Answered Prayers, Opened Doors

BEYOND’s Himalayan team treks out to meet and build relationships with families and disciple them toward Jesus. One family they met had relationship problems and asked for prayer. A team member prayed aloud for God to intervene in specific ways.

On the following trip, the family greeted them enthusiastically. “Everything you prayed for happened just like you asked!” One answered prayer had been the marriage of their daughter. 

The answered prayers allowed the team to share more about Jesus and becoming his follower.

Before the team left, the family shared that the daughter had miscarried, and the baby had been deformed. They believed they were cursed. Again the team prayed, asking for a healthy baby and blessing on the family.

This year the team found that a beautiful baby had been added to the family. God had answered their prayers again.

A few hours after arriving, however, some villagers told them to leave. Outsiders were not allowed during the pandemic.The family’s grandmother stepped forward: “These are our visitors, and they will stay in our home. If you are worried, don’t come around our family or house for two weeks after they leave.” 

The team only stayed one night but are thankful for that time of discipleship

“. . . What Would Jesus Want You to Do?”

“I am Lin*; I come from [a large city in Asia]; I am seventeen.”  

Lightning fast, Lin rattled off his introduction before the other students. At first, Matt*, the Discovery Bible study facilitator, thought Lin was joking. He soon came to realize that speaking quickly was just one of Lin’s unique characteristics.

That night as the group discussed Jesus’ last supper and the first Communion, Lin was a chatterbox. He made the discussion very challenging with constant interruptions and sarcastic comments. “So, his body is wheat.” “That’s disgusting [to eat Jesus’ body]!” Though later Matt learned that others were able to understand the Scripture passage, Lin’s mocking made it very difficult for everyone to participate fully. 

In the end, however, Matt felt Lin made a profound statement in response to the question: “If this is true, what does Jesus want you to do?” 

Lin answered: “Jesus wants me to eat his body and drink his blood for the forgiveness of my sins.” 

Please pray that God would take the seed sown and produce fruit beyond what we could ask or imagine. Pray that these students would have ears to hear his words and hearts to obey them.


Unable to Breathe, He was Turning White . . .

Two months into COVID-19, *Asad’s 7-year-old nephew got sick. He had a high fever and difficulty breathing. Asad and his extended family went to support his brother’s family. They decided to take the boy to the hospital but were denied access at the first COVID check-point. They had to return home.

The boy got worse. Unable to breathe, he was turning white. Everyone feared for his life. 

Asad, a follower of Isa al Masih (Jesus the Messiah), knew God was in control and had a plan for the whole situation, including his Muslim family. Through the Spirit’s strength and in front of everyone, Asad prayed, asking God to heal the boy in the name of Isa al Masih

Right away, Asad felt “a ‘tension’ leave the boy’s body,” and within a few hours his nephew asked for food. The following day, he was out playing with his friends! 

God is in the business of reaching people through His Word, His healing power, and His Spirit — all within the difficult contexts of our lives! Asad’s family witnessed the grace and power of God. Pray that as Asad follows up with them, they will also choose to become followers of Jesus.


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.


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.


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!


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.”


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!


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. 


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.