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

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

Shanti: A True Person of Peace

*Hannah had just moved into a 12 story apartment building when one of the two elevators stopped working. At first, she was annoyed. But soon, the Lord showed her how many people she was meeting right after moving in. 

One was a single mom named *Shanti. They ran into one another about once a week and chatted about Shanti’s kids. One day, Shanti said, “You see my problems, don’t you?” Hannah learned that Shanti wasn’t a single mom. Her husband had all but left the family, and the burden to support their four sons was on her shoulders. 

Through Hannah, Shanti has heard the Good News many times. She is not yet a Jesus follower. She carries hurt from a brother who became a Christian and began treating the family very poorly. How different his family’s lives could have been if he had brought them into the Kingdom as he was first learning! 

Hannah, however, feels the Lord wooing Shanti and sees signs that she’s softening to his call. As a potential person of peace, Shanti has already opened the community in the building to Hannah. Pray God would move mightily and draw Shanti and the entire community to Jesus. 

*pseudonym

Seven Generations of Disciples

In North India, some women have been trained in making disciples. They have been faithful to apply what they’ve learned, and are experiencing joy from bearing fruit. They have also cast a vision for disciple-making in six districts of their state.

One of the leaders of this group, a lovely and gentle woman, recently shared her testimony. Two years ago, she became a follower of Christ. She, her husband, and their children had been idol worshipers. Her family was “broken and terrible.” They had no joy. Her husband drank all the time and beat her. Her children were undisciplined and refused to go to school. 

Then one day, she says, it was as if a light suddenly came on. That was the day she attended a Bible Study in a nearby home. She loved it. After participating in the Bible study for three months, she wanted to start one in her own home. Soon, she and her whole family were baptized. 

Today, through ongoing obedience to the Word and the application of its truths to their lives, this woman and her whole family have been changed. Her husband no longer drinks or beats her. Their children are full of joy. They actively share with others all that God has done for them. This one woman has started nine different Discovery Groups from which have come seven generations of disciples making disciples! 

Jesus promised to build His church and has not forgotten His promise. His Kingdom of love and light is growing in some of the hardest-to-reach places in the world, through simple disciples like these ladies in North India.

The Fruit Vendors Loved Talking About Prophet Stories

Karly was studying Luke 10 with a group of believers in a heavily Islamic nation. They concluded that, as disciples of Jesus, they should be following Jesus’ instructions in the passage. Without bringing everything they might need, they should go out two by two into new places. They should talk to random people to see what God was already doing or would do among them. If invited to stay, they should be ready to bring the blessings of the Kingdom upon those willing to receive them. 

Though it wasn’t a new idea for Karly, she had to confess that it still didn’t sound fun to her. She would rather read a book about church planting strategy. Or write a book about it. Or pray for others to do it. Or teach people to do it. Or… lots of other things. But Karly knew that would be disobedience, and she chose to obey. 

She and her roommate went out and soon got invited to sit down and talk with the owners of a fruit stand. The young ladies ate fresh coconut as the owners demonstrated how to make a local fruit salad. They talked for almost two hours. The fruit vendors loved talking about prophet stories and invited the young ladies to come back and study more from the Bible.

When Karly’s group gathered again, each pair shared a story similar to Karly’s. They didn’t really want to follow the instructions in Luke 10, but they did anyway, and God faithfully led them to various people open to hearing about the gospel. God reminded them of the blessing of obedience.

When Did We See You Hungry and Feed You?

Beyond’s South Asia team has received hundreds of photos and videos from various movement leaders expressing their great appreciation for your generous giving to the COVID-19 relief fund. On their behalf, we’d like to thank you for your generosity. Thousands have been provided with food and several communities received wells for much-needed access to water. Your generosity has also provided medical help for many who were sick but, due to the lockdown, unable to earn money to pay for needed medicines. These relief funds even helped a few families rebuild their homes after Cyclone Amphan struck in May.

With your help, thousands of people have been blessed. 

We want you to hear directly from our partner Sanjay about the spiritual impact your giving has had. Below is a translation of one of his recent messages: 

I am sure that in these days thousands of people (many hundreds of families) . . . have started Bible studies in their homes . . . across nine states, including [a new state that opened to us during the lockdown]. Because of [the ration distributions], new Discovery Bible Studies have started . . .. Because we gave food to so many, all those people were able to see the work of…(the Kingdom). Our leaders (distributing rations) were met with astonished faces and people saying, “The Indian government doesn’t care for us or send us help, but you care for the poor.” They want to know more. Everyone is giving thanks to Jesus for the food (including many who don’t know anything about Him yet). They are ready to come to the Father through Jesus. I hope to get a real number of how many Bible studies have started since lockdown, how many have been baptized, and how many churches have been birthed out of these Bible studies. This report will not be about how many groups we leaders were able to start, but how much . . . (fruit came) . . . because of this Covid Relief effort (and how much work God did as we all simply obeyed His command to care for the poor and needy).

So many people are taking baptism these days. They are so joyful. They were concerned about not having food to eat, and now they take baptism, now they have the words of Jesus. I still have faith we will achieve the goal of 60,000 new churches birthed this year. God is our very present help.

We continue to accept donations toward this effort, as the lockdown is still in place, and rations are still being distributed. 

Most importantly, though, movement leaders are planning systematic follow-up in households and communities where God has opened doors through this relief effort. They are returning and spending time discipling the new families. By discipling whole families, followers of Jesus from an established movement can see new movements birthed in new regions and among previously unreached people groups!  Interested in Discipling Groups and Whole Communities? Sign up for our upcoming Nugget Training

These new discipling efforts require finances that go beyond their own capacity, particularly in this season.  

*pseudonym

Obedience So Grandmother Can Hear

As *YouLin and *Amy greeted one another and sat down, YouLin said excitedly, “Thank God I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time with my grandmother recently. I’ve been following up on what I told you I wanted to obey from our Bible discussion two weeks ago.” 

Previously, the women had read Luke 2:1-20, and YouLin had been impacted by the fact that, after the angels told the shepherds about Jesus, the shepherds hurried to find him. Then, upon seeing Him, they actively spread the news while glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard. In response to this story, YouLin’s obedience commitment was to make haste to share the Word of God with her grandmother and to openly praise God in her presence.

While her grandmother feels more comfortable using the local dialect, YouLin learned almost all she knows about God’s Word in the official language. She considered how to do what she felt God leading her to do. Amy mentioned that videos are available online that tell God’s stories in the local dialect. YouLin prayed, and the Holy Spirit led her to a YouTube channel containing stories from God’s Word in her grandmother’s dialect. 

The next challenge was to break the ice and share the stories in a way that wouldn’t seem like she was imposing them on her grandmother. God orchestrated an opportunity one morning as YouLin prayed and prepared her grandmother’s breakfast. The television was showing a depressing news report, and YouLin’s grandmother asked her to change the channel. Flipping through the channels, YouLin paused on a man telling a Bible story in her grandmother’s dialect. The grandmother’s eyes brightened, and she listened intently. After all, who doesn’t love a story — especially one in their own heart language? 

Afterward, YouLin asked her grandmother if she liked the story. She said she did, especially the compassion of the God in the story. She wanted to hear more! YouLin has since found a phone app that allows her to play Bible story videos through her grandmother’s TV. 

Give thanks for God’s creative answer to prayer and for YouLin’s persistence to obediently follow His promptings. Pray for this grandmother and others like her to receive Jesus with an open heart and become his follower, even in her 80s.

*pseudonym