Missionaries all over the world, including church planters in Colorado, depend on our prayers and financial gifts. That fact was reinforced for me during a recent video call with missionaries in a high security country.
Our church in Windsor is one of several committed to pray for these missionaries’ ministry region. The missionaries have divided their region into four smaller areas. Our specific area is one virtually untouched by the Gospel. For several months we have been praying for towns by name. The prayers have a three-prong focus. First, we pray for the Holy Spirit to prepare the people to hear the Gospel. Second, we pray for laborers to come to the location to share the Gospel. Finally, we pray for a multiplying church to take root and grow. We have continued to pray even though no opportunity to send workers seemed to exist.
Then came a natural disaster that severely impacted 95 percent of the area for which we prayed. Our prayers increased in urgency because we knew women and children were at risk in shelters, homes were completely gone, and food and clean water were scarce. We added safety for rescue workers to our prayers when we learned even military personnel were attacked and had trouble getting to the hardest hit areas. It seemed impossible for our workers and national partners to help.
The missionary had to miss one video call, so a month passed without details about the affected area. So much happened in that month! One national partner was able to take supplies into the area. After the necessities were (safely, I might add) distributed, a large group of majority religion people raised their hands in praise as the national partner led in prayer to the One True God. Those same people asked him to return. They didn’t want the things he brought; they wanted to talk more about the Christian God.
WEEK OF PRAYER for
Faithfulness in prayer before and during this natural disaster prepared the soil for these people to hear the Gospel. Now, we are praying with even more anticipation of what God is doing in our area.
God used financial provision to answer prayer for this area. Gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, as well as gifts given through the Cooperative Program, made it possible for the missionaries to be in the country. Those gifts made it possible for the supplies to be gathered. They made it possible for the national partner to deliver them.
Praying and giving go together; the second often fuels the answers to the first. Prayer and giving transforms each of us into participants in God’s work all over the world—even when we are unable to go ourselves.
The Week of Prayer for International Missions is December 4-11. This week focuses on prayer for Southern Baptist international missionaries. Gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering collected during this time—and any time— go directly to the missionaries; none is reserved for administrative expenses. When we give, we participate in expanding the Kingdom of God in each place we send missionaries. When we pray, we release the Holy Spirit to work in those same places, providing boldness, wisdom, and open doors for those workers.
Begin preparing your church now for the Week of Prayer and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Resources are available at imb.org and wmu.com. Commit to praying and giving. Stand amazed at what God does.