What Has God Done in YOUR Life?

Our Tibetan-Himalayan team practices 30-second testimonies. They train and model this tool for the followers they disciple. This simple and reproducible evangelism tool can easily transition into spiritual conversations with lost people. Their teammate *Priscilla shared the following example:

I was stuck in India’s very strict lockdown. God had provided temporary housing for my family, but my children were at school in another district, and it was illegal to cross district lines without specific permission. But I found a willing taxi driver and set out to get my kids. 

We passed through checkpoint after checkpoint, arguing our way through each time. As we approached the big district border, I became nervous and began to pray. “God, please help me through the border to pick up my children. Please close the eyes of the policemen.” 

Minutes before we reached the border, the wind began to howl, and a heavy monsoon rain pounded the earth. The policemen ran for shelter and did not stop our taxi again! God had answered my prayer.

After sharing a testimony like this, disciples ask, “Would you like to learn more about the God who answers prayers? Would your family and friends like to hear about this God too?”

What has God done in your life? What story could you share at the grocery store, the ballpark, or in your neighborhood?


*pseudonym

The Spiritual Warfare Increased

Continued from last week . . . 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.     

Gabriella had a major panic attack. She wasn’t able to breathe or sleep. It seemed as though an inescapable storm had suddenly arisen. It subsided two days later but left Gabriella worried and anxious. 

At the same time, police raided her church again. This time the interrogations were much more severe. Police told the elders to leave the city, which they did. Before leaving, they informed Gabriella that the government had her name; they were watching. 

*Gabriella emailed Frank and Helen, saying she needed to lay low and not proceed with their coaching sessions or re-starting the groups. She said she would delete her email account. In the future, she would find a different way to connect with them. 

Through this tumultuous season, Frank and Helen remain confident in God’s vision for Gabriella. They believe He will bring it to fruition. 

Join us in praying for Gabriella’s protection and for the government to overlook her. Pray she would know Jesus is walking with her and she would have peace. Pray Gabriella would be filled with the Spirit and walk courageously toward the Father. Frank and Helen prayed for six years before seeing answers; let’s join them in asking God to bring forth His vision through Gabriella’s obedience to His call. 

*pseudonym

Read last week’s story. Read another story about Gabriella: House Parties Building Kingdom Relationships

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 issue to learn what happened next.

*pseudonym

Read another story about Gabriella: House Parties Building Kingdom Relationships

Church Simplified

During an early morning taxi ride, Amy* struck up a conversation with the driver. It was obvious that Mr. Wu was a Christian from the music playing and the stickers in his cab. 

“Where do you worship?” Amy asked. 

“Well,” he answered sheepishly, “not everyone understands, but we have people come into our home. The taxi drivers that I meet would probably never be willing to go into a church, but they like coming to my house and hearing stories about God. My children too!”

“That’s wonderful!” 

Mr. Wu was surprised by Amy’s affirmation of his “simplified church.” After he described a typical meeting, Amy noted its similarity to a Discovery Bible Study. She offered two simple suggestions: a question to help the group know God better and a reproducing step where everyone shares what they learn with others.

“Oh, that’s great! I’m going to try those this week!” Mr. Wu declared. 

Mr. Wu shared that he had seen Amy before and wanted to meet her. Amy knew the Holy Spirit had orchestrated their meeting. She, too, was greatly encouraged by meeting a local believer willing to take a non-traditional approach to see more people become followers of Jesus.

*pseudonym

Making Disciples Was His Brother’s Job

Every winter, Tazig* herders move their families to lower elevations so their herds of yak, sheep, goats, cows, and horses can pasture for the winter. These months present a golden opportunity to share the gospel with this otherwise mountain-dwelling unreached people group.

Priscilla*, the local partner of a BEYOND catalyst, recently met with a local believer named Dimar* who lives near the Tazig wintering grounds. She wanted to cast this God-sized vision to both him and his missionary brother.

When Priscilla first met with Dimar, he thought only pastors and missionaries were called to disciple others. In his mind, making disciples was his brother’s job, since the church had sent him out as a missionary.

Since November, Priscilla and another teammate have been laying the foundation of movement thinking for Dimar. They showed him the passage from Matthew 28:16-20  where God called every disciple of Jesus to make more disciples.  Understanding and vision are expanding for both Dimar and his brother!

If you are a Beyond donor, you have helped make this training possible. Please pray for these brothers as they contemplate making disciples of all nations.

*pseudonym

House Parties Building Kingdom Relationships

*Gabriella lives in Central Asia and is the only known follower of Jesus in the city where she lives. For a while, she didn’t really share stories from the Bible with those around her. She was afraid.

*Frank and *Helen, Beyond movement catalysts, have been praying for Gabriella to have Jesus’ heart for the lost, especially for her own unreached people group. They were delighted to hear that she now hosts weekly dinner parties in her apartment. Delicious food, fellowship, and conversations around stories from the Bible are all on the menu! Every week several people gather, including a young man named Mahir.

Mahir began doing Bible studies with Frank a little over a year ago, and in a recent conversation, Mahir told him of the parties he was attending in Gabriella’s home. Mahir has not stopped studying the Bible! Instead, he has found a place for his interest to continue to grow, all because Gabriella stepped out in faith.

Please pray for Mahir and all who attend Gabriella’s parties to understand and obey the truth they read in the Bible. Pray they would share it with those they meet, that the Good News would spread through this unreached people group. And thanks to Beyond donors who support Kingdom relationships like these.

*pseudonyms

Spiritual Conversations Over Tea

“That song sounds nice, and it’s wonderful to hear new songs in the Tibetan language and style . . . but who is this Savior Jesus that you are singing about?” 

In the Himalayas, all good conversations happen over tea – sometimes in the home around a warm fire and sometimes in the warmth of the sun. Recently during these tea times, our Tibetan team members have begun sharing new worship songs they’ve written. They do this to spark a spiritual conversation with those around them.

Often an older family member will comment on the traditional Tibetan style of the song and inquire about the Jesus mentioned in the songs. The team then tells those gathered about Jesus and why they are his disciples. When the household or group of friends show further interest, the team leads them in a Bible study. A Bible app with sets of stories about Jesus and instructions on how to keep having discovery Bible studies is given to the group. 

Historically, Tibetans have been slow in walking the path toward following Christ, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Beyond donors, you’ve been part of bringing the gospel to this unreached region.  For that, we thank you. Please pray that interest in Christ would grow and that seekers would begin studying the Bible together.

Day 15: Shinbyu ceremonies in Myanmar

Nyan was excited as he dressed in the clothes of a prince for his Shinbyu ceremony. At 11 years of age, his family had finally saved enough money for him to spend a week at the Buddhist monastery. This event, which usually takes place in March, during school holidays, is the most important tradition for Buddhist families in Myanmar. Sending a son to the monastery for the first time is considered a blessing that will benefit the whole family and be a spiritual gift that will last a lifetime.

Everyone came out to watch Nyan parade to the most important pagoda in the village. Riding on a horse, he followed his parents around the Buddha statue. His mother carried a box with the white robes he would wear at the monastery. Later, Nyan’s hair would be shaved and kept in a cloth for his parents, and he would be formally accepted as a novice, observing the monastery rules and studying Buddhist scripture while he was there. But first – there would be a feast! 

Buddhism is practiced by approximately 90% of the people of the Myanmar and has the highest number of monks in terms of the proportion of the population of any country. 

HOW TO PRAY

Pray for Buddhist parents in Myanmar to know the good gifts that their Heavenly Father has for them and their children. (MATTHEW 7:7-11). 

Parts of Myanmar have seen ongoing conflict between different religious groups. Pray for peace and reconciliation through Christ. (COLOSSIANS 1:21-23) 

Pray a blessing on the children of Myanmar as Jesus did. (MATTHEW 19:14) 

Sourced from the Buddhist Prayer Guide

Day 14: Buddhism In America

American culture celebrates hard work and rewards individual accomplishment. A successful life is often recognized by the acquisition of material things. Buddhism, with its pursuit of the acceptance of suffering and a focus on suppressing desire does not seem like it would easily integrate into the American way of life. And yet, Buddhism is ever ready to adapt. 

Buddhism arrived in America with Chinese immigrants seeking their fortunes in the Gold Rush of the mid- 1800s. Japanese immigrants helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the mid 1900’s and young Americans travelling in India and Thailand developed an interest in Buddhist meditation in the 1960s and 1970s. Around this time, there was also an increase in immigration to the United States from East Asia. This created a Buddhist population which is a combination of immigrants and converts, who adapted traditional practices to suit their own needs. 

Today, only about 1% of the US population identifies as Buddhist and the majority of those are immigrants. Some Americans have incorporated Buddhist traditions such as meditation, yoga and the burning of incense in an effort to acquire the peace they hope it will bring. 

HOW TO PRAY
Pray for Buddhist immigrants to the US to meet Christians who will share their friendship and their faith. (MATTHEW 25:38-40) 

Pray for American Buddhists, seeking peace and wisdom, to find the truth that sets them free. (JOHN 8:31-32) 

Pray for the church in America, to be light and salt to Buddhists in their nation. (MARK 9:49-50) 

Sourced from the Buddhist Prayer Guide

Day 13: The Buryats

About 500,000 Buryat people live across northern Russia. Bayrma was born to a Buryat family in Siberia. Her maternal grandmother practiced shamanistic rituals when there was a family need. At school, Bayrma was taught that God was an outdated belief. Her paternal grandfather prayed with Buddhist prayer beads, burned incense before a small Buddha statue and visited a Buddhist temple once a year. But Buddhism was a mystery to Bayrma. No one talked to the children about it. 

When the Soviet Union collapsed, Bayrma’s father announced they now had freedom to follow the Buddhist path. It was the way of their ancestors. Bayrma’s first visit to a Buddhist temple left her with many questions. Why were the prayers in Old Tibetan, a language they couldn’t understand? Why did they have to pay money for the rituals? Why were there so many Buddha statues and why could you not turn your back on them? Her father had no answers. He too was learning Buddhism. They were Buryats so they were Buddhists, he said. 

In college, Bayrma was asked by some foreigners to help with some translation work and she became friends with them. She began attending a Bible study with them and was fascinated by a Bible in her own language. She began finding answers to many of her questions in its pages. She found stories in the Gospels that she could relate to. Putting her faith in Jesus gave Bayrma a new identity, one that was clear and free and led her to salvation. 

HOW TO PRAY

The Buryat are surrounded by many religious – and non-religious – belief systems, but few Christians. Pray that they will experience the living Christ. 

Pray for the Buryat to discover their identity as God’s beloved children. (1 JOHN 3:1-2) 

Be inspired to pray for the Buryat from PSALM 115. 

Sourced from the Buddhist Prayer Guide