Comfort: It's not what you think!
Over the past 48 hours I have spoken with four of our indigenous missionary partners who are experiencing remarkable trials, persecutions and government restrictions in their ministry areas. They have seen Christians beaten, churches and houses burned and hostile environments become more hostile. Yet none of them asked for prayer for release or comfort. They all wanted prayer for strength and faithfulness.
I read today a quote from Amy Carmichael from her book KOHILA: The Shaping of an Indian Nurse. She said, "The word comfort is from two Latin words meaning with strength – he is with us to make us strong. Comfort is not soft, weakening commiseration; it is true, strengthening love."
I looked it up and she is right!
COM•FORT. The COM is a form of the Latin "cum" which means with, like graduating cum laude or with praise/honor (which I am sure was someone else in my school). The FORT is from the Latin fort/fortis or strong/powerful, like a Fort is a stronghold or to fortify is to strengthen.
The takeaway? Comfort does not mean ease or rest or luxury or the cessation of hostilities. It means: "with strength".
So, pray that God would come with strength to the lives and ministries of our partners in this months prayer guide.
For Real Comfort,
Gideon ministering to the children at camp – Uganda
Mon 1. Gideon -Uganda
In February, he organized spiritual nurture camps for children in three centers. The total attendance in all camps was 750 children and 90 teachers. The children received training in Bible study (individual quiet time and group Bible study) reading habits and scripture memorization. He also conducted training for the teachers and children in basic life skills for living. Thank God for the harvest of 284 souls (246 children and 38 teachers) during the camp and trainings.
Some Participants in The Greatest Journey Training – Tanzania
Tue 2. Lucas- Tanzania
Conducted various trainings during the quarter – for 12 Sunday School, 60 pastors and for church leaders participating in the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox distribution program. He also conducted ‘The Greatest Journey Course’ for 70 Sunday School teachers from different denominations. Thank God for granting the opportunity to equip many pastors and Sunday school teachers to minister more effectively to the children in their care.
Writers Workshop – Burundi
Wed 3. Emmanuel - Cameroun
Facilitated a retreat for Sunday School teachers/supervisors in Yaounde from January 20-22 and a week-long life-skills training for program leaders. Twenty-four people from different regions of Cameroon took part in this training. He was also in Burundi where he conducted training for the committee members and writers of Bible reading guides. Pray that the training sessions may continue to impact the ministry of the participants.
Thu 4. Andre - Congo DR
The focus during the quarter was distributing Bible reading guides and training believers to meditate on the word of God daily. Altogether, 243 people went through the training. Pray that trainees may continue to grow in their faith as they walk daily with the Lord through His word.
At a Women’s Conference – Beni, Congo DR
Fri 5. Angelique -Beni, Congo DR
Organized a conference on self-care in partnership with Act for Gender (an NGO). More than 400 women participated in the conference. She also facilitated a seminar on leadership for the Theology students of the Bilingual Christian University of Congo. The importance of having a clear vision as a leader was stressed. Thank God for the opportunity to minister to women at their different levels.
Sat 6. Nestor - Congo DR
Continues "Free Discussion" on Christian characters with street children, shoe shiners, etc. Another group, children selling plastic bags in the market, have also joined this group. Each group has particular problems they desire to discuss. Thank God for the opportunity to talk to these children about Jesus Christ whose promise is to give them a future and a hope.
Morning Assembly – Siteki Nazarene Primary School – Swaziland
Sun 7. Nompumelelo - Swaziland
A one-day fellowship was organized in Siteki area. About 130 people including teachers, in and out of school youths, pastors and representatives from five neighboring schools participated in the program. Thank God for the rich fellowship experienced by all participants. Thank God also for two new Bible clubs inaugurated in Lubombo Central and Siteki Nazarene Primary schools.
Schools Fellowship group leadership training – Ethiopia
Mon 8. Berhanu - Ethiopia
He organized training for the leaders of Christian Fellowship in schools in Addis Ababa. Participants came from 162 High schools. The training focused on ‘’The Seven Pillars of Christian Student Fellowship.” Pray that the lessons learned may be converted to effective ministry in school groups.
Tue 9. Lawrence - Gambia
Organized a musical rally on 24th February with about 150 students from various secondary schools around the capital, Banjul in attendance. A former Bible club student leader gave an excellent Bible message challenging the young people to pursue academic excellence. Thank God that many years of ministry among children and young people in this Muslim dominated country has started to bear greater fruit.
Wed 10 Simeon - Sierra Leone
Conducted three evangelistic outreaches in three schools in Western Region. After presenting the gospel message in these schools, 48 children gave their lives to Christ for which we thank the Lord. They have been encouraged to join the Bible clubs in their schools.
Leadership Training - Lesotho
Thu 11. Lehlohonolo - Lesotho
He led volunteer staff to visit four schools in the Quthing district in February and March. Several leadership training workshops were conducted. Forty-seven student leaders and five adults participated in the training program in Quthing, while similar leadership training were conducted in four other key cities. Thank God for two new Bible clubs that were inaugurated following these training sessions.
Time to play at Camp in the Congo DR
Fri 12. Mathe - Congo DR
Conducted a seminar for couples in Katindo/Carmel with 89 people participating. A youth Bible camp was also conducted in Ndosho with 134 participants. Focus was on the Life of Joseph (Genesis 39). Thank God for over 40 children and youths who received Jesus as their Lord and Savior during the quarter.
Sat 13. Helene -Beni, Congo DR
Conducted interviews with women who are victims of massacre and, in partnership with a group of volunteers from Bilingual Christian University of the Congo, organized a conference to help these women to become aware of various Income Generating Activities in which they could engage. Thank God for the opportunity to rebuild the shattered lives of these women.
Sun 14. James - Nigeria
Led leadership strategic planning think tank meeting which brought together 72 leaders of Post-Secondary school groups from four states. Thank God for blessing the meeting with 17 persons who rededicated their lives to the Lord and his service.
Visit to SOS School, Kagugu, Rwanda
Mon 15. Ezechias - Rwanda
He led a team of volunteers to visit 57 Bible clubs during the quarter. Twenty-seven young people responded to the gospel message presented during these visits. Thank God for these youths and for five new Bible clubs that were inaugurated during the quarter.
Sunday School Teachers’ Seminar – Tanzania
Tue 16. Stellah - Tanzania
Easter conferences were organized in a few centers throughout the country. Also, Sunday school teachers’ seminars were held in her zone. During these programs, school visits and other seminars, about 920 people prayed to receive God’s offer of salvation through Christ. Pray that they may not waver in their resolve to follow Christ.
Wed 17. Worldlink UK
Thank God for Jack Nelson extremely successful visit to Scotland. The Lord surprised us beyond our imagination. Thank God for a fruitful Board of Trustees’ meeting. Pray for the follow-up and plans to extend the ministry of Worldlink UK beyond Scotland to England and the rest of the UK. Jack was able to visit Ian and Anna Bartholomew. Ian, a founding Board Member is experiencing profound and prolonged health challenges and they will continue to appreciate our prayers.
Thu 18. Worldlink USA
Pray for the Worldlink home team as we continue to create awareness of the unique opportunities to reach the unreached inpartnership with our indigenous missionary partners.
Fri 19. Yohan - India
Shared the gospel message in four villages including Palagudem. Saraswathy of Palagudem village, an idolater, was one of the two people who responded to the proclamation of the message of salvation. She confessed her sin, received Christ into her life and is now regular at prayer meetings and worship. Thank God for God’s intervention in her life.
Sat 20. D. Paul - India
Organized various Christmas programs in different villages. Gospel meetings backed by prayer and fasting were held in a few villages. Thank God for five people who came to faith in Jesus Christ these events. The heartfelt prayer of Srinuvus Goud, a new believer, is the salvation of all members of his family. He hopes a gospel meeting can be organized specifically for his household.
Sun 21 Vara Prasad - India
Focus of his ministry during the quarter was on Sunday School and youth ministry in the local church he is planting. He is also ministering to families. Thank God particularly for the progress that the Sunday School ministry is making. Plans are on to organize Vacation Bible School (VBS) in summer. Pray for its success.
Mon 22. Johnson - India
Malla Suresh of Tavisalagudem was suffering from various kinds of sicknesses which resulted in depression. We shared the gospel with him and prayed for him. The Lord Jesus touched his life and healed him. Seeing the miracle the Lord wrought in his life, he accepted him as his Savior. Pray for a steady growth.
Tue 23 K. Paul - India
Thank God for opening the door to a new village, Marlapadu. Pray that the seeds being sown in this village may soon bear much fruit. Thank God for two families that have started coming to church. Pray for healing and protection for Paul and his family.
Wed 24. Rama Babu
Thank God for the opportunity to share the gospel message in four villages and for provision of a small piece of land in Krishna Sagar village where they hope to erect a church building. Pray for God’s provision.
Thu 25 Anonymous - Indonesia
FT stopped at a gas station while on the way home from ministry. He had a chance to encounter with a man, the 63-year old station attendant. MM received the message enthusiastically and a few days later was baptized. Thank God for guiding the footsteps of FT and pray that MM may be strengthened in his new found faith.
Fri 26. Krupama - India
Conducted gospel meetings in five villages where he distributed tracts and engaged in one-on-one ministration. He also conducted home and hospital visitation. Thank God for two people who came to faith in Jesus Christ, one of whom was 19-year old Kiran Babu who experienced God’s miraculous healing in the process.
Sat 27. Venkatesh - India
Organized a women’s conference in Vepalagudda village and Christmas and New Year programs in a few villages. He plans to organize Vacation Bible School in the summer. Pray for a successful and productive program.
Sun 28. Vijay- India
“Nakka Sitaram, 35, is suffering from a chronic disease. I regularly visit his home to pray for, and share the gospel message with him. The Lord touched his heart to believe in Jesus Christ as his Savior. Kindly pray that the Lord may strengthen his faith and grant him total healing.”
Mon 29. Vijaya - India
Conducted Gospel meetings in four villages and prayer with fasting in Venkatapuram village. Two people responded to Christ’s offer of salvation. One of these, Nakka Sitaram of Venkatapuram village, is suffering from chronic disease. He is looking up to the Lord, the healer, for total healing. Join us to pray for his full healing. Pray also that he may remain firmly rooted in his faith..
Volunteer Training – Petén, Guatemala
Tue 30. Mildred - Guatemala
Thank God for granting the opportunity to conduct training for volunteers who desire to start the ministry in their locality. The first training session was conducted in Petén. About 40 people participated in the training. The same training was conducted for volunteers in the capital and surrounding municipalities. Pray that new Bible clubs may result from these trainings.
Wed 31. Sandra - Guatemala
Thank God for the opportunity to continue to share Bible lessons with the children. The children also receive Christian litterateurs and participate in Bible quizzes. Apart from this, Sandra also started counseling and prayer ministry with the children and youths who have behavior problems. Pray that God’s work may continue to bring visible changes to the recipients of her ministry. In April, Sandra had a serious accident when she fell from a horse. She broke several ribs and has many bruises. Please pray for a quick and complete healing.