Friday, March 1st is World Day of Prayer 2013. Services begin at sunrise in the Pacific and follow the sun across the globe. Women, men and children in more than 170 countries and regions will participate in this ecumenical movement of believers from many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer. It is founded on the idea that informed prayer and prayerful action are inseparable in the service of God’s kingdom.
International Ministries asked some of the missionaries for prayer requests from their fields of service. We invite you to share them with your friends and family, and in your communities of faith as you join with believers around the world on March 1st. Or choose another date that works for your community.
The host country for 2013 is France, on the topic, “I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me” encouraging welcome for migrant people worldwide. It strives for a Christian response to struggles concerning immigration and for ways to welcome “the stranger” and to identify with “the least of these” in Matthew 25. The focus this year draws on customs of hospitality found in Leviticus to paint a picture of welcoming the stranger, and to help us put ourselves in the shoes of “the stranger”. We will remember our own feeling of being on the outside, and the joy of the blessings of being welcomed.
Dan Buttry – Global Consultant for Peace, Justice and Conflict Transformation
1) Pray for Kenya to have a peaceful election on March 4 and in the weeks before and after. I’ve been working with Central Baptist Theological Seminary’s Wilson Gathungu and others for the last two years in conflict transformation training. In April we will do follow-up trainings and strategy sessions to continue the work for peace.
2) Pray for all of Africa, me and Wilson Gathungu of Central Baptist Theological Seminary, as we put together a 10-day Training of Conflict Transformation Trainers in September that will shape key Christian leaders in Bible-based peacemaking skills. Registrants so far are from Zimbabwe, Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya.
3) Pray for the members of the IGNITE team who will be in the Republic of Georgia in May and June, exposing emerging Christian leaders from the U.S. and Georgia to the challenges and opportunities of mission.
Lauran Bethell – Global Consultant for Anti-Human Trafficking
1) Pray for those who are walking the streets of Europe, meeting victims of human trafficking/prostitution as they meet together in April in Waterloo, Belgium. Pray that they learn information that strengthens their ministries. Pray for me as I help plan the meeting and also speaks in one of the plenary sessions, that the Holy Spirit will speak words of truth and power through me.
2) Pray for the European Baptist Federation’s Anti-Trafficking Network, as they meet together near Barcelona, Spain in April. Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide them to know more effective ways of ministering to victims of trafficking from Africa and Eastern Europe.
Ingrid Roldán-Román missionary in Panama & Costa Rica:
1) Pray for students of the School Tutoring Program in Changuinola, Bocas del Toro, Panama so they can continue to acquire skills that will help them in their learning process and that through me they will know God.
2) Pray for the membership of the Baptist Church in Sixaola, Costa Rica that can remain faithful to God and sharing the gospel with others.
3) Pray for my return to the mission field after my time at home for Puerto Rico & US visitations.
Dan and Sarah Chetti missionaries in Lebanon:
1) After 7 years of ministry among imprisoned maids in Lebanon, I (Sarah) am launching INSAAF – an Integrated Center for the Ministry among the Maids. Please pray that the harassed, discriminated, suffering maids from several Asian and African countries will find a safe haven where someone listens to their stories and ministers to their needs. Please pray for people to help me, to convert the building creating counseling and work stations, and for money for the renovation work.
2) Lebanon right now is over whelmed by more than 200,000 refugees due to conflicts in neighboring Syria and Iraq. Families are living in difficult situations including unfinished buildings open to the elements in this cold winter season. Many refugees are Christian minorities, and the students of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (where we work) identify with the refugees and are deeply disturbed by these changes in society. Join us and our students in praying that Lebanese churches will reach out to the refugees and minister among them, and for churches & donors in the US who would like to participate in this ministry.
Kit Ripley missionary in Thailand:
1) Please pray for the ministry of the New Life Center Foundation. We work with tribal girls who have experienced labor exploitation, domestic violence, sexual abuse or human trafficking, and girls who are “at risk”. We are in a period of structural change and staff transitions, and are seeking God’s guidance as we consider how we can be best equipped to meet the changing needs of tribal girls in the upcoming years.
2) Insufficient access to citizenship continues to be a challenge for minority people groups in Thailand. Please pray for the government to open up channels so that minority people can access legal Thai citizenship.
Wendy Bernhard missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo:
1) Pray for our seminaries and Bible institutes as they prepare pastors for ministry in today’s turbulent world.
2) Pray for the young people of Congo, that they would learn and follow Christ’s way in their lives.
Deb Mulneix – development worker in India and Nepal:
1) Making strangers into friends is the goal of all of all of our Partners in Ministry in India and Nepal. This week, I received news about the weddings of two new friends. Not long ago, these women were selling alcohol, drugs, and sometimes themselves. Then they were introduced to Christ. Today, they understand the difference between loving someone and using them. Their new husbands show them respect that they have never experienced before. Now that’s a Welcome to a Stranger! Please keep these new families in your prayers, as well as the shelter and the women and staff who work there.
2) Education in India is a very high priority. Our early missionaries were aware of the need and established many schools around the country. Today, Christian schools are well respected, and many non-Christian children are enrolled in them. The residents of a small, remote village approached their Christian neighbors to open a school. Even though they had no funds, no teachers, and no buildings, these believers began a school. The first year there were 75 students, and today, three years later, they number around 350, with less than 10 of these students from Christian homes. Like this one, many of our schools are in remote areas, and funding is not easily available. Please keep the students, faculty, staff, and parents of our Christian schools in your prayers.
Mike Mann – Global Consultant for Rural Development:
1) Many villagers in China, Burma and Thailand live in extreme poverty and do not have access to clean water, proper sanitation and micro-loans. Pray for the mission projects that will address these challenges giving villagers hope for a healthier life and stronger economic future.
Madeline Flores-López missionary in the Dominican Republic:
1) Pray for our economy which is directly affecting many families in the DR – a basket of basic supplies has gone up from 16% to 26%. Food and basic needs are now more prohibited and unaffordable for poor families.
2) Pray for our college students who are the future in the DR. They face expensive transportation, no school supplies, and limited opportunities making an education nearly impossible. Please pray for more opportunities and scholarships for college students.
Chuck and Ruth Fox missionaries in Thailand:
1) Pray for children all over the world who are in need of education, and particularly for the children who receive Student Tuition Expense Program (STEP) funds through IM. We have many Akha children who are receiving educational support because of the generosity of individuals and churches; we pray that others in need will receive help, and that those in STEP will see and understand the help they receive as God’s provision in their lives.
2) Pray for the Chiang Rai International Christian School (CRICS), a school created to “serve the servant” families who come to minister in many capacities to the people of northern Thailand. Please pray for the development of the school as it grows, particularly for 5 full-time volunteer teachers who have a heart to serve here. Many non-Christian Thai children are also coming to the school now, and we are excited to see them come to an understanding of Jesus and his love for them
3) Pray for the Akha people, that they might come to all know the saving power of Jesus Christ, but also discover what His love and the power of the Holy Spirit can mean in practical ways to achieve peace and unity…in their families, in their communities, in the church and in relationship to other Christian groups, as well.
4) Pray for the projects that are helping to provide self-sufficiency for the Akha people, namely the Akha Craft program, coffee production and drug rehabilitation efforts. May these programs be strengthened and may the people involved develop the leadership skills they need to carry these programs forward.
Stan Slade – Global Consultant for Theological Education
“Whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith” (Galatians 6:8).
We have something like 100,000 family members in desperate straits in the northern part of Burma (Myanmar). After a 17-year ceasefire in the conflict between the Kachin people and the central government, the Burmese army launched an offensive against northern Kachin State in June of 2011. The civilian and military authorities do not appear to be on the same page, as fighting has continued even after the government announced a new ceasefire. Roughly 100,000 Kachin people are now living as war refugees in their own country, displaced by 20 months of armed conflict. Most of them are Baptists.
I was in Burma in December, and worshiped with a congregation of Kachin Baptists in Yangon (Rangoon), down in the southern part of the country. I was moved by the stories I heard and the photos I saw. The Kachin in Yangon are out of the line of fire, but their hearts are heavy with sorrow, as they are in constant contact with their friends and family in the north. They pray continually, and put feet on their prayers with a wide variety of efforts to provide emergency relief and encouragement to the displaced victims of the fighting.
Pray for peace. Pray that God will touch the hearts of the Burmese military and civilian leaders, as well as the Kachin resistance. May the Lord raise up courageous leaders on all sides of the conflict, so that a just solution to the deep and difficult issues may be found through peaceful means.
The conflict with the Kachin people is just one of several such conflicts in Burma. They are all desperately in need of radical, grace-filled transformation. But this is the hottest of the conflicts at the moment. For the sake of our Kachin Baptist brothers and sisters, and all the peoples of Burma, pray that God’s will might indeed be done on earth—and especially, in that little part of earth known as northern Kachin State–as it is in heaven.
To read journals by the missionaries, global consultants and development workers, click on their name under PEOPLE at the top of the IM website.
To see mission projects that support their ministries, click on ALL PROJECTS under PROJECTS at the top of the IM website. You can filter the list of projects by country. Or go to a missionary’s profile page, and click on PROJECTS to see just those projects submitted by that missionary.