Monthly Archives: September 2015

Pray for Mauritania: Wednesday, September 30

We pray for the salvation of the President and his family. May he hear and be open to the Gospel.  We pray this for the government and others in authority too.  We pray for a holy fear of God to fall upon them.  We ask for righteousness and compassion to grow in their hearts as they lead the nation of Mauritania.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania

Pray for Morocco: Tuesday, September 29

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  —Hebrews 11:1

Thank you, Jesus, that we can have faith that you are doing a mighty work all across North Africa. You are not content with only a handful of people who know and follow you.  You desire a multitude of North Africans before your throne. Today, we ask for a mighty harvest in Morocco.

Thank you, Lord for the promise to take captives from warriors and retrieve plunder from the fierce. You indeed came to earth to preach the good news, bind up the broken-hearted, proclaim freedom for the captives and release prisoners. We glorify your holy name. (Isaiah 49:25; 61:1)

The Blood of Jesus

In the last few days Egyptians celebrated Al Adha Feast- which is still on for two other days- by slaughtering animal sacrifices for Allah. Let us lift up high the banner of The Blood of The Lamb Jesus Christ, who was slain for our redemption, only His Blood brings salvation. May that blood cover all the spiritual real over Egypt as we pray!

The Refugee Crisis: What would Jesus do?

Refugee with suitcase

“We cannot put an end to the wars and misery which force people to leave their home countries, but we do have a chance to reduce the number of deaths and provide critical assistance to the thousands of human beings who will cross the Mediterranean”
-Arjan Hehenkamp, Médecins Sans Frontières

Presently, we were bombarded daily by images and reports of the refugees fleeing war, dire situations in refugee camps, perilous journeys in overloaded ships across the Mediterranean, people boarding trains and buses, border controls, death and desperation.

According to The Telegraph newspaper in the UK, four and a half million Syrian refugees  have left Syria. Instability in countries like Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Libya has resulted in millions of displaced people fleeing violence and destruction.

The Middle East and North Africa region continues to face multiple and complex emergency situations on an unprecedented scale, that are likely to pose further overwhelming challenges in 2015. This region is also one of origin, destination and transit of refugees and migrants. Many of those caught up in mixed migratory movements are victims of smuggling and trafficking as they face perilous journeys, notably by sea. [source]

In August this year the UNHCR reported that about 300,000 refugees and migrants have used the dangerous sea route across the Mediterranean this year with almost 200,000 of them landing in Greece and a further 110,000 in Italy. About 2,500 people are estimated to have died or gone missing in their quest to reach Europe.  Last year’s death toll in crossing the Mediterranean was at 3,500. [source]

Criticism on European countries for not having a policy or plan to deal with the thousands of refugees is flying back and forth; fingers are pointed at different receiving countries for doing too little.  But what does it mean in a practical sense to host such a large number of people? According to CNN, the UN used to spend about 28 US dollars per person per mouth but that amount was reduced to 14 US dollar! When calculating the cost of drinking water per refugee in Europe, it can easily amounts to 60 Euros per month. (2 litres/person/ day and 1 Euro/ litre) This can add up to an astronomical sum of money unplanned for. Imagine you have a budget for a family of 4-6 and suddenly have to support another 4-6. Financially, a very costly undertaking.

But what would Jesus have done or expect of his disciples, we as Christians, to do with so many needy people arriving at your doorstep or border?

When the disciples were overwhelmed to feed the 5,000, as it would have cost them a year’s wages,

Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said.  And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
—Matthew 14: 13-21

This is exactly what a small local Christian congregation on a small property in the Middle East do, when they started to reach out to 40 Syrian families in 2011. As the violence increased, more people arrived and in 2014, they were taking care of 3000 families. As they arrive from the refugee camps or border, they register at the church and then receive a ‘Welcome Pack’ of food and toiletries. Pastoral Church teams then do house visits to minister to them and share the Gospel. This church also started a Primary School in English and Arabic for refugee children. Since they started this project to bless the vulnerable, they were blessed by donations from all over the world and today the humble little church building stands transformed into a five story building, representing God’s love and light in a dark world. Learn more about their ministry.

Arguments against receiving the refugees all stem from fear; from losing the cultural character of a country to fear of jihadists entering as well. That will surely happen, but Jesus died for sinners, criminals, terrorists, for all people. The Word is very clear:

  • It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35)
  • He had compassion on the crowds, like sheep without shepherd (Mk 6:34)
  • As the Father have sent me, I am sending you(John 20:21)
  • Act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8)
  • Isaiah 58:
  • Treat aliens or foreigners with respect ( Ex 22:21; Ps 146:9; Lev 24:22; 19:33; Dt 10:19)
  • Feed your enemy and give water to the thirsty (Rom 12:20)

The formal reaction of the Gulf countries regarding the refugee crisis is a startling contrast to what Jesus requires of the Church. While Europe has to cope with the rising numbers of refugees, the Gulf States are only willing to provide money for refugee camps in other countries and require Syrians to apply for costly visas to enter.

It is heart-warming to hear the Pope recently requested every parish in Europe to at least ‘adopt’ one family under their care. How awesome that Christians in Europe are privileged to be the salt and the light in a dark world of trauma and despair.

My heart-felt prayer is that the Church in Europe will realise their vision and mission anew to make disciples of ALL people and share the good news with these dear ones who have been in religious captivity of Islam for generations.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
—Isaiah 58:6-9

End of pilgrimage to Mecca(Haij)

The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself†unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! —Hebrews 9:13-14

We pray, Lord Jesus that you yourself will reveal to all Muslims the importance and real meaning of your blood spilt for us at the cross.

Pray for Haij 2015

Source: Global Prayer Network

This week, 21-25 September, millions of Muslims will travel from all over the world to Mecca, the birthplace of Islam. Muslims are expected to at least make a pilgrimage to this city in his lifetime.

During Hajj, pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, and perform a series of rituals:

Please join other intercessors and pray for the pilgrims and seekers to meet Jesus in person, like Paul on the Damascus road in Acts 9. A complete prayer guide can be downloaded at  http://www.globalprn.com/wp-content/uploads/Hajj-2015-A4.pdf

“while I was in exile I looked and the heavens were opened and saw visions of God. The Hand of the Lord was upon me.

Lord God we ask that as the people of Algeria seek you that you reveal yourself in dreams and visions as you pour out your Spirit on all people.

Pray for Mauritania: Wednesday, September 23

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  —Mark 11:24

Thank you that we can ask for things and be confident that you will answer them, Lord. We ask for your protection over your Believers in Mauritania. We pray that you will give them courage instead of fear. And wisdom to know how you want them to witness for you and serve you.

The heart of a father

A worker in Morocco shares with us:

We were invited to a traditional village Muslim baby naming party by a friend who married last year. They trusted us not to bring the “evil eye” and allowed us to see their firstborn baby son. Most Moroccans will hide their new born away or cover it up with lots of blankets so that no one can see the baby. They are afraid that people will bring the “evil eye” on their baby.  The “evil eye” is usually associated with jealousy or envy, and sometimes just with ill feelings, and brings curses on the one who the “evil eye” is directed at.  The mother welcomed our prayers for protection as the guests arrived for the party.

I connected with one of the village men who was a more fundamentalist Muslim on a personal level. This was a breakthrough as he began to share with me on a personal level as we worked on erecting the large tent lighting together. Beyond his intimidating big black beard and butcher knife (he cut a slaughtered sheep into chunks as I held them), I found a heart broken father.

His first daughter, now 6 years old, was born normally. Then two of his daughters died from major birth defects. His fourth girl was born disfigured with cleft palate and external ear and eye abnormalities. An Operation Smile volunteer surgical team performed the first stage to close her palate.

Earlier, this man tried to get me to argue over the Son of God. The Holy Spirit guided me to a simple Biblical answer that seemed to “sink in”. He listened intently to my experience of Jesus.

I could see him drop his guard further when I told him, “You are a good man. You value your daughter to care for her. God bless you and your family.” I was reminded of when Jesus healed the man born blind. “Whose fault” was the big question. Traditional society here wants to blame others (likely the parents) for the birth defects of sicknesses of their children.  Many parents of handicapped children try to deflect blame by getting really religious. Perhaps their pain explains the anger of some Muslim fundamentalists.

How you can pray:

  • Please ask God to further reveal the love of Jesus to this man and his wife, and their daughters.
  • May God open their hearts and minds to receive the Truth.
  • Pray that they may have dreams of Jesus.
  • Ask that they will be open to further conversations with the workers if given the opportunity.
  • Pray that Jesus’ love for them will win them over.
  • Pray that Jesus will bring healing and hope to their hearts after the loss of their 2 daughters, and the struggle with personal pain and blame because of their other daughter’s birth defects.