Berated for Bringing a Foreign Religion

About two months ago, we told you about Gaden’s village. Here is a report from a more recent trip into the same village.

Joel* and his team of local disciple-makers were back in Gaden’s* village. They were going to conduct some basic health education and screenings, but they were primarily interested in visiting the young Discovery Bible Study (DBS) group. They hoped the group might want to be baptized. 

Instead, the team was perplexed when the DBS people didn’t want to be seen with them. They kept walking away and avoiding conversation. Something had changed.

That night the local disciples quietly visited one of their houses. But the young man’s mother, Metog*, berated them for bringing a foreign religion into their village and involving her son in their “corrupt work.” The team left dismayed but praying for God to intervene.

The next day, Metog saw something unusual happening in a nearby courtyard. As she approached, she saw a nurse checking a neighbor’s blood pressure. Metog, too, needed medical attention. Approaching Priscilla*, one of the disciples she had scolded the night before, Metog asked if the nurse could come to her house for a private check-up. They agreed to come. 

In the course of the check-up, Metog’s behavior completely changed. She declared that Priscilla was now like her own daughter and said Priscilla should be sure to stay in her home the next time she visited!

When Joel’s team visited the following year, they found the group of young people once again studying the Bible. “We have shared this Scripture with the whole village,” one exclaimed. “Everyone has heard it!”


You can dispatch more compassionate disciples like Joel and Priscilla!


Ask, Apply, Obey

A few years ago, Joel* and his team of local disciple-makers entered a Himalayan village. They looked for people with whom they could pray prayers of blessing, and perhaps find someone interested in hearing a story or two from the Bible. 

Soon a young man named Gaden* approached them. “Are you guys Christians?” 

“Okay,” Joel thought, “This could be really great, or we could get asked to leave.” 

“I had a friend who was a Christian teacher here,” Gaden continued. “He told me some things, and I have a lot of questions.” 

The team listened to his questions. They answered some, but quickly said, “Can we just tell you a story? We’d love for you to hear directly from Scripture what it means to be a follower of Christ.”

Gaden was excited to hear the Scripture in his own language, not just in the national language. He gathered two other young couples together to study the Bible.

Since this village is a multi-day trek into the mountains, Joel and his team can’t visit often. So they gave the group a Bible app preloaded with Bible stories. After listening to a Scripture passage, the group would answer questions to help them apply the Scripture and obey what they learned. 

Since that first visit, the team has been back multiple times. Some challenges have arisen, but we can be assured God will use this study. He declares that His word “always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” (Isaiah 55:11)


Our Job or God’s?

Our job is to be faithful, obedient disciples of Jesus. God’s job is everything else. We choose faithfulness or unfaithfulness, but our choice doesn’t affect what God does. For, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful — for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). What a liberating truth! Our faithfulness enables us to participate in the blessing of God’s work, no matter what fruit we see with our eyes.

About a year ago, *Pema shared a testimony of God’s healing power with his friend *Sonam. Sonam was intrigued, so Pema started taking him through the Bible. 

At first, Sonam was interested. Then one day, he said, “All the older people say your God is a bad God. I can’t talk about these things anymore.” Pema was discouraged, but he knew he had faithfully shared.

Sonam moved away and became unable to pay his rent. So he called Pema’s best friend and fellow church leader, *Tenzin. Tenzin welcomed Sonam into his apartment . . . and into his spiritual life. As with everyone, when you stay with Tenzin, you will pray, praise, and read the Word of God together.

Sonam is hearing more about Jesus and experiencing life-on-life discipleship 24 hours a day! Pema knows this is God’s faithfulness. God is not finished with Sonam. Will you pray that Sonam will confess with his mouth and believe in his heart that Jesus is Lord? 

We appreciate our donors who faithfully support opportunities like these for Jesus to be made known.


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?


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.