Have you wondered, “Do my prayers make a difference in the grand scheme of the universe?”

Skip & Rosie Kite (USA) respond, “Let me assure you. Your prayers do matter!”

Skip elaborates, “Whenever I get to pray with some adult, teen, or child in accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior, it may have been your prayers that knocked down that last wall of resistance to the Holy Spirit’s influence. This happened at my last teaching opportunity. Seven children prayed to receive salvation at a Kids Crusade.

“When I preach a sermon or teach a Bible study and someone states how it made them see Scripture from a different perspective, it may have been your prayers that opened their hearts and minds for deeper learning. This just happened at a Christ in the Passover Seder which I conducted for a church.”

Skip & Rosie have a children’s and teacher training ministry.

 

So many Montreal, Quebec teenagers come from painful homes and backgrounds…

The wounds are deep.  The emotional scars are agonizing.  The spiritual darkness is palpable.

Jerad & Wanda Mellette minister to teens year round and in many ways.  But Jerad has had opportunity to be teen camp speaker on different occasions.  Normally they were blessed to see 0-2 teens come to know the Lord.  But the Mellettes rejoice that this year was an especially fruitful week…22 teens made professions of salvation!

 

After attending the marriage retreat, the woman talked about it at her job…

One of her colleagues expressed interest in participating in a similar kind of retreat.

FIM missionaries in Europe had led the retreat.  The colleague bought the book the FIM missionaries had written for engaged and newly married couples.  Sometime later she wrote the following on her Facebook: “I am very grateful for this book. After many years of looking for strategies and tools to have a good and long lasting love relationship, I have found that there actually is someone who has put out such a book! To you who would like to improve your relationship or to you who would like to start one I strongly recommend this book.”

Many who look at the book decide that others might need such a book, but that they are fine in their relationship or they think it looks like just too much work. Indeed!  Strong relationships take time and care. Not everyone is willing to put forth the effort, to make the priority.

“’S’ fled from Iran with her son…

…They were arrested by the Turkish police. For two weeks they were held in a very cold place. They thought that they would die there.”

Efthemes & Eirini Sioukiouroglou minister daily to refugees in Athens who are able to enter the country of Greece.

“’S’ and her son attempted to cross through Turkey into Greece three times. On the third attempt, they tried to escape by sea.  They were in a 40-passenger boat…and 120 on board.  They were finally able to arrive safely in Greece despite the fact that the boat’s engine failed.

As ‘S’ and her son sat in a park in Athens, three girls invited them to a Christian center. They accepted the Lord. For a few months ‘S’ came to the Crossroads Center, the Sioukiouroglous’ refugee ministry center.  ‘S’ also bought a gift for the Center, a heater.

‘S’ is now in Germany and is trying to find a good church.

“The 14-year-old street girl approached us in a park, asking for something to eat.

She said she had only had water to drink in the last three days—no food.  Elena was from a village in the Sierra of Puebla.  She could not read.  We took her to our home,” Arturo & Silvia Tome write from Puebla, Mexico.

“That was five years ago.  Since then, she trusted Christ as her Savior, learned to read, completed the middle school test, got her GED, did secretarial studies and now speaks perfect Spanish.  She is an exceptional girl.  A family from the Ebenezer church adopted her.

“She now works at Office Depot in a mall. Not long ago she had an afternoon off and asked us to visit her at the mall.  We’ve had the privilege of teaching her the Bible from the beginning.   So, at the mall we sat down on a bench and did a Bible lesson.

“As we were studying the Scriptures, two young men stopped and asked if they could stay and study the lesson with us. In a few minutes two girls joined us. We continued with the Bible lesson; when we finished, 11 young people (in the accompanying photo) surrounded us.  We invited them to attend Sunday school.  Next Sunday they were in church, and brought some friends with them. While talking with them we knew that prayer was backing us.   They knew that it was a miracle that all of us were in that place at that moment. It is amazing how the Lord works!  These young people were seeking God, and now they have found Him and have trusted in Christ. They are now attending discipleship classes and memorizing Bible verses.”

“It’s amazing to see God work even though it’s not exactly what we have in mind.”

Lucio & Amanda Gallo shared about their summer camp in Argentina (in the southern hemisphere).

“Every year we hold summer camp.  Normally we run around 100 teens during the teen week.  However, this year we only had 50 teens.  At first we were discouraged and began examining where we went wrong, asking ourselves why the number was so low.   Then we began praying and the Lord truly gave us peace.  The teens that were at summer camp were the ones God wanted there.  We would wait and see what He had in store!

“With a reduced group, the counselors were able to connect and really disciple the teens in depth.  God astounded us with the fruit.  Almost all the teens are now faithfully attending the youth group at church every Saturday.  Many of them are going to every church service.  There is a strong group of ten teens that are going to the park every Sunday afternoon to hand out tracts and share the Gospel.

“We often measure our success by big numbers.  But God has His own plans and they are perfect in every way.  We just have to be still and know that He is God.”

In Uganda the name “Nalongo” means a mother of twins.

Nalongo Byamukama and her babies passed through hardship in her home.  Her husband abandoned her and her babies without providing for their basic needs

It was during that time of suffering and abandonment that the saints of the Najjemba Worship Centre were doing house-to-house evangelism and shared the gospel with Nalongo Byamukama.  She decided to give her life to Jesus Christ.

Nalongo Byamukama is now one of the church members at the Najjemba Worship Centre…a living testimony in the community.  Her relatives are astonished by the transformation as the saints in the church continue to show brotherly love by providing clothes and food for her and her babies.

Aida Kalule shared that story from her ministry on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda. Photo of inside the Najjemba Worship Centre.

Seeing fruit in ministry is exciting!

Bryan & Susan Nevin share about the progress that they are seeing in their church planting ministry in Mexico.

“A lady (the first convert at our church) prayed for two years that her husband would get saved.  He finally did!  His mother, however, didn’t want to come to church, would make fun of us, call us hypocrites, and definitely opposed our baptism.

“The mother struggled with anxiety as one of her sons was getting out of prison.  She always felt sick to her stomach and had headaches because of the anxiety.  The Christian son suggested to his mom that she should come for counseling.  Although she was very skeptical as this was not the traditional religion, she nevertheless started counseling and got saved!

“Within two months God has transformed her life.  Her daughter-in-law told us that she sees a 180 degree change in her.  The anxiety symptoms have disappeared she has learned to trust in God.  She used to pray to her images.  Now, she only prays to God.  She comes to church every week and we hope she will be baptized this summer.”

Photo taken at recent church retreat.

 

The Lord answers prayer…even in Japan!

The religions of Japan are Shinto and Buddhism.  Shinto is as old as the Japanese culture, while Buddhism was imported from the mainland 1400 years ago.  So evangelical churches in Japan are small and the Japanese are reticent to visit an evangelical church.

Three faithful members of a church planted by Takuji & Hiroko Yamazaki decided to pray for newcomers to the church every Sunday.  To date, they have had new visitors for ten weeks straight!

In March, a 12-year-old boy, originally from the Philippines, asked pastor Yamazaki how he can have eternal life…how he can go to heaven.  The boy has been attending services faithfully with his parents.  But he needed time to process.  Pastor Yamazaki was happy to explain the way of salvation.  They prayed together as he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.  He has also requested to be baptized!

Photo of Takuji Yamazaki at one of his churches.

 

“It is difficult to live and communicate the gospel in a country where idols are everywhere”…

…Jon & Mitsy Mahar write from Japan.  Christians in that country are few in numbers and the churches are small.  So fellowship among believers is a great encouragement for the Japanese Christians to stand firm for Christ, especially for the children.

The Mahars write that they had a wonderful day camp with 67 children and adults from six churches.  Mitsy spoke to the children, who listened and responded well.  Hope Hooper, a short term co-worker, led games.  Jon has Bible study classes with high school students.

Photo of Mitsy Mahar teaching the children.