El Roi – The God Who Sees Us

El Roi – The God Who Sees Us

This story comes from *Jenny, a seasoned Church Planting Movement practitioner who has seen thousands of people come to know the Lord and has seen the start of several hundred movements. She shares this story of simply listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying.

“Last week I discovered my elevator card wasn’t working, an uncommon and concerning enigma. I knew I needed to go down to the management office to ask why it wasn’t working and felt the Lord’s prompting to share a story with the office manager, *Rita while I was there. I had shared with her a couple times before, just simple verses or whatever *Shema statement came to mind in the moment. I hadn’t met with any resistance but also couldn’t tell if there was any real interest there. So, I went down the 10 flights of stairs to ground level and then walked over to the building next door and up two more flights of stairs to the management office.

Rita was there as always, with a big smile on her face and a warm welcome. We took a couple minutes to sort out my elevator card issue and then sat down to chat for a few minutes. I asked about where she lived and she said that she and her son were living with her mom, not too far away. She went on to share about her difficult decision of whether to divorce her controlling husband or to give the separation more time.

I shared with her what had been my prayer verse for the preceding week: “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’”(Psalm 32:8) I told her that I would be praying this for her and she seemed really grateful. She continued to share, especially about how painful it was being cast out by her husband and how she felt that she always had to put up a brave front for her son and others and not let people know her pain and fears about single-parenting.

Immediately it struck me what story I needed to share – just that morning, a friend had suggested I read the story of Hagar, in relation to something totally different that we had been discussing. I had meditated and prayed about that story for over an hour that morning before I decided to go down and deal with my elevator card. As I shared the story of Hagar – a woman with a small child, cast out by her husband, alone and afraid in the desert, but seen by God, taken care of by God, Rita began to cry. I told her, “God sees you, Rita, He sees your pain and your fears for your son, and He will help you.” She thanked me several times for the story and the encouragement. Please pray for me as I go back in the weeks to come to visit with Rita again and share with her about God’s love and His infinite mercy for her.”

*pseudonyms

**Shema is the Hebrew word often translated “hear” but better translated “hear and obey” in Deuteronomy 6:4. Among movement catalysts, “shema statement” or “shema lifestyle” is often used as a shorthand description for a spiritually fragrant word or deed which invites but does not force a spiritual response to God

MENTIONING GOD …
God instructs His people to talk about His commandments “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
read more …

DESPERATE TO BEAR MORE FRUIT
… we’ve seen God encourage us when we’re down, challenge us to stay engaged with local people, and reinforce best practices for multiplication. read more …

I AM NOT CHRISTIAN. I’M THAI
They associate their ethnic or national heritage exclusively with one religion. The two are inseparably tied read more …

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

This year, Chinese New Year (CNY) begins on Saturday, February 10, marking the new year’s arrival (on the traditional Chinese calendar) for nearly one-sixth of the world’s population. The whole celebration lasts 16 days, from New Year’s Eve through the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the new year. For a portion of those days, nearly 1.4 billion people return to their family homes, making it the largest annual migration of people on earth.

Once home, families usher in the New Year by eating a family meal together, honoring their ancestors with offerings, exchanging gifts of money, and generally welcoming good fortune into their lives for the upcoming year.

The reunion meal, eaten on the Eve of Chinese New Year, is considered to be the most important meal of the year. Before the meal begins, the family honors their ancestors by offering food and lighting incense. Then the family enjoys many symbolic foods, which, when consumed, are believed to ensure a happy, healthy, and prosperous year. On the stroke of midnight, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits and bad luck. Many cities have huge public displays, but some families and businesses also have private ones.

Liberal use of the auspicious color red also courts good fortune in the new year. Red lanterns, banners, couplets, and symbols decorate businesses and homes. Red clothing is a must and is thought to protect people and bring good luck and fortune.

Giving money in bright red packets is a way to pass on good luck. Children delightedly receive the envelopes from family members and close friends. Married people pass these packets to their single friends, and businesses often give them to their employees and loyal customers.

During this time, people adhere to many rituals and taboos. There is to be no cleaning of the home, laundry, or even oneself on New Year’s Day. To do so would be to sweep or wash good fortune away, ensuring a difficult year. One should not use sharp objects such as knives, get a haircut, break anything, say unlucky words (“death” or “sickness”) or do anything taboo that could cause good fortune to leave the family.

Please pray that people would realize that wealth alone can blind one to their true state of being. As Revelation 3:17 says: “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.”

HOW CAN WE PRAY:

  • Pray that Beyond field workers would be ready to engage those celebrating CNY with the truth of the gospel.
  • Pray that the seeds sown during this time will find fertile soil and will take root, and pray that those who hear will come to know that life in Christ is the best choice they could ever make.

 

Freedom from Demons, Baptism and 40 New Churches

Freedom from Demons, Baptism and 40 New Churches

Moon (literal translation of his name into English) is from a poor, nomadic, unreached people group in India. Illiterate and low caste, Moon had no job and no prospects. He lived on the side of the road in a plastic tent, sleeping on adirt floor. Moon was estranged from his wife because of his abusive anger. He was once arrested for getting violent with a girl. He fought anyone and was afraid of no one.

Sanjay and a friend, Jacob, had been working closely with Moon’s community leaders for a couple of years. The leaders asked the two men for help. Sanjay and Jacob’s first impression of Moon was that he was simply crazy. He even drank the blood of goats when they were butchered in the market. What kind of person was this!?

For months, Sanjay and Jacob returned to Moon’s community to visit with him and pray for him. Most people avoided Moon. Sanjay and Jacob loved him. During the course of a year, they saw change. Moon became a follower of Jesus. He became peaceful. He and his wife reconciled. They now have a son.  As a family, they eagerly share their story with others. 

Sanjay estimates that over 40 new house churches have been birthed through Moon and his wife’s efforts. Moon has even baptized new followers of Jesus who he is discipling.

Like the story in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 5, Jesus is still in the business of rescue. Rescued new disciples are making more disciples. The movement churches reported more than 100,000 baptisms in two months, across 16 states in India. This is the power of multiplication—every disciple making another disciple.

 

RELATED STORIES

MY LIP HAS FALLEN OFF (KRISH’S STORY)
Krish grew up in a devout Hindu family. For six years, he had been an active member of a radical pro-Hindu group. read more …

FRIEND, PEON, MANAGER
In the West, it is the general practice for a business owner to hire a manager if he or she doesn’t have. read more …

IN SPITE OF THE BEATINGS
The two men shared a Bible story with the family. The family liked the discussion. The men didn’t preach, but simply shared the story, read more …

The Bridge of Hair and the Lamb

The Bridge of Hair and the Lamb

Kent was prayer-walking, which is simply walking while praying for people along the way and the area. On his walk, Kent visited an Indonesian mosque. Quickly, he was surrounded by young men curious about “the foreigner.”

Abruptly, a young man shouldered his way to Kent and sternly asked, “How can you claim Jesus is God if he cried out on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?’”

Kent answered briefly, then met with him on several other occasions. When Kent moved to another city, a coworker continued meeting with the young man.

They discussed a story well known among his people group: On Judgment Day, people will be trapped at the edge of a fiery abyss. The only way to God will be over a bridge the width of one-seventh of a hair. The bridge breaks from the weight of people’s sin, and they fall into the fire below.

Occasionally, they say, God sends a pure lamb across this narrow bridge. Anyone who rides this lamb can safely cross the abyss to God.

Nothing spiritual happened during the first discussion of this story. Yet weeks later, perhaps through the working of the Holy Spirit, when the story was mentioned again, he looked startled. He slammed the table and said, “Jesus is that Lamb; isn’t He?” That day, he trusted the Lamb to carry him safely into God’s very presence!  

We give glory to the Holy Spirit for this revelation and acknowledgement that He is the best teacher. May the Holy Spirit continue to reveal His truths and multiply disciples in this region!

*pseudonym

READ RELATED STORIES

THREE MAJOR HINDRANCES -4000 DISCIPLES
Hanli* helped her husband track data describing their region’s largest family of church planting movements. 
read more …

SUSI, IS STILL SEARCHING
The ladies dished some carrot cake before Jane asked Susi to share her story. Susi had grown up in a difficult home.   read more …

REMEMBER SUSI, THE SEEKER
Since Susi’s husband and extended family do not believe, she remained cautious about fully committing herself to read more …

Healed Shaman Makes 2000 Disciples

Healed Shaman Makes 2000 Disciples

*Wayan was known as a “wise man” or shaman.  He was accustomed to using his dark arts to harm others. In the neighborhood where he lived, he was highly respected and feared because people believed he possessed great “knowledge.” Many people sought his guidance, advice, and help with mystical matters. Wayan was also known for frequently challenging other shamans in a battle of skills. He always emerged victorious, which gave people good reason to fear him.

One day, Wayan’s wife asked him to pick some coconuts from the back yard.  He agreed without giving it much thought, and immediately climbed the 30-foot-high coconut tree. 

Suddenly, his wife heard a loud shout from behind the house. Wayan had fallen out of the coconut tree! His wife rushed to help him. He was lying there, weakened, feeling that several bones in his legs and hands were broken. He couldn’t walk or even stand. For the next three months, he needed assistance from his wife or someone else to carry out his daily activities.

During his illness, Wayan concluded that none of the knowledge he possessed, the teachers he followed, the beliefs he held, or his past good deeds could heal him. He became emaciated and close to death.

One day, he remembered someone who had come to their village a few years before he fell ill. *Ketut, a disciple of Jesus in the region, had tried to share the gospel with Wayan at that time. However, on Wayan’s orders, he had been rejected and expelled from the village. Now Wayan asked his wife to find Ketut’s address and invite him to come and pray for him. Wayan’s wife managed to find Ketut’s address through one of their acquaintances in the village. Two weeks later, Ketut visited Wayan and prayed with him.

Before Ketut’s arrival, all Wayan’s bones were stiff and immovable; he had been paralyzed and unable to walk for three months. Through the power of Ketut’s prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Wayan miraculously recovered. He immediately became able to move his hands, legs, and other parts of his body, and he could finally get up from the bed where he had been confined for the past three months.

Ketut stayed at Wayan’s house for a week to pray and share the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. He shared not only with Wayan but also with his family and neighbors, who witnessed firsthand how Jesus had worked a miracle for Wayan. After a week of Ketut’s ministry, Wayan, his wife, and their four children and three sons-in-law all surrendered themselves to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They were then baptized as a sign of their faith in Jesus Christ.

From that moment, Wayan dedicated his life to serving Jesus Christ, along with his entire family. They have testified and proclaimed the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven to many people. Through their testimony and proclamation, many have been healed and saved. 

Today, Wayan is one of the leaders of a movement on his island in SE Asia. His ministry has birthed more than 2000 disciples, 285 small believers’ groups, and 28 small group leaders. And his ministry continues to grow!

*pseudonym

READ RELATED STORIES

GOING OUT 2 BY 2
Passionate about spreading the Word of God, he took a long trip with some fellow disciple-makers around the island’s perimeter. They stopped at several places where Wahid
read more …

BIBLE STUDY IN THE MOSQUE
Dowad*, the community’s leader and a new disciple of Jesus, brought them into the mosque where the local followers frequently study the Bible. There, one of the ulamas spotted read more …

ENGAGING FIRST SEEKERS
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*,  read more …