NIGER — Pray for a retired soldier named Mahamadou who started listening to the broadcasts. At first he listened secretly, fearful and ashamed of what Muslim friends and neighbors might think if they overheard him. Now, however, he is listening to his radio out in open areas where he knows his neighbors can hear. Give thanks that so far no one has opposed his interest in the gospel. Pray also for the pastor who is responsible for following up with Mahamadou.
ALBANIA — Pray that many Albanians would turn to God for protection and salvation during these hard days. The Albanian team recently put up a 24-hour story post on social media channels inviting followers to accept Jesus into their lives. Praise God that 60 people made first-time commitments to Jesus Christ as a result! “Yes, I lovingly accept him,” wrote one follower named Nikkola. Thanks be to God!
NEPAL — From the Words of Hope Nepal Director: “We are locked down in the Kathmandu valley. Several new cases of COVID-19 have been discovered, so the government has tightened the lockdown! Things are still uncertain, and we are praying continually!” Discipleship and followup continue through online portals like Zoom. Give thanks that as we receive updates from across the country, we hear that everyone we know is staying safe.
TIBET — The political situation is changing for Tibetans. Pray for those living in Tibet who face many restrictions, and for those living in China who are forced to learn to speak Chinese. These hardships are causing Tibetan people to cling more than ever to their traditional religious beliefs. As many younger Tibetans seek asylum in western countries, our Tibetan partners are finding it increasingly difficult to find educated Tibetans to work with the team.
UGANDA — Give thanks that recordings of Sunday services are able to be livestreamed by Words of Hope during lockdown conditions in Uganda. Daily devotionals are being shared during the crisis as well. As schools and churches remain closed, these online content streams have experienced a huge surge in viewers and listeners. Pray for the necessary funding to support the increasing demand for these resources.
INDONESIA — Give thanks for the installation of a new leader for the ministry work in Indonesia. Rev. Arliyanus is driving the ministry forward by focusing on Internet programming to share the good news of Jesus, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown. “Radio outreach remains an important tool in Indonesia, but the Internet and social media are becoming the most important channel here just as they are elsewhere in the world,” he says.
BHUTAN — Give thanks for new discipleship training classes being held in Bhutan. The focus of the training is on how to interpret the teachings of the Bible using the tools of understanding, application, and communication. Topics include exegesis, leadership development, and how to facilitate group Bible studies. Pray that more of these classes will be able to take place in the near future.
IRAN — Please pray for the father of one of Words of Hope’s Persian producers. His name is Ismaeil, and he recently received a prison sentence for alleged crimes against the state. His “crimes” involve his faith and unwillingness to recant his belief in Jesus in front of the judge. He was summoned back to court for a retrial, but sadly his sentence has now been lengthened. Pray that these decisions could still be overturned.
ENGLISH — Give thanks for connections made between North American Christians and Christians around the world! After reading the story of an Iranian Christian, a North American devotional reader wrote to say, “Dear Iranian saint, I agree—it is very hard to be alone in our faith! We must continually pray that God will strengthen us to remain faithful no matter how hard and lonely our journey may be. We can do this. God is great!”
TURKEY — An update from the team in Turkey: “Thanks for your continued prayers for us. Here in Turkey, the effects of COVID-19 are starting to decrease, albeit only a little. It is still too early to return to normal life. People in general are complying with restrictions. We have friends who have gotten sick—even some in our Christian community, though they have recovered. Please keep praying!”
INDIA — The Director for Words of Hope in India writes, “The lockdown in India has been extended. All domestic and international flights have been grounded, and all religious gatherings are prohibited.” Please continue to pray for protection and healing from the virus. Many in India are suffering—some from the virus itself, others from loss of jobs and income. Pray that God would provide for all of those in need.
SOUTH SUDAN — Give thanks for creative communications. Our team reports that in South Sudan, when the government declared that people could no longer travel but must stay in their homes due to the virus, people became very angry. The team has been airing programs featuring Bible stories of many individuals who were visited specially by God in their own homes. Give thanks that we may all listen for God’s voice—even when at home!