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.
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.
What may the following groups have in common: shoe shiners, gang members, upper or professional class members, indigenous communities, the deaf, single mothers? Each is a group of people living where Jesus is least known. We don’t usually think of these when talking about an unreached people group, yet too often Jesus is unknown by them. We must not forget them! Upper class urban professionals in Chicago or Chiang Mai need the Savior as much as people living in poverty in an indigenous village tucked in the Andes Mountains. Who around you is still waiting to hear? Over the next two months pray with us for these whom God loves, and for missionaries walking beside them. God “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4 NIV).
The face of missions is changing! The Church established by missionaries throughout the world is maturing and now is sending its own as missionaries, from everywhere, to everywhere. This emerging mission movement in Latin America, Africa, Northeast India, China, Korea and the Philippines sends thousands of missionaries to difficult places in the rest of the world. We’re excited to see how the body of Christ is expanding its reach for the gospel, motivated by the same heavenly vision that motivates all of us: a great multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language worshiping Christ before his throne. Thank you for praying through the stories and requests of just a few of these new missionaries in this issue of By Prayer—especially those facing support challenges (see October 16, 20).