Sunday, December 2, 2012

Week of Prayer for International Missions

Today is the beginning of a week of prayer for International Missions.  Each day this week I will post prayer requests that are listed on the imb website.  You can visit there yourself at:

Focus Scripture: Matthew 16:24-25, HCSB
Pastors brave threats and bombs in the Himalayas. In Central Asia, an IMB doctor’s greatest concern isn’t for safety but that his ministry will make a difference for the kingdom. A worker in war-torn Somalia of the ’90s knew he’d have to be willing to die for Jesus and spend years learning why believers in persecution grow unimaginably strong in the faith.
Engaging people groups in the hard places comes with risk and sacrifice for all who obediently choose to be His heart, His hands, His voice. Most of us aren’t threatened because of our faith, but we need to be in prayer for those who are — not that persecution will end but that believers in persecution will stay courageous and bold.
Giving is also a call to obedience and sacrifice. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® enables IMB missionaries to live and work at the forefront of lostness and extend our witness through their full-time ministry.
Each of us and our churches are called continually to take the next step in our obedience so that Christ is glorified and to ask “What am I doing and what is my church doing to be obedient — to BE His heart, hands and voice, no matter the cost?”

Today's focus on prayer is on the country of Egypt.

A glimmer of light shines in Egypt. It’s not pretty and it smells worse, but it’s hope. It’s a sign of God at work. In the middle of a city dump, which more than 3,000 people call home, God is raising a church.
Leading the vision to build this garbage city church is a 31-year-old man who moved to the community as a teenager. “I have a strong sense for what it is like here, since I have lived here myself,” says Joseph.* “So God put in my heart to build a church here. That has been my dream.”
Joseph’s church is but one of many in a country with a rich history of Baptist ministry. “Southern Baptists were very influential through the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon,” says Ron Robinson,* who served in Egypt for 29 years and witnessed the beginning of Baptist work. “When we first went [to Egypt], the work was evangelism that resulted in churches. That was our statement.” The work has led to a vital impact on Egyptian churches who are answering the call to reach their own people.
Especially with the unrest in the region, Southern Baptists need to stay focused on how God is working in Egypt, says Ron. “He sent His Son to die for these people and we cannot lose the eternal big picture. [We] have to stay on track.”
Pray for Joseph and other leaders who are carrying out the vision to BE His heart, His hands, His voice.
Pray that Southern Baptists will act now with generosity and obedience while the doors of opportunity in Egypt are open.
*Names changed.

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