ALBANIA — The Words of Hope team in Albania seeks to develop biblical content that is produced by Albanians for Albanians. Because of this, they are focusing on training emerging authors. Last spring a special workshop was held for Albanian devotional writers. Now the team is working to keep in touch with the participants, collect their work, organize it, and edit it into an upcoming issue of the Words of Hope daily devotional in Albanian.
SOUTH SUDAN — The director for ministry in South Sudan requests continued prayers for tribal reconciliation. Conflict often breaks out between neighboring tribes, and there are still killings. Cattle and land are often fought over. Complicating the situation is the fact that many rebel groups that have formed in South Sudan on tribal lands were actually instigated by Muslim fundamentalists from northern African countries.
NIGER — The country of Niger is still in a difficult situation. The military has begun governing and appointing leaders in different areas, but the international community has not recognized this government as valid. The Regional Association of West African Countries is still trying to negotiate with the Nigerien military, but has also said that they are prepared to invade Niger to uphold the constitution.
INDIA — During a recent trip to India, president Jon Opgenorth had the opportunity to meet many of Words of Hope’s field leaders in the country. One leader that he met shared that when he came to Christ, his family forced him to choose between following Jesus and associating with his family. He chose Jesus. Later, our leader’s family also came to Christ, and he had the joy of baptizing them. Give thanks for the way God is always at work!
TURKEY — Our team in Turkey has announced that the main shareholder and official owner of one of their radio stations demanded that the station be handed over completely so he could run it alone. Our team handed over the station, the associated social media accounts, and the name, Shema Media Group. Our team is reorganizing under the new name Petra Media Group. Despite these changes, the team’s passion for sharing the gospel remains constant.
BHUTAN — One of our community development workers came across a man sitting alone and looking sad in a park. Somewhat nervously, he approached the man. The man was moved that anyone would come and talk to him. He said, “I have never come across a person coming and talking to me and asking how I am doing.” The man opened up and shared about his life. He was invited to church, and now has accepted Christ and been baptized.
UGANDA — Give thanks that donors are responding to the fundraising efforts aimed at providing the Kuku tribe in Uganda with the first ever Bible translation in their language. Already the gospel of Luke has been fully translated, and more books of the Bible are in process. Pray that we will reach our fundraising goal for the project soon, and pray for the translators who are currently hard at work.
NEPAL — Our team leader in Nepal reports that it is challenging to follow up with radio program listeners in the country due to opposition from the family members of new listeners. For many, listening to Christian radio in Nepal is risky, and only done in secret. Because of this, our team is not able to call listeners and speak to them on the phone. This difficulty in providing ongoing follow up weighs on the hearts of our team members.
INDONESIA — Our partners in Indonesia are planning a visit to the island of Sulawesi to establish new listener communities in the area. The visit will also be a time to meet with the synods in the area to coordinate for Christian video content to be published on the YouTube channels that the synods operate there. Pray for the Lord to be at work as new listener community groups are established.
ENGLISH — We are thankful for the positive reception of a devotional series written by brothers and sisters from our ministry team in Uganda. We hope to be able to include more content from our international teams in the future, as in many areas they are working hard to develop indigenous devotional writers. We have so much to learn from Christians who are following the Lord in other parts of the world!
INDIA — Give thanks that team members in India are being asked by local churches to lead training seminars about Vacation Bible School. Our team has been able to encourage the VBS volunteers at these churches, and introduce them to some of the resources that Words of Hope India has to offer them. Pray that the curriculum we have developed will be instrumental in changing the lives of many children who attend the VBS programs.
IRAN — We are thankful for the safe and successful completion of another Iranian discipleship conference. This conference was held in collaboration with Western Seminary. It marked the completion of the first distance learning course in Farsi developed by Western Seminary and Words of Hope. The students were able to meet their professor from Western in person at the conference and experience a time of in-depth teaching.