GOD’S WORD AND HOPE IN CAMBODIA
Cambodia wrote much of its 20th-century history in blood. Between Vietnam and the Khmer Rouge, the scars of the recent past run deep. But, as John Pudaite of Bible For The World notes, Cambodians are resilient people. “Today, there is a growing, maturing body of Christ in Cambodia, but at the same time, the country remains one of the least reached countries in the world; just under two percent of the population follows Christ.”
Hope infuses that resiliency and makes it an excellent place to plant some seeds. “Franklin Graham is having a ‘Love Phnom Penh’ festival there December 7-8, 2019,” shares Pudaite. “The local churches have come together in a really strong way around this event. We’re really excited to be partnering with the Graham organization, and with the local believers, the body of Christ, there in Cambodia.”
Bibles For The World is planning to provide a Gospel of John along with discipleship materials from the Graham organization to everyone who comes forward and makes a decision for Christ at the two nights of the festival. The festival includes a special outreach to children, and Pudaite says they are providing a special booklet called Jesus Loves Me. “It will include a simple plan of salvation; a simple story of how God loves us, and how His sending His Son, Jesus Christ, has given us eternal hope. It will also include the Gospel of John.”
Pray that the government will continue to be cooperative toward this festival. Pray for the Lord’s blessing on the festival and that many will attend and respond to the Gospel. Pray for good cooperation between the churches, and for good follow up to the event. Pray for the discipleship of new Christians and that they will be brought into the fellowship of believers in the local churches. Pray also for the outreach to children.
Also of significant note, in the days since the fall of the Pol Pot regime, Cambodia has experienced an economic revitalization of sorts. “After nearly 15 years, Chinese investment has come in huge and really transformed that country. They are investing in land, real estate; they are getting involved in a lot of different aspects of business. Among those Chinese, there is a fair amount of Christians. So the Chinese Christians coming alongside the ‘Love Phnom Penh’ festival have decided to do a special outreach to the Chinese people who live in Cambodia, in and around the festival.” Please pray for this outreach.
– mnnonline.org, Information by permission of Mission Network News.
ECONOMIC EMERGENCY IN LEBANON
In September, Lebanon declared a state of economic emergency that allows the government to implement economic emergency measures. The country has one of the highest public debts in the world.
In an interview with Mission Network News, Tom Atema from the Christian organization Heart for Lebanon, points out one of the factors in Lebanon’s financial hardship: “Because of the Syrian refugee crisis, and the economic impact that it is having on the country, [Lebanon] has been on the verge of bankruptcy.”
However, there could be a positive aspect in all of this. As Atema explains, “When in great hardship, great persecution…there’s a wide-open door for the Gospel like never before. I don’t want to lose sight of that in all the negativity of this topic. Muslims are coming to Christ like never before…a tremendous harvest.” As part of its ministry in Lebanon, Heart for Lebanon is opening a center in October to serve the refugee community in the Bekaa Valley with Bible studies, informal education for the children, job training, and more.
Pray for peace in the Middle East. Pray for the improvement of the economic crisis in Lebanon. Also, pray for the church there and its ability to reach people with the ultimate hope of Christ. Pray for Christian ministries and organizations such as Heart for Lebanon that are seeking to share the love of Christ and the message of Christ with the needy in Lebanon. Praise the Lord for all those who are coming to Christ!
– mnnonline.org, Information by permission of Mission Network News.
NEW RESTRICTION AGAINST RELIGIOUS CONVERSION IN INDIA
Authorities in India are reportedly now requiring employees of foreign-funded nonprofits to sign notarized affidavits saying they will not engage in religious conversion. India’s Home Ministry announced in September restrictive amendments to the Foreigners Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
Advocacy groups fear that the new rules are meant to target Christian ministries that serve the poor and marginalized.
The president of Global Council of Indian Christians shares that “these new modifications will reignite fears that NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] will be selectively targeted and the FCRA registration canceled and their bank accounts frozen. Every organization whose goals can be interpreted in the broadest sense of sectarian discord, or with accusations of conversion or as a simple ‘violation’ will be included.”
Thousands of foreign-funded NGOs have lost their licenses to accept foreign funding since the new Prime Minister took office in 2014. In early 2017 the Christian child sponsorship organization Compassion International was forced to halt its ministry to over 147,000 children in India after decades of service because of a new application of FCRA halting its ability to send funds to projects throughout the country.
– The Christian Post
Please pray for wisdom and protection for ministry leaders and believers in India as they face this new restriction. Pray for the work of the Lord to continue in spite of spiritual opposition. Pray also for the government to ease off of targeting Christian organizations and ministries.
PROVIDING RELIEF IN THE BAHAMAS
In early September, the Bahamas experienced the worst natural disaster in the country’s history as Hurricane Dorian devastated the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama. The Category 5 storm had winds in excess of 185 miles per hour and storm surges over 20 feet. At least 53 people died in the storm and more than 1,300 are missing, many of whom are feared to have been swept to sea. Thousands of homes were destroyed and the total damage costs could be at least 7 billion dollars.
One of the Christian organizations working to provide relief to the people of the Bahamas is Samaritan’s Purse. As Franklin Graham, president of the organization, shares, “When you see destruction like this what do you say? When people have lost everything and have no way to recover? That’s why Samaritan’s Purse responds in Jesus’ Name. We want to help people physically but also spiritually. We come in with a great team of doctors and nurses and technicians and builders, but we also bring chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association so that we can minister to them spiritually. …The people here are in great need, they’ll be in need for a long time, and Samaritan’s Purse will be here.”
Samaritan’s Purse asks that we continue to pray for their relief response in the Bahamas. Pray for many residents to receive the help they need and for God to open hearts to the Good News of Jesus Christ. Pray as well for other Christian ministries and organizations working to provide relief, as well as for the government as efforts are made toward recovery from this disaster. Pray also for the Lord’s comfort for all who are grieving. As one resident there said, “There’s nobody that hasn’t lost somebody.”
PRAYER FOR ISRAEL
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you’” (Psa. 122:6).
Pray for the spiritual restoration of Israel. “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins’” (Rom. 11:25-27).
Pray for the Aliyah process – immigration to Israel. “Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth” (Isa. 43:5-6).
Pray for the believers in the land. “When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad. Bring back our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the South. Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psa. 126:1-6).
Pray for Christian ministries in the land. “Thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to the nations, and set up My standard for the peoples; they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders’” (Isa. 49:22).
Pray for the Lord’s protection from the enemy. “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. …He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me” (Psa. 18:2-3, 16-19).
– International Christian Embassy Jerusalem