Trading Tradition for Multiplication

Samir* liked to talk with people about Jesus. So, noticing Frank’s* social media account, he left a message and hoped this stranger would reply.  

Frank did. After several conversations, he discovered that Samir and his father, Nuh*, have planted several churches and want to reach many more people. Since spring, Frank has been casting vision with Samir about what it would look like to see their whole nation reached with the gospel. They have had many discussions about the importance of being disciples who make disciples, who make disciples.  

A few weeks ago, Samir and Nuh led a man to faith in Jesus. Samir remembered conversations with Frank about reaching whole families and helping people become disciple-makers. So instead of inviting this man to join their traditional church, they told him to gather his family and friends to learn about God together. 

When Samir and Nuh entered his village, they were surprised to see that he had gathered around 50 people! They immediately began to share the good news. Fifteen people became followers of Jesus, while others wanted to keep studying the Word. That day a new church was established in the village!

Shortly thereafter, Samir asked Frank to coach him on using multiplication principles in his ministry. Frank agreed to coach Samir if he first found others who would commit to be trained and apply the principles that Samir would pass on to them. Samir gathered some people, and he and Frank have already had their first “official” coaching session! 

*pseudonym

The Cross in the Store

A large cross is displayed in Mr. Li’s* store. It’s a bold move in a country where following Jesus can bring persecution. In suitable moments, he shares his faith with customers. 

Matt* wanted to know Mr. Li better, to encourage him, and to impart some tools that would help Mr. Li become a multiplying disciple-maker, so he invited Mr. Li to his home.

Matt gave him a series of Bible stories chosen to help people learn who Christ Jesus is and what he has done for them. He showed Mr. Li how to read over the stories and then ask questions designed to lead seekers into a relationship with Christ and help them immediately share the truths they learn with others. 

Matt warned Mr. Li of the potential restrictions and persecution that could occur if he pursued this approach. But when asked if he wanted to learn how Jesus made followers that made more followers, Mr. Li agreed eagerly and without hesitation.

“I was so encouraged to hear his story,” Matt says.  “and to know his desire to understand and apply Jesus’ principles to make followers, no matter the suffering he might have to endure.” When they meet again, Matt plans to take Mr. Li through a simple training on making disciples that multiply. 

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Berated for Bringing a Foreign Religion

About two months ago, we told you about Gaden’s village. Here is a report from a more recent trip into the same village.

Joel* and his team of local disciple-makers were back in Gaden’s* village. They were going to conduct some basic health education and screenings, but they were primarily interested in visiting the young Discovery Bible Study (DBS) group. They hoped the group might want to be baptized. 

Instead, the team was perplexed when the DBS people didn’t want to be seen with them. They kept walking away and avoiding conversation. Something had changed.

That night the local disciples quietly visited one of their houses. But the young man’s mother, Metog*, berated them for bringing a foreign religion into their village and involving her son in their “corrupt work.” The team left dismayed but praying for God to intervene.

The next day, Metog saw something unusual happening in a nearby courtyard. As she approached, she saw a nurse checking a neighbor’s blood pressure. Metog, too, needed medical attention. Approaching Priscilla*, one of the disciples she had scolded the night before, Metog asked if the nurse could come to her house for a private check-up. They agreed to come. 

In the course of the check-up, Metog’s behavior completely changed. She declared that Priscilla was now like her own daughter and said Priscilla should be sure to stay in her home the next time she visited!

When Joel’s team visited the following year, they found the group of young people once again studying the Bible. “We have shared this Scripture with the whole village,” one exclaimed. “Everyone has heard it!”

READ ANOTHER STORY FROM JOEL

You can dispatch more compassionate disciples like Joel and Priscilla!

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Ask, Apply, Obey

A few years ago, Joel* and his team of local disciple-makers entered a Himalayan village. They looked for people with whom they could pray prayers of blessing, and perhaps find someone interested in hearing a story or two from the Bible. 

Soon a young man named Gaden* approached them. “Are you guys Christians?” 

“Okay,” Joel thought, “This could be really great, or we could get asked to leave.” 

“I had a friend who was a Christian teacher here,” Gaden continued. “He told me some things, and I have a lot of questions.” 

The team listened to his questions. They answered some, but quickly said, “Can we just tell you a story? We’d love for you to hear directly from Scripture what it means to be a follower of Christ.”

Gaden was excited to hear the Scripture in his own language, not just in the national language. He gathered two other young couples together to study the Bible.

Since this village is a multi-day trek into the mountains, Joel and his team can’t visit often. So they gave the group a Bible app preloaded with Bible stories. After listening to a Scripture passage, the group would answer questions to help them apply the Scripture and obey what they learned. 

Since that first visit, the team has been back multiple times. Some challenges have arisen, but we can be assured God will use this study. He declares that His word “always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

*pseudonym

Our Job or God’s?

Our job is to be faithful, obedient disciples of Jesus. God’s job is everything else. We choose faithfulness or unfaithfulness, but our choice doesn’t affect what God does. For, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful — for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). What a liberating truth! Our faithfulness enables us to participate in the blessing of God’s work, no matter what fruit we see with our eyes.

About a year ago, *Pema shared a testimony of God’s healing power with his friend *Sonam. Sonam was intrigued, so Pema started taking him through the Bible. 

At first, Sonam was interested. Then one day, he said, “All the older people say your God is a bad God. I can’t talk about these things anymore.” Pema was discouraged, but he knew he had faithfully shared.

Sonam moved away and became unable to pay his rent. So he called Pema’s best friend and fellow church leader, *Tenzin. Tenzin welcomed Sonam into his apartment . . . and into his spiritual life. As with everyone, when you stay with Tenzin, you will pray, praise, and read the Word of God together.

Sonam is hearing more about Jesus and experiencing life-on-life discipleship 24 hours a day! Pema knows this is God’s faithfulness. God is not finished with Sonam. Will you pray that Sonam will confess with his mouth and believe in his heart that Jesus is Lord? 

We appreciate our donors who faithfully support opportunities like these for Jesus to be made known.
 

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What Has God Done in YOUR Life?

Our Tibetan-Himalayan team practices 30-second testimonies. They train and model this tool for the followers they disciple. This simple and reproducible evangelism tool can easily transition into spiritual conversations with lost people. Their teammate *Priscilla shared the following example:

I was stuck in India’s very strict lockdown. God had provided temporary housing for my family, but my children were at school in another district, and it was illegal to cross district lines without specific permission. But I found a willing taxi driver and set out to get my kids. 

We passed through checkpoint after checkpoint, arguing our way through each time. As we approached the big district border, I became nervous and began to pray. “God, please help me through the border to pick up my children. Please close the eyes of the policemen.” 

Minutes before we reached the border, the wind began to howl, and a heavy monsoon rain pounded the earth. The policemen ran for shelter and did not stop our taxi again! God had answered my prayer.

After sharing a testimony like this, disciples ask, “Would you like to learn more about the God who answers prayers? Would your family and friends like to hear about this God too?”

What has God done in your life? What story could you share at the grocery store, the ballpark, or in your neighborhood?


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The Spiritual Warfare Increased

Continued from last week . . . Frank and Helen encouraged Gabriella. They cast a vision for the importance of groups, generational growth, and multiplication. Gabriella’s excitement reignited. She wanted to re-start the meals and add a new group for women. She met right away with another woman from her people group. This woman loved hearing the story of Ruth and wanted to study more with Gabriella! 

Then spiritual warfare increased.     

Gabriella had a major panic attack. She wasn’t able to breathe or sleep. It seemed as though an inescapable storm had suddenly arisen. It subsided two days later but left Gabriella worried and anxious. 

At the same time, police raided her church again. This time the interrogations were much more severe. Police told the elders to leave the city, which they did. Before leaving, they informed Gabriella that the government had her name; they were watching. 

*Gabriella emailed Frank and Helen, saying she needed to lay low and not proceed with their coaching sessions or re-starting the groups. She said she would delete her email account. In the future, she would find a different way to connect with them. 

Through this tumultuous season, Frank and Helen remain confident in God’s vision for Gabriella. They believe He will bring it to fruition. 

Join us in praying for Gabriella’s protection and for the government to overlook her. Pray she would know Jesus is walking with her and she would have peace. Pray Gabriella would be filled with the Spirit and walk courageously toward the Father. Frank and Helen prayed for six years before seeing answers; let’s join them in asking God to bring forth His vision through Gabriella’s obedience to His call. 

*pseudonym

Read last week’s story. Read another story about Gabriella: House Parties Building Kingdom Relationships

House Raids and Interrogations

*Gabriella is the first known disciple from her West Asian unreached people group in the city where Frank and Helen minister. She has grown in the Lord but hasn’t wanted to share her faith, especially with her own Muslim people group. For years, Frank and Helen have been praying that God would give her a heart for her people. 

Then Gabriella had a vision! In it, she led her people in praising and worshipping before God’s throne, using their traditional dances and singing style. As they danced, her people led other nations to faith, and they began to worship too. 

After that, Gabriella opened her home and prepared traditional meals for seekers from her people group. They came to fellowship and to discuss the Bible stories she prepared. 

But she has faced many challenges. In February, police raided the house church Gabriella attended and interrogated the elders, who then asked her to stay away for her safety. Then she experienced financial issues. She could no longer provide meals and had to stop hosting the group. 

Frank and Helen encouraged Gabriella. They cast a vision for the importance of groups, generational growth, and multiplication. Gabriella’s excitement reignited. She wanted to re-start the meals and add a new group for women. She met right away with another woman from her people group. This woman loved hearing the story of Ruth and wanted to study more with Gabriella! 

Then spiritual warfare increased. . . Don’t miss next week’s issue to learn what happened next.

*pseudonym

Read another story about Gabriella: House Parties Building Kingdom Relationships

Church Simplified

During an early morning taxi ride, Amy* struck up a conversation with the driver. It was obvious that Mr. Wu was a Christian from the music playing and the stickers in his cab. 

“Where do you worship?” Amy asked. 

“Well,” he answered sheepishly, “not everyone understands, but we have people come into our home. The taxi drivers that I meet would probably never be willing to go into a church, but they like coming to my house and hearing stories about God. My children too!”

“That’s wonderful!” 

Mr. Wu was surprised by Amy’s affirmation of his “simplified church.” After he described a typical meeting, Amy noted its similarity to a Discovery Bible Study. She offered two simple suggestions: a question to help the group know God better and a reproducing step where everyone shares what they learn with others.

“Oh, that’s great! I’m going to try those this week!” Mr. Wu declared. 

Mr. Wu shared that he had seen Amy before and wanted to meet her. Amy knew the Holy Spirit had orchestrated their meeting. She, too, was greatly encouraged by meeting a local believer willing to take a non-traditional approach to see more people become followers of Jesus.

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Making Disciples Was His Brother’s Job

Every winter, Tazig* herders move their families to lower elevations so their herds of yak, sheep, goats, cows, and horses can pasture for the winter. These months present a golden opportunity to share the gospel with this otherwise mountain-dwelling unreached people group.

Priscilla*, the local partner of a BEYOND catalyst, recently met with a local believer named Dimar* who lives near the Tazig wintering grounds. She wanted to cast this God-sized vision to both him and his missionary brother.

When Priscilla first met with Dimar, he thought only pastors and missionaries were called to disciple others. In his mind, making disciples was his brother’s job, since the church had sent him out as a missionary.

Since November, Priscilla and another teammate have been laying the foundation of movement thinking for Dimar. They showed him the passage from Matthew 28:16-20  where God called every disciple of Jesus to make more disciples.  Understanding and vision are expanding for both Dimar and his brother!

If you are a Beyond donor, you have helped make this training possible. Please pray for these brothers as they contemplate making disciples of all nations.

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