Day 312 of Following Jesus

Day 312 of Following Jesus

Murni* is from a small country where there are few known followers of Jesus. She learned about the Truth after searching online, reading the book of Hebrews, and receiving a dream confirming her course. 

Every day Murni texts her friend and mentor, Donna,* to report and rejoice, “This is day 312 of following Jesus.” By poring over the Scriptures together, Murni’s understanding of God is deepening. She is learning about making disciples, people of peace, having spiritual conversations, and other movement principles. 

She wants to be a disciple-maker, but she would likely pay a heavy price if the wrong people discovered that she was telling others about Jesus. Despite the risks, Murni recently told a dear friend and a family member that she had become a follower of Isa al Masih (Jesus the Messiah).

Though her relative did not want to hear more and her friend warned her about continuing to share about Isa, Murni intends to share the Good News with another family member who is a very devout Muslim. 

Donna and Murni are asking God to reveal the best way to share God’s love with him. 

“My family needs to know about Jesus,” Murni declares. “My community needs to know. My people and my country need to know.” 

*pseudonyms

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A Former Hindu, a Former Muslim . . . Partners for Jesus

A Former Hindu, a Former Muslim . . . Partners for Jesus

A young man in North India became a follower of Jesus while studying the Bible with his family through a Discovery Bible Study (DBS). The DBS process focuses on applying the Word in practical ways. It emphasizes hearing and doing, not just hearing and understanding. Thus, when he read Matthew 28:16-20, he didn’t ponder IF he was to obey. He simply sought how.

The nearest people who weren’t followers of Jesus were Muslims who lived in the next village. He went. He told those he met the simple truth: as a follower of Jesus, he had to obey all of His Lord’s commands. So, he was there to make them into disciples of Jesus.

The young men beat him and ran him out of the village.

Weeks later, he returned. They beat him again.

He returned. They beat him again.

The young disciple had no training. He didn’t know the “correct way” to speak with Muslims. All he knew was that he must obey his Lord. Regardless of the cost, he would keep obeying.

Amazingly, one evening, after they had beaten the disciple yet again, one of the Muslim men thought, “This guy is so determined! What in the world could he have to say that’s so important?”

So he asked.

Within a short span of time, the Muslim man became a follower of Jesus, too. Today, these two young men, a former Hindu and a former Muslim, co-labor together in the Kingdom, empowered by the Spirit and compelled by their love for Jesus. 

THROWN INTO SLAVERY
Bahar and his paternal uncle, Navi, traveled to a faraway province in their South Asian country in search of work. read more …

ONCE FROM PRISON …
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AFRAID OF HAVING SPIRITUAL CONVERSATIONS WITH MUSLIMS?
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“Then A Voice Said To Me, ‘I Am Jesus’”

“Then A Voice Said To Me, ‘I Am Jesus’”

*Travis and *Lisa arrived at the party, which was already in full swing. Soon they were settled, Lisa inside with the women and Travis outside on the patio with the men.

When one of the Muslim men asked if he was a Christian, Travis answered, “I am a follower of Isa al Masih (Jesus the Messiah).” 

The man smiled and said, “I want to tell you about my dream: I was in a beautiful bright green field, walking towards a brilliant and sparkling light. It was so bright I could not look at it directly. As I approached, I looked down, shielding my eyes from the brightness, and I began weeping. 

“Then A Voice Said To Me, ‘I Am Jesus’”

“I could not hold back my tears. I stood with my head bowed and cried. They were not tears of sadness but of happiness and joy. Jesus is coming back. We might not recognize Him until He turns to look at us. But when He does, people of all religions will come together in Jesus.”

Travis felt the Lord gave him a response. “Your tears were worship.” 

The Muslim man sat back, smiled, and nodded his head. Another man nodded in agreement and translated worship into the local language for the others. The men continued speaking about Jesus’ return and how people from all religions will gather under and around Jesus. 

Glory to God for revealing His truth to this spiritually hungry man! For we know that “God exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:9-11)

But because we know that “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12), please pray as Travis arranges a time to visit this family so they can read the Bible and become true disciples of Jesus.

*pseudonym

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Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

This year, Chinese New Year (CNY) begins on Saturday, February 10, 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.”

HOW CAN WE PRAY:

  • 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.

 

Freedom from Demons, Baptism and 40 New Churches

Freedom from Demons, Baptism and 40 New Churches

Moon (literal translation of his name into English) is from a poor, nomadic, unreached people group in India. Illiterate and low caste, Moon had no job and no prospects. He lived on the side of the road in a plastic tent, sleeping on adirt floor. Moon was estranged from his wife because of his abusive anger. He was once arrested for getting violent with a girl. He fought anyone and was afraid of no one.

Sanjay and a friend, Jacob, had been working closely with Moon’s community leaders for a couple of years. The leaders asked the two men for help. Sanjay and Jacob’s first impression of Moon was that he was simply crazy. He even drank the blood of goats when they were butchered in the market. What kind of person was this!?

For months, Sanjay and Jacob returned to Moon’s community to visit with him and pray for him. Most people avoided Moon. Sanjay and Jacob loved him. During the course of a year, they saw change. Moon became a follower of Jesus. He became peaceful. He and his wife reconciled. They now have a son.  As a family, they eagerly share their story with others. 

Sanjay estimates that over 40 new house churches have been birthed through Moon and his wife’s efforts. Moon has even baptized new followers of Jesus who he is discipling.

Like the story in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 5, Jesus is still in the business of rescue. Rescued new disciples are making more disciples. The movement churches reported more than 100,000 baptisms in two months, across 16 states in India. This is the power of multiplication—every disciple making another disciple.

 

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