Thanking God for New Disciple Makers: Jesus, Paul, and Us

Thanking God for New Disciple Makers: Jesus, Paul, and Us

Have you ever realized that all the new disciples Jesus, Paul and their teams made were the first disciples where none had ever been?  What did they do? Over and over, we find Jesus and Paul thanking God for these new disciples and leaders!

In Luke 10:21, Jesus “overflowed with joy” that the 72 had received God’s revelation and fulfilled their mission.

Every one of Paul’s letters went to the first disciples and churches in unreached peoples.  He and his team constantly thanked God for them, such as in 2 Thessalonians 1:3:  We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.  Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. Some among other such verses include Romans 1:8-9; 1 Corinthians 1:4-6; Ephesians 1:15-16; Philippians 1:3-6; 4:4-6; Colossians 1:3, 2:6-7; 3:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 5:16-18; and Philemon 1:1-4.

Would you join the Beyond team in giving thanks for some of the following first disciples and leaders among Unreached People Groups?

This Thanksgiving our hearts are full with gratitude for the way God has moved among our teams around the world. Below are just a few highlights:

North Korean Expo: This meeting saw partners from 17 countries! Many new church networks, and organizations declared they will join in the call to reach the North Koreans in our lifetime. One of the highlights was seeing the Japanese delegation repent to the Korean church! In the end they were singing songs to each other. The Koreans even came and held the hands of the Japanese believers!

North India: Our movement in North India now has churches in 16 states! Some of the newest works are in the two South Indian states of Goa and Karnataka. We praise God that this movement now has 27,000 House Churches and 150, 000 reported baptisms. These new disciples are not converts that passively experience Christianity, these new disciples will go on to make new disciples.

Tazig Team: This team has visited three Tazig valleys, they’ve distributed New Testaments, showed the Jesus Film, and shared the Good News of God’s Kingdom. They recently published a Bible in the Tazig language and for the first time, people in this region of the world were able to read the Word of God in their own language.

A New App for Scripture Access for South Asia: This new app gives users access to scripture in several South Asian languages. They have easy to follow lesson sets, Bible portions, and some even have the whole Bible.

For all of these new disciples and disciple-makers, Lord, we give THANKS and we overflow with JOY!!

 

 

 

 

Crazy Ideas in the Smoking Cafe

Crazy Ideas in the Smoking Cafe

Karl was discussing the Sermon on the Mount with two young Muslim men in a smoking cafe. The Scriptures on blessings were easy for them to accept. Things became more troublesome when they read about murder, adultery, and divorce. 

“Those Scriptures had their proverbial ‘boat’ rocking a bit,” says Karl, “but when we got to the passages about loving your enemies, their ‘boat’ almost capsized! In the ‘Shame-Honor’ culture where we live, the idea of turning the other cheek is not only foreign but is considered shameful. You punch the tuk-tuk driver if he bumps you; you fight if someone insults you. You do whatever it takes to keep shame away and maintain your honor.

“When we read about loving your enemies, my friends were astonished. How can people love their enemies and even pray for their persecutors? Lots of crazy things are said in cafes while drinking tea and smoking shisha, but these ideas were over the top! 

“As we walked through these Scriptures, I asked questions like: ‘What does this teach us about God? What do we learn about people and ourselves? If this is true, how will you apply God’s truth this week?’ These were tough questions for my young Muslim friends.”

The hunger for truth and hope is very great in the young men where Karl lives. Please pray for God’s word to penetrate their hearts and minds. Pray they realize God’s word is alive and active and can change them eternally.

*pseudonym

 

A FAMILY AFFAIR
Harto* is a Muslim man who encountered Jesus through a discipleship process with Shawn*
read more …

ONCE FROM PRISON …
Not long after his miraculous escape from slavery, Bahar moved his family to a new town. But catastrophic flooding read more …

GOD’S IDEAS OPENS DOORS
Danish* has been involved with some churches in the Arab world for over 30 years. By God’s grace read more …

More Baptisms, the Fruit of Persecution

More Baptisms, the Fruit of Persecution

On behalf of the disciple-making movement in North India, Ethan* and Nicole* report:

“We’ve shared much with you about the persecution faced by the churches in India. Our last report was especially hard. It hurt to share the news about the woman’s martyrdom, and it probably hurt you to read it. 

“Recently. we heard from Sanjay* concerning the status of the work for January. More people received baptism in January, and more house churches were established than during the last six months of 2022. Six months’ fruit in just one month! How?!

“Here’s what Sanjay said:

“‘By God’s grace, we are experiencing intense persecution, but the work has increased! One thing we’ve seen is people more quickly want baptism and to be identified with Jesus. Before, we were often baptizing in larger groups [20, 30, even 50 people] in localized gatherings. With persecution, we need baptisms happening in every home, and [the people] want it quickly. They no longer wait until [another] community is ready to join them in a baptism event. Now they just get it done. They don’t need to wait for those larger baptism events, and they really can’t gather like that anymore [anyway]. It’s too visible.’

“In other words, in response to persecution, leaders are choosing to move ahead and quickly do what’s commanded (‘baptize them’ in Matt. 28:19). They feel the urgency of obedience. And the new disciples are feeling the same urgency.

“Early in the Gospels, we see this same urgency. Jesus gave responsibility and authority to His disciples (who knew very little) to baptize others. [Jesus] ‘was making and baptizing more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were)’ (John 4:1-2, bold mine).

“Our brothers and sisters in India don’t want you to elevate them or raise them up as heroes. They are normal people, with families, jobs, and the concerns and stresses of life. They are simply obedient to the commands of Jesus.

“Please celebrate with us what God is doing in India — what only He can do — and also pray for these brothers and sisters. It’s a daily battle there. I am not talking about a battle between religions. I am talking about the battle to obey Jesus, love Him, and persevere and love one’s enemy when faced with beating, arrest, even death. To live out Hebrews 10:36-39 requires God’s abundant grace, every day. What a relief, that what is impossible with us is possible with God.”

*pseudonym

WHERE TWO WORLDS COLLIDE
Ethan* and Nicole* receive almost daily messages from Sanjay* and John* about the persecution the disciples and house churches face. The hardest of these messages was that a lady was martyred. She and read more …

EXPECT AND TRAIN FOR PERSECUTION
Preparing people for persecution starts before they become Jesus followers. This has to do with how we present the gospel. Some people share Christ this way: “Become a Christian. You will have joy and peace.  read more …

When the Wheels Literally Came Off

When the Wheels Literally Came Off

As Luke* drove  back home after visiting a remote village high in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia, the front right wheel came off his vehicle. 

While he was making repairs, the jack toppled, causing the vehicle to fall on him. Thankfully, a ministry partner was there and able to free him, but Luke suffered broken ribs, a broken back, and separated shoulder ligaments. He needed immediate medical attention, but the closest decent hospital was many days’ journey away.

After arduous hours of driving through the snow, they finally found a place to rest, at a location Luke had previously visited. He asked about Dache*, a man who used to work there, but people told Luke that Dache had moved away. So everyone was surprised when Dache arrived shortly after that! 

“We started catching up right away,” Luke says. “I found out that we now live in the same city. Later, he asked, ‘Are you a Christian?’ When I answered that I am, he asked me to disciple him.  I asked.‘If I disciple you, will you disciple others?’ He agreed that he would!” 

After focusing for a time on physical recovery, Luke began discipling Dache. In their first few Bible studies, Dache discovered so much: that God created everything, that family was God’s creation, that suffering began with sin, and sin makes God sad. As a result, Dache has committed to following God’s word, loving his family, and sharing God’s story with others.

Dache is growing strong in faith and obedience. He and Luke currently meet three times each week for a Discovery Bible Study. He retells the Bible stories to his coworkers and relatives. Luke is hopeful that Dache will want to be baptized this summer, and prays Dache’s family will join him in baptism.

Out of Luke’s accident, God brought something wonderful! Pray that God will bring about a disciple-making movement in this region.

*pseudonym

Related Articles:
Study It Yourself 🙂
Berated for Bringing a Foreign Religion

Giving Up Your Way
Jesus Knows My Name

“I’d Hit Them Back!”

“I’d Hit Them Back!”

As Job* sipped hot tea and puffed on his cigarette, he asked, “Did Jesus really say, ‘Turn the other cheek’?” 

“Yes, he did,” Frank* replied. “He also said if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. And if anyone makes you carry their stuff for one mile, carry it for two miles.” (Matthew 5:38-41) 

“Do you think he was being literal?!” questioned Job. 

“That’s a great question. What do you think?” 

“I’m not sure it’s possible to ‘turn the other cheek.’” Job responded. “Why would someone do that? If someone hit me, I’d hit them back.”

Job peppered Frank with honest questions about Jesus and Christianity for several hours. Job is from a minority Muslim people group that has experienced a great deal of repression and persecution. 

Job teared up as he said his goodbyes. “I just can’t believe the statement about ‘turning the other cheek.’ If [my people] turned the other cheek … we wouldn’t be around anymore. These ancient churches are empty because Christians turned their cheeks. Look at the [other people groups who used to live here]. Where are they now? They turned the other cheek, and they are no more. I can never turn my cheek.” 

Frank sensed that Job wasn’t seeking answers but only wanted to express his pain. So Frank simply said, “I understand your feelings. Let’s talk more about this next time.” 

Since then, Job and Frank have begun reading the Bible together. Pray that the Father would continue to draw Job to Himself and that Job would become an obedient disciple of Jesus. Ask God to bless Frank with spiritual wisdom and to use him to start a disciple-making movement among this Unreached group.

*pseudonym