One phrase that has stayed with me over the years is this… “When man works, man works; When man prays, God works.” There are only so many things we can do that will change a situation. One that remains the most effective and at the same time the most neglected is prayer. Join me this month in making a lasting change… a difference that will change lives. We have the power… God’s power available to us to “pray through” in meeting these needs. What a powerful time we will experience as we spend those special minutes with Him in prayer.
Rev. Dale R. Hiscock Executive Director
MONDAY Burma - TWO PASTORS ARRESTED
Burma – TWO PASTORS ARRESTED
On 25th January, the Burma military charged two assistant pastors with unlawful association with an armed ethnic group, an accusation the Kachin Baptist Convention church leaders deny. They are accused of serving as “informers and spreading false news on behalf of the armed insurgents,” according to a report by the Information Committee of the State Counsellor’s Office on Jan. 19. Pastors Dom Dawng Nawng Latt, 65, and 35-year-old La Jaw Gam Hseng face at least three years in prison under one charge and at least five years on another.
Meanwhile, we received an urgent prayer request from a Kachin contact at the refugee camps AsiaLink is helping; night temperatures are in the -4C region, resulting in many elderly sick people struggling to get warm. Mothers with new babies are sleeping on the ground, and there is insufficient food to eat. Unrest continues due to the ongoing military campaign that near their camp. Construction on a new facility for refugees continues every day. There is an urgent need for food, shelter and warm clothing.
Please, join us in prayer for the provision of 5,000 blankets for these people living in desperate conditions, largely ignored by the media.
TUESDAY Muslim country - WIFE UNDER HOUSE ARREST FOR MARRYING NON-MUSLIM
Muslim country – WIFE UNDER HOUSE ARREST FOR MARRYING NON-MUSLIM
Continue to pray for the workers supported by AsiaLink in a highly sensitive Muslim country. They have been visiting houses secretly praying for sick people and were able to show the Jesus film to one person. One Muslim family went to another country for treatment for cancer, and their daughter then married a non-Muslim. The family mourns this as if it were a bereavement. She gave birth back in her home country and is now under house arrest for marrying a non-Muslim, which is considered adultery by this country. After one year’s house arrest she will be given 100 lashes.
Pray for her and her mother who recently underwent surgery for breast cancer. Pray for another cancer sufferer, this time one of the few Believers in the country.
WEDNESDAY China - FORGOTTEN TRIBES
China – FORGOTTEN TRIBES
This month we bring news of two of China’s forgotten tribes. Please remember them in your prayers. Also, give thanks that the partnership we support printing Bibles in China has now provided more than 10 million copies, although the demand still is far from being met.
Although only 20,000 De’ang people live in China, they have three different subgroups each speaking their own language. An additional 700,000 live across the border in Myanmar (Burma), where they are better known as the Palaung. New believers are often severely persecuted by the Buddhist monks among this tribe. We are supporting evangelists reaching this group in both China and Myanmar. The majority of the 500,000 Shui people in China are animists, who worship elements of nature like rivers, mountains and even large trees. Most have never heard of Jesus Christ. We are helping a few Shui Christians who have a passion to reach their own people for Jesus.
Pray for a spiritual breakthrough among this unreached group. Pray that God would reach all of China’s 56 minority groups, many who are still waiting to hear the message of Jesus for the very first time.
WEDNESDAY North Korea - FOOD SHORTAGES CONTINUE
North Korea – FOOD SHORTAGES CONTINUING
According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), last year, the amount of food aid WFP provided to North Korea has reached a record low of 24,000 tons (about 1/38 of 2001). WFP started food aid to North Korea in 1995 and became fully operational in 1996. In 2001, the WFP supported 930,000 tons, the highest ever recorded. However, when North Korea began its first nuclear test in 2006, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) started to sanction North Korea and the amount of funding for food aid from the internat-ional community has decreased. In the aftermath of the North Korean sanctions, humani-tarian aid, including food aid from the international community, is declining.
Prayer is needed so that the North Koreans will not have difficulty in receiving food. Praise God who provides food to the North Korean by claiming His promise from Psalm 136:25 “He gives food to every creature. His loves endures forever.” Pray for our partners in North Korea who work diligently to help feed the almost 10,000 children with a daily meal. Pray for their safety and for new doors to open up so that more children will be fed one good meal a day.
Thursday Iraq - CHILDREN PUNISHED BY CUTTING OFF THEIR HANDS
Iraq – CHILDREN PUNISHED BY CUTTING OFF THEIR HANDS
ISIS is reported to have punished two children who refused to kill civilians, by cutting off their hands. The children, believed to be about 10 to 12 years old, were part of a group of kids that the Islamic State had been training in Nineveh. The children reportedly refused to follow orders to execute two civilians in front of their families. As a consequence for their disobedience, members of ISIS chopped off their hands. ISIS is known to brainwash and train children, calling them “cubs of the caliphate,” who are to fight and sometimes serve as suicide bomb-ers. The terror group uses various methods to convince children to fight for them. In November, a report revealed that textbooks used in ISIS-run schools were riddled with photos of weapons. A mathematics textbook, for example, used pictures of AK-47s in a lesson about addition. An English textbook was integrated with ideas from the Sharia law, while a grammar book included an activity in which students were instructed to construct sentences with the words bomb, explode and vest.
Last year, a teen suicide bomber who was ordered to attack an Iraqi stadium was caught by security forces after he hesitated to carry out the command. The 15-year-old boy told authorities that he and other young kids were taught “how to use a Kalashnikov and a PKC machine gun.” They were also bombarded with teachings about heaven from a Muslim perspective. “Twenty-four hours a day they’d teach us about this stuff… They would scare us and would show videos of beheadings and stuff like that,” he added. As the battle for Mosul intensifies, ISIS has used its children soldiers in a desperate attempt to fight the advancing Iraqi troops as their own numbers dwindled.
Pray that the conflict in Mosul and other regions of Iraq and Sryia would experience peace. Ask God to bind the spiritual forces that are working in this region. Thank God for our partners who are working in this region providing for the needs of those suffering.
Friday China - CHINA CRACKDOWN CONTINUES
China – CHINA CRACKDOWN CONTINUES
During this past year of 2016 Chinese authorities continued their massive crackdown against members of the house churches. Many pastors throughout the country have been arrested, herded into vans and not seen again. Many have been taken to one of China’s many dreaded unlawful detention centers called “black jails” (secret prisons where they may be subjected to physical, psychological and sexual abuse or torture). Alarming reports have surfaced that some house church leaders who were arrested were injected with an unknown substance. They were then returned to their families in a vegetative state, and are now permanently mentally incapacitated. This evil crackdown is because the Chinese government is insecure and desperate to stop the growth of Christianity.
Pray that God would minister to those arrested and their families!
Saturday North Korea - NO NEWS ABOUT PASTOR LIM IN A NORTH KOREAN PRISON
North Korea – NO NEWS ABOUT PASTOR LIM IN A NORTH KOREAN PRISON
Continue to pray for Canadian Pastor Hyeon Soo Lim from Mississauga who has been sentenced to life in prison in North Korea. Pray for his health and his well being as he endures isolation and a heavy work load in the prison he is presently living in while he serves his sentence.