The Night of Power (Laylat Al-Qadr)

The Night of Power (Laylat Al-Qadr)

Laylat Al-Qadr (the Night of Power, Night of Destiny, or Night of Decree) is the holiest night of Ramadan. It is the night when Mohammed is thought to have begun receiving the Quran. The exact night is disputed, so Muslims hold special observances for the last ten days of Ramadan. Some will practice itikaf, a sort of spiritual retreat where one stays in a mosque for the whole ten days in order to worship and attach oneself closer to God. 

The Night of Power is said to be worth 1000 months and, as the gates of Paradise are open for this one night, it carries blessings beyond those of other nights in Ramadan. It is believed that if on this night, one stays awake and applies themself to prayer, meditation, and the reading of the Quran, their previous sins will be forgiven and the rest of the year, which is determined on al-Qadr, will be blessed.

This night has been significant in recent history for the Church as well. There have been numerous accounts of Muslims who, earnestly and passionately seeking a revelation of God over Al-Qadr met Isa al Masih (Jesus the Messiah) in their dreams.  Typically these dreams reveal, in whole or in part, the true way to righteousness with God, a relationship with Jesus Christ. These dreams have been instrumental in bringing the gospel into areas previously prohibitive for evangelism. Several of our partners have said Ramadan is one of the most fruitful times for evangelism due to Muslim’s heightened spiritual focus.

We ask, therefore, that you would petition our Lord with fervent prayers on behalf of Muslims over these last days of Ramadan. Pray that Muslims who are seeking to know God would discover the Way, God’s Son, Jesus. 

THE NIGHT OF POWER AND THE INFIDEL

The Night of Power, an especially holy night near the end of Ramadan (the Muslim month of fasting), had arrived for Rahmad. read more …

REMEMBER SUSI, THE SEEKER?
Since the beginning of the year, Jane* and her local partner have been studying the Bible with Susi*, a spiritually hungry Muslim read more …

I AM READY!
“I have some great news to tell you,” Job shared with Frank over the phone. “I’m ready to follow Jesus!”  read more …

Muslim Background Believers Need Our Prayers

Muslim Background Believers Need Our Prayers

In February of this year, several key leaders met to discuss critical challenges and hurdles impacting disciple-making efforts in a Muslim majority country. Attendees discussed the intricacies of the discovery process, the significance of directing attention toward spiritual generations to come, and the essence of what constitutes a church. Two disciple-makers shared the impact of those meetings and some items for prayer:

From Passively Learning to Becoming a Multiplying Disciple-Maker
*Rafiq had attended an in-person discipleship training 18 months ago. While he seemed to appreciate the training at the time, Rafiq did not put into practice what he had learned. 

This February, Rafiq returned for further training. Two weeks after the February training, a significant change occurred in Rafiq. This Muslim-background disciple courageously invited a few of his Muslim friends to study together about Jesus. His friends agreed and two new groups were started, going through Bible stories from Creation to Christ! Praise God for taking hold of Rafiq’s heart and turning him into a healthy disciple who makes more healthy disciples.

Please pray that these new groups would personally experience Jesus and actively share what they learn with their family and friends, in order to start more groups. Pray also that these new groups would become the foundation of new churches. Join us in praying specifically for unwavering obedience in the face of potential persecution, especially during the upcoming month of Ramadan. The evil one has come to steal, kill and destroy, BUT Jesus came to bring life in abundance.  

Remember *Gia, the Determined Disciple?
Gia lit up the room in the February training with news of the more-than-40 first-generation discovery groups and churches that she and her cousin helped start. Praise God for Gia’s determined, focused efforts in making disciples! The group rejoiced to hear about the groups Gia initiated, but the true cause for celebration lay in the cascading effect of her groups giving rise to new ones.

During the training, Frank the movement catalyst focused on the essence of healthy discipleship – the reproduction of disciples who, in turn, multiply into subsequent generations. He emphasized not merely cultivating spiritual “children” but rather fostering “grandchildren” and “great-grandchildren” – a vision of multigenerational disciple-making. 

Now Gia knows that focusing on her “great grand-children is indeed a better way to share with everyone about the God who changed her life completely and can change theirs too! She has been telling her first generation groups to start groups, and we praise God that five new second generation groups have started just since the training!

When the word of God transforms someone’s life they can’t help but share it.

Gia and her team are putting into practice the biblical principles of multiplication and are effectively making healthy new disciples who make new disciples.

Pray for these new second generation groups. Ask that the groups be transformed as they listen to the word of God, obey God’s commands in their everyday life, and then boldly share the news with others. 

*pseudonym

READ OTHER STORIES 

REMEMBER GIA, THE DETERMINED DISCIPLE
“It is my duty to tell them, and I passionately want to, but I don’t know how. Please train me on how to reach my read more …

WIFE BEATING DRUNK MEETS JESUS
After she became Jesus’ disciple, Gia* began to share her testimony with others in her village. Her testimony and  read more …

CAN CHRISTIANS MESS UP THE PLAN
They went door-to-door, passing out Bibles in foreign languages and offering free meals worth far more  read more …

El Roi – The God Who Sees Us

El Roi – The God Who Sees Us

This story comes from *Jenny, a seasoned Church Planting Movement practitioner who has seen thousands of people come to know the Lord and has seen the start of several hundred movements. She shares this story of simply listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying.

“Last week I discovered my elevator card wasn’t working, an uncommon and concerning enigma. I knew I needed to go down to the management office to ask why it wasn’t working and felt the Lord’s prompting to share a story with the office manager, *Rita while I was there. I had shared with her a couple times before, just simple verses or whatever *Shema statement came to mind in the moment. I hadn’t met with any resistance but also couldn’t tell if there was any real interest there. So, I went down the 10 flights of stairs to ground level and then walked over to the building next door and up two more flights of stairs to the management office.

Rita was there as always, with a big smile on her face and a warm welcome. We took a couple minutes to sort out my elevator card issue and then sat down to chat for a few minutes. I asked about where she lived and she said that she and her son were living with her mom, not too far away. She went on to share about her difficult decision of whether to divorce her controlling husband or to give the separation more time.

I shared with her what had been my prayer verse for the preceding week: “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’”(Psalm 32:8) I told her that I would be praying this for her and she seemed really grateful. She continued to share, especially about how painful it was being cast out by her husband and how she felt that she always had to put up a brave front for her son and others and not let people know her pain and fears about single-parenting.

Immediately it struck me what story I needed to share – just that morning, a friend had suggested I read the story of Hagar, in relation to something totally different that we had been discussing. I had meditated and prayed about that story for over an hour that morning before I decided to go down and deal with my elevator card. As I shared the story of Hagar – a woman with a small child, cast out by her husband, alone and afraid in the desert, but seen by God, taken care of by God, Rita began to cry. I told her, “God sees you, Rita, He sees your pain and your fears for your son, and He will help you.” She thanked me several times for the story and the encouragement. Please pray for me as I go back in the weeks to come to visit with Rita again and share with her about God’s love and His infinite mercy for her.”

*pseudonyms

**Shema is the Hebrew word often translated “hear” but better translated “hear and obey” in Deuteronomy 6:4. Among movement catalysts, “shema statement” or “shema lifestyle” is often used as a shorthand description for a spiritually fragrant word or deed which invites but does not force a spiritual response to God

MENTIONING GOD …
God instructs His people to talk about His commandments “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
read more …

DESPERATE TO BEAR MORE FRUIT
… we’ve seen God encourage us when we’re down, challenge us to stay engaged with local people, and reinforce best practices for multiplication. read more …

I AM NOT CHRISTIAN. I’M THAI
They associate their ethnic or national heritage exclusively with one religion. The two are inseparably tied read more …

Healed Shaman Makes 2000 Disciples

Healed Shaman Makes 2000 Disciples

*Wayan was known as a “wise man” or shaman.  He was accustomed to using his dark arts to harm others. In the neighborhood where he lived, he was highly respected and feared because people believed he possessed great “knowledge.” Many people sought his guidance, advice, and help with mystical matters. Wayan was also known for frequently challenging other shamans in a battle of skills. He always emerged victorious, which gave people good reason to fear him.

One day, Wayan’s wife asked him to pick some coconuts from the back yard.  He agreed without giving it much thought, and immediately climbed the 30-foot-high coconut tree. 

Suddenly, his wife heard a loud shout from behind the house. Wayan had fallen out of the coconut tree! His wife rushed to help him. He was lying there, weakened, feeling that several bones in his legs and hands were broken. He couldn’t walk or even stand. For the next three months, he needed assistance from his wife or someone else to carry out his daily activities.

During his illness, Wayan concluded that none of the knowledge he possessed, the teachers he followed, the beliefs he held, or his past good deeds could heal him. He became emaciated and close to death.

One day, he remembered someone who had come to their village a few years before he fell ill. *Ketut, a disciple of Jesus in the region, had tried to share the gospel with Wayan at that time. However, on Wayan’s orders, he had been rejected and expelled from the village. Now Wayan asked his wife to find Ketut’s address and invite him to come and pray for him. Wayan’s wife managed to find Ketut’s address through one of their acquaintances in the village. Two weeks later, Ketut visited Wayan and prayed with him.

Before Ketut’s arrival, all Wayan’s bones were stiff and immovable; he had been paralyzed and unable to walk for three months. Through the power of Ketut’s prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Wayan miraculously recovered. He immediately became able to move his hands, legs, and other parts of his body, and he could finally get up from the bed where he had been confined for the past three months.

Ketut stayed at Wayan’s house for a week to pray and share the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. He shared not only with Wayan but also with his family and neighbors, who witnessed firsthand how Jesus had worked a miracle for Wayan. After a week of Ketut’s ministry, Wayan, his wife, and their four children and three sons-in-law all surrendered themselves to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They were then baptized as a sign of their faith in Jesus Christ.

From that moment, Wayan dedicated his life to serving Jesus Christ, along with his entire family. They have testified and proclaimed the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven to many people. Through their testimony and proclamation, many have been healed and saved. 

Today, Wayan is one of the leaders of a movement on his island in SE Asia. His ministry has birthed more than 2000 disciples, 285 small believers’ groups, and 28 small group leaders. And his ministry continues to grow!

*pseudonym

READ RELATED STORIES

GOING OUT 2 BY 2
Passionate about spreading the Word of God, he took a long trip with some fellow disciple-makers around the island’s perimeter. They stopped at several places where Wahid
read more …

BIBLE STUDY IN THE MOSQUE
Dowad*, the community’s leader and a new disciple of Jesus, brought them into the mosque where the local followers frequently study the Bible. There, one of the ulamas spotted read more …

ENGAGING FIRST SEEKERS
He stayed focused on God and His vision for those with whom Hari worked.His relationships with workers opened the door for him and his wife, Dewi*,  read more …

Guns, Knives, and a Motorcycle Gang!

Guns, Knives, and a Motorcycle Gang!

Charlie and Sarah met with Ali, who has shown great hunger for reading stories from the Bible about Jesus. Charlie and Sarah wanted to establish him in the pattern of reading the Word, obeying the word, and then telling others in his circle of influence. He had already voiced that he now believes Jesus can save us from sin. But he was more resistant to the fact that Jesus is actually God.

When they arrived to meet with Ali, he asked to go to a quieter location. So, they found a nice quiet shelter on the side of the road, which was empty when they arrived. It didn’t stay that way, though, as they were joined by two foreign tourists, a couple from another island wanting to buy land, and a motorcycle gang. Next, an older couple arrived with a basket of food, sat down with them, and started setting up lunch for a large group. Then a group of six angry-looking farmers arrived, carrying guns and knives. The farmers had come to help the older couple find their cows, which had been stolen the night before. But they had to eat lunch first.

While they were eating, Charlie and Sarah prayed with them in the name of Isa al Masih (Jesus) for them to find their lost cows. They read the story of the one lost sheep, though  by this time several parallel conversations were happening at once. Then, all but Charlie, Sarah and Ali left on their quests. 

Following that sequence of interruptions, Charlie and Sarah finally got to lead Ali in a discovery Bible study about the life of Jesus. He was very engaged and asked several very deep questions, which encouraged them. 

God showed Charlie and Sarah that He can work even in the midst of chaos. In fact, God thrives in these types of situations. They still don’t know Ali’s motivations or what he truly is looking for. In any case, God loves him and knows his heart.  

Join us in prayer for Charlie and Sarah’s continued communication with Ali, and for Jesus’ breakthrough in Ali’s life.

*pseudonyms

READ OTHER STORIES FROM CHARLIE AND SARAH BELOW

QUEENS, KILLER BEES AND MULTIPLICATION
“As we took our discouragement to the Father,” Sarah shared, “God reminded us of a seemingly unrelated experience a few
years ago …. with bees.
 read more …

JESUS HEALS AS IS WRITTEN IN THE QUR’AN
“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 read more …

I TOLD HIM I WAS QUITTING
*Charlie worked in the IT industry. He specialized in indirect sales and marketing; he educated and supported hundreds of salesmen. He also led efforts to simplify  read more …