Dear Friend,
I don’t know about you but there are numerous moments in my life when I am going through a difficult time and the waves of disappointments, hurt and pain seem to swamp the boat of my life. In those trying moments I need to be reassured that God is with me and that I am not forgotten. In those valley moments I have often found great strength from the prayers of friends and their words of encouragement.

God promises us in His Word that He hears every word that we pray to Him. Like a good parent, He is waiting, ready, and willing to listen to our worries, concerns, and needs. Whether we are seeking forgiveness, strength, or healing, prayer provides the channel to communicate with God and receive supernatural strength and power!

God is looking for people to use. Rick Warren stated… “The most dangerous prayer you can pray is this: ‘Use me.'”  You can at this moment be the difference maker for someone in prison whether in Laos or China who are experiencing isolation, doubts and fears. Your prayers can invade their prison cell… surrounding and empowering them to once again hold strong in the midst of their storm. Yes, you can be that difference maker. Join me in praying for the following needs.

Rev. Dale R. Hiscock
Executive Director

In mid December a local church from a small village in Laos were conducting a Christmas service when the police showed up. This little church had seen a number of local villagers come to faith and there was an anticipation of more good things to happen.
One of the leaders had just shown the Jesus film to the entire village and had begun to challenge those listening to commit their lives to the Lord. This is something which is against the law in this tiny communist country of 7 million people.
In interrupting the service the police claimed the church did not have the necessary permission and paperwork to hold their service and ordered the church leaders to stop. This came as a surprise to the church leaders as they had sought permission from the local government to hold this event two weeks prior to the event.
The church leaders were faced with two options as to what they could do. They could either obey the Lao authorities and stop their service until the situation was clarified, or they could continue and risk being arrested and having to deal with repercussions for their actions.
These brave leaders chose to continue with their service, ministering to the villagers who had gathered with them! Once the police became aware of the church leaders’ decision, they arrested five of the church leaders placing them in prison, where they still remain today. Other local church leaders are currently trying to negotiate with the local government for the release of the five leaders. It is widely believed that the Laos Central Government are actively strategizing with local authorities on ways to stop the growth of Christianity in their country.
Pray for the five church leaders who are currently in prison, that the Lord would give them courage and strength during this time. Pray for the church, that their faith in the Lord will be increased and magnified during this difficult time of upheaval and turmoil. Pray for Laos and its believers, that God will grant them strength as they endure persecution.
TUESDAY | Pakistan - Deadly attack on Methodist church kills 11
Pakistan –  Deadly attack on Methodist church kills 11 
On Sunday morning December 17th, four Islamic terrorists attacked Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province. More than 400 Christians were participating in the ‘Sunday School Christmas Program’ when gunfire erupted outside. Two gunmen had shot dead church gatekeeper George Masih, paving the way for two bombers to invade.
Security guards stationed around the perimeter and on the church roof returned fire, killing one bomber, wounding the other and forcing two gunmen to flee. Unable to make it inside the church, the wounded bomber detonated his explosive vest outside. At least eleven Christians were killed in the blast and more than 50 suffered wounds either from bullets or from shards of wood and glass propelled by the explosion.
The dead included four women, while a one-and-a-half-year old baby girl was among the wounded. Pastor Saimon Bashir Masih shared that had either of the two bombers managed to enter the church, the death toll ‘would have been colossal’. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack. While we lament and ‘weep with those who weep’ (Romans 12:15), we thank God that the full extent of evil was not realized.
Pray for the families who suffered the loss of a loved one and for those injured. Pray for the emotional health of those affected by the trauma of the attack. Ask God to place a hedge of protection around the many Christians in the country who are fearful.
Wednesday | India - Christians LIVING UNDER A CLOUD OF HARASSMENT
Over the recent Christmas period, many Hindu groups in India sought to disrupt and prevent various Christmas celebrations by Christians in the land. In Rajasthan a group snatched microphones, threw away Christmas calendars and books on the gospels, and accused the organizers of carrying out religious conversions under the pretext of celebrating Christmas.
Elsewhere, in the city of Aligarh, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, another Hindu group warned Christian schools not to celebrate Christmas as it may encourage students to embrace Christianity. The group argued that Christmas celebrations in schools with majority Hindu students are akin to “forced conversions.” In another incident, a mob linked to yet another Hindu group attacked carol singers in the central state of Madhya and set a church leaders car on fire.  Many of these incidents are not investigated by local authorities so this kind of opposition against believers often goes without consequence in India.
Pray for softer attitudes among India’s Hindu community towards Christianity so that believers in the land may be able to share their faith safely with those who have never heard it explained before.
Thursday | China - crackdown on unregistered churches continues
China –  crackdown on unregistered churches continues
Chinese government officials in Shaanxi province demolished two church buildings within the last several weeks. Local authorities in Zhifang village in Lauyu district, demolished a church building on December 27th, after claiming that it was built on illegally occupied land. Almost 100 local Christians protested the action, some chanting: “Freedom of belief,” while official documents proving that the church – built in 1999 – had approval to use the land were posted on social media. Authorities subsequently sent officials to apologize and discuss compensation.
Meanwhile, in northern Shanxi province another church building was demolished by authorities – the Golden Lampstand Church. Congregation members have since been pressured by the authorities to remain silent on what the police did.
Some worshippers are now under house arrest. The Golden Lampstand Church, an unofficial Protestant community, has about 60,000 members. It tried to obtain government recognition, but did not receive it because it refused to join the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, the state-controlled Protestant association. The threats against the Church of the Golden Lampstand go back to its construction in 2009. In September of that year, police officers and thugs entered the construction site, beat up church members and destroyed some of the building’s walls. After this incident, the church’s pastor, Rev Yang Xuan, spent three-and-a-half years in prison, along with his wife Yang Caizhen, who was sentenced to two years in a re-education forced labour camp.
Pray for the Christians and leaders of both churches that they will have wisdom in knowing how to meet and continue to worship in the days ahead!
Kim Jong-un’s annual New Year’s address reminds us of the kind of man he is and the kind of nation he leads. Between some promising suggestions that the ice may be starting to thaw between North and South Korea, Kim Jong-un made many claims about his military might as well as his ability to authorize a nuclear attack with a “button” in his office.
This incident serves to remind us of the increased tension between North Korea and the US in recent months. This country has been number one on Open Doors World Watch List for persecution against Christians since 2002. Your prayers for the people of North Korea are greatly needed.
Pray for our partners who deliver Bibles and provide food for North Korea children!
Under new regulations that come into effect in February, unregistered churches will not be tolerated. In addition to the threat of arrest, these new regulations impose stiff fines along with the expropriation of buildings and land on which illegal places of worship are located.
AsiaLink partners are predicting that in this coming year, due to these government changes, China’s Christians will see their situation worsen with some aspects of ministry coming to an end.
Pray for China’s Christians as they face these changes!