(This intro message is written by Rev. Niyi Daramola, Worldlink’s Africa Regional Coordinator after his trip to Nigeria in March)
If only in this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. (I Corinthians 15:19)
Paul employed different arguments in 1 Corinthians 15 to prove that the resurrection is a reality. For example, he asked, ‘Why (if all ends here and there is no resurrection) do we endanger ourselves every hour?’ Whether the wild beasts he faced are to be taken literally or figuratively, we know that Paul faced all kinds of life threatening dangers as he doggedly preached the gospel of Christ all over the then known world. One cannot but agree it would have been stupid of him to do that were there no hope of resurrection and life eternal with the Lord.
I have just returned from a visit to Northern Nigeria. I participated in a conference with more than 8,000 participants. I had the opportunity at the conference to share fellowship with many of our mission partners in the country. Some of them are serving the Lord in the North Eastern part of the country, the centre of operation of Boko Haram, the Islamic fundamentalist group that has killed many people on the battle ground and through suicide bombings. These brethren and their families are living their lives in constant danger as they sought to share the gospel message. They leave home in the morning, not knowing if they would return in the evening. The suicide bombers may be co-passengers in the taxi they are boarding or in the restaurant where they stop over to buy some snacks. Literally, they are fighting wild beasts each day.
Thank God that they (and we) have hope; hope of resurrection and hope to reign with the risen Lord forever. Without such hope, there is no point undergoing such suffering. It is that hope that has kept them in the ministry. It is that hope that they are sharing with the people in their mission field.
This prayer diary reports on the exploits of some of these servants of the resurrected Christ. Thank you for encouraging them through your giving and prayers. They very much appreciate your support.
Fri 1. James – Adamawa, Nigeria
“Power of the Spoken Word” was the theme of a seminar that James organized in two schools. A total of 250 youths participated in the program and 20 of them came to faith in the Lord Jesus as a result! Pray that they may be nurtured through the Word of God as they fellowship with other believers in the Bible Clubs in the two schools.
Sat 2. Cabra - Zambia
After Cabra finished preaching at a Bible Camp, he was approached by a young man who had gone to live with an uncle after the death of his parents. This uncle used to beat him severely. The young man became bitter, full of anger and unforgiveness. He left his uncle’s home when he was 14 to live with his friends on the streets because he was afraid of his uncle. After he heard the Gospel at the camp, he decided to follow Christ. He was willing to forgive his uncle, and if possible, to go back and reconcile with him. God had been working in his uncle’s heart too, and he is also now a Christian. Praise God for His salvation and reconciliation.
Sun 3. Irmiya – Kaduna, Nigeria
Irmiya and his team visited 84 Bible clubs during the quarter, ministering to a total of 1,402 children and youths. Thank God for 318 that declared their faith in Jesus. School rallies were also organized in four centers with 43 of the 834 participants accepting God’s offer of salvation. Thank God for the volunteers that are supporting the ministry.
Mon 4. Bryceson – Tanzania
Bryceson conducted training for 80 Sunday school teachers and organized camps for children in grades 12 and 14. Thank God for 21 of the 124 campers that accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior. Many youths would like to have their own Bibles for their personal devotions. Please pray for God’s provision to meet this need.
Tue 5. Cyprian – Kebbi, Nigeria
A state conference was organized in December. Even though the timing was not convenient for many students, 350 children and youth attended the conference. Eighty-two of them were welcomed into the family of God and one of them testified, “I have learned that teenage life is full of ups and downs, but if I make Christ the captain of my life, He will lead me in the struggle. This I have decided to do.” Pray that they may all grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Savior.
Wed 6. Abolaji – Nasarawa, Nigeria
Abolaji was the main speaker at a ministry conference that was held in the Baptist Church in Gusau, and he also led a seminar at the state conference. Three hundred and twenty-six individuals participated in the two conferences. Pray that the participants may take up the challenge received at the conference and become more involved in the supervision of Bible Clubs in the state.
Thu 7. Akin – Plateau, Nigeria
Thank God for the opportunity that Akin had to minister to the group of ministers and their spouses at the beginning of the year. This gave him the opportunity to highlight the plight of the younger generations and the need to rise up and assist them to overcome their challenges.
Fri 8. Moses – Togo
On Thursday, November 12, Moses visited patients in the prison ward at the hospital in Lome. He had the opportunity to share the message of the Gospel with emphasis on the grace of God. Three detainees accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives. Moses prayed for them and asked God for their healing. Pray that they may fully enjoy their freedom in Christ, even as they are remain physical prisoners.
Sat 9. Steven – Tanzania
Steven and his team ministered in twenty eight Bible Clubs (primary and secondary) during the quarter. He also organized seminars in December for Sunday school teachers in Siha. Eighty-four teachers from 21 churches participated in the seminar. Thank God also for the opportunity that Steven had to bring hope to 53 inmates at the prison in Karanaga, Moshi.
Sun 10. Francis – Central Africa Republic
With the help of 64 IDP (Internally Displaced Person) tent leaders, Francis gave Bible reading notes and Gospel tracts to the refugees in the IDP center in Bangui. Used clothes, shoes and other materials were also distributed. Thank God for the donations that enabled Francis to give relief to the IDPs.
Mon 11. Albino – Yobe, Nigeria
“Christmas 2015 was very special for me. I spent the break with my parents and siblings after 18 months of being away from home. My parents were to some extent worried about my being in the mission field. However, after I strongly confessed my conviction, they accepted my decision, prayed for me and wished me well. My uncle tried to dissuade me from field missionary work advising that I become the pastor of a local Church. I told him I was only obediently responding to my heavenly call.”
Please pray that the Lord may uphold Albino as he continues to minister to children and young people in the state. [Worldlink Note: Yobe is in the far Northeast of Nigeria where Boko Haram terrorists have been abducting and massacring innocent people, especially Christians, for years.]
Tue 12. Sibusiso – Swaziland
In partnership with Gideons International of Mbabane, Sibusiso visited two primary schools and two pre-schools where he shared the Word of God and distributed 750 bibles. Pray that the Word of God, which has been sown in the hearts of the children, will have lasting effect. Also, thank God for the ministry to couples. A participant testified, “My marriage life has changed through the Couple’s Fellowship: We couldn't’ pray together as a couple, but now there is a great change, peace and mutual understanding.”
Wed 13. Joanes – Sierra Leone
Joanes was invited to accompany a team of evangelists to the Mafonima Community for outreach meetings. He was given the opportunity to preach the Gospel and at the end of the preaching the Holy Spirit led seventeen people to accept Christ as their Savior. Five others rededicated their lives to Christ. Praise the Lord for the harvest of souls.
Thu 14. Lucas – Tanzania
Lucas had the opportunity to conduct Bible classes for the children at a local church in Mbweni and to lead Bible studies on the Book of Ruth in two other churches. Thank God for the impact of the Word of God in the lives of the participants. Please pray for the plans to come together to reach Pemba Island with the Gospel message. Lucas is currently making contacts with the very few local churches on the island. The island, like Zanzibar which is his base, has a Muslim majority accounting for almost 100% of the population.
Fri 15. Worldlink USA
On this day when tax returns are due in the USA, pray that American Christians would be good stewards of God’s resources year round and generously support ministries that bring God’s Good News to those who have not heard.
Sat 16. Suku & Jessy
Christmas was celebrated on December 10 in Ganguram village. It was a great celebration as 350 people gathered among this non-Christian community to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Thank God for sister Pavaini, from a traditional Hindu background, who openly confessed her sin, received God’s salvation and is now openly testifying to her neighbors. Pray that her testimony may bring many young people to the Lord.
Sun 17. P. Krupamma – India
Thank God for Sharas, a 35-year old woman who worshiped idols but found peace when she forsook her idols and turned in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray that the Lord may make himself more real to her each day, and for her steadfast growth in the faith.
Mon 18. Soyam John – India
The Gospel and cottage meetings that were held in Mangapurem and Thatlipampu villages resulted in a plentiful harvest with fifteen people coming to know Christ. Thank God for them and for Sister Kunja Kanugamma of Thatlipampu village who has opened her house for prayer and fellowship meetings.
Tue 19. Dhruba – Nepal
Dhruba organized two Vacation Bible Schools (VBS). The first VBS was in Chitwan for Chepang and Tamang children who come from the “poorest of the poor” families. A total of 280 children and 25 teachers participated in the program. The second VBS was in Nepalgunj, a city in the far west of Nepal where 187 children and 16 teachers were engaged in studying the Word of God. Pray that the fruits of the ministries may last.
Wed 20. Uttam – India
Uttam has been ministering in Sunday Schools and by leading house meetings. Thank God for Budhan and his wife who came to faith in Christ. Uttam reports, “I have shared the Gospel message with them many times but they did not show any interest. However, when Budham fell serious ill, they called me to pray for him. God performed a miracle in his life in response to our prayers. He and his wife thereafter accepted Jesus as their Savior.” Praise the Lord for His intervention in their lives.
Thu 21. Pankoj – India
Thank God for the opportunity that Pankoj has to build relationships with parents through his ministry to Sunday school children of Adulation Center. Pray that the Lord may deliver them from superstition and addiction and turn their hearts to himself.
Fri 22. Gopa - India
Thank God for Choitonoy who had been bed-ridden for a long time. He had taken many different medicines, but without any improvement. Since Gopa prayed to God for him, he has experienced considerable improvement. He has come to accept that the Lord Jesus is the only Savior. Pray for a total recovery, and that he may be established in his faith.
Sat 23. Nikunja – India
Nikunja has been visiting Sunday Schools to preach the Gospel to the children, engaging in house to house evangelism, and praying for the sick while sharing the Gospel message with them. Many have heard the God’s Good News but none has yet responded openly. Pray that the seed that is being sown may soon yield good harvest to the glory of the Lord.
Sun 24. Sushila – India
About fifty-five people heard the Gospel message during house to house evangelism. Thank God for a Hindu woman who asked for prayer. Pray that this may be the beginning of a definite engagement with the Savior. Pray too that Gita Mahali, who started reading the Bible, may come to faith in Christ and also her husband.
Mon 25. Chaitan – India
Pritha Murmu and his family were afraid to stay in their own house due to demonic attacks. They sought help from herbalists and exorcists to no avail. One day Chaitan visited and talked to them about the power of God. He then asked permission to pray for them and God gave them peace and joy. Please pray that they may fully yield their lives to God.
Tue 26. Rolinson – India
Thank God for two people that responded to the Gospel message and now attend church regularly. Pray that the Gospel message may break through all barriers and draw many more into God’s kingdom.
Wed 27. Israel – India
Pray for healing for Israel’s wife, Anitha. She has been suffering from protracted cough and flu since 2015. This may be due to lack of warm clothes and nutritious food. Pray also for their second son who is not in good health and needs medical treatment often. Israel’s goal is to win more souls in 2016 and to construct a church building that will seat 100 believers. Though this is a hard soil, Israel believes that our God who is the Lord of the harvest will bring in more souls to His Kingdom.
Thu 28. Mildred – Guatemala
Thank God for opening the door of ministry through the planting of a new congregation. Also, thank God for providing a volunteer to give the needed assistance. The weekly program includes a day of fasting and prayer. Mildred’s desire is to know God more through His Word and prayer and to be a blessing to many. Please pray this for her.
Fri 29. Mildred – Guatemala
Clothes, toys, and shoes were collected for distribution during Christmas season. Altogether, over 750 packages containing a change of clothes (for both children and adults) and more than 200 toys were donated to needy people in two villages. More than 100 families in the first village and about 400 people in the second village heard the Gospel message through drama and songs as they received their gifts.
Sat 30. Sandra – Guatemala
Thank God for the volunteers that are helping Sandra in her ministry to the children and youths in Bible Clubs. Several of these volunteers were themselves children to whom Sandra had ministered while they attended Bible Clubs in their school.