Ramadan Violence Answered with Prayer

Story by Ruth K’Lama on mnnonline.org

International (MNN) — ISIS has called on its followers to wage “all-out war” on the West during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, sparking fears of new attacks.

wikiisis_flag-300x157

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Muslims worldwide observe the month as one of prayer, fasting, and growing closer to Allah.  It commemorates the revelation of the Quran to the prophet Mohamed and now serves as one of the five pillars of Islam.

Anthony Rhodes, a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs Canada, explains, “For the common Muslim, it is a special time.  But I think for radical Islam or militant Islam, it is a time for them to rally together and really advance the cause of Islam.”

In fact, in the days leading up to the beginning of Ramadan on Friday, May 26th, the terror group has claimed a cluster of brazen, violent attacks: England, Egypt, the Philippines, Tunisia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and more.  Violence is nothing new during Ramadan, especially corresponding to the rise of ISIS.

However, as more headlines scream alarm over security concerns, condemnation of the carnage, and general coverage of the mayhem, Rhodes urges us not to lose sight of the main thing: the hope of Christ.

A real problem, a real solution

What we’re witnessing is spiritual warfare, and there are ways to deal with it.  “As we think about security issues and we think about the threats that are being launched by radical Islam, our best weapons are in prayer.  It’s so important to remember to pray for our persecutors because that’s what Jesus has called us to do.”  He asks, “What better way to love our enemies than to pray for them — to pray that they would find Christ?”

When believers seek God’s face in confidence, they grow bolder in their prayer.  As more Christians pray, God answers in increasingly amazing ways.  It sounds unbelievable, but things similar to the conversion of Saul to Paul are happening more and more frequently.

“We see that happening today as well — where persecutors of the Church, where former Taliban, former ISIS soldiers are coming to Christ.  Often, it’s through the testimony of those they are persecuting.  But often as well, it’s through direct contact, through dreams and visions, where Jesus will appear to them in their dreams and make Himself real to them.”

To read the rest of the story, visit www.mnnonline.org/news/ramadan-violence-answered-with-prayer.

Want to get involved in praying for Ramadan? Here’s how you can make an impact:

  1. SIGN UP to receive daily prayer reminders by email or text.
  2. PRAY for the featured topic sent to you each day.
  3. INVITE at least one other person to join you.

Jesus loves and died to save each of the 1.6 billion Muslims in our world. Want to be a part of reaching them? It’s not too late to take the Ramadan Challenge!

Together, let’s watch and pray that Muslims around the world will encounter Jesus!

 

 

A Dream Come True

The passion burned inside her and she knew what she must do. She was going to become a nurse. People needed her, and she knew she had to do something about it. Do you ever feel that dream, that burning passion pulling you to serve others? Read more to learn about how Christine Stanfield, missionary to Uganda, took her passion to be a nurse and not only achieved it but also let God multiply it and mold it into something bigger than she first imagined.

Jeff and Christine Stanfield

Last week I renewed my nursing license. We drove across the city to the office of the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council. On the way I reminisced through my childhood dream, my dream of being a nurse one day. I wanted to help people.

June of 1981 my dream became a reality. I graduated from nursing school. November of the same year I received my official registration (RN) from the Oregon State Board of Nursing. Hooray! I worked as a hospital nurse for nine years in Oregon, learning much and helping many people. Through nursing I connected people to Jesus. I loved my work.

Little did I know that ten years later I would become a KRN; a registered nurse in Kenya. My dream multiplied. I was Christine Stanfield, RN, KRN. My avenue for helping people multiplied as well. Oh, how I loved teaching nursing students, in Tenwek School of Nursing, how to help people. My students helped more people than I ever could as just one nurse. They connected many people to Jesus. I loved my work.

Imagine my surprise when 21 years later God invited Jeff and me to join Him in what He is doing in Uganda. We moved to Kampala, the capital city, in 2012. For the first year I observed and I listened. I learned much. Then my dream multiplied again. I went through the process to be registered as a nurse in Uganda. Now I am Christine Stanfield, RN, KRN, URN (Uganda Registered Nurse). I don’t work in a hospital and I don’t teach in a nursing school. I still help the people God brings my way.

Sometimes they come to my door. Sometimes I go to where they are playing sports. Once in a while I give advice on medication dosages or clarify medical reports for people unpracticed in reading the medical language. I teach community health lessons, helping people know how to help themselves and others. I take blood pressures and pray with pregnant women as I hand out a maternity delivery kit, called a Mama Kit. I have many opportunities to give spiritual care, connecting people to Jesus. I help people. I love my work.

At a sports tournament (Photo credit: Christine Stanfield)

I had a dream and God multiplied it. I am a nurse. I help people, connecting them to Jesus. I love my work.

ACT: Take time today to write down or think about some of the dreams God has for you. Then sit in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what you need to do next. Give these dreams to God, and He will multiply them. God is waiting for you to ask Him. Who knows how many people’s lives you will impact if you let Him guide you.

Networking for Sustainable Change

WGM missionaries are working together to promote Community Health Evangelism ministries at the International Wholistic Missions Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. They will be networking with other groups involved in CHE in order to learn more and find out how they can continue to provide for and increase their work with communities around the world.

L-R: Sandy Anderson, Mary Hermiz, Terry Hawk, and Robyn Moore (Photo credit: Joy Phillips)

What Is CHE?

According to the Global CHE Network website, “CHE equips communities to identify issues and mobilize resources to achieve positive, sustainable change. Lives and communities are transformed as people come to Christ and work together to address local needs.” CHE strives to connect with each culture on an individual basis. Some programs are church-based, others community-based; some are part of the national government’s health program; some programs are focused on adults, others target children; and some specifically target women.

CHE is different from secular development programs because of this perspective: CHE volunteers view their work as a ministry rather than an occupation. Although CHE has traditionally been used in rural communities, concepts of community empowerment relate to cities as well. “Neighborhood Transformation” is the urban model for CHE.

Rather than focusing on material handouts, CHE wants to enrich the whole person. The approach is participatory and community-driven and can include lessons on economic development, agriculture, leadership, taking care of the environment, biblically-based morals, and social justice—all integrated with spiritual truths.

Partner with CHE

PRAY: Ask God to give those promoting CHE wisdom and strength as they train and mentor and to encourage CHE trainers, committee members, and Community Health Evangelists to put into practice all they have learned. Pray that entire communities will come to know Him and experience Christ-centered community transformation through this process.

SHARE: Download a speaker outline about CHE to share the message of community transformation.

50 Days of Prayer

Benji and Erica Jenkins are missionaries in Papua New Guinea who serve in a variety of ways but have a focus at Christian Union Bible College and with Christian Union Church. This story, told by Benji, focuses on the power of prayer and how God moved in big ways during the 50 days of prayer leading up to a revival.

“In January of 2014, the Christian Union Church of Papua New Guinea celebrated its 50th Anniversary. It was in 1964 that the first missionaries arrived and started planting churches in the Southern Highlands Province. To celebrate this, World Gospel Mission and the Christian Union Church planned a five-day revival. This revival took place in an area called Embi, one of the places the early missionaries had gone into. Although the country has progressed in the last 50 years, Embi is still a very remote location with no electricity or running water and very few permanent houses. Housing and feeding the couple thousand people who would travel in as well as the former missionaries who visited and the guest speaker, Hubert Harriman, required several months of planning.

Erica Jenkins with Papua New Guineans

“Knowing that this was a huge undertaking with lots of room for problems to arise, the missionaries in PNG decided to start a prayer campaign leading up to the revival. The ‘50 Days of Prayer for PNG’ Facebook page was created. Each day for 50 days a different missionary, church leader, ministry, or visitor was highlighted with prayer requests. Many people responded to those daily requests by saying they had prayed or even by reposting the requests on their own Facebook page. There were days when over 1,000 people saw those prayer requests and prayed for the different needs that were listed!

First Generation Believer

“As a result of those prayers, the 50th Anniversary Celebration went on without any major problems. In a developing country, there are always issues with vehicles, trouble getting supplies, and many other things. But when the day came to start, Embi was flooded with people from four different provinces (states). And everyone found a place to sleep and food to eat. Hubert Harriman preached many of the services and his sermons were translated into two different languages so that everyone could understand. Many people came to the altar during each service to seek the Lord. Some of them told how they had gotten saved and some told of being sanctified. There was even a service where the pastors were challenged to grow deeper, and the altar was lined with pastors seeking God’s touch.”

There is no way that any of this could have happened without the enormous prayer support that lasted for 50 days before and during the five-day revival.

ACT: World Gospel Mission can help you find ways to get involved by prayingserving, and donating. Will you join us to impact the world today?