This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. -1 John 4:9
- PRAY FOR JAPAN. This month we focus on prayer for Japan, a nation of 127 million people. Less than 1 percent of the population knows Christ. The dominant religions are Buddhism and Shinto; many practice a mix of both. Pray for the Japanese to open their hearts to Christ and receive his love.
- U.S. LEADERSHIP RETREAT. The OMF (U.S.) National Leadership Team will begin the month of May on a retreat to seek God, pray and work together to see the mission and vision of OMF (U.S.) fulfilled. Pray for God to move powerfully over the next few days as the leadership team seeks his face.
- STRATEGIC MEETINGS. Intercede for a series of important meetings beginning in early May in Singapore at OMF’s International Center. The meetings will focus on re-envisioning and strategizing on how to mobilize for hard-to-reach people groups in East Asia. Pray for God’s leading as ideas are brainstormed and decisions made.
- STRUGGLING CHURCHES. There are 7,907 churches in Japan. The average number for church attendance is 35 people. Pray for Japan’s struggling congregations, that God would strengthen their leadership. Pray that members grow in boldness in reaching out to their communities with the gospel.
- TOKYO PRAYER CENTER. In Japan, financial insecurity and the high pressure to succeed can lead to isolation, workaholism and depression. The Tokyo Prayer Center in downtown Tokyo offers a daily noontime worship service for working people. Pray that this center would provide rest, security and hope through Christ for struggling professionals.
- SHINE 2016. A prayer and outreach initiative, SHINE Japan, will take place in two major Japanese cities, Tokyo and Yokohama, on May 21-28, 2016. The creative outreach event will use music, dance, media and more to share the gospel with the Japanese. Pray that God would prepare hearts to receive the message. Pray that the Lord would draw the Japanese to himself.
- HIGH DEMANDS. This month, North Korea’s Worker’s Party will hold its 7th Party Congress. The “70-day battle” leading up to the convention required daily loyalty meetings for workers of state-run enterprises, effectively extending their work days and workloads. Pray that citizens of the North would receive the mental and physical rest needed. Pray that God’s love would meet them in their exhaustion.
- LABOR CAMPS. An unknown number of Christians are bound in labor camps and prisons in North Korea for their faith. Pray that God delivers spiritual and physical sustenance to them. Pray for their release, and that they would glorify God through their trials.
- OUT OF THE DARKNESS. Pray for a young woman in Cambodia who was recently abused by a “new Christian.” She is receiving counseling but society attaches a stigma to abuse victims, leading her and others to keep their abuse secret. Pray for her complete healing, and that her abuser would be held accountable for his actions and led to truly seek God.
- NEW CULT. A new cult that claims to be Christian has moved into Kratie Province, Cambodia. It is the second cult that has put down roots there. The cult has already led astray an elder from the town church. Pray that many in Kratie will “turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18).
- URGENT NEED FOR WORKERS. A team carrying out village family holistic health training in China has an urgent request for two long-term workers. Good grassroots relationships have developed over the past 10 years, but unless more workers come forward soon, the work will have to stop. Pray for God’s provision.
- UNITY IN PERSECUTION. State-recognized Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) churches have borne the brunt of the anti-Christian campaign in Zhejiang, China, where crosses are being forcibly removed from churches. One positive result has been the uniting of TSPM and house church believers. Pray this will result in further gains for the cause of Christ across Zhejiang.
- CHINESE DIASPORA IN AFRICA. The OMF Diaspora Ministries team in Africa, which hopes to equip the African church to reach the Chinese diaspora, continues praying for the development of leaders with this vision. Particularly, they hope to see the Chinese and African church partnering together in mission. Pray to this end, that the 2 million Chinese migrant workers in Africa would know Christ’s love.
- BUDDHA’S BIRTHDAY. Today is the day that hundreds of millions of East Asians celebrate Buddha’s birthday. Pray for God to open people’s eyes to see the futility and idolatry of Buddhism and to behold the beauty and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- AUTHORITIES QUESTIONING. “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness” (Matt. 5:10) continues to hold meaning for minority believers in Southeast Asia. In a particular group, authorities regularly call believers in for questioning and threaten them. Pray that believers would stand strong and see blessing in their trials.
- PRISONERS RELEASED. In early April, a Myanmar court released 69 students who had been detained for an education protest in March 2015. State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi plans to release many more political prisoners and activists. Pray that the end of Myanmar’s military rule would enable believers to worship more freely and enable oppressed minority groups to receive fair treatment.
- ENGLISH CLUB IN VIETNAM. A local Christian businessman is caring for orphans from a rural province in Vietnam. He invited two Christian workers to teach the children English, opening opportunities to share the love of Jesus with not only the orphans, but also the neighborhood children and their families who have joined. Pray for God to draw the attendees to himself.
- NETWORKING.At a recent gathering of Mongolian and foreign Christians who are aiming to reach nomadic herders, it became clear that there was little knowledge of the others’ ministries. Some of their initiatives have even stopped due to lack of know-how or funding. They enthusiastically agreed to have quarterly meetings. Pray that these networking meetings would strengthen the workers and their ministries.
- NOMADIC BELIEVERS. There are about 285,000 nomadic herders in Mongolia, many of whom have never heard the gospel. Of the few nomadic Christians, few have any fellowship. Pray that God would strengthen nomadic believers with teaching and Christian fellowship. Pray for ministries that can reach nomadic herders in their challenging environments.
- PERSEVERANCE IN TRANSLATION. Close to 100,000 people are identified as part of the Mangyan tribes on Mindoro in the Phillippines. Some of the tribes still do not have the Bible in their language. Pray for perseverance and wisdom for those working on the Bible translations for the Mangyan tribes.
- SEMINARY EDUCATORS NEEDED. Join in prayer with seminaries in the Philippines, like the Biblical Seminary of the Philippines, as they ask God for additional qualified, theological and missiology educators to better equip the national church there.
- IN A RUT. A small house fellowship in Southeast Asia has been in a rut for the last year. Members who moved to other parts of town are not actively reaching family and neighbors because they were not equipped to do so. Ask God to renew these believers’ understanding of the gospel through a review of chronological Bible stories.
- THREE GENERATIONS BELIEVE. Recently, four new believers were baptized in an area of southwestern Taiwan. Now all three generations of a local family are following Jesus. Please pray especially for the father in the group to understand fully what following Christ entails, including church attendance and Bible study.
- FLEEING TO THAILAND. Over the past decade, many Christians, as well as Ahmadi Muslims, have fled a country in Central Asia due to strict blasphemy laws and have come to Thailand for sanctuary. The Thai Church is trying to help, but resources are limited and the church is small. Pray for God to use Thai believers to reach out to minister to refugees in the love of Christ.
- FAMILY DISCIPLESHIP. According to a long-term Christian worker in Thailand, many Thai families are broken and dysfunctional, including Thai Christian families. Recently, more than 100 Thai believers attended a “family discipleship retreat” focused on building mature Christian families. Pray for the lessons learned to now be applied in daily life and to bear fruit in strong families throughout Thailand.
- SUMBAWA.Lift up the more than 400,000 Sumbawa people who live on Sumbawa Island in Indonesia. The Sumbawa are devout Muslims, but most still practice animism as well. There are fewer than 100 followers of Jesus among them. Pray for Sumbawa to turn to the ultimate healer, Jesus, rather than the dukun (shaman), when facing difficulties.
- COURT APPROVES CHANGING OF RELIGION. Recently, a court in Malaysia allowed an adult man, who was converted to Islam as a child by his parents, to renounce his religion and become a Christian at age 41. Pray protection and grace upon all those involved in this decision. Also ask God to give courageous faith to others considering such a path.
- JUNE CANDIDATE COURSE. Lift up the OMF (U.S.) Candidate Department as they finalize names for the U.S. Orientation/Candidate Course being held in June. Please pray for the Candidate Department and those applying to know the Lord’s mind. Praise God that we potentially could have the largest course of the past three years.
- JUGGLING RESPONSIBILITIES. Pray for OMF (U.S.) Finance Manager Brett Kuntz, as he departs for two months of partnership development while still trying to keep up with communication in his finance role. Pray for the rest of the finance team as they cover some of his other duties.
- DISTRIBUTING THE WORK. In recent months, the long-time OMF (U.S.) Information Systems and Security Manager took another job. His duties have now been distributed in the IT department. Lift up those who are now doing the work as they deal with issues of workload distribution, communication and learning curve.
- THE TASK UNFINISHED. Pray for OMF centers around the world as they seek to continue to build on momentum created by the release of Keith and Kristyn Getty’s updated hymn, “Facing a Task Unfinished.” Thousands of believers around the globe have been exposed to OMF and reminded of the urgency of the Great Commission through the song.
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