Making Disciples Despite Their Grief

Making Disciples Despite Their Grief

In January, tragedy struck a team in North India as they lost a key leader to a sudden brain hemorrhage. His passing left behind not just a grieving wife and young children, but also a network of approximately 1,000 house churches. Many of these house churches include people from esteemed Hindu backgrounds, including Brahmin, Thakur, and Kshatriya castes. Despite the immense loss, the team came together in February to plan how to best support these churches and nurture the new leaders within them.

Among those who stepped up to the task is *Shakuntala, a remarkable woman who participated in a gathering for women leaders in Delhi, last October. Little did the North India team know then that she would become such a pivotal figure in the team’s journey forward. While the absence of the leader who passed is deeply felt, the team is unified in their determination to continue the important work that he began.

Shakuntala has helped cultivate eight generations of believers, and she is also mentoring 12 emerging leaders. In a recent testimony, she described her joy in sharing Bible stories with people from diverse backgrounds, including Thakur, Pandit, Yadav, and Dagar. She attributes their embracing of Jesus to God’s grace and the dedication of her team of leaders, who tirelessly spread the Good News and make disciples in various communities.

In a touching audio recording from a recent mentoring session, Shakuntala led a discussion on the parable of the sower from Matthew 13:3-9. She urged her fellow disciples to emulate Jesus’ method of teaching through parables. She emphasized the importance of connecting with people through relatable stories, which foster deeper understanding and connection, rather than merely preaching at them. 

Shakuntala earnestly requests prayer for the women under her mentorship, their families, and some specific challenges they face: “Please pray for these dear sisters and their households. Pray for one of the woman who relocated her daughter to another city to continue her study. Pray for the daughter as she studies in that city. Pray that they have enduring faith. Pray that we will continue to make more disciples.”

*pseudonym

RELATED STORIES

FRIENDS OF GOD
In India, God continues to rescue Banjara people from darkness and mobilize them for His Kingdom! 
read more …

“YOUR HOME WOULD POLLUTE ME”
Raj*, a high caste Hindu man, hated that his low caste neighbors worshiped Jesus with friends in their home. read more …

SIMPLICITY VERSUS TRADITION
Lata* lives in North India. A few years ago, she was a regular church attendee, but her family did not  read more …

A Dream of a Man in Dressed in White

A Dream of a Man in Dressed in White

Sue spent a couple of days with a young woman, Burcu, who had been trained in Disciple Making Movements.  Burcu wanted to serve in some way. 

Together Sue and Burcu shared Scriptures and Bible stories with Zehra, the owner of a hair salon who showed interest in learning more about Jesus. Zehra had been through a lot of challenges and rough times in her life, but what piqued her interest in Jesus was mainly the hypocrisy she sees in the majority faith in her country. Zehra is searching for truth and love. On hearing the stories of Jesus, Zehra had many questions which Burcu answered eloquently. Sue marveled and was encouraged by how well Burcu answered Zehra’s questions. 

Shortly after they had prayed for Zehra, she reported that she had had a peaceful dream of a man dressed in white who tenderly and gently touched her. Sue is looking forward to what the Father is going to do next in Zehra’s life. May she be like the Samaritan woman at the well who ran to tell everyone about her encounter with Jesus.

Please pray for deep wisdom for Sue on how to move forward in her relationships with both Burcu and Zehra. Pray that the Spirit would be powerfully upon both women, bringing people of peace to their respective workplaces. Pray that Burcu would start Discovery study groups among the people in her neighborhood.

RELATED STORIES

I’M BAPTIZED
Knowing that it’s generally better to baptize someone together with their closest community, the women pondered whether read more …

BREAKFAST SURPRISES
 Muslims give thanks after a meal, not before. Besides, she knows we are followers of Jesus Christ. How is it that she wants us to pray? read more …

LOOKING FOR THE MAN IN WHITE
“But we also look for signs that God is drawing someone. One sign we look for is someone who has seen Jesus or “a man in white” read more …

Muslim Background Believers Need Our Prayers

Muslim Background Believers Need Our Prayers

In February of this year, several key leaders met to discuss critical challenges and hurdles impacting disciple-making efforts in a Muslim majority country. Attendees discussed the intricacies of the discovery process, the significance of directing attention toward spiritual generations to come, and the essence of what constitutes a church. Two disciple-makers shared the impact of those meetings and some items for prayer:

From Passively Learning to Becoming a Multiplying Disciple-Maker
*Rafiq had attended an in-person discipleship training 18 months ago. While he seemed to appreciate the training at the time, Rafiq did not put into practice what he had learned. 

This February, Rafiq returned for further training. Two weeks after the February training, a significant change occurred in Rafiq. This Muslim-background disciple courageously invited a few of his Muslim friends to study together about Jesus. His friends agreed and two new groups were started, going through Bible stories from Creation to Christ! Praise God for taking hold of Rafiq’s heart and turning him into a healthy disciple who makes more healthy disciples.

Please pray that these new groups would personally experience Jesus and actively share what they learn with their family and friends, in order to start more groups. Pray also that these new groups would become the foundation of new churches. Join us in praying specifically for unwavering obedience in the face of potential persecution, especially during the upcoming month of Ramadan. The evil one has come to steal, kill and destroy, BUT Jesus came to bring life in abundance.  

Remember *Gia, the Determined Disciple?
Gia lit up the room in the February training with news of the more-than-40 first-generation discovery groups and churches that she and her cousin helped start. Praise God for Gia’s determined, focused efforts in making disciples! The group rejoiced to hear about the groups Gia initiated, but the true cause for celebration lay in the cascading effect of her groups giving rise to new ones.

During the training, Frank the movement catalyst focused on the essence of healthy discipleship – the reproduction of disciples who, in turn, multiply into subsequent generations. He emphasized not merely cultivating spiritual “children” but rather fostering “grandchildren” and “great-grandchildren” – a vision of multigenerational disciple-making. 

Now Gia knows that focusing on her “great grand-children is indeed a better way to share with everyone about the God who changed her life completely and can change theirs too! She has been telling her first generation groups to start groups, and we praise God that five new second generation groups have started just since the training!

When the word of God transforms someone’s life they can’t help but share it.

Gia and her team are putting into practice the biblical principles of multiplication and are effectively making healthy new disciples who make new disciples.

Pray for these new second generation groups. Ask that the groups be transformed as they listen to the word of God, obey God’s commands in their everyday life, and then boldly share the news with others. 

*pseudonym

READ OTHER STORIES 

REMEMBER GIA, THE DETERMINED DISCIPLE
“It is my duty to tell them, and I passionately want to, but I don’t know how. Please train me on how to reach my read more …

WIFE BEATING DRUNK MEETS JESUS
After she became Jesus’ disciple, Gia* began to share her testimony with others in her village. Her testimony and  read more …

CAN CHRISTIANS MESS UP THE PLAN
They went door-to-door, passing out Bibles in foreign languages and offering free meals worth far more  read more …

House Raids and Interrogations

House Raids and Interrogations

*Gabriella is the first known disciple from her West Asian unreached people group in the city where Frank and Helen minister. She has grown in the Lord but hasn’t wanted to share her faith, especially with her own Muslim people group. For years, Frank and Helen have been praying that God would give her a heart for her people.

Then Gabriella had a vision! In it, she led her people in praising and worshipping before God’s throne, using their traditional dances and singing style. As they danced, her people led other nations to faith, and they began to worship too.

After that, Gabriella opened her home and prepared traditional meals for seekers from her people group. They came to fellowship and to discuss the Bible stories she prepared.

But she has faced many challenges. In February, police raided the house church Gabriella attended and interrogated the elders, who then asked her to stay away for her safety. Then she experienced financial issues. She could no longer provide meals and had to stop hosting the group.

Frank and Helen encouraged Gabriella. They cast a vision for the importance of groups, generational growth, and multiplication. Gabriella’s excitement reignited. She wanted to re-start the meals and add a new group for women. She met right away with another woman from her people group. This woman loved hearing the story of Ruth and wanted to study more with Gabriella!

Then spiritual warfare increased. . . don’t miss next week’s story.

*pseudonym

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

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

HOUSE PARTIES BUILDING KINGDOM RELATIONSHIPS
*Frank and *Helen, Beyond movement catalysts, have been praying for Gabriella to have Jesus’ heart for the lost, 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 …