The Police Chief Demanded a Song

The Police Chief Demanded a Song

A BEYOND team measuring the growth of a movement sat across from an Indian disciple-maker on a recent trip. “How many churches have you started?” they asked.

The unassuming man from the Bhojpuri network replied, “Only 75.”

“How many churches has your team started?”

“About 1500,” he answered, many of which had multiplied to four, five, or more generations.

In the course of their conversation, the man said he had been a “dangerous robber” before he began to follow Jesus. He and the translator both pantomimed shooting a gun when they described his past.

After he began to follow Jesus, he was pressured and threatened by his community to return to their religion. He finally told them that they really did not know what they were asking because if he returned to the old religion, he would once again become the dangerous man he had been. He reminded them of his former dangerous ways. They stopped pressuring him as much after that.

Recently, a police chief came with several policemen to arrest him for “converting” people, which is highly illegal. The actual phrase used was “for changing the mind of people.” He told the police chief that he was not converting people. He said, “I just sing songs about Jesus and tell stories about Jesus.”

The chief demanded a song, so the disciple-maker sang a simple song and played his small tambourine. Afterward, the police chief said, “I feel such peace when you sing! I see no problem with what you are doing. You may continue to sing your songs and tell your stories.”

Join us in praying that this man and his team will start many more generations of churches!

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Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

This year, Chinese New Year (CNY) begins on Sunday, January 22, 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.”


  • 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.

15 Days, 15 Ways to Pray During the Lunar New Year


What Can Happen with Small Faith?

What Can Happen with Small Faith?

Leaders from a 10-year-old disciple-making movement in South Asia met recently to celebrate what God has done. “We stand in awe,” movement leader Ethan* declared. “Ten years ago, we imagined none of this. Never asked for it. Our faith was too small. We never imagined all that God could or would do.” 

In a multi-day celebration, 100+ leaders (each one representing thousands of churches) met to rejoice and worship God as a community of Jesus-followers. Most had never met the others before, but rather than brag about their own missional efforts, they actively honored one another with words of affirmation. Traditional gifts were given and received in accordance with the leaders’ different cultural backgrounds.

Many testimonies showcased the glory of the Lord and what He has done in the various disciple-making streams. Attendees worshiped through indigenous songs and dance, and also generosity. When one leader’s large financial need became known, the group didn’t hesitate. Nor did they look to the few foreigners present or list their own genuine needs. They simply gave. In less than an hour, the need was covered.

There were some practical teachings on cyber security; a reminder about how to respond when they are arrested, threatened, or their property destroyed; and what the Bible teaches about the church tradition of ordination. 

During a time of sober reflection, the group honored the 22 disciples in the movement who have died for their faith since the work first began. As each name was read, a garland of marigolds was placed onto a cloth-draped podium at the front. All then prayed for the widows, children, and disciples left behind.

Later, everyone met in groups to identify which people groups in their home states are still unreached. They evaluated: Among which people groups have disciples reached four generations of growth? Where is there less growth? Where is there no movement effort yet? It was an excellent way for everyone to see what God had done, is doing, and still desires to do.

The meetings ended with a beautiful foot-washing ceremony. The first generation of movement leaders called forward the next generation and washed their feet. Those men and women washed the feet of the next generation, and so on, until the final group washed the feet of the first-generation leaders. It was a sweet time of laughter through tears.

“Goodbyes were both joyous and hard,” movement leader Hannah* shared. “We felt so connected to these dear brothers and sisters and rejoiced to send them back into the harvest, while knowing it will be a long time before we see some of them again. And, the reality is — because of the level of persecution most of them face and what is required to bring the Kingdom into such a completely lost area — some of those dear people will probably lose their lives for Jesus in the coming years. Yet they went back willingly, joyfully, ready to keep serving their beloved Lord for as long as they are able. It was an unforgettable time.”

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Miracles, Demonic Exorcism, and Reignited Passion

Miracles, Demonic Exorcism, and Reignited Passion

After prayer walking with a local partner, sowing gospel seeds with whoever was receptive, Scott* asked the Lord what he should do with the time before his afternoon appointment. 

Scott felt that he should accompany his friend who was going to a church on the other side of town from his afternoon appointment, so he did. When they arrived, they found Kamnan* and Tida*, a couple Scott had not seen for 20 years.

That morning the Lord had told the couple to find Scott, so they had traveled to the church to inquire after his whereabouts. Their surprisingly immediate reunion with Scott was warm, and they readily accepted his invitation to a disciple-making training he was giving the following week.  

Despite several scheduling conflicts, Kamnan and Tida came. They later said it was a complete revival of their spiritual well-being and reignited a passion they had not felt since becoming new believers.  

Full of faith, they went out to do what they had learned in the training. Through their obedience, God has performed a few miracles, including a demonic exorcism, and several people have become followers of Jesus. 

In reflection, Scott realizes how easily he could have missed out on God’s plan. Had he enacted his own efficient planning that day and not submitted his schedule to the Lord, he would have missed Kamnan and Tida. Their ministry would not have started, and Scott would not have seen what he trusts is an answer to his prayer for new apostolically gifted workers.


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Jesus Heals as is Written in the Qur’an

Jesus Heals as is Written in the Qur’an

As you may have recently read, Charlie and Sarah had been walking through a season of discouragement. One morning, Sarah asked the Lord to show her that He was still at work.

“Later that same day,” Sarah recalls, “another friend went with Charlie and me to look for persons of peace (as in Luke 10) in a mountain village where we hike. It was drizzling, so not many people were out. But as we rounded a corner, two ladies waved energetically at us and invited us into their home, just before a downpour hit. 

“It turned out that we had met one of them previously. A few weeks ago, Charlie and I had been hiking and had come upon a lady curled up on the side of the road with her husband sitting beside her. Her back had given out as she climbed the hill with her heavy load. We stopped to pray for her in Jesus’ name, but had to resume our hike since we were an hour from our car and sunset was rapidly approaching.

“This was the same lady, Ibu Muli, in whose home we now sat. She told us that immediately after the prayer, her back had been healed, and she was able to carry her load home. Her back hadn’t bothered her since. ‘Are you Muslims?’ she asked. ‘No,’ we replied, ‘We are followers of Isa (Jesus), who can heal the sick as it is written in the Qur’an.’ 

“God had been at work a month or more before I had uttered my prayer. And here was a lady open to hearing about Isa, because God had healed her.”

“Please pray for Ibu Muli and her uncle, who gives the call to prayer at the local mosque. They agree with everything we say, but she insists we must be good Muslims, because of all the truths we speak. We will keep returning to her village and joining God in His work. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give them a thirst for God and an openness to hear about Jesus.


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