Asanha Bucha

Asanha Bucha

The holiday of Asana Bucha (also known as Asalha Puja or Dhamma Day) is celebrated in Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Laos, Myanmar, and other areas with populations of Theraveda Buddhists. Asana Bucha remembers the day when Buddha preached his first sermon on the “Four Noble Truths’ from which all of his subsequent teachings stemmed. It also marks the day he established the Buddhist monkhood and the beginning of “Buddhist lent” which runs from July to October.

Celebrants of Asanha Bucha visit temples to listen to sermons, chant, and pay homage to the monks – often leaving gifts of flowers and candles for them. For some this day is known as the day before monks enter the monkhood for the rainy season. Many cultures also celebrate with candle-lit processions in the evening.

Let’s pray for Buddhist peoples:

  • Ask God that Buddhists would come to know Jesus as The Truth through which they can be made right with God (John 14:6).
  • Pray that Buddhists would hear the Message that “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1John 1:5)
  • Pray that as followers of Jesus speak boldly for the Lord, He will bear witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. (Acts 14:3)


… bright, powdered pigments that are a trademark of this festival… LEARN MORE

…the night when Mohammed is thought to have begun receiving the Quran … LEARN MORE

A celebration Buddha’s birthday … LEARN MORE

Is Downsizing Ever Better?

Is Downsizing Ever Better?

A BEYOND team member attended a training in a large East Asian country. The 16 trainees were leaders of various Discovery Bible groups that had started in the past year. These trainees had belonged to a growing church in the city.

The church, however, had recently come to a startling revelation: the more the church grew numerically, the fewer disciples they made. Their focus on excellent preaching had failed to produce any real lifestyle changes in their church members. Additionally, they found that as the church grew, they had fewer new believers attending. Their desire to grow numerically actually made them less effective as a church.

In a bold move, the church leaders decided to structure the church to once again meet in small groups. They trained leaders in the Discovery Bible Study group process and ensured all their members attended a small group. 

Shortly after they made this decision, government officials demanded they shut down their large Sunday meeting place. If this decision had come a few months earlier, it could have been disastrous, but these leaders saw God’s hand in the timing of these events. They decided that it was confirmation of God’s will and leading. They would not seek another place for their large meeting. Instead, they would continue meeting as house churches and use the new Discovery Bible Study process.

Pray that God will spur churches to evaluate the true purpose of the Church. Ask God to equip bold leaders like these as they move to fulfill the true purposes of the Church.


Matt* recently led his Christian language teacher through Matthew 28:16-20. When he asked who Jesus was commanding to make disciples,  read more …

For years, three Muslim-background followers of Jesus lived and ministered together in the same Muslim community. The three friends would gather  read more …

One team of disciple-makers in Indonesia had been praying and pondering how they could send out more national workers to unreached areas. read more …

Revitalized Vision for Reaching the Lost

Revitalized Vision for Reaching the Lost

Recently Greg* and one of his local partners started meeting with a group of tribal believers to cast vision for multiplying disciples, and encourage them to obey Jesus’ commission in Matthew 28. Many of these precious brothers and sisters are farmers and laborers, some of whom trek over six miles through the forest and over steep hills to meet in a church building made of mud and thatch. 

Starting with Old Testament Scripture, Greg and his partner showed how Father God’s heart has longed for all peoples and nations from the beginning. They shared how Jesus lived his life as a pattern for us to follow, then gave his disciples the responsibility of the Great Commission. By the third visit, they sensed the people were accepting their responsibility to obey Jesus. Greg asked what experiences they’d recently had in trying to share the Good News with unbelievers. 

One young man stood up and said, “Brother, I am only a simple mason. I don’t know much. But after you shared about the simple ways we can engage those around us in conversation, I had an opportunity. On the job that day, rather than taking along friends I already knew, I purposely asked my boss to choose people to work with me. The two men I ended up with were brothers. They come from a nearby town that has few or no believers. When they saw my behavior and that I was not chewing “gutka” (the local tobacco-like substance), they asked me why. This started a conversation about how my life has changed. These brothers were impressed with my testimony and invited me to visit them at their home. This town is new for us, and my wife and I are praying for a chance to go meet with these men and their families to share the Good News.” 

After that brother sat down, Greg pointed out that since they live among so many unreached people, their places of work and the activities of their daily lives can provide many opportunities to share the Good News. Everyone accepted the challenge of finding new people and places to share the Good News before meeting again. When the local pastor stood to pray, he told Jesus they wanted to share with many people and asked Jesus to show them all how and where to find persons of peace. 

Pray for this group of energized followers to be directed by the Spirit and to have rich and fruitful conversations with many in their communities. Ask that these conversations would lead to Bible studies and new generations of multiplying disciples.


… we’ve had the privilege to walk beside others who have seen great fruit in ministry, and as we’ve constantly been willing  read more …

The women started a conversation, sharing upfront that they were followers of Isa (Jesus). They found the couple to be friendly and polite. In the course of talking read more …


The idea of reaching lost people more effectively by going outside the four walls of the church is daunting. Choosing to go to the lost …read more …

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!

Related Articles:
When Persecution Becomes Celebration
You Hate this Man But He is Good
What Did God Say about Racism
Your Home Would Pollute Me
If Jesus Suffered a Judas, So Could We


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