The World Mission Prayer League is a Lutheran community committed to know Christ, pray for the advance of His kingdom, share the gospel and ourselves with those who do not know Him, and encourage Christians everywhere in this global task. Prayer is our working method. We embrace a rich heritage that flows from the passionate witness of Christians faithful to the call of Jesus. Our ministry realizes the vision of Ernest Weinhardt to bring the Good News into the heart of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The World Mission Prayer League consists of some 6,000 committed and praying members. WMPL has over 100 missionaries in 20+ countries.
“We must have it as our aim to bring the gospel to the very last man. Wherever there are people who have not heard the gospel, to them we must go, no matter how few in number they may be.” – Ernest Weinhardt, WMPL Founder
Let us join you in your call to carry out the commission of Christ. What’s your next step?
- Pray for Achol and Emmanuel who are often separated from Matthew while he is in the field in Uganda and South Sudan.
- Pray for a teacher/tutor to join us for in-home education.
- Praise God! PRC reports that the 11 have been found, along with another girl from that same village. Please continue to pray until their rescue is accomplished.
From: Ruth Goehle
Sent: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 4:12 AM
Subject: Independence Day
Today is the 3rd anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of South Sudan. I want to share with you the statement released by the Humanitarian Community as part of the events of this national holiday today in Juba.
This observation, which we can't properly call a "celebration" this year, comes with the knowledge that:
- 4.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance
- 1.5 million or more have been internally displaced
- ~225,000 have become refugees in Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda
The Crisis Response Plan for Health has identified a need for >$77 million dollars, and we are about 50% funded for the planned activities for 2014. Rains have begun and flooding has cut off access to many health facilities. And Cholera is here.
Year 4 begins with enormous challenges. Let us hope the 'numbers' above will return to zero soon!
Thanks for your prayers and support for the people of South Sudan.
I have today visited with Matthew Riak -- currently in Nimule, on the border of South Sudan. He has just now returned from an encouraging visit to Bor!
- Matthew reports that fighting in Bor has subsided completely. "There is no fighting in all of Jonglei State," he affirms. "There is fighting only in Upper Nile State, a long way away."
- He reports that the campus of St. Luke's is almost completely intact. "A bomb landed in the middle of the campus and went right into the dirt [apparently without exploding]…. All the buildings are good, even the desks and chairs. We have lost only the glass from some windows due to the mobs...But the computers, printer, projector and generator are gone."
- "People ask me, 'What is up with you?' How come so little damage? In my country, people think of the power of magic. I tell them that all that we have is the Holy Spirit. But that is enough."
- Matthew reports that about half of St. Luke's students have returned to Bor. They have urgently requested the resumption of classes in September. Matthew believes it important to resume classes, somehow.
- Other students have remained at the border. They request classes in Nimule -- just inside South Sudan, 75 miles north of Gulu, Uganda, and 125 miles southeast of Juba. "They want a satellite of St. Luke's here. They do not want to return to Bor. I do not know what to think," Matthew reports.
Meanwhile, St. Luke's CORE program in the Adjumani refugee camp continues to operate at full-steam. Some 2000 students are served by seven teachers, who are themselves supplied by a relevant United Nations program. That program intends to contribute several additional teachers soon. Matthew reports that the entire CORE program, buildings and staff are now under community direction, pretty much. "I feel that this is why God has led me here," Matthew said. "The program is started. Now I must go, and the community will carry on."
Our own Associate Director for Africa, Dr. William Obaga, will be with Matthew soon, to survey the work first-hand. Following this visit, Matthew intends to return to Nairobi to rest a bit, support his family, and pray for God's direction regarding the future.
Thank you for your partnership in prayer!
Matthew is requesting prayer for a planned visit to Bor, South Sudan to see the situation on the ground at St. Luke's Theological College. He has received reports that people are returning to Bor and that it is safe within Bor. He will fly from Juba to Bor on Tuesday, and then return by plane from Bor to Juba on Thursday. He plans to drive back to the refugee camp that day.
Praise God with Matthew as he reports that 2,000 people are being served by the CORE program, which has now been turned over to the UN, UNICEF, and the community. Matthew’s involvement will now be taking more of a "backseat." With infrastructure in place, others are stepping up to provide latrines, books, and even paying the salary of teachers.
While the phone connection was not the best, this is what was understood. Matthew will provide a more detailed report when he is able to solve his computer problems. Thank you for your praying.
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"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
Philippians 4:13 is a well-known and often quoted Bible verse, and with good reason. The verse is empowering and encouraging. I have heard it mentioned in association with many personal accomplishments related to professional goals, sports and physical fitness. Of course we hear the verse when talking about more spiritual matters, also, like overcoming addictions or sharing Christ with others in difficult situations. We may also look to this verse in difficult times of hardship or persecution. It is good to thank and rely on God in these times, and to celebrate his love and mercy with thankfulness.
However, it seems that we rarely connect Philippians 4:13 with the very things that Paul mentioned right before writing this famous verse. It is one thing to cling to this verse when we are faced with hunger or need. But Paul seems to have taken this a step further. He says that he has learned in every situation to be content. Paul certainly looked to God to supply his needs when supplies were scarce; he was learning as well the secret of contentment in everything.
This is a great lesson for us in ministry. It is easy for us to pray together for God's provision when supplies do not seem to meet our expectations, and then to rejoice with one another when God supplies what we believe we need. But maybe there is another appropriate response in times of need – contentment. I am not suggesting that financial shortfalls are always the will of God, but we should consider this as a possibility. It is possible that our own financial goals might not be in sync with God's plans. This we have seen and accepted when financial provision is abundant – but it is more difficult when provision is lacking. If we fail to consider that God's perfect provision is sometimes less than we anticipated, we can miss out on great ministry and learning opportunities. It is in times like these that we can more easily learn again to depend on the power of God rather than our own abilities. Any ministry we are involved in is ultimately God's ministry and we can be sure that God knows the needs of his ministry. Neither abundance nor need should ultimately affect the ministry that God has called us to. Like Paul, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
In May we were able to pay all of our missionaries 100 percent of their target allowance. We used $39,712 from the General Fund to meet these needs, leaving a General Fund balance of $103,809 at the end of the month. Our Benefits Fund carried a balance of $29,341.
Thank you for your ongoing support!
Unlike many sites in the Holy Land, no one seems to know, precisely, where Emmaus might have been. This uncertainty surprised me, while visiting the Holy Land recently. Emmaus, I should have thought, is the sort of place you might want to keep track of: it figured rather famously, after all, once long ago. The Resurrected Lord of the Universe met a pair of dispirited disciples there, in the evening of the original Easter day. He met them on the road, "going to a village called Emmaus" (Luke 24:13). Wherever it was.
Many put Emmaus in a place called Latrun, known as Nicopolis in ancient times. Others place it closer to Jerusalem – perhaps in Abu Ghosh, perhaps in a place called Qubeiba. New Testament manuscripts do not agree among themselves, as it turns out. Some manuscripts put the village at "sixty stadia" (about seven miles) distance from Jerusalem. Other ancient variations put it at "a hundred sixty stadia" (eighteen miles or so). None of the manuscripts give much sense of direction. Was the village 7 miles or 18 miles away from old Jerusalem? Did it lie to the north, south, east or west?
As for our little study group, we visited a lovely cathedral in the village of Abu Ghosh, built in Crusader times to honor the memory of Emmaus. The Crusaders, anyway, thought this may have been the original site, referenced in Luke 24. They measured a radius of sixty stadia around the old city of Jerusalem (cf. 24:13), found Abu Ghosh lying there, discovered a well in the middle of town (a likely meeting place for visitors passing through) and erected a church over the site. Why not?
This was a perfect way to identify Emmaus, I have since concluded. Of all the famous New Testament places, "Emmaus" could be anywhere. It should be anywhere, in fact. "Emmaus," in a way, is an arbitrary waypoint along the pathway of our lives. It is not a distinctive destination – as you would say of Disneyland or the National Mall, for example. People pass through Emmaus, for the most part (Lk. 24:28). They stop, sometimes, only if "urged strongly" (Lk. 24:29).
No one seems to know who the two disciples were, either. One was named Cleopas, whoever that was. (Some think that he was the brother-in-law of Mary of Nazareth; some do not.) The other disciple isn't identified at all. (Some think that she was the wife of Cleopas, whatever her name; some do not.) They are anonymous believers, more or less, on their way to an unidentified Emmaus.
The cathedral in Abu Ghosh continues the theme of anonymity. Its ceiling and walls must have taken your breath away, once upon a time: you can appreciate the vestiges of many colorful frescoes, depicting elaborate biblical scenes and mighty heroes of the faith. But their faces have been rubbed out, every one of them. The depictions offended Islamic sensibilities when Abu Ghosh was ruled by the Ottoman Empire. Its Ottoman stewards cleansed the images by rubbing out their faces. The heroes have become anonymous, every single one.
For Emmaus, in particular – this is perfect, I think.
Emmaus is anywhere. The disciples are any pair of believers. It is not latitude and longitude, or names and coordinates that put Emmaus on the map. It is Jesus. He meets his disciples – any one of us, anywhere we are – as we journey our way through life. Why, you still might expect to meet him along the road. Wherever you are. Maybe even today.
Two things happen in this encounter. The Lord reveals himself to the disciples: he creates in them the miracle of faith. And the disciples reveal the encounter to others: the Lord enlists them in his mission. This is the prototypical experience of our Christian faith: Jesus meets us; Jesus enlists us. And you don't have to be "somebody" for this to be your own experience. You don't have to be "somewhere" other than where you are, or in "some time" other than today.
You are on your own "road to Emmaus," you see – and no scholar can prove to you otherwise. Jesus intends to meet you there. You may expect him to lead you into the Scriptures (Lk. 24:27). He may set your heart on fire (Lk. 24:32). And when you meet him, when he opens your heart in faith, you will find that he gives you something to share, as well – a Sure Truth to proclaim, a Gospel Story to tell, and a Mission to make disciples of all the peoples of the world.
Now imagine... 120,000 people and the institutions to run an entire nation packed onto an island smaller than threequarters of a square mile; so little cultivatable land that nearly all food must be imported; limited, uncertain fresh water sources; one of the highest divorce rates in the world; a society dominated by fear and distrust.
“The Islands” is an Islamic country – practice of no other religion is allowed, and any “materials contrary to Islam” are banned from entering the nation. Here, however, Islam mixes easily with traditional folk beliefs about the spirit world. Spirit beings from sea or land may interact with humans in helpful or harmful ways, but most Islanders live in fear of the power they are presumed to wield.
The current population is approximately 394,000 with about 30% of people living in the capital. An average household might include six or seven people – more in the capital. The country enjoys a high rate of literacy (93-96%) among both males and females in their national language. English is spoken by most government officials and is the medium of education in most schools. Islander economy is based largely on fishing and tourism. Unemployment among youth ages 15-24 is slightly higher than 22%.
- Ask God to deliver those who are tormented by fear and restore those who have been broken by divorce.
- Pray that Islanders will have a hunger to know God, and that they would have access to his Word and other resources in their language.
- Pray for more intercessors who will faithfully stand in the gap for “The Islands,” and that more workers will be sent out.
[Jesus answered] “... whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.” (John 4:14, NIV)
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