talked about how “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). 

Sasa was interested in each of the Old Testament stories and asked, “Are these stories talking about the blood of Jesus?”

“No, these events were before Jesus came,” Jane explained. “We’ll talk more about Jesus when we get into stories of His life.”

“So Jesus was the final sacrifice, then?” Sasa asked. “There is no more need for sacrifices now?”

Jane was amazed. They talked for a while about the hope and peace we can have in Jesus because he was the final sacrifice that provided for the forgiveness of our sins and our entrance into heaven. 

“I’m sorry,” Sasa said, “but can I ask… Is Jesus…God?”

In response, Jane led Sasa through some Scripture verses. In fact, throughout the evening, and for each of Sasa’s questions, the Holy Spirit led the women — Jane into Scriptures and personal testimonies as answers to Sasa’s questions, and Sasa into ever-deeper truth. 

“I’m afraid, because I know I have sinned. I’m afraid of hell,” Sasa confessed.

“You know, this is a big deal, Sasa,” Jane encouraged. “You are looking for truth and answers. Keep wrestling until you find the Truth. I am glad to be on this journey with you. Can I pray for you?” 

Ask God to ready Sasa’s heart for salvation and baptism soon. Pray for protection for Sasa and Jane’s family as they walk this road to freedom. 

Missed last week’s story about Sasa? Read it here.



For several weeks, the church has been studying the book of Romans. On the week they studied Romans 7, … read more

After reading through the passage together, Matt asked which kind of soil their respective churches read more

Samir remembered conversations with Frank about reaching whole families and helping people become read more

Sasa is Still Searching

Sasa is Still Searching

Sasa* arrived at Jane’s* house right on time. The ladies dished some carrot cake before Jane asked Sasa to share her story. Sasa had grown up in a difficult home. Her father had died when she was young, and she and her mother had a strained relationship. She felt Islam was not answering her pressing questions and desire for truth. 

Many of Sasa’s Muslim friends and family were just nominal in their faith. She felt everyone was following Islam because it was what had been passed down to them. She wanted something to hold on to wholeheartedly. She even told her mom that she was searching outside Islam for truth. Her mother was very angry, but Sasa is still searching. 

She could tell that the Christian friends she knew had a close and deep relationship with Isa (Jesus). “I don’t have that in my religion,” she concluded.

“If you are searching for Truth,” Jane told her, “God is pleased. He will meet you in this process, walk with you, and reveal truth to you. I would love to walk this journey together with you too.” 

Jane shared how Jesus had changed her own life and about her personal relationship with Him. She also told Sasa about Rani, a friend who was a Muslim-background follower of Jesus.  “Would you be interested in seeing if Rani would like to study God’s word with us?” Jane asked.

Sasa thought this was a great idea. Before she left, the two ladies set their next meeting time and read from Matthew 6:25-34: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? . . . But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Pray for Sasa and those like her searching for a genuine connection with God.



A Bag of Cucumbers: Luke 10 Wages

A Bag of Cucumbers: Luke 10 Wages

 During a recent outreach in Buddhist SE Asia, two brothers were walking through a village in the afternoon and saw a man sleeping in his hammock under his house. It’s culturally rude to awaken someone sleeping under their house, but these brothers reasoned, “We’ve come a long way. We’ll only be here once, so let’s wake him up.” As they approached the house, multiple dogs in the yard began barking menacingly.

“In the name of Jesus Christ we command you to be silent!” they said. The dogs immediately quieted down.

They called out to the man. He awoke, and they began by saying, “We’ve come to tell you important good news of Jesus, who has come to help people out of their sins.”

As the man really woke up, he interjected, “You know, I was just helping some Christians last week in a nearby village.”

“Did you hear what Jesus has done for people?” they asked.

“No, what did he do?” the man asked.

They told him God’s story from Creation to Judgement. “Don’t you see?” they said, “God was reaching out to you when you worked on a construction project with those Christians. Now God sent us here to talk to you. God is calling you — would you like to respond and relate to him?”

The man did! The two brothers asked about his life. What issues did he have? He sells things in the market and was recently divorced. They prayed that God would help him with his work and finances. The man was overwhelmed by their kindness and the news that Jesus could remove his sins. “I don’t have much to give you,” he said, “but here is a bag of cucumbers I was taking to market. Please receive this as an expression of my thanks for coming to tell me about Jesus.”

In Luke 10:7, Jesus tells the 72 He sent out to eat, drink and receive whatever they are given because “The worker deserves his wages.” We’ve seen many times that when villagers welcome the message of Jesus, they offer something to the messenger, a sack of rice, bags of produce, etc.

The next morning a follow-up team visited the man to find out if he was serious. Did he really want to follow Jesus? “Yes,” he said, “I am serious. I do want to follow Jesus.” As a market seller, he knows many people and has good relationships across his area. He said he would ask others to join the discovery study group they plan to start in his home.

Pray that many friends and neighbors will join this new brother in his home to hear God’s stories and learn to walk as Jesus’ disciples.

Other Stories from this Region

As she walked, Trisha began to see the people in a new light. She could see the communities in which they belonged: shop owners helping each other … read more

After prayer walking with a local partner, sowing gospel seeds with whoever was receptive Scott* asked the Lord read more

*Uhn was the town drunk and the senior patriarch of his large extended family. Over a year ago, *Scott’s local read more

God’s Ideas Open Doors

God’s Ideas Open Doors

Danish* has been involved with some churches in the Arab world for over 30 years. By God’s grace, they have accepted him as a spiritual father figure. For the last five or six years, he has been talking to them about and training them in strategies for disciple-making movements (DMM).

When he first brought up DMM practices, the people were resistant to receiving them, but because of their trust and long-standing relationship with Danish, they listened politely.

“Time after time,” Danish declares, “the Lord has given me new approaches for presenting DMM based on the biblical text.”

For these churches, the Lord showed Danish something in the Book of Acts. Danish explains: “Who started the early church? The Jerusalem church. It was the church that took the gospel to the Gentiles. Yes, it was not easy. Yes, they waited for 14 years — they delayed their mission to start the gospel among the Gentiles. But in the end, they did. This is the idea the Lord gave to me, and I tell it to every traditional local church there. ‘DMM is not replacing you; you are here as the Jerusalem mother church. And you can send people from your side to the “Gentiles” – considering the people groups near you as the “Gentiles.”’

“Through this approach, they started to receive it and to obey… Sometimes the Lord gives me ideas that open the doors.”

After decades of praying with them, investing in them, and giving them many training sessions, there is new growth in the church. They are appointing people to reach the Unreached around them. They are taking the initiative and seeing fruit — many people are coming to the Lord! 


Related Articles:
“I am Jesus Christ Who Loves You”
How Good It is When the Church Obeys
Would You Walk 13 Hours for Training 
What is the Role of a Pastor in Disciple-Making Movements?