78% of Muslims will never meet a Christian — but these did

children surrounding van

By Lara Hochstetler

In March, I flew to Kurdistan to work with four beau­ti­ful wom­en who live there long-term. These wom­en are heroes, and they deeply impact­ed my life.

We just “hap­pened” to be vis­it­ing the same place Canon Andrew White was vis­it­ing. We had the hon­or of spend­ing quite some time with him, lis­ten­ing to sto­ries and learn­ing much. We even had our very own Easter ser­vice with him! Andrew is a patri­arch of the region and devotes his life to see­ing relief and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion there.

We spent a few after­noons with some beau­ti­ful Yazidi fam­i­lies. Yazidis are an eth­nic group pri­mar­i­ly from the Nineveh Region of Northern Iraq. Due to the cur­rent per­se­cu­tion and geno­cide, they have been forced to flee their homes. We played with their chil­dren, lis­tened to their sto­ries, and learned what they believe. My friends got to share the gospel with one fam­i­ly who then invit­ed them to come share sto­ries from the Bible. Previously, many Yazidis had been com­plete­ly unreached and now many are hear­ing about Jesus for the very first time.

In a refugee camp, we served a group of Muslim ladies who have been through intense trau­ma. Almost all of them have lost fam­i­ly mem­bers in bru­tal, bar­bar­ic ways. We sat with them as they processed through their pain using sim­ple art to express their inter­nal trau­ma. They opened up to us and trust­ed us with the hard­est and worst of sto­ries. As one mama began to share her sto­ry, we felt Holy Spirit’s gen­tle­ness come into the room and every wom­an began to weep. It was an hon­or to sit and hold the­se mamas’ hands as they cried. That day we got to be the tan­gi­ble pres­ence of Jesus to them.

It is known that 78% of Muslims will nev­er actu­al­ly meet a Christian. Their per­cep­tion of who we are comes from movies, sto­ries and gos­sip. If we will not be will­ing to go and show this region who Jesus actu­al­ly is, how will they ever know? This region is hun­gry for Him! Don’t believe the lie that Muslims are not open to the Gospel. It just sim­ply is not true. The har­vest is ripe and labor­ers are few, but praise the Lord, there are more and more peo­ple like the beau­ti­ful wom­en who now live there long-term. They are run­ning into the dark­ness and to be avail­able for God to use there.


Lara joined WIM in 2014. She has a pas­sion for the Middle East and desires to work with lead­ers to teach her­itage, longevi­ty and lega­cy in all realms of soci­ety. Her desire is to see Kingdom her­itage and cul­tur­al trans­for­ma­tion by meet­ing prac­ti­cal needs and empow­er­ing peo­ple to see all that God has for them. Read more on her blog, The Journey of Trust.

 

Floodwaters stopped for WIM missionary in Indonesia

Indonesian children watching monsoon

By Dave Wineinger

wet children smiling for cameraRecently one Sunday night, I received an urgent Skype call from “Ruth,” our fel­low mis­sion­ary in Indonesia. Her house was in dan­ger of flood­ing yet again as a mon­soon storm was rag­ing out­side. She had no one to help her and she was in charge of a num­ber of young chil­dren. Immediately, a verse that had been on my mind through­out the day came out in the form of this prayer:

I pray that the flood waters will stop now and that your home will be spared. We pray that when the ene­my comes in like a flood, that the Lord will raise up a stan­dard of right­eous­ness to rebuke him.” (Isaiah 59:19 says, “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glo­ry from the ris­ing of the sun. When the ene­my shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a stan­dard again­st him.”)

Later she gave this report (quot­ed with­out cor­rec­tions): “Dave, this is a mir­a­cle. After your prayed, water stop com­ing in. In front and side of my house the flood is about knee lev­el. Our God is a liv­ing God! All my staff cry and pray, how it was hap­pen the flood­ed out­side is high­er than our yard but water stop com­ing in. Praise the Lord!”

 

Carnaval Prayer Strikes in Bolivia

Crown of Bolivian intercessors

By Dan Fick

Carnaval Took Over Tried to Take Over Latin America

All across the con­ti­nent, peo­ple were begin­ning to cel­e­brate Carnaval, bet­ter known in the States as Mardi Gras. It’s a Catholic fes­ti­val with pagan roots, and in Sucre, is a time for drunk­en­ness, vio­lence, sex­u­al immoral­i­ty and idol­a­try.

Oftentimes, drunk par­ents will parade around town with their bewil­dered chil­dren in tow. Sucre’s Christian com­mu­ni­ty usu­al­ly takes advan­tage of the extra-long week­end to go out of town on a spe­cial retreat. But this year, God led us in a dif­fer­ent direc­tion.

Line of people praying over city
Rather than turn­ing tail and run­ning while the city went wild, we orga­nized inter­ces­so­ry prayer strikes.

Prayer Strikes

On Wednesday night, around 50 peo­ple gath­ered at church for a night of prayer and wor­ship. God’s pres­ence was pal­pa­ble. Then on Saturday morn­ing, near­ly 40 peo­ple from church came togeth­er to pray at a plaza that over­looks the city.

Sunday morn­ing, we had our usu­al Celebration Service, where I preached about being a church full of mis­sion­ar­ies. I chal­lenged every­one to be “salt and light” (Matt 5:13–16) for Jesus in Sucre. Monday and Tuesday, we had two more prayer strikes in strate­gic loca­tions.

A Long Time In Coming

Fifteen years ago when I was fresh out of Bible School, God gave me a vision and strate­gies to mobi­lize the Local Church in Bolivia to impact the com­mu­ni­ty specif­i­cal­ly through dis­ci­ple­ship, wor­ship, prayer and evan­ge­lism. Fast-for­ward to the present, I’m amazed at the plat­form God has given us. Now, we tru­ly are mobi­liz­ing the local church to impact the com­mu­ni­ty. I can’t begin to describe the deep sense of sat­is­fac­tion and won­der that floods my heart!


Dan moved to Sucre, Bolivia, in 2003 to work as a youth pas­tor and wor­ship lead­er of Piedra Viva Church. There he met Aylín and they mar­ried in 2007. In April 2011, Dan and Aylín assumed the role of lead pas­tors of the church, over­see­ing a vibrant, grow­ing body of believ­ers. Their heart is to see peo­ple touched with the life-trans­form­ing pow­er of God’s Truth and to raise up a church to reach every sphere of soci­ety for Christ.

Explore Missions the First Weekend in April

people praying for a man

Wanting fresh inspiration to live out the Great Commission? Feeling called to missions, but don’t know where to start?

Join us for Explore Weekend at World Indigenous Missions to catch a glimpse of what it means to live and min­is­ter cross-cul­tur­al­ly. You will dis­cov­er the vision and core val­ues that have inspired WIM mis­sion­ar­ies for over 35 years and learn how WIM can assist you in real­iz­ing God’s vision for your life.

Date

April 1–2, 2016

Friday, April 1, at 5:30 PM through Saturday, April 2, at 8 PM.

Registration

Space is lim­it­ed, so reg­is­ter now! Childcare is not pro­vid­ed. Questions? Feel free to con­tact us!

I’m from out of town and need lodg­ing

Cost (lodg­ing includ­ed): $60 per individual/ $100  per cou­ple

Airport pick­ups /drop-offs avail­able Friday and Sunday, for San Antonio & Austin, Texas

I’m local and don’t need lodg­ing

Cost: No charge, but reg­is­tra­tion is required

 

Location

Long-Term Fruit in the Dominican Republic

man speaking to congregation

By Bill Otten

men preaching
Bill and Jerry

In 1989, I began part­ner­ing with WIM Missionaries Jerry and Miok Morris in the Dominican Republic. They were church planters there for eight years. To assist in their work, they led teams of youth and adults on short-term mis­sion trips to do street cam­paigns com­plete with music, dra­mas, pup­pets and preach­ing.

Over the course of 26 years, Jerry and I have teamed up to con­duct train­ing sem­i­nars and lead­er­ship con­fer­ences in Mexico, Venezuela, and most recent­ly, the house church net­works of China. Our rela­tion­ship has been a long and fruit­ful part­ner­ship of an evan­ge­list and an apos­tle.

When I orga­nized a return trip to the Dominican Republic recent­ly, Jerry was thrilled at the prospect of return­ing to the field of his labors. Twenty years had passed since we last worked togeth­er there.

man playing guitar and singing
Jerry lead­ing wor­ship

During the trip, Jerry was great­ly hon­ored by gifts and awards of appre­ci­a­tion from the church­es as a “father in the faith” for all his church plant­i­ng and dis­ci­ple­ship work. Some of his dis­ci­ples are now pas­tor­ing large church­es or pros­per­ing in busi­ness. One of the young peo­ple from Jerry’s youth min­istry is now pas­tor­ing a church of 2,500 with sev­er­al more church­es plant­ed. The believ­ers poured out their grat­i­tude for the work that was accom­plished so many years ago. Many tes­ti­fied to us how their lives were changed in those days. During the trip, per­haps as many as 75 prayed to receive the bap­tism with the Holy Spirit.

Today, the small towns are now large cities, the dirt roads where out­door cam­paigns were con­duct­ed are now paved and the small works are now church­es of thou­sands! The gospel seed has done its work; to God be the glo­ry!


Bill Otten is the founder of Lifeline International, a min­istry that has touched over 50 nations pro­vid­ing min­istry, equip­ment, lit­er­a­ture, finances and oth­er forms of prac­ti­cal help to church­es and min­istries around the world.