International Day of Prayer and Fasting

Kenneth Eagleton

International Day of Prayer and Fasting

International Day of Prayer and Fasting

 

The International Fellowship of Free Will Baptist Churches (IFOFWBC) is promoting an International Day of Prayer and Fasting on June 14th to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. The International Fellowship is a cooperative effort of FWB associations from different countries. It “unites Free Will Baptist churches from around the world for the purposes of identification, communion, and mutual edification and encouragement in order to better fulfill the Great Commission of evangelism and the establishment of churches among all peoples.” The IFOFWBC meets every three years in a different country. 

 

Dr. Melvin Worthington, executive secretary of the NAFWB at the time, was the first to suggest the creation of an international organization in the early 1990s. A Consultation with representatives from different countries was held in Panama in 1992. This consultation recommended an organizational meeting three years later, in Brazil, when the IFOFWBC officially came into being. The International Fellowship meets every three years. The last meeting was in Japan in 2018 and the next one will be in Bulgaria in 2021.

 

The current president of the IFOFBC is pastor Jeancarlo Achê, from Brazil. In May pastor Achê called for this International Day of Prayer and Fasting. Each Free Will Baptist Church is invited to join, even if their association is not affiliated with the IFOFWBC. Five areas of focus of prayer are suggested: the COVID-19 disease, the economic effects of the pandemic, the emotional effects, the political effects, and the impact on local churches. Within each area a few generic prayer requests have been suggested:

 

COVID-19 Disease

Pray that the spread of the disease would halt.

Pray for those who have become infected.

Pray for those who are mourning the loss of loved ones.

Pray for the protection of healthcare workers and others in direct contact with COVID-19 patients.

 

Economic effects

Pray for those who are struggling due to loss of employment or source of income due to economic activity restrictions.

Pray for those who are struggling just to feed themselves and their families.

Pray for relief efforts in which many FWBs are participating.

Pray for business owners who are facing large losses and bankruptcy. 

Pray for the churches and Christian ministries that are greatly affected by the current and future economic recession.

 

Emotional effects

Pray for those who are suffering from anxiety and depression during the pandemic.

Pray for those that are suffering from domestic abuse due to long periods of confinement.

Pray for those who are confused, questioning God, or who have lost hope.

 

Political effects – many places are facing a political crisis due to diverging views of how the pandemic should be handled.

Pray that the Lord would give wisdom to government officials at all levels in the best way to help protect the people and care for those who have been affected by the crisis.

Pray that Christians would act as peacemakers and hope-givers and not contribute to the polarization of society.

 

Churches

Pray for local churches that have been affected by meeting restrictions and the ability to care for their members.

Pray for wisdom for the congregations as they make decisions regarding returning to in-person services.

Pray that the lessons churches learned from this pandemic would be applied to everyday ministry.

Pray for pastors as they have been under increased pressure to meet the demands of their congregations during this exceptional time.

Pray for the support of the pastors, as the income of most churches has been affected.

 

Please visit and follow the IFOFWBC’s Facebook page and Instagram account to learn more.

 

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Pastor Appreciation

Clint Morgan

Pastor Appreciation

It’s relatively easy for us to get so bogged down with our own needs we neglect those of others. So specific days are set aside to remind us to honor the sacrifice and ministry of others…like Pastor Appreciation Sunday. We should be able to give the proper attention to our own needs, as well as those of other believers. Scripture admonishes us to honor the needs of others before our own (Romans 12:10).

We have some outstanding men of God serving as pastors and leaders in our churches outside North America. These pastors and leaders have needs just like anyone else in the world. However, sometimes they live under much greater pressure than their congregation can imagine. They often suffer quietly, with a sense no one really cares for them. Sometimes they feel they are all alone, fighting against the continual attacks of Satan. These men need our care, our love, our prayers, and sometimes our help.

The Bible plainly tells us we have a responsibility for those who lead churches. We are called to meet their financial needs.

  • 1 Timothy 5:17-18—Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

Our responsibility to meet their needs does not stop with finances. We must do our part in carrying their burdens, or at least sharing in this demand.

  • Galatians 6:2—Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

We can manifest our care of our national leaders in many ways. We must set the example for others to see and, hopefully, to follow.

  • Galatians 6:10—As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith

The men and women who lead our churches overseas need us, their Western brothers and sisters, to encourage, exhort, strengthen, and minister to them. For them to be successful in ministry, we will sometimes need to minister to both their physical and spiritual needs. We can’t adequately picture the hardships some leaders face. Some live in poverty, epidemic disease zones, isolation from other believers, constant risk of being beaten or killed, government resistance to their ministries, and much more.

It is imperative we hold these dear brothers up in prayer and ask God what we can do to minister effectively to them. Honor your pastor this month. Then, make a special effort to pray often for those serving overseas.

Ask Him to make you keenly aware of the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of our national leaders and help you find ways to meet those needs. 

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Pray for ETEAMs

Dr. Neil Gilliland

Pray for ETEAMs

Every summer since 1992, ETEAM has welcomed Free Will Baptist students from around the country (and even other countries) as they gather in Nashville. Anxious but proud parents say goodbye, leaving their teens to be trained and sent to the four corners of the earth to minister alongside our missionaries.

Now, 27 years later, it happened again. Nearly 100 students along with their leaders boarded planes bound for life-changing experiences across the globe. Some will minister with career missionaries who began their own journey to reach the nations on ETEAM.

The ETEAM staff has prayed for these students since the day they were selected. Their parents have prayed for them since they received the letter with their destination. We invite you to join us in praying for these students. You might even want to follow their journeys.

You can pray specifically for:

  • Safety. We do everything to make these trips safe but we can’t guarantee it.
  • Good health. The students will eat new foods and be in a new environment.
  • Travel. Flights, connections, and various forms of travel can be a challenge.
  • Effective ministry. Even though they will be limited by language, these teams can play a significant role in the ministry of our missionaries.
  • People. ETEAM is designed to reach people. Pray for the people who will meet our students and pray they will sense the love of Christ through them.
  • Spiritual revival and renewal. Often ETEAM students’ lives are radically changed by these experiences. Pray they will hear and obey God’s call on their lives.
  • Parents and Grandparents. The most difficult role may be as the parents of ETEAMers. Some, though very proud of their children, are anxious as their “little” ones have flown the nest and are in other countries.
  • Thanks. Thank the Father for students willing to answer the call to go and parents and grandparents who let them.
  • ETEAM staff, especially coordinator Hanna Mott. Hanna and her team spend thousands of hours preparing, planning, attending to myriad details, training, sending off, and debriefing each team.
  • Free Will Baptists. Thank the Lord for IM and a denomination willing to invest in the youth of our denomination.
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United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 6

Clint Morgan

United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 6

Prayer Focus

Pray for God’s clearest direction and His favor for IM as we look to the future.

  

Bible Study—Ezra 8:21-23

“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.”

This passage presents fasting in yet another light. The people are told to fast and ask for God’s guidance and favor for an upcoming journey. This is in a similar vein to two other fasts called for in Judges 20:26 and II Chronicles 20:3-12. In both cases, participants asked for God’s direction on a specific matter.

We at IM feel like we are on a journey…a journey with God as our leader and the final destination known. Yet, we do not know what lies ahead. God in His omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence is fully qualified to be our guide. It behooves us to constantly come before Him asking for direction and favor as we move forward on what is for us an unknown, untraveled route. Although, for us, the way ahead is unknown, we know it is not for Him.

Therefore, we need to reserve some time today to address God about the future ministries, programs, and activities of IM. We should demonstrate the attitude displayed in II Chronicles 20:12, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

 

Informing Our Prayer

The National Association of Free Will Baptists has charged IM with the responsibility of guidance, oversight, and administration of the efforts of Free Will Baptists outside of North America. This duty carries with it the probability of great pain or great glory, and sometimes both at the same time.

The IM board meets twice annually and they, along with the IM leadership, make strategic decisions to guide us in the near and not-so-distant future. We are fully cognizant of the fact that our view of what lies ahead is limited. Even our best efforts are skewed by our presuppositions about life, the world, politics, religion, and much more. We unquestionably know God can see every bit of the future and we, therefore, must lean heavily on Him to direct us in all we do.

 

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United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 5

Clint Morgan

United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 5

Prayer Focus

Pray for every partner of IM.

 

Bible Study—Esther 4:16

 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

The story of Esther has been told thousands, if not millions, of times. A God-fearing young woman goes before a godless king and makes a request that easily could have brought about her death. Without her high-stake request, the Jews would have been exterminated from the kingdom of Ahasuerus. One man, Haman, proposed this genocide because he felt Mordecai failed to show him proper respect. Out of revenge, Haman wanted to strike down hundreds of thousands of people.

Read Esther 4:16 and discover anew the challenges, courage, and commitment of this courageous woman. She told her Uncle Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” She determined the cause was worth her life.

What causes around the world stir you to prayer? Hunger? Disease? Immigration? Social injustice? Sex trafficking? Genocide? Persecution? What role does God want you to play in addressing one or more of the issues which move you?

Let’s follow Esther’s example and make bold requests of God. Why not write your own list of big, audacious, daring requests of God that pose great risk to you. Your risks may not include death…but it might. Go to Him with the spirit and determination of Esther, then wait on Him to act.

 

Informing Our Prayer

Several years ago, the IM leadership and board made an intentional decision to pursue interdependence as a core value. This commitment manifested itself in developing partnerships with agencies, individuals, and churches who share our vision of “laboring together to fulfill the Great Commission.”

It has been amazing to see God’s hand at work in bringing partners to IM. We know these partnerships offer us avenues of ministry we could not undertake without spreading ourselves very thin.

Let’s spend an enormous amount of time today praying for IM’s partners. Our partners can be classified in two categories: agencies and national churches.

AGENCY PARTNERS

  • Resourcing Christian Education (RCE) serves international Christian schools and educational ministries by assisting them in finding qualified teachers and staff. Three Free Will Baptist couples presently serve with this partner agency.
  • 1040i teams are devoted to giving life through water, health, and education in Morocco and Ivory Coast. This agency has provided hundreds of free surgeries for underprivileged people, constructed a bilingual school in Ivory Coast, and done much more to minister to the needs of suffering people.
  • Friends of India’s (FOI) major objective is to promote and preserve the ministry God has developed among Free Will Baptists in India. They provide funding for the work in India to build churches, purchase motorcycles and bicycles for pastors and evangelists, and other special projects.
  • Bridge Builders for Christ (BBFC) is a non-profit founded by a Free Will Baptist layman in Oklahoma. BBFC teams provide humanitarian aid while applying and sharing the teachings of the Bible. They have come alongside FWB ministries in Cuba, Mexico, India, Ivory Coast, and multiple other places.
  • Bible Mission Global (BMG) has partnered with IM since 2002. It has offices in several countries and is committed to winning people to Christ by serving with, for, and through local, Biblebelieving churches in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. They recently committed to placing Bibles in 100,000 Muslim homes over a period of five years.
  • Jungle Kids for Christ (JKFC) is passionate about empowering children in the jungle of Ecuador to break the cycle of poverty and abuse. In turn, these children share a message of transformation with others. They presently minister to 161 children at their school in the jungle area of Ecuador. This agency is backed by FWB businessmen and the school has several Free Will Baptist couples teaching there.
  • Village of Hope (VOH) in Uganda rescues former child soldiers, sex slaves, and their younger siblings orphaned by war. They provide a safe haven for healing and hope for a future. This agency was founded by a graduate of Welch College and IM is in process of providing a “missionary maintenance” man for the team.
  • International Training Alliance (ITA) exists to train and multiply leaders on mission globally. Dr. Jeff Turnbough is now serving as CEO of this organization. We have a two-year agreement with them to substantially help fund the CEO position as they seek to secure funding to finance their operations. Over the past few years, they have trained over 2,000 leaders from more than 100 countries.
  • English Language Institute of China/DBA Pinnacle is the agency we have partnered with for the longest period of time. They offer amazing opportunities for English speakers to teach in Asia and the Middle East. They have classes in some of the most prestigious universities of these creative access countries.
  • American Dream Center is one of our newest partners. The founder is a former Free Will Baptist missionary who served in Central Asia and Ivory Coast. The organization aids immigrants and refugees as they settle here in the U.S. They help people acquire necessary documents, learn how to do banking, go grocery shopping, etc. in their newly adopted country.

 

NATIONAL CHURCHES

  • SPAIN—A Spanish couple serves with our Malaga THP team. They are subsidized from this fund.
  • COTE D’IVOIRE (Ivory Coast)—Our main focus in Côte d’Ivoire is the Bible Institute at Bouna as well as church planting efforts by national believers. We do not pay pastors of local churches, but some of the funds do go to help church planting efforts. In particular, we also help put roofs on new churches after the national church has put up the walls. We presently have no IM missionary presence in Côte d’Ivoire.
  • BRAZIL— Only one IM couple serves in Brazil, Dr. Kenneth and Rejane Eagleton. The partnership funds in Brazil are primarily directed to leadership training efforts. Several Bible institutes and other training programs in the country need partnership funds to keep them functioning.
  • BULGARIA —Our team in Bulgaria consists of four couples. One of these is Bulgarian: Trif and Vanya Trifonov. They are recognized by the IM board as members of the team. They cannot raise money among the evangelical churches in Bulgaria. Our FWB churches there cannot provide adequate funding for them. Therefore, in collaboration with the team, we use partnership funds to cover the Trifinovs’ salary and outreach ministries.
  • PANAMA—For 50 years we had a strong missionary presence in Panama. In 2012, the national church announced it was ready to take charge of evangelizing the country. The transfer of all properties and ministries was officially made in January 2013. The departure of the missionaries did not diminish our commitment to seeing these works go forward. A main ministry focus is the Bible institute in Chame. The students cannot afford to pay the full tuition costs necessary to sustain the institute. We willingly offer financial assistance to the wonderful leaders as they continue to train other leaders and plant new churches.
  • RUSSIA—Over the past few years, at the advice of our colleagues and liaisons to ministry in Russia we have greatly diminished our financial contributions. It was felt the national church was capable of taking on more and more responsibility for outreach, youth camps, and other ministries. Therefore, our commitment at this point is to the ongoing success of the two Bible institutes in Russia. We praise the Lord the national church is capable of funding most of the ministries and programs.
  • CUBA—Our history in Cuba goes back to time of Pop and Mom Willey in the late 1930s. Their passion was winning souls, establishing churches, and training leaders. That ardent desire was passed on to those who followed. A strong emphasis on these three elements has kept the church alive and growing. We work directly through the directiva (executive committee) of the Cuban national church. The funds we send mainly assist the local church in running the Bible seminary as well as church planting efforts. We send the funds to the directiva and they are charged with determining where the funds can be used in leadership development and church planting.
  • INDIA—India, our first mission field, followed the establishment of Free Will Baptists as a denomination in 1935. Through the humble beginnings of Miss Laura Belle Barnard and the exceedingly long and fruitful ministry of Brother Carlisle Hanna, the work in India continues to expand. The needs there are great but so is the harvest. Over 17,000 FWB believers gather each Sunday to worship. For these ministries to continue, funding must be available for the church planters, the ministry costs, and leadership training. Brother Carlisle is the only IM missionary serving there and his account cannot bear the full responsibility for all the ministry needs in the country. Therefore, we must come alongside the Indian brothers and sisters and keep the church moving closer and closer to Christ.
  • CENTRAL ASIA —This relationship began in 2002 with a visit by several IM personnel to four Central Asian countries. We have a two-pronged involvement in this area. One is through Bible Mission Global and the other through the Baptist Union which is formed by local churches. The lion’s share of the budgeted funds go to the Bible institute in Almaty, Kazakhstan. A smaller portion is directed toward church planting efforts throughout the region.
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United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 4

Clint Morgan

United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 4

Prayer Focus

Pray for national believers and leaders on each field. 

 

Bible Study—Acts 14:23

“Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.”

For mission works to be sustainable, leaders must be developed. First, we must know true leaders emerge. Missionaries do not select church leaders, God does. But true church leaders are those who embrace the call, giving themselves to live in obedience to the Holy Spirit to ensure the spiritual well-being of the local church and its commitment to fulfilling the Great Commission.

Paul and Barnabas knew the significance of prayer and fasting…they, too, were sent out in this manner. They saw it as key to the effectiveness of the appointed elders.

Please dedicate your time today in praying for the leaders of our churches outside of North America.

 

Informing Our Prayer

Missionaries will quickly tell you, outside of seeing the first convert come to Christ, a great moment in their ministry is when national leadership emerges. Even more exciting is when they see these leaders actually step up and take the reins.

On each of our fields, godly national followers of Christ are gifted leaders, respected by their fellow believers, and demonstrate God’s hand on their ministry.

We can’t present every leader on our fields, but below is a list of names supplied by our missionaries indicating the main leaders where they serve. Let’s take the time to pray earnestly for these men and women. May God use today to lead us to a greater commitment to pray for these chosen ones. 

Uruguay

  • Julio Figueroa—Pastor of the Renacer church in Melo; president of the Personeria Juridica
    • Pray he will be a positive influence and help prepare young leaders to assume leadership roles.
    • Pray he grows the vision of an autonomous national church free from dependence on outside help.
    • Pray he will continue his role as a peacemaker and leader in our denomination.
  • Ismael de Oliviera—Deacon and leader of Cristo es el Camino church in Rivera; president of the National Association of FWB, Uruguay
    • Ismael has a strong desire to see the national church involved in outreach and growth. He is a military guy and sometimes his personality and thought process goes directly against Uruguayan cultural norms. Pray he can promote his vision in a way that brings all churches to the table to work together.
    • Ismael is behind the push to emphasize Bible Institute training and is part of a committee to discuss the feasibility of a partnership with the Cuban seminary by bringing a Cuban couple to direct the institute.
    • Pray for encouragement, wisdom, and knowledge as he is at the helm of the national association.
  • Otavio Silva—Layman at the Emanuel Church in Montevideo
    • Otavio is a businessman and works in international finance. He has borne the brunt of the administrative process in bringing the Cuban family to the church in Malvin. He has gifts of administration that need to be shared with our pastors and leaders.
    • He has a desire to see the national church move forward with a unified vision. Pray he will be successful in motivating and assisting in this.
    • Otavio is the oldest, continuing member of our FWB church in Montevideo. Pray he will continue to influence our leaders.
  • Mauricio Leites and Alexander Machado—Deacons in Melo and Rivera
    • These are our two youngest/newest deacons. They are both under 30 years old. Pray for their growth as they preach/teach and serve in their local congregations.
    • Pray they will encourage other young people to service. 

Bulgaria

  • Trif Trifonov—Church planter, Eastern Bulgarian region
    • Pray for God to provide a church building as they have outgrown their current space.
    • Ask God to raise up faithful church leaders.
    • Pray he will not become discouraged in spite of concerted spiritual attacks.
  • Dimitar Rusev—Youth leader, Varna
    • Pray for growth and maturity in the faith.
    • Pray for faithfulness and a willingness to serve God in spite of pressure from family and society.
  • Martin Nikolov—New believer, Svishtov
    • Pray for compassion and love for others.
    • Pray he will finish the discipleship course and begin a pastoral internship.
    • Pray for willingness to serve in the local church.
  • Mitko Grozev-Ruse—Potential church planter, Northern Bulgarian Region
    • Pray for healing from disappointment from other “believers”.
    • Pray God will give him a desire to start a healthy church.
    • Pray he will demonstrate willingness to begin a pastoral internship.

France

  • Jean Charles—Châteaubriant; impetus for beginning Châteaubriant church; could become a pastor
    • Pray he will be able to eliminate certain habits that could keep him from being a pastor.
    • Pray he and his wife would be willing to get some training.
  • Cyprien—New church (JPense group); single, very faithful to the church; integral part of JPense; could become a pastor
    • Pray the Lord would give him a good Christian wife.
    • Pray he can get some strong training.
  • Sylvain—St. Nazaire (The only elder we have in this church at the moment. He really administrates the church as well as being responsible for the music.)
    • Pray he and his wife Stephanie will sense their importance to the church.
    • Pray for his three children who are struggling in their Christian lives. This weighs heavily on his heart.
  • Jonathan—St. Sébastien (This young man is part of the church council. He and his wife have been asked to assume more of the pastoral responsibilities of the church by their fellow council members.)
    • Pray for them to finish their studies well.
    • Pray the Lord will give them clear guidance as they consider their future ministry.

Spain

  • José Manuel—Pastor of a small mission work in Alcalá de Henares
    • Pray for wisdom and direction from God as the church looks for a facility to rent.
    • Pray for spiritual growth, conversions, and increased attendance of this congregation.
    • Pray for wisdom and direction from God as this mission church hopes to begin the process to legally organize.
  • Manu and Noemí—THP Worker in Málaga
    • As it relates to the family, please pray for their testimony, unity, and faith.
    • As it relates to the ministry, pray the Lord will open doors and we will be sensitive to the Lord to take advantage of opportunities.
  • Church Board of the Alpedrete Church
    • Pray for a clear vision to lead the church towards growth and the multiplication of the church.
    • A great team of leaders guide various ministries of the church. As the church looks to move towards complete local leadership (without missionary leadership), pray for people whose strengths are in the area of administration and shepherding to emerge.
  • Church Board of the Galapagar Church (also known as the Villalba Church)
    • Pray for wisdom as the church continues their search for a pastor. They have been without a pastor for two-and-a-half years.
    • Pray for the church board as they plan for the future of the church.

Japan

  • Kiyoshi Kojima and his wife Miho—Pastor of Iriso FWB Church, Saitama Prefecture (Greater Tokyo area)
    • Pray for his leadership for the growth and outreach impact of the Iriso church in the Sayama City area.
    • Pray for him as he works with the Tokyo area FWB missionaries in church planting projects, events, and paperwork assistance.
    • For his family—wife Miho and young son Keisuke—and their growth and blessing as a pastoral family.
  • Seichi Matsuda—Pastor of Taihei Chapel, Sapporo Japan; Leadership team member for the Japan Association of FWB
    • Pray for him to have wisdom, insight, and the favor of God as he pastors.
    • Pray for Pastor Seichi’s parents, Mr. Matsuda and Eiko, to have good health and spiritual refreshing as they work alongside their son.
    • Pray for his leadership role in the Japan Free Will Baptist Association national organization with monthly pastors’ meetings, national annual meetings, and media development for the JFWB association.
  • Pastor Keiichi Kimura and his wife, Sachiko—Pastor KitaHiroshima church (Sapporo area Hokkaido Japan); Head of the Japan Free Will Baptist Association; Vice President of the International Association of FWB; Bible instructor of the area Bible institute, Hokkaido Bible Institute
    • Ask God to give strength and perseverance as pastor Kimura and his wife navigate the different challenges that come with pastoring a flock in Japan.
    • Ask the Lord to provide a bigger building for their congregation as their current building has been stretched to the max for many years.
    • Pray for wisdom for pastor Kimura as he leads the Japanese FWB Association of 12 churches and his influence on the leadership team for the International Fellowship of FWBs.

Kenya

  • Jackson Lasakwel—Main leader; an ordained pastor; lead trainer for the Kenya team of leaders.
    • Pray for his family: wife Justine and four children—teens to toddler.
    • Ask God to provide encouragement as he trains new leaders.
    • Ask God to help him and his family adjust as they move to the Sesia area.
  • Frances Lekarkarauli—Leads two worship gatherings; hope to ordain him soon; wife, Mama Mbaisi, and five kids—teens to newborn; a faithful man who is growing daily in Christ
  • Jonathan Leodip—Leads one worship gathering; one of our guards; family with six kids.
    • Pray God will lead him to become more serious about the ministry.
    • Ask God to give him a shepherd’s heart for the people.
  • Suruai Lentaam—Assistant leader at one of our worship gatherings; miraculously saved from a cobra bite 18 months ago gave him a desire to serve God as a way of saying thank you to Him
    • Pray for his sweet family and five kids. He is a very busy man in the community and is always helping others in need.
    • Pray for him to mature in his walk with Christ.
  • Eunice Lelenguiya—Main female Samburu helper; a widow of many years, even though she is still young; loves the Lord and loves teaching the Bible to women and children; has three sons she will soon leave to move to Sesia
    • Pray for her as she adjusts to living away from her sons.
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United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 3

Clint Morgan

United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 3

Prayer Focus 

Pray for every country where IM missionaries serve.

  

Bible Study—Jonah 3:5-7

“So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:”

God used Jonah’s preaching, although done reluctantly, to strongly convict the people of Nineveh of their sins. They were so convicted they believed in God and “called a great fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. … By the decree of the king.” They would “not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing.” Unlike Jonah, they did not deal with a bad attitude. They turned to God and sought His forgiveness and mercy.

 

Informing Our Prayer

What country where IM missionaries serve do you find most intriguing? How much do you know about it? Will you set aside time to learn at least three things about each country where we have missionaries?

How many fields can you name without looking them up? Please write those down, then go find the others. This information can be gathered from the missionary maps/posters, prayer cards, our website (iminc.org/missionaries/countries), and directories.

Try to answer three questions to prepare you to pray specifically for each country:

  1. What is the major religion? You might want to add a few more in this category so you pray with understanding about the resistance this religion has, or does not have, toward Christianity.
  2. What percentage of the population is Christian? It might do well to find out the percentage of “evangelical” Christians in particular. Joshuaproject.com is a good resource for this information and the question below.
  3. How many unreached people groups are in this country? Pray God will call missionaries to go to this (these) group(s).

As you gather this information, allow God’s Spirit to help you uncover the most important elements of each of these areas. Then spend an extensive amount of time praying about what you have discovered.

IM missionaries serve in:

  • Brazil
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  • Bulgaria
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  • France
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  • India
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  • Japan
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  • Kenya
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  • Spain
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
  • Uruguay
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
  • USA
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________________________

 

 

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United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 2

Clint Morgan

United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 2

PRAYER FOCUS

Pray for every IM missionary and ask God to call more missionaries.

 

BIBLE STUDY—Acts 13:2-4 

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.

Through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, the church at Antioch saw something in Paul and Barnabas they otherwise may not have known. During a time of prayer and fasting, He made it clear these two men—Barnabas and Paul—were His choices to advance His kingdom in that region and beyond.

Perhaps we can comfortably agree these men were the first missionaries sent out by a local congregation. These men were unmistakably the right choice.

We need to ask God to work among Free Will Baptists to tap on the hearts of many young people and direct them to join in on the primary task we have undertaken: to “labor together with the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission.”

 

INFORMING OUR PRAYER

We all agree our missionaries need our prayers. When was the last time you prayed for every one of them by name? This is an opportune time to do just that.

If you have a mission directory, map, missionary poster, or a set of prayer cards let it serve as your reference to pray for each missionary. You can also visit IM’s website (iminc.org/missionaries) and see their pictures as well as their bio, prayer requests, and news.

 

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United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 1

Clint Morgan

United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 1

PRAYER FOCUS

Pray our Free Will Baptist people will become more aware of and sensitive to the needs of others, both at home and around the world.

 

BIBLE STUDY—Isaiah 58:6-7

“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 him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 

It is imperative our relationship with God and man, as well as our motives, be properly aligned before entering into a time of prayer and fasting. The prophet Isaiah presents us with a totally unique perspective of what a fast should be like.

A prayerful and precise study of this passage will reveal unique motives and actions comprising an acceptable fast before God. 

 

INFORMING OUR PRAYER

For most of us, the challenge we face is not a lack of desire. We desire to see the needs of people met. We want to see them come to Christ. The real obstacle is a lack of basic knowledge of the real and felt needs of the world in which we live.

Let’s take a quick glimpse at some of the realities of today’s world. As you fast and pray, present each of these needs to God and ask Him to reveal how He wishes us to respond individually and collectively to these needs.

Please consider the following information about the 7.6 billion inhabitants of the earth:

PHYSICAL NEEDS

  • 5 billion people lack basic sanitation—They lack clean water, the means to properly dispose of garbage, proper sewage disposal, etc.
  • 8 billion are undernourished—These men, women, and children do not have a proper diet and, in many cases, do not have access to essential food and water.
  • 6 billion individuals are without sufficient housing—They do not have protection from extreme heat and/or cold, rain, wild animals, etc.
  • 3 billion live in abject poverty—These individuals subsist on less than $1.25 a day.
  • 3 million people die each year­­—Almost nine million people die annually in the country of India alone. That means 151,000 people enter eternity each day in India. Nearly 45,000 (approximately one-third) of these men and women have never heard the gospel…even once!

EMOTIONAL NEEDS

  • 300 million people in the world suffer from depression
  • 70% percent of pastors constantly fight depression
  • 71% of American pastors suffer from burnout
  • 1 in 8 Americans over the age of 12 is on an antidepressant medication
  • 1 in 4 women in their 40s and 50s are on antidepressants
  • Suicide ranks as the 10th leading cause of death among Americans.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students.                                    

SPIRITUAL NEEDS

  • 6 billion people live without religious freedom—This number includes some countries that do not necessarily persecute Christians but set up legal structures to stop the advancement of the gospel.
  • 2 billion people have no access to a Bible—Many of us have between five and ten Bibles in our homes. Yet, several billion individuals do not have the possibility of even seeing one page of Scripture.
  • 1 billion people declare no religious affiliation—This number comprises atheists, agnostics, and those who have abandoned the church; 88% of these individuals state they are not looking for a religion.
  • 1 billion people in the 1040 Window have no gospel witness—This area of the world is made up of 57 countries from 10 degrees to 40 degrees north of the equator spanning from West Africa to East Asia.
  • 7,103 unreached people groups—A people group is made up of people who share a common language, culture, religion, beliefs, etc. An unreached people group refers to these 7,103 people sharing these common identifiers without a solid gospel witness among them.

 

 

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THE EFFECT OF PERSECUTION ON FWB MINISTRIES—PART II

Clint Morgan

THE EFFECT OF PERSECUTION ON FWB MINISTRIES—PART II

As we continue our journey to countries where IM is involved in ministries affected by persecution, we’ll take a brief look at three countries.

Tajikistan—#22: In the month of October, Dr. Kenneth Eagleton, IM’s director of field partnerships, visited this beautiful country to plan for future collaborative efforts with churches there. We plan to help believers take the Good News of salvation to the Tajik people, even in the face of persecution. The government continues to develop and impose restrictive legislation aimed at stopping the spread of extremist religious movements. While radical Islam is the primary target, it engulfs Christianity also. Local authorities and police commonly monitor religious meetings and arrest worshippers.

Nepal—#25: The Free Will Baptist churches in India sent church planters into Nepal and have seen more than 10 churches planted in this country, in spite of ongoing opposition from Hindu radical groups. Interestingly enough, Open Doors reports “churches where foreigners gather experience the least persecution, while converts and Protestant churches are under higher levels of pressure.”

In 2015 the government declared Nepal a secular state. However, they simultaneously declared conversion to any religion other than Hinduism is forbidden and violators will be punished.

Kazakhstan—#28: For 10 days this fall, a THP (The Hanna Project) team helped construct a Hope Center. This effort was carried out under the leadership of our partners. The Hope Centers are focused on helping people with alcohol or drug addictions find Christ and a new way of life.

Believers in Kazakhstan face heavy controls under laws enacted in 2010. These laws aim to control the introduction and development of all religious movements. Christianity appears to be a particular target of raids and confiscation of property and religious materials. Christians report they feel constantly watched.

Add to these government restrictions the unceasing pressure from the Muslim community and you have an extremely difficult environment for expanding the Kingdom of God.

Constant prayer and unwavering commitment to preach the gospel are the only hope for these resistant countries.

It’s easy to become discouraged when reading about the persecuted church. If we were the ones persecuted, how would we want people to pray for us?

Image from Open Doors’ World Watch List booklet

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