Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Birth of a Baby

As we journey through Advent this year, we reflect once more on the Christmas story and I am filled with wonder that at the centre of this story, is a baby! Most people love babies. You don’t have to be a mother yourself, or you don’t have to be holding a baby to feel it. Just seeing a baby in someone else’s arms, or in a pram on the street, or hearing a baby cry, is often enough to cause us to pause and think how beautiful or cute babies are, or how tiny they are, and how helpless and vulnerable they are. Imagine, the God of all the Universe, being willing to humble Himself to become a vulnerable human baby!!

Ten years ago, Carolyn, a worker in North Africa, hired a French teacher named Amina (names changed). Over the years their relationship deepened from teacher and student to friends. Remaining close throughout job changes, moving cities and life’s ups and downs, their friendship presented numerous opportunities for Carolyn to share her faith. While open to conversation, Amina and her husband remained closed to the truth.

Not long after Amina married, her thoughts turned toward motherhood. For many years they hoped and prayed for a child. Unfortunately, they met with complications and a few miscarriages. For years, Carolyn joined them in praying for a baby. Until one day Amina shared exciting news with her friend. She was pregnant.

After years of praying with this couple, God answered. Carolyn shared the story of Hannah, who pleaded with God for a son. She trusts God that through this child He will reveal Himself to this family.

Pray that God would open the eyes of this family in a miraculous way through this long-awaited answered prayer.

Pray that many other North African women in similar situations would receive prayer in Jesus’ name for a much wanted baby. May God answer these prayers and lead women and families to a saving knowledge of Jesus who is the author and giver of life!

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Pray for Mauritania: Wednesday, December 17th

We pray for people who are hungry and seeking for the Truth in Mauritania.  Bring a copy of the Word to them today.  Help them tune into radio and satellite tv programs.  May they hear about Jesus this week as we lead up to Christmas celebrations, remembering the gift of Jesus’ birth.

Pray for Morocco: Tuesday, December 16th

Pray for many workers and national believers across Morocco and North Africa who are preparing for Christmas celebrations, parties, services, opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus this Christmas time. Ask for protection over their plans. Pray that Muslims will come and hear and receive the Good News. We ask this all in the mighty and powerful name of Jesus, Amen!

Lord, we declare over Libya today: ‘Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. … The mouth of the Lord has spoken.(Is 58:12)

Hurry to Find the Messiah

Until I moved to North Africa, shepherds were just part of historical fiction, in stories such as the Nativity or David and his lessons from the fields. Having now lived in a country with many shepherds, I feel some measure of the reality in their lives. In winter, they are out in the sun as much as possible, but watching from my car windows, they appear bored and languid most of the time. In summer, they often approach the road, holding an empty bottle or motioning that they are thirsty. Summer is hard work on the edges of the Sahara, and this is when shepherds move their flocks to places where there is enough vegetation to sustain life. In winter, the sheep come home every night to a pen, often inside the family’s courtyard.

This leads me to believe that Jesus was born in the summer season, given that the shepherds were out by night. And they were probably away from home, maybe living in tents for the season. Perhaps, like the shepherds I see here, they were bored by a rather uninteresting life style.

But did that give them time to think, ponder, look up and ask good questions? And if so, is that ever what is going on in the minds of shepherds we pass along our route? Does their lethargic exterior mask an active imagination, and if not….could my prayers make a difference?

I pray for shepherds on a regular basis, asking that they would have visions and dreams of the same Messiah who was announced by angels to those unnamed sheep-herders 2000 years ago. I pray that there would be a hurry in their steps, as they seek out truth and that when they glimpse the Prince of Peace, it would turn their world upside down… It happened once, so I know it could happen again. Can you join me in my prayers for the shepherds today?

We thank you Lord for your promises to pour water on a thirsty land and your Spirit on future generations in Tunisia. May thousands be able to witness: ‘I belong to the Lord’ (Is 44:3)

Pray for Mauritania: Wednesday, December 10th

A prayer from Mauritania

Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water.

“I will take away sickness from among you.” (Ex.23:25)  “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.  All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God.” (Deut.28:1-2)

Father, I ask for your blessing on Mauritania.  Will You have mercy on Mauritania that the people of this country will turn back to you and bless this country, keep sickness away and give them food and water. We specifically ask protection over its borders against the Ebola virus.

Angels we have heard on high

As we journey through Advent this year, we find ourselves reading through the familiar Christmas story. If you are like me, I sometimes try to imagine myself in the story. I wonder what it would have been like to see an angel appear in front of you, or in your room, or in the sky above you? Angels feature heavily in the Christmas story. One appeared to Mary to give her the news about the Messiah to be born to her. Another appeared to Joseph letting him know it was a good idea to go ahead and marry Mary even though she was pregnant with the Son of God. The shepherds were privileged to see a whole host of angels in the sky singing praises and glory to our God and the new baby born in Bethlehem! I wish I could have been there!!

Do angels still appear today? I heard a story recently about a group of 3 men who were on the Hajj pilgrimage and while there they were robbed and all their belongings, passports and money stolen. They tried to get help to get a new passport, but they needed money. They tried appealing to this place and that place, but with no money or documents, it was hard. They sat down on the street, despondent, wondering what on earth they were going to do! Suddenly they were approached by some men who asked what their problem was. Once they shared what had occurred the new men told them to wait right there. They soon returned with a suitcase of money, enough to help them get new passports, and return to their homeland. The men giving the money said that Jesus had told them to come to that street that day. Upon arriving home, the pilgrims immediately sought out someone who could tell them all about Jesus. They wondered if these men who had come to help them were actually angels.

In North Africa, there are many stories of people who have had dreams and visions. A man dressed in white feature in these dreams and visions all the time. But instead of angels, it is usually Jesus himself who now appears to people!!

Praise God that we love and serve a Living God who loves people so much, He himself appears to them in visions while they are awake, and dreams while they are asleep. He so much wants to be revealed and to be known by North Africans. It is Jesus’ desire that North Africans know the Truth about who He is and come to know salvation and eternal life through Himself. Pray and ask for even more dreams and visions in all the nations of North Africa.

Pray for Morocco: Tuesday, December 9th

Heavenly Father, we ask that signs and wonders will accompany the sharing of the Good News of Jesus Christ in Morocco, so that people will know and experience that You are a God of power, mercy and love. We ask for opportunities to pray for healing this coming week. We ask for prayers to be answered miraculously, so that Moroccans will turn their hearts towards Jesus! Amen!

“The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and sows it in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows up, it is the biggest of all plants. It becomes a tree, so that birds come and make their nests in its branches.”(Mat 13:31-32) Lord, it is our desire to see your Gospel become a huge tree of blessing in Libya. Water the little mustard seed with living water in Jesus name.