IRAN — A teenage girl in Iran is in a coma following what many believe to be another example of a deadly encounter with officers over the hijab rule in Iran. The girl has now been declared to be brain dead. Women in Iran are required by law to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothing. If they do not, they risk public rebuke, fines, and arrests. Please pray for change to come in the leadership of this country.
INDIA — Give thanks for the opportunity to hold training programs for pastors and leaders in India last month. The training focused on how to choose biblical texts that are relevant for particular communities. Leaders then practiced interpreting the texts and giving practical applications from them. Pray that this time of training will inspire leaders in India to preach the gospel with renewed joy.
NEPAL — There has been tension between different religious groups in Nepal recently. This tension has impacted churches and Christian communities. Christians, Hindus, and Muslims intermingle in Nepal, and we pray for peace and harmony between them. Pray that Christians in the area would be able to set an example of love amidst differences, by caring for neighbors who belong to other religions.
KOSOVO — Last month violence broke out on the border of Kosovo and Serbia. A few dozen armed Serbs invaded a village in Kosovo, setting up a base for themselves inside a monastery. Police were able to reclaim the monastery, but in the process, three of the attackers and one Kosovar police officer were killed. Pray that the countries’ governments will be able to talk and find ways to live peacefully alongside each other.
TURKEY — Our partners in Turkey report that God has provided them with a new, larger office space. This is something they have been in need of for over two years. “We see how God has his hand in all of this,” writes the team. “We have rented the office in faith, and are now renovating it. We will need to rebuild the studios and get the space ready for the continuation of our ministry. Please pray with us that the work on the new office will go smoothly.”
INDONESIA — A new translator has been found for the Nias language ministry. He is the pastor of a tribal church on Nias Island in Indonesia. “It is our prayer and hope that his presence as a translator can expand the reach of our ministry through the Nias language devotional for Nias Island,” shares the team leader. Pray that as people interact with the programs, they will come to know Christ.
SOUTH SUDAN — A bishop in South Sudan is calling on politicians to stop interfering with the work of the church. “Don’t bring politics into the church,” the bishop said. “The church has the role of reconciliation and the role of spiritual activities and the role of forgiveness, but if you enter and bring politics into the church, you are going to destroy the spiritual part.” Pray for our team members in South Sudan as they navigate these complexities.
BHUTAN — Our ministry team in Bhutan has written and recorded original praise and worship songs that are now being used by the believers there. Our leader writes: “It is a very difficult land for people to embrace Christianity. Only God can cause these people to come to him.” Pray that the Bhutanese worship songs will encourage the small churches in Bhutan to be a light in their communities.
ENGLISH — Pray for efforts to promote Words of Hope’s Advent devotional series, “Carols and Lessons,” written by president emeritus Rev. David Bast. In addition to being part of the daily devotional, this series will also be advertised widely online. A separate devotional guide for kids will also be available for download. Pray that we could reach new people with the hope of Christ this season.
NIGER — The situation following a coup in Niger continues on much as before, with little change. Prices continue to go up, and there is no electricity in the country for most of the day. Though things are hard, the people of Christ still have the good news of Christ to share. Continue to pray for a good resolution to the leadership issues in the country, and pray that true freedom and peace will be achieved.
UGANDA — Progress continues for the translation of the New Testament into the Kuku tribal language. The books of Mark and 1 Corinthians have now been fully reviewed. Next they will go to the community of Kuku speakers for additional checking. Thirteen more books of the Bible have been written up in first draft form as well. Pray for this translation work and for the translators themselves as this important project is underway.
IRAN — Two journalists have been sentenced to more than ten years in prison for covering the death of Mahsa Amini last year. Amini’s death triggered protests across the country of Iran. The journalists who covered the story of her death are now being sentenced on charges of collaborating with the US government and acting against national security. Pray for freedom to come to this land.