May 25, 2011

Prayer Request - Travel Home

The guys are finally headed home! They actually started their journey yesterday and will be home today at 6:00 pm. They are definitely exhausted and the time change will be rough on them going this direction. Pray that they will be able to rest and recover quickly.

Also pray they will be able to reflect on their time and the impact they made on the people and missionaries and local pastors. Pray that the Lord will continue to bless them for the time they spent in Southeast Asia and that they will never forget the lessons they learned there.

Safety is also a concern as they fly across the globe. And even though this may be for selfish reasons, please pray they won't have any delayed or cancelled flights because we are ready for them to be home!

May 24, 2011

Prayer Request - Missionaries

Today we want to pray for the missionaries in Southeast Asia. They have devoted their whole lives to sharing the gospel with these people. They no doubt get discouraged by the slow progress they see in this area. They are also far from the comforts of home and are constantly forced to be secretive about their reason for being in the area and use code words for common religious terms. There are only three known true followers of Christ in the area and those three are a result of the work the missionaries have done. Nathan and Andrew get to come home tomorrow but this is the day-to-day for the missionaries.
  • Pray that they will keep the faith and will be guarded against discouragement.
  • Pray that the Lord will reveal to them the impact they have made and that they may see the fruit of their labor.
  • Pray that they are able connect with a community of believers to encourage them.
  • Pray that the Lord constantly gives them the courage to share their faith and gives them the words to say to the people.
Also, here are specific prayer requests for the day's activities:
"Ask that the enemy would be bound and truth would fill the hearts of the Lasa. Ask that the strongholds of infidelity, abuse, addiction, gambling, dishonesty, and selfishness be broken. Ask that the negative cultural influences, religious lies, and government oppression would be recognized, and the Lasa would seek refuge in Him. Ask that they seek to really know God and in doing so He reveals Himself to them through [Jesus Christ]."

May 23, 2011

Prayer Request - Protection from Satan

Satan certainly has a foothold among the people of Southeast Asia. Sin abounds and yet the people readily accept "God" and live "religious" lives. The one thing Satan hates the most is when believers try to foil his plans and he will fight back. Without the strong support of a local body of believers, spiritual warfare is a given in a place like Southeast Asia. Pray that Nathan and Andrew will not give in to the schemes of the devil and they will resist any temptation he puts before them. Pray that they will be able to see and understand the impact they can make even in the short amount of time they will spend there.
Here is a specific prayer request listed on the guys itinerary for Tuesday:
"Ask that the enemy would be bound and truth would fill the hearts of the Lasa. Ask that the strongholds of infidelity, abuse, addiction, gambling, dishonesty, and selfishness be broken. Ask that the negative cultural influences, religious lies, and government oppression would be recognized, and the Lasa would seek refuge in Him. Ask that they seek to really know God and in doing so He reveals Himself to them through [Jesus Christ]."

May 22, 2011

Prayer Request - Encouragement and Protection

The focus for prayer today is encouragement and protection. It can be very discouraging to share the gospel over and over and see no response or fruit for your labor. Pray that Nathan and Andrew and the missionaries continue to share with the same urgency despite the lack of response they get from the people.

The guys are very safe where they are but it is always smart to pray for protection. They are evangelizing in a closed area which is why I have refrained from sharing the exact country they are visiting as well as not sharing the names of the missionaries they are working with. They are told to use code words for certain religious terms and some of that has to do with the extreme negative reaction the people have to these terms. Pray that the Lord keeps everyone safe and that they are able to build relationships with the people.

The group plans to visit a Filipino Market on Monday and visit with a local that the missionaries have built a relationship with. Here's the info I got from their itinerary:
"Filipino Market – We have many friends in and around the markets. They have heard truth many times. Yet they are still blind. Ask that the scales fall from their eyes.
'...One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!' ~ John 9:25
Visit with local – Ask that he recognize truth and make the decision to pursue it.
'Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!'~ Joel 3:14
'But now in [Chirst Jesus] You who were once so far away have been brought near through the blood of [Christ]' ~ Ephesians 2:13"

Keep praying and I encourage you to use the Scriptures quoted above in your prayer.

May 21, 2011

Prayer Request - Sharing the Gospel/Encouraging Pastors

It is Saturday night in Southeast Asia so Nathan and Andrew are likely sleeping and preparing for Sunday morning. They will take this opportunity to encourage the local pastors and go out and spread the gospel with them. Pray that the Lord will prepare the hearts of those they will share with. Also pray that they are able to encourage local pastors who are no doubt discouraged with the lack of a congregation.
I was able to find an itinerary for the boys and there were some specific prayer requests for Sunday listed:
"Ask that [ministers] be sent to boldly share truth and distribute follow-up materials. Ask that the [church] already present would be convicted of the [Great Commission]. Ask that said [church] would be brave and courageous.
'And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ...' ~ Colossians 4:3"

I replaced some code words with the church language we're more familiar with. I heard from the guys that things are going well and I really want to thank all of you who are lifting up these requests because I know it's making a difference!

May 20, 2011

Prayer Request - Lasa

Nathan and Andrew will be working with the Lasa people. Their primary religion is Islam and they are very resistant to the gospel. Many of the people are not highly religious but the Muslim faith is mostly cultural for them. If they convert to Christianity, they are guaranteed total rejection from their families and excommunication from the church. We have been told there are only three known followers of Christ among this people group.

  • Pray that the Lord softens the hearts of these people.
  • Pray they begin to realize their need for a Savior.
  • Pray that they have the courage to follow the truth, despite the inevitable consequences.
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit gives Nathan and Andrew the words to say to the people.
  • Pray mostly that whatever happens this week glorifies the Lord and furthers His name.

May 19, 2011

Prayer Request - Southeast Asia

Ranked number 19 among countries with highest number of unreached people groups with 56 unreached people groups. Islam is largest religion. The society faces a troubled and contested future as fault lines appear.

The largest, most dominant and most quickly growing population, are divided among themselves on a number of levels. Pray for changes in these realms:

  • Economic. The ruling party’s affirmative action of the last 40 years has enriched a minority of the population, while increasing the gap between the connected elite and the poorer majority. Such discrimination and favoritism now hobbles economic progress as well as foreign investment.
  • Political. The ruling party faces an opposition coalition comprised of moderates, liberals, Chinese ethnic parties and even Islamists. This indicates the level of disillusion with the government. The next election will demonstrate if the coalition’s recent strong showing is based on large-scale change or is just a protest vote against the party. Appeasing both the minorities and conservative Muslims, while holding the country together, is a difficult balancing act.
  • Religious. Powerful and vocal Islamist agendas are resulting in passing legislations on state and federal levels that effectively introduce sharia law for the people and deepen the divide between Islamic radicals and moderates/liberals. Many rural people practice a folk Islam influenced by pre-Islamic Hindu and Buddhist elements as well as animist practices; they will inevitably be pushed into adopting a “purer” version of Islam.

Minority groups feel frustrated with discrimination and corruption as well as with changes to civil and religious liberties. Some seek legal and political solutions, but others plan for a future outside the country – a potentially tragic loss of diversity and economic clout for a land that has long prided itself on both.

May 18, 2011

Prayer Request - Rest

The boys are still traveling today but I want to focus on praying for rest.

They will be working hard once they arrive and they need to be well-rested so they can be as effective as possible.

The time difference from home to destination is 13 hours so pray they are able to make a quick transition.

They also have a 5-hour layover in Korea today so pray they are able to use that time wisely and get some good rest and food.

Pray that they are able to relax as I'm sure they are getting anxious as they get closer to their destination.

And it would certainly not be a lost cause to lift up the requests from yesterday as well since they are still traveling and will not reach their destination until the wee hours of the morning on Thursday (Texas time).

May 17, 2011

Prayer Request - Travel

Nathan and Andrew will be traveling a total of 31 hours and 40 minutes to get to South East Asia. They will likely go through customs twice and they have many important documents and items to keep track of. There are many things that could go wrong and plenty of opportunities for plans to change. Sleep deprivation brings emotions and tensions to the surface and can fog memories and reason.
  • Pray that they sleep well when they get the chance.
  • Pray that they don't lose anything and if they do that it can be easily replaced.
  • Pray for safe travel.
  • Pray for no delayed or cancelled flights and no schedule changes.
  • Pray that they keep their spirits high and are constantly reminded of the purpose for their trip.

May 11, 2011

Easter and Mission Trip

I know I've been MIA lately, but what's new? I don't have a whole lot to share but I just wanted to mention a couple things.

1) We did actually try to get a video loaded on here of Lela hunting eggs at Easter but it must have been too big. But I can offer some iPhone pictures as a consolation (even though it's been more than two weeks since Easter!).
She did great hunting eggs. It was like she knew exactly what she was doing. But I must admit she had some practice prior to Easter Sunday so that may have accounted for her seemingly professional egg hunting skills.

2) I've decided monthly posts about Lela is a little strange past 12 months. But I will do my best to post about her because she is still changing so quickly. I will definitely post an update every time she sees the doctor (for well visits. I doubt you want to hear about every cold and ear infection).

3) Please remember Nathan these next couple weeks. He and Andrew are leaving for South East Asia next week to go on a mission trip. They'll be working with full-time missionaries there. Also, we recently found out they're going to lose two days because of a last-minute cancelled flight. It's kind of a bummer and changes their plans. But we know that God is still in control and this doesn't surprise Him. There is a reason for everything and God is not bound by earthly limits like time. Just pray that their time there will be fruitful. I will be posting specifics about the country and the people while they're over there so you can pray more specifically.