Are You Quick to Obey?

*Joel has been leading a disciple-making training in the Tibetan Himalayas. One of its critical components is reproducibility. The participants are immediately released to practice the principles and train others to do likewise. Out of all the groups Joel has trained, this one has been the quickest to obey Scripture. They are all eager to see God’s kingdom come in their communities. 

In lesson two, they looked at the Great Commandment from Mark 12 and at Deuteronomy 6. Based on these passages, Joel trains people to do and say intentional things in their daily lives that show others they are followers of Jesus. 

The following week, they discussed the results. Several had had spiritual conversations with people they had known for years but with whom they had never before shared their faith. One woman was able to share what it means to be a follower of Jesus after someone saw the way she handled a disagreement with a coworker. Another person shared how he led two people to the Lord that week by following God’s commands in Deuteronomy 6!

Pray for this group to continue their exuberant obedience to God’s teachings. Pray they would see abundant and lasting fruit.

*pseudonym

A Crippled Girl Walks

Rindu* was eight years old and had never walked. A team prayed diligently with her and her family while seeking the help of a physical therapist. Soon Rindu became able to stand for a short time. Then she took her first unsteady steps.

Her family witnessed the power of God! When asked if they would like to learn about him through stories of the prophets and Jesus, they readily said yes. Today, Rindu and her mother, father, and older sister have all come to faith. They have been baptized and gather regularly to worship the Lord in a house church format. 

While the family is very poor and lacks self-confidence, the transforming power of the gospel has convinced them that God can use them. Rindu’s mother and sister are sharing with others in the hopes of starting new groups of followers.

Please pray for An*, who is mentoring this family: for spiritual growth for each member, and for their house church to multiply through the birth of new groups.

*pseudonym

Convicted to Clean Out the Weeds

As part of their discipleship training in an East Asian country, four women read the familiar parable of the sower in Mark 4. After multiple readings, they talked about what they learned about God and humans from the parable. Then, wanting to obey the truths from the story, they turned to the Holy Spirit to speak to them about personal application. 

*Jean realized that she needs to change the reflexive, habitual way she thinks about what church means. Ellie saw that she should learn Disciple-Making principles so she could more easily flex with what worked within the society and the diverse individuals in it. Abby became convicted to clean out some “weeds” in her own life. Finally, Deb was struck by the need to sow seeds generously so there would be a plentiful harvest from the seeds that fell on good soil.

What a beautiful picture of how God teaches his children to listen to his voice and obey him!

As the facilitator, Deb did not craft a message that she wanted the others to receive. Instead, she trusted the Holy Spirit to speak directly into each individual’s situation. And Deb expects these women will learn from the experience and lead others to do the same!

*pseudonyms

We Can Plant Seeds but God Grows Them

Olive* had to leave Asia and return home unexpectedly, but she stays in touch with friends via social media. One day she received a text from Celia* saying she had started a Discovery Bible Study(DBS) and had a question. In the DBS, an unbeliever had asked something not covered in the passage. “I remembered you said not to ‘teach’ in the group. What should we do when someone asks a question like that?” 

Olive was surprised and delighted. Celia had attended a DBS she had facilitated seven or eight years prior, but they had only met a few times since. Olive joyfully answered that asking questions was best. Sometimes a facilitator will guide the group to another Bible study that allows the group to find the answer themselves with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

Celia had watched Olive do a DBS all those years ago. Now Olive assists and watches over Celia’s DBS from afar, answering questions and encouraging her as she helps others discover the truth about Jesus. “How amazing it seems to me that she remembered lessons from long ago and felt led to begin a group!” Olive says. “We can plant seeds, but God makes them grow.”

*pseudonyms

Ten Characteristics of a Book of Acts Church

Roh’s* parents came to faith and were baptized, but Roh wasn’t around when her parents studied the Bible. She is 15 years old and had been spending lots of time at a friend’s house. In Indonesia, girls her age often get married, so Anisa,* a national colleague of Beyond’s field leaders, met with Roh to express her concerns. She invited Roh to study the Bible with her. 

God used his Word to open Roh’s heart. She became a follower of Jesus and was baptized.

Pray for Anisa as she disciples this household to apply the ten characteristics of a healthy house church, as seen in the early church in Acts. A group covenants to follow Jesus together. They are baptized and study and obey God’s word together. They fellowship together and care for one another in many ways, including through the giving of offerings. They celebrate the Lord’s Supper, worship, and pray as a group. They live out a commitment to share the gospel with non-believers. As the church develops, caring leaders are raised up from among the group.

Pray this family would be joined by others and become a church that would birth similar churches for God’s glory. 

*pseudonyms

Destruction and Imprisonment . . . What Happened Next

Two weeks ago, we shared about the imprisonment of some North Indian believers. Here is an update.

Fourteen men and women were arrested as they prayed. All were members of families whose homes were burned last year by local Hindu extremists. Why were their homes burned? They had recently become followers of Jesus. The families stayed with relatives in surrounding villages for a while, but, fully aware of the risks, they all decided to return.

As of August, they had rebuilt their huts in the village. This time, radical Hindus went one step further. They got local police to join them and barged into a home during a prayer meeting. The police destroyed the home while the disciples were dragged into waiting vehicles. Police jailed all 14 and demanded extortion for their release.

Twelve disciples were quickly released, and, as of September 9th, all 14 were home with their families. Other churches have gathered around them, providing food and helping to fix the house that the police wrecked. Glory to God! Thank you for praying! Please keep it up! Pray that everything that has happened would actually serve to advance the gospel. (Phil. 1:12)

What Is Paul Doing Here?

When Joel,* a cross-cultural worker in Asia, arrived at the Disciple-Making Movement (DMM) training, he was shocked to see Paul*. “Why is he here?” Joel wondered. For six years, he’d tried to get Paul, a Tazig* believer, to attend a training. Joel had invited him multiple times, but Paul had never come. Why, then, was he at a training Joel hadn’t invited him to? 

The answer was Sami, an influential local pastor who had attended an online DMM training Joel had conducted. Sami had been so impressed that he wanted his whole network to take the training. Joel and Sami met to plan it. In the course of conversation, Joel mentioned his work among the Tazig and Sami remarked on his recent contact with Paul. Briefly, Joel shared his history with Paul.

That’s how Paul ended up coming to the training! Sami had invited him. God is using Sami to draw people otherwise unwilling to respond. 

In every movement documented, God has used the combined strengths of cultural outsiders and insiders to catalyze the movements. God is touching Sami’s heart to look beyond his church and pursue seeing every people group discipled. That includes the Tazig people and Paul!

*pseudonym