The photo in the header of this newsletter is proof that Jesus is at work and answers prayer! Shortly after my last prayer letter, one Sunday morning I was discouraged and I felt like staying at home. (Isn’t it amazing how so often it is just before God is going to work that things seem the darkest?) BUT, I was really happy I didn’t follow my flesh to stay home… That Sunday morning at chapel we had a visiting pastor who preached a message to our students on the 3 root sins(pride, self-love, and unbelief). He talked about how God can give us hearts of flesh that long to please Him, rather than hearts of stone.
At the end of the service 13 students came forward repenting and putting their faith in Jesus; Asking God to give them new hearts and give them His Spirit! (I couldn't help but feel that the extra prayer boost from everyone receiving my prayer letter had something to do with God at work?!! Praise Jesus that in the midst of dryness He is here with us… and even on those Sunday mornings when the missionary doesn’t feel like showing up! A few weeks later, one of the teachers and I had the opportunity to meet with 11 of these students and give them encouragement to feed on God's Word daily, gave them each a little booklet on how to have a quiet time with Jesus, and talk with them about the pressures and things they may face as they follow Jesus. Continue to pray for these young believers!
Over the past month God has been drawing me into the need for more prayer. One friend posted this quote: "The things you pray about are the things you trust God to handle. The things you neglect to pray about are the things you trust you can handle on your own."-HB. Charles. I think God calling me to more prayer has been due to the many moments where I knew there was no way I could handle things on my own or I was perplexed because I wasn't sure as to the way forward and I needed supernatural wisdom, love, or endurance.
That brings me to the primary purpose for this newsletter—Would you pray with us? On July 29th we are excited to have a special celebration as the first copies of the Lubwisi New Testament arrive. (Lubwisi-that’s the tribal language I am “slowly-by-slowly” trying to learn!) We are excited for what God will do through His Word, especially as the people have the opportunity to read it in their heart language.
I’ve written up a 31-day prayer guide with specific requests and ways to pray for the upcoming arrival of the Lubwisi New Testament. We have seen increased spiritual warfare over these last weeks and we need prayer. Would you join with us in prayer? I look forward to seeing how God will work in the coming days, months, and years.
“Him we proclaim.. that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
For this I toil with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.”
Thanks for praying! In His energy we press on,
“Poverty-stricken is the church today in many things, but she is most stricken here, in the place of prayer. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere... The ministry of preaching is open to few; the ministry of prayer—the highest ministry of all human offices—is open to all … It may be that Satan has little cause to fear most preaching. Yet, past experiences sting him to rally all his infernal army to fight against God’s people praying.”
– Leonard Ravenhill
1. Pray for the smooth delivery of this first shipment of Lubwisi New Testaments (LNT) from Asia to Bundibugyo Uganda. (African customs and transportation can prove to be challenging!)
2. Pray that God would give our team wisdom as we plan, dream, and prepare for the best way to get God’s Word into the hands, ears, and hearts of the people of our region. Pray that God would help us to find the paths He has for us to walk in and that He would “establish the work of our hands.”
3. Pray for God to soften hard hearts and prepare good soil, ready to soak up His Word.
4. Pray for God to give increasing spiritual hunger to the people who know so well physical hunger and can so easily become focused on money as the solution to problems. Pray for us missionaries not to slip into this same mindset as well!
5. Pray that God’s Word arriving in the “Heart Language” would, as one teammate put it, shake the Rwenzori Mountains with His Spirit in power.
6. Pray that while we missionaries get caught up in the busyness of getting the LNT into the hands and hearts of the people here, that God would keep our own hearts, eyes, and ears faithful to Him and that He would use this time to grow our love for Him & His Word even deeper.
7. Pray that God would build anticipation and excitement among the people here to not only receive the LNT, but that they would also enthusiastically share and read God’s Word to others who are not able to read.
8. Pray for spiritual protection for missionaries and their families, as well as the nationals involved in the project—especially for good peaceful sleep. Some of the kids and a few teammates have been having nightmares or sleeplessness and increased spiritual attack at night.
9. Pray for protection against corruption in the leadership of local churches and that the new LNT would not be sold for profit. Pray for renewed faith and repentance in church leaders.
10. Pray for God to use His Word to build up godly local men who are able to lead and love the people here well.
11. Pray for expediency, a keen memory and endurance for the newer members of the missionary team to continue to learn Lubwisi so they can communicate with the people and utilize the LNT well!
12. Praise God for the missionaries & partner organizations (SIL & Wycliffe) who have given years of their lives to see this LNT project completed. Ask God to give them special joy & encouragement in their labor of love.
13. Pray that God would protect the minds & hearts of our team and the people here from cynicism and feelings of hopelessness: “that’s just the ways things are in Bundibugyo, they’ll never change.”
14. Pray that the people of our district would embrace the truth & promises of God’s Word and that He would build their faith in Him.
15. Pray that God would physically protect Believers here from sickness and attack. (One believer shared with me how a few years ago he woke up in the night being strangled, but there was no one in the room. He couldn’t talk let alone breathe, so he spoke the name of Jesus in His mind and the evil spirits left him. The next morning he found out family members had gone to the witch doctor to destroy him and they were surprised to find him still alive and answering the phone. Praise Jesus!) Pray that God would protect the health of our missionaries, a number have had health issues that seem to be related to spiritual attack.
16. Pray that God would remind us we are not battling against flesh and blood, and that we would rely on the power of His Spirit and His strength. Pray that the bondage of fear, territorialism, & insecurity (as evidenced by tribalism, theft, distrust, and violence) would be broken.
17. Pray that God would use the LNT to open eyes to Himself and that He would give clear manifestations of His power to the people here.
18. Pray for our team leadership as they forge forward and lead us in these next few years, focused on the local people embracing the LNT.
19. Pray that God would give our team and the churches here wisdom as we seek to lovingly minister to and serve the Muslims in our community. (Our team leader noted that 3 of the newest buildings in our district are mosques). Pray that Jesus would reveal Himself to this group in a special way!
20. Pray that God would give our medical missionaries (Doctors, Nurses, Physiotherapists, and Nutritionists) wisdom in sharing Jesus & the LNT and how best to intermingle that with serving the physical needs of the people of this district.
21. Pray that God would provide continuing depth for the Biblical Education & mentoring of local church leaders.
22. Pray for special encouragement and affirmation from Jesus for our support staff here on the field who aren’t directly working with the local people, but who serve us well. Especially for the teachers, Alanna & Ashley, who teach our missionary kids up here in the mountains; as well as our maintenance man Brent.
23. Pray that God would bring an older trained Pastor onto our team to disciple local church leaders life-on-life. (In this culture age is very much respected… at the same time, this is a hard place for older people to live—but God is able to bring the right person!)
24. Pray that the strongholds and spiritual darkness would be pushed back, and the years and cycles of sin would be broken by Jesus being lifted high through the LNT.
25. Pray for the team serving at Christ School that God would give them clear wisdom & direction as they seek to build enthusiasm for the LNT among the students. Pray that God would provide financially for the school, would help it to reach its academic objectives, but most of all that the purpose of the school to raise up servant leaders for The Kingdom would move forward!
26. Pray that the Lord would bring harmony and unity among the existing churches and that He would protect them from competition with one another. Pray that the Lord would use the LNT for churches to grow in depth. (Operation Mobilization describes the churches here as a mile-wide but an inch-deep.) Pray for this same harmony and unity for our missionary team and that He would protect us from comparison.
27. Pray that the release of the LNT would lift high the name of Jesus and that the people would turn from the idols of power, money, and drunkenness to the only true King! “That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
28. Pray that the Lord would use the LNT to bring a special season of growth in His Kingdom and that He would draw and open the hearts of more people to Himself.
29. Pray for the safe travel and health of the 29 Individuals (missionaries and some of their grown children) who labored here over the years and will be returning to Bundibugyo for the LNT release party on July 29!
30. Pray for our Water Engineers as they not only maintain current water supply for the people of this area, but also for the provision, vision and direction in how they might be able to use new water projects to take the LNT to our neighbors in the Congo?!
31. Pray that God through His Word & Spirit would break the cultural mindset of survivalism affecting both the locals and also us missionaries. Pray that we would all experience anew the lavish, generous, and never-ending love of Jesus and that our lives would be living demonstrations of Jesus’ massive love.