Healing people with diseases was an important part of what Jesus did in His earthly ministry. Matthew 9:35–36 allows us to catch a glimpse of Jesus’ heart as He healed every kind of disease and illness. He was moved with compassion when He saw the crowds because they were “harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd.” SIM’s medical ministries provide unique opportunities to minister the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. In difficult areas, God is using medical care to open countless doors for the gospel message. Many churches have been planted as a result of caring for the suffering. Thank you for extending the compassion of Jesus Christ through SIM’s medical missionaries and ministries by prayer.
SIM is committed to being a mission that begins, nurtures and equips churches to be the expression of Jesus Christ in their communities and to reach out with cross-cultural missionary vision and action. Around the world the Church is increasing rapidly in size, despite intense persecution in many areas. From refugee camps in Africa to earthquake-stricken villages in Ecuador, Jesus is building His Church just as He said in Matthew 16:18, “…upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (NLT). Thank you for your participation in building the Church around the world, by prayer.
People are moving now more than ever in history. SIM has always had ministries with nomadic communities but is now expanding to include ministry with migrant workers and those changing continents. This truly is “from everywhere, to everywhere.” One common plea you will pray over is the need for more workers and resources for this ministry. Jesus said, “Ask the Lord of the Harvest to send workers into His harvest field.” (Matthew 9:38) Let us pray for more laborers in this field and for communities and peoples to hear the good news of Jesus wherever they are. We celebrate the new places God is allowing SIM to serve (see new areas highlighted) and expect our God to do great things so mobile people can find their true home in Jesus, by prayer.
We believe in the worth and giftedness of those within SIM and of those we seek to serve because every person is uniquely made in God’s image. Because of this we seek to live as lifelong learners by giving and receiving discipleship and encouraging development. We learn and grow best together. The task before us is referred to by Paul, writing to Timothy, “What you have heard from me… entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2 ESV). Discipleship, mentoring and training all relay the idea of investing in others. All of us need someone investing in us and someone in whom we are investing. Community is about giving and receiving, and learning and growing together. Thank you for investing in these kinds of relationships over the next two months, by prayer.
Many years ago SIM was denied permission from government officials to begin a gospel work among a least-reached people in Africa. Prayer for this tribe continued. Years of unrest and war in their country took its toll, forcing them to flee their homes to refugee camps. It was in these camps that four young men from this tribe heard someone was teaching about Jesus the Messiah. They wrote a letter to SIM asking for someone to teach them about Jesus. SIM responded and, since that initial letter, over 100 people from this tribe have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus, and a church has been established. Pray with us for God to continue to use the refugee crisis and chaos to move people to places where they can hear and respond to the message of the gospel.
Some of us learn best by reading, but millions of people around the world are oral learners: those who learn easiest through stories, songs, chants, music, dances, drama, and ceremonies. Using oral means of communication like media players, mp3 Bibles and stories, storytelling, and pictures enable learners to interact with the message of the Bible whether they can read or not. Orality is becoming a more important topic as even literate cultures rely more and more on videos, online interaction and other media—which are all oral means of learning. Join us in praying for both literate and oral learners around the world to hear, understand and respond to the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
It’s been said, “The frontiers of missions have changed.” As we look around the world, and maybe even around our block, we can see this is true. Not only are people from other nations moving to the U.S., but God’s global Church is maturing and growing, sending missionaries to new frontiers. People of one culture are engaging people of another, crossing boundaries with the gospel. God is at work! In this issue of By Prayer you’ll read of churches in one culture serving those in another culture around the world, or around the block. Now more than any other time in history, ministering cross-culturally doesn’t mean you have to move around the world. How is God leading you to minister cross-culturally? Thank you for helping break down cultural barriers by prayer!
One of our SIM missionaries wrote recently, “How wonderful it is to see [people’s] hearts swell with pride as they hoist high the Word of God in their own language.” Paul writes, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17 NIV). To reach the hearts of people, God’s Word must be communicated in their heart language. SIM is involved not only in the translation (from one language to another) but also in the transliteration (from one written script to another) of God’s Word, making it understandable in the heart language of those reading it. In this By Prayer, you’ll read about and be able to partner in prayer for SIM missionaries’ work to bring God’s Word to the nations.
An SIM worker among women and children asked, “What do you need?” Some responses were, “We need education. I can’t even write my name.” “We need love. No one loves us, no one respects us.” “We need new minds. We are trapped into bad thinking.” Women and children throughout the world are often overlooked, marginalized and used for personal gain. Few people see them as Jesus does. SIM values women and children because they matter to Jesus. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Luke 18:16 NIV). In this edition, you’ll read about and be prompted to pray for SIM work among women and children around the world. Thank you for your ministry with us, by prayer.