When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Shan month of prayer
The Mekong River, filled with diverse people groups and everything from mega cities to remote villages, flows through five countries. The vision of the Mekong minorities team is to see gospel movements flow among 70 of the most unreached people groups in the region. These diverse groups with different languages and cultures number more than 50 million people! They vary in size from several hundred thousand to twenty million people. This month we are joining in prayer with one of these people groups, the Shan. There are more than 5-6 million Shan peoples spread across several countries where rural farming characterizes the lives of the vast majority. Let us rejoice over what God is doing among the Shan and intercede together on behalf of this people group.
Note: Names and sometimes locations have been changed to protect privacy.
SUNDAYS • God provides freedom from debt
After graduating from a Thai university, Mr. S thought he would be smarter and better equipped to succeed than most businessmen in Myanmar. He learned a hard lesson and quickly amassed significant debts while working there. This changed everything in his life, but he knew God was teaching him–and he was open to listen and obey. While working hard to pay off his debt, he continued sharing the Gospel with others. Recently, he gathered enough lumber to pay off his debt but needed official approval to sell it. The government officer rejected him, saying, “I don’t like you! You’ve talked to too many people about Jesus, and I will not give you an approval!” In the meantime, he kept reporting to his debtors about the lumber he had collected, and assured them that he would pay them back in full. A couple of weeks ago, Mr. S felt God telling him to go back to the office again. When he arrived, the hostile officer wasn’t there, and approval was granted for him to sell his lumber! God answered his prayers and granted him success. Praise God for helping Mr. S to be debt-free! Pray for the salvation for his mother, and also that his brother & family will come to know to know Christ who can redeem all. Psalm 145:18
MONDAYS • Christian cartoon book brings salvation
A pair of sisters received a Christian cartoon book when they were in primary school. They read this book and wanted to know more about Jesus. Their parents would not allow them to go to church. One day when they were selling food, a strong wind blew some shops around them away, but the elder sister quietly asked Jesus, “If you are real, please protect my stall.” True enough, her stall remained untouched. She trusted that Jesus is real. The elder sister is now 20 years old and can decide for herself. Both sisters found a church and received Christ into their lives. Praise God! We want to encourage those who give tracts, Christian cartoon books, Bible verses, and who lead camps and outreach. Pray for both sisters to know Jesus more and be good witnesses in their village. Pray for wisdom and perseverance when they face persecution from their parents. Give thanks for those who give tracts, Christian cartoon books or are doing outreach to those who don’t know Jesus, and ask for them to persevere and be hopeful in the Lord. 2 Chronicles 15:7
TUESDAYS • The dry land will be filled with springs
There was an evangelism event among Shan brothers and sisters in Mae Sai in June. There were nearly 200 people that attended the event, both believers and non-believers. Shan brothers and sisters who attended the event were excited and happy to meet new friends. They dressed in national costumes and ate Shan food together. At the event, there were Shan worship songs and dances. There were two Shan believers who shared their testimony of how they came to know God. The pastor shared about God’s love and how Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins. Many of those who attended this event heard the gospel for the first time. Pray that God’s Word will soon bear fruit in their lives. Pray for a great revival among the Shan people in Mae Sai and throughout Thailand. Pray for unity among the Shan churches in Thailand and Myanmar. Pray for the Thai Churches to be more involved in evangelism with Shan people. Isaiah 35:1-2
WEDNESDAYS • Her death glorified God (Part 1)
Mrs. N, a Shan woman, left Myanmar for a better life, working as a migrant worker in Thailand. Mrs. N’s sister shared the gospel with her and she and her husband believed in Christ. They were baptized, and just a month later Mrs. N was hospitalized with lung cancer. Their employer, scared she might die on the job, fired them both, leaving them jobless and homeless. They moved up into the mountains near her sister, but the husband found it difficult to find work while Mrs. N’s condition deteriorated. Christian workers visited them several times, and when her condition deteriorated significantly, they went up to pray with her and her family. After praying, they sang worship songs. Mrs. N, barely able to breathe and in great pain, lifted her arms to worship God. A few minutes later she passed into the presence of the Lord. Pray for God to continue to comfort and strengthen Mrs. N’s husband and sister’s faith after her passing. Pray for the testimony of Mrs. N’s life to continue to bear fruit in the village and region. Pray for Shan migrant workers in Thailand. Many deal with immense suffering and injustice. Pray that Shan believers will be able to glorify God in the midst of suffering and sickness, even to their last breath. John 21:19
THURSDAYS • Her death glorified God (Part 2)
Immediately after Mrs. N’s death, the team of workers met with the family and village leaders. Since there was no Shan church in the area, the elders asked the team to supervise the funeral. Only six hours after her death people were already gathering to begin the two-day funeral. But God used Mrs. N’s death powerfully! A number of people from a nearby Shan-speaking tribal group attended. The gospel was shared both personally with people and during the service. After the funeral, they visited the homes of this tribal group, and 13 people believed in Christ! Also, another Shan woman in the village believed and several others are interested! Praise God for the fruit of one Shan believer’s life! Pray for these 13 new believers who have come under immediate persecution and are now scared to meet with our team and grow in faith. Pray for more Shan in the village to know Jesus as Lord. Pray for Shan Christian funerals. They are considered extremely important in Shan culture and, if done well, are a great opportunity to share the gospel. John 21:19
FRIDAYS • Children are a blessing from God
There is a Shan couple who workers visit often and share the gospel with. They were not able to have a child, but after they both believed in Jesus, the team prayed for them, and she became pregnant. She just gave birth to a boy this year and they named him David. How amazing to see the way God is moving and for all the new believers that are continuing to get stronger in their faith each day. Praise God for the child he provided them and that he answered their prayer. Pray that this family will be a powerful witness in their community. Psalm 127:3
SATURDAYS • The unreached reaching the unreached
Over the past year, there have been Bamar, Lisu, PaO, Karen, and Palaung people who have come to Christ through the witness of the Shan People. Materials broadcast in Shan have been translated into Burmese are now being used as the basis of a new gospel radio program to the Buddhist Rakhine peoples of Western Myanmar. Pray for the Shan: still only about 3 in every 1000 Shan people are believers. Pray that as the Holy Spirit comes upon the Shan they will be faithful witnesses to other Shan, to others in the Shan State, and to whoever in the world He would send them. Praise God for the first fruits of Shan Christian cross-cultural ministry. Pray that the Shan Church will be a truly missional church, empowered by Holy Spirit to be able to love those who would be their natural enemies, such as the Bamar. Acts 1:8
The Shan team has worked hard putting together up-to-date stories and prayer requests to pray through this month. To continue praying throughout the full month of October please visit: www.facebook.com/Pray4ShanTai
The team will often post updates on answered prayer on this page as well!
Click here to download the October 2023 Prayer Powerlines.