A New Start
By An Impact Middle East Leader
We invited him to our house-church meeting to share how he had become a follower of Christ. Although he was shy and hesitant to speak in front of others, he began his story.
“I was living in darkness. Through the years, I tried all kinds of drugs. I sold all I had to buy those drugs. I lost everything – my family, my work and the respect of others. I reached the point I had no place to sleep except under bridges and with criminals.” “One day, I was arrested when the police gathered up some criminals.
My only association with them was that we were sharing a place to sleep. I went to prison for three months, but the Lord went before me there! A fellow prisoner – an older man – asked me why I was in prison. I told him about my life. He listened to my story, looked at me and asked, ‘Would you like to restore your life?’ I said to him, ‘I can’t.’ In a strong tone of voice, he said, ‘You can through Him. He can change you, clean up your life and give you a new start.’ I asked him, ‘Tell me about this doctor of yours who can restore my life.’ He told me the story of Jesus and what He had done on the cross. He told me how Jesus, through His grace, accepts everyone, especially people like me.
“I went to bed thinking about what the old man had told me. I was worried and distressed. While I was sleeping, I began to have a nightmare. In the middle of the dream, I saw Jesus walk toward me. He said, ‘Calm down, my son!’ As He touched me with His healing hand, I immediately felt a calm come over me. That peace remained when I woke up in the morning and into the following days. When I left prison, I was hungry to read the Bible, be baptized and join the body of Christ to receive support, encouragement and instruction.”
The man looked at us, all those gathered for the house-church meeting, and said, “Brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ changed me, and He gave me a new start. I am here to remind you to make your life about reaching the unreached at home, around you and to the ends of the earth with the great news of a new start.”
How Can I Forgive?
By An Impact Middle East Leader
Sumayya*, a Yazidi girl, had attended a seminar about forgiveness at our center. I later visited her at home to ask her about the seminar and her thoughts about the topic. Her mother and two of her siblings were present as well.
Sumayya shared that she couldn’t understand how to forgive people who committed horrible acts such as Dae’sh (ISIS) had done to the Yazidi people. They had killed men, raped women and young girls, and destroyed their homes and possessions. Those who survived had to leave their homes and become refugees.
I agreed with her that it is very difficult to forgive those who hurt us deeply. We can’t do this by our own power. We need the help of the Holy Spirit. Being able to forgive others, regardless of what they have done, will set us free and help us to be what God intends us to be. We can be loving and productive when we forgive others. A person who does not forgive is like one who carries another person on his back. He will struggle and will have a backache from carrying the burden. The person who is carried will not suffer at all; the suffering falls on the person who is unable to forgive.
I also shared with them that God is just. At some point, these people who did so much harm will have to face God’s judgment. We can leave vengeance to Him.
Sumayya grasped what I was trying to explain to them. She was very grateful for my effort to help her understand the importance of forgiveness. Also, the fact that God will deal with each human according to His unquestionable justice set her free from her feelings of hatred toward those who hurt her and her people.
Pray for Sumayya and her family to grow in their trust of God’s love and His justice.
*name has been changed
“I loved the message, but …”
By Impact Middle East Leader
We invited a woman from one of our searching groups to join us for an event explicitly organized to reach people for Christ. The messages we delivered were very clear, and we felt the Holy Spirit surrounding and touching the event and many hearts.
When the event was finished, the woman came to me saying: “I loved the message. It was good, but I can’t accept Jesus as Savior for my life. That decision would turn my life upside down.”
I thanked her for coming and for sharing her thoughts with me. I left her with a question: “What will your life look like if you don’t accept Christ as Savior?” She smiled at me and said, “It will be the same – fine.” Soon after, she called three times asking questions and requesting some books about Jesus, which we delivered to her.
Then I had a dream. Jesus was standing, knocking at this woman’s door. But no one opened the door. Jesus whispered to my heart, “She couldn’t hear my voice because of the noise – the noise of her family, community, culture and her busyness of work.” This dream encouraged me to continue speaking to her even more directly of Jesus.
We received the good news that she came to love the message so much she has accepted Jesus as Savior for her life! Our team was so happy for her, and we continued to pray for her. I then received a call from her asking if she could move from the searching group to one of our house churches. And she wanted to bring her husband with her as well. Before she hung up the phone, she laughed, saying, “He might love the message, too, and accept Christ!”
World Missions Prayer Calendar: July
01 Friday | Costa Rica
Pray for Wendy Lorenz as she helps resource and support missionary parents as they navigate the uniqueness of their child’s experience as a Third Culture Kid (TCK). Birthday: Wendy Lorenz
02Saturday | Creative Access Asia-MR
Pray for peace. Pray for an end to the suffering of the many displaced by the ongoing conflict in this country.
03Sunday | Botswana
Pray for the encouragement of the small group of Free Methodists in Bostwana and their outreach in the community.
04 Monday | El Salvador
Pray for the growth and maturity of leaders and churches in El Salvador and the expansion of their children’s club.
05Tuesday | Europe
Josh and Susy Fajardo will be traveling in the U.S. this summer. Pray God will lead them in making the right connections and the best use of their time. Birthday: Susy Fajardo
06 Wednesday | Middle East
Pray students from this region who are studying in other countries will connect with hospitable Christians who will demonstrate love and share the good news of Jesus.
07 Thursday | FMWM
Pray the Lord will raise a team in every local church who will devote themselves to prayer for needs around the world and the expansion of the global FM church. Birthday: Jan Coates (Communications Content Coordinator
08Friday | Asia Creative Access
Pray for Adam and Rebecca as they serve in a challenging context. Ask the Father to lead them to people ready to receive the gospel. Birthday: Adam
09 Saturday | ICCM
Pray for the Chiyembekzo (Hope) project in Malawi as they seek to care holistically for the many orphans in their community.
10 Sunday | Brazil
Pray for missionaries Dan and Hope Owsley as they oversee the program and teach classes at the FM seminary (Seminário Bíblico Wesleyano) in São Paulo.
11 Monday | CA Asia-MY / Spain
CA Asia-MY: Join Lena in this prayer. Lord, give us eyes to see the strangers around. Help us have hearts of love and gentleness toward them. “As we have been so generously treated, God, help us live generously” (Matthew 10:8b, MSG). Birthday: Lena
Spain: Pray the church in Spain will be a people led and empowered by the Holy Spirit to declare God’s life-changing love to all people through word and deed as they reach out in every community, region and nation. Birthday: Raul Arana (International Missionary)
12 Tuesday | Ivory Coast
Praise the Lord for more than a dozen new converts in the past few months. Pray for ongoing evangelistic outreach in Ivory Coast.
13 Wednesday | Philippines
Pray for David Clemente as he travels to the Philippines this month and visits several ministry locations in Asia, with his base in Manila, Philippines. Ask the Lord to give health, safety and effectiveness. Birthday: David Clemente
14 Thursday | Belgium
Pray the church will be a safe place for young people who want to ask questions as well as a place where they can find truth through Jesus Christ.
15 Friday | Ecuador
Pray for the successful development of a literacy program in Majua.
16 Saturday | Middle East
God is answering the prayers of believers as they pray for those who are seeking peace and physical healing. Thank the Lord! Pray for the move of God’s Spirit in the lives of many seeking healing for body and soul.
17 Sunday | Togo
Pray for the second class of students at the Wesley Missionary Institute and the completion of the teacher’s residence.
18 Monday | Japan
Minori Hall invites us to pray for open doors in building relationships with their Japanese neighbors. Ask God to give her opportunities to share Jesus with these neighbors. Birthday: Minori Hall (Japan), Scott (Creative Access)
19 Tuesday | Balkans
Pray God will give wisdom in developing strategies to work with the diverse groups of refugees from different countries and cultures.
20 Wednesday | Mali
Pastor Debra provides a safe place for people to grow together in Christ. Pray for the people’s spiritual maturity and boldness to share the good news
21 Thursday | Bolivia
Pastors Juan Carlos and Yaneth are international missionaries from Mexico preparing to serve in Bolivia. Pray for God’s provision for their transition. Birthday: Yaneth Aguirre (International Missionary)
22Friday | Cambodia
Thank the Lord for seven new churches planted this year! Pray for fulfillment of their goal to plant 14 more house churches in remote provinces by the end of 2022.
23Saturday | Set Free Movement
Thank the Lord for Set Free “percent for freedom” partners – businesses that are stepping forward to raise awareness about human trafficking, employ the vulnerable and generate funds. Pray these businesses will be a powerful force for good in their communities.
24Sunday | Democratic Republic
Deaconess Nundu Hospital serves a population of more than 255,000 plus another 29,000 Burundian refugees in a camp 10 km from the hospital. Pray for the medical director, Dr. Marx Itabelo Lwabanya, the staff and the hospital’s ongoing need for resources.
25 Monday | Egypt
The number of house churches in Egypt has been increasing exponentially. Pray for the spiritual growth and maturity of all the house-church participants.
26 Tuesday | Ukraine
Pray for families who have been separated and displaced. Ask the Father to provide hope and healing from the trauma they have experienced.
27 Wednesday | Uruguay
Pray for the discipleship and fruitfulness of those who are part of four new houses of peace started in Montevideo.
28Thursday | Asia
Rie recently moved from the Philippines to the U.S. Please pray for her adjustment to living in the U.S. after 43 years of serving overseas. Pray for fruitful ministry as she continues to teach English online to Asian seminary students and church leaders. Birthday: Marie Osborne
29 Friday | Cameroon
Praise the Lord for three new groups of more than 20 people and a new women’s program in the Douala area this year. Pray those involved in these groups will grow deep in their love for Jesus.
30Saturday | Honduras
Ask for the Holy Spirit’s direction for Pastor Manuel Herrera, the new leader of the mission district, as he helps the church reach new areas through Community Church Planting.
31 Sunday | Middle East
Pray the words of Psalms 86:15 for the refugees in this region who have been victims of severe violence and trauma. Pray they will know the Lord as compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness.