Monday, March 14, 2011

Pray for Colombia

I know the whole Christian world is praying for Japan right now. That is great. We should be praying for the nation (as a people more so than as a state). Since disaster tends to cause us to get a little more focused in our prayers, I thought I’d share a little about what I pray about on a more or less recurring basis.

I have my GoogleReader account set to bring me feeds from the International Mission Board’s (IMB) Today’s Prayer syndication. Since the site updates daily, it is nice to be able to check back on past prayer requests, especially when you get an update saying, “In June we asked you to pray about…”

Anyone who knows me for long knows that I have a desire to be a missionary in Colombia. I just hope I don’t end up like James Garner’s character in Support Your Local Sherriff who always talks about going to Australia, but never getting around to it.

To keep the desire fresh in my mind, I star the prayer requests coming in about Colombia, and I try to remember to pray for them. They aren’t daily, so when they pop up I get a little giddy. When we have visitors to our church who are originally from Colombia, I can feel my heart beat a little faster. So when I saw a prayer request from Colombia today, I had to check it out. Here’s what it said:

COLOMBIA. Thank you for your ongoing prayers for the Pan de Vida (Bread of Life) Church as the handful of faithful members reach out to family and friends, share the Good News of Christ with them, and invite them to join together in worship each Sunday. Please continue to pray for the 109 families who live in this townhouse complex, asking that they will be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek God. Pray for open communication between those who are seeking and those who are currently a part of the church. Ask God to show current church members what He is asking of them in this process of outreach. Thank God that He builds His church in His time and in His way. Pray that church members will be faithful to walk with Him in this process—not get ahead of Him and not get behind Him.
I really don’t remember what the last prayer request was for Pan de Vida Church, so I did a search through my feeds and came up with the following chain of events starting back in 2009:

March 17, 2009
COLOMBIA. A couple serving on the Nicodemus Team returned to Colombia after a five-month stateside assignment. They had been participating for the past four years as members of the "pastor team" of the El Camino (The Way) Baptist Church. Upon returning to the city, they announced that they would no longer be serving as part of the pastor team and that they were praying about where God would have them to serve through the local church in the coming years. Please pray for and with this couple as they listen to God and follow His directions. Pray that the members of the El Camino church will continue to grow faithfully in their knowledge of God and His Word, continue their passion for missions, and seek and follow God's leadership.
April 13, 2010
COLOMBIA. The Nicodemus Team thanks you for your prayers for the growth and maturity of a new church start in the northern part of the city. They write: "On Saturday, Feb. 27, we experienced our first baptism service, with seven new Christians following the Lord in baptism. Now the church has planned its first mission trip! This volunteer trip will be to Oklahoma to help with a new church start for a Spanish-language mission. Of those recently baptized, three will participate in this mission trip, along with four other members of the church. Thank God for the obedience of those who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. Thank Him for what He will do in and through these volunteers as they share God's love, make visits, conduct surveys, and share the Word of God in a cross-cultural setting. Please continue to pray for G and LM, two Christians who didn't feel that they were ready to follow the Lord in baptism during the February celebration. Pray that they will respond in obedience to God's leadership in their lives."
May 13, 2009
COLOMBIA. In March a couple serving on the Nicodemus Team asked you to pray with them as they discerned and followed God´s leadership for a new church home and ministry. Thank you for your prayers. They have felt led to participate with a fellow missionary couple in a new church start that meets in the social/activities room of the apartment complex where that couple lives. The work is called "Pan de Vida" (Bread of Life). Though several residents of the apartment complex requested the church start, they have not shown themselves to be faithful to the work and have not accepted positions of responsibility. Pray for the group as they meet later this month to reevaluate their commitment to the Lord and the future of this evangelistic work.
June 24, 2010
COLOMBIA. Thank you for your prayers for the members of the Bread of Life Church who went on a mission trip to Oklahoma to help with a new church start for a Spanish-language mission. The response of the people was not very positive. The group returned with a conviction that people in the United States, as well as people in Colombia, need to know the Lord but are often unaware or unwilling to admit to that need. Pray that those who were contacted in Oklahoma will respond to God's invitation. Pray that those who participated in the mission trip will be faithful to continue to reach out and share God's Word with family, friends and neighbors and will encourage others to do the same.
September 15, 2010
COLOMBIA. The Nicodemus Team writes: "On several occasions you have prayed for a new church start in a major city--the Bread of Life Church. In July, the church began a chapter-by-chapter study of the Book of Acts to learn firsthand how God developed the church, what New Testament Christians and churches were like, and how that applies to us today. We are doing a series of 'Discovery' Bible studies, and a different member of the church leads the study each week. Thank God for the participation of these young Christians and for what He is teaching all of us. Pray that we will have the wisdom to take what we learn from Scripture and accurately apply it to the development of this young church."
October 11, 2010
COLOMBIA. "Thank you for your continued prayer support for the Pan de Vida (Bread of Life) Church, a new church start in a major city," writes the Nicodemus Team. "Pray with us that we will be faithful to reach out to family and friends, share the Good News of Christ with them, and invite them to join together in worship with us each Sunday. Pray especially for the people who live in the California apartment complex where the church meets, asking that they will be drawn to the Lord, participate with us in Bible study, and accept Christ as Lord and Savior."
I’ve probably missed some of the past prayer requests because I used the keywords “Pan de Vida” and “Bread of Life,” but it is nice to see the updates. On top of that, I remember praying for some of these earlier requests. As believers we need to make it a regular habit of praying for believers and missions around the world.

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