Happy new year to all Back to Jerusalem friends! If you made a new year’s resolution to pray more for mission and persecuted believers, we have work for you! This year again, our workers will be at the frontlines, encountering first hand political upheaval, spiritual warfare, natural disasters, religious persecution and military conflict. They need your prayers and support to complete the task they have been given. Here are some ideas to get you started.
A lot has changed for believers in China this past year, and religious freedom is on a clear downwards track. Whenever you hear China mentioned in the news, please remember our brothers and sister there and pray for courage, wisdom, and for their joy to overflow. Pray also that their testimony will be strong and many will come to Christ, especially in the unreached Western regions of China.
A lot of positive things have happened with regards to North Korea. Threats have ceased for now and leaders are talking to each other. Many great intentions for peace and economic cooperation are being discussed. However, little has changed for North Koreans themselves. They still suffer hardship and near total repression of religious and political freedom. Also, the sanctions that are still in effect, limit possibilities for missional business. Please remember our workers there as they seek to evangelise and supply believers with Bibles. Pray also for the North Korean believers, who enter a new year full of uncertainty. May this be a year of growth for the church.
Working in Tibet remains very difficult. Tibetan Buddhism is a system keeping people prisoner, and workers in this area face resistance on many fronts. Please pray that we will finally be able to finish our gospel recordings in the local Tibetan languages, so we can begin to distribute these. We have had great difficulty getting these ready. 10 different people that were doing the voices for us have pulled out for different reasons. The two that were finally making good progress have just quit also. We have never had this degree of difficulty before with any language group. Please pray also for the physical and spiritual safety of our workers. And pray that those who hunger for the gospel may hear and believe.
We have seen doors open in East Africa for our workers in this past year. Please pray for those in language study, and those preparing business platforms. Some areas have no churches at all and missionaries have not been able to work there for a long time. Pray we will be able to make good use of these open doors and for protection where radical Islam is causing political instability.
Please remember our workers in the war-torn areas of the Middle East. In some countries there is remarkable growth of the church and we work hard to supply new believers with Bibles and materials. In other areas our missionaries use agricultural project to reach out to the population and offer them a sustainable food source, employment and hope. May these countries, where the name of Jesus was known before the armies of Mohammed conquered, hear the gospel proclaimed loud and clear. Pray that our workers may display the right balance between sensitivity and boldness.
Pray also for the Dove training. As new countries and languages are added this year, may many thousands of children hear the gospel and be discipled to become evangelists themselves. Pray also for the many Christian children in closed countries, who cannot have carefree lives but face persecution. May they have faith strong enough to put any adult to shame and know God’s blessing on their lives and testimony.
Lastly, this year we seek to develop a new ministry in Bhutan, among the largely unreached majority ethnic group. Pray for those involved in translating scriptures and songs so the small church can be built up and equipped to reach out to those around them.