|2nd Quarter 1999||Newsletter of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement Women's Track|
Moves Forward Towards October
For the past six years, Praying Through The Window has mobilized prayer for the region known as the 10/40Window, rectangular area 10 to 40 degrees north latitude and stretching from West Africa through East Asia. Within The 10/40 Window live the world's least evangelized peoples, those with little or no opportunity to hear and respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
In October 1993 Praying Through The Window I targeted the 62 countries of the 10/40 Window, mustering over 21 million intercessors worldwide. Praying Through The Window II in October 1995 mobilized prayer for the "Gateway Cities" of this region, with over 36 million intercessors supporting this initiative in daily prayer. Then Praying Through The Window III, culminating in October 1997, focused on the unreached peoples of The 10/40 Window. Christian Information Network's director, Beverly Pegues expects the latest company of intercessors to match or exceed the size of the previous one.
Now Praying Through The Window IV is gearing up for the last such initiative of the millennium in October 1999. Titled "Light The Window," it returns to a focus on the nations of the 10/40 Window, while incorporating the strategic prayer information of the other efforts.
The 31-day prayer calendar for Praying Through The Window IV will identify the countries in The 10/40 Window listed for prayer each day. Intercessors wanting more detail will find it in a book-length prayer guide called Light the Window written by Floyd McClung. For each nation, the guide will focus on strategic towns and cities anchoring larger geographical areas of The 10/40 Window nations. To build on last year's intercession, the book will also list the unreached people groups living within each of these areas.
Once again, prayer journeyers will fan out into cities and towns in each nation of the 10/40 Window to pray on site during this effort. The Christian Information Network will again serve to register home-based intercessors, prayer journey teams, and receive reports after the teams return home.
Believers all over the world are joining in the challenge. In China it's been reported that millions of Christians are praying through the prayer calendar. Other Christians in the 10/40 Window countries have caught the vision of intercessory prayer. They realize it's a matter of life or death.
A prayer calendar, which is also suitable for photocopying, can be ordered from your regional and/or national representative. They are available in a number of languages. Or you can contact Christian Information Network, 11005 Hwy 83 North, Suite 159, Colorado Springs, CO 80921 Fax 719-277-2148 Email CIN@cin1040.net.<>
Prayer Points for you to follow:
Miracles open hearts among Afghan refugees
For almost fifteen years Shireena and her husband worked among the Pushtu speaking people in Pakistan. Their hearts were hardened, and though she spoke the language fluently and made many friends among them, she saw little fruit.
A few years ago thousands of Pushtuns fled across the border from Afghanistan to escape the atrocities and killings of the Taliban army , a fanatical Muslim group that has taken over 90% of the country.
As Shireena visited in the crowded mud hovels, squatting on the dirt floor, she shared the love of Jesus, and began to see hungry hearts respond.
One day a woman with a badly misshapen arm came to her door. Shireena listened as she told how her husband, a Mullah, had beaten her so severely that he had broken her arm. With no medical help, the arm healed into a stiff crook; she was unable to bend her elbow or use her hand.
She pled with Shireena, "People have told me that Jesus can heal. Will you pray for me?"
Shireena welcomed the women into her home and gave her a Pushtu New Testament, explaining that Jesus was more than a prophet, but the very Son of God. Then she laid hands on the woman and prayed for her healing. Though nothing happened, the women nevertheless thanked her and left.
The next morning she returned, tears streaming down her face as she held out her straightened arm. "I'm healed," she cried. "Jesus healed me."
In the weeks that followed she came for Bible study and soon accepted Jesus as her Savior. The Mullah, who had three other wives, divorced her and took her two youngest children from her.
Shireena found out that the eldest son was interested in using English so she sent him a note in English, inviting him to see the "Jesus Film."
The woman and her sons became friends with Shireena's family, and one night invited them to a meal in their home. Shireena hesitated to accept the invitation, knowing that they had very little food. But that night nine people ate of the meager fare, and there was even a little left. In the morning, when the children asked for food, their mother opened the pot to find it full of fresh, steaming rice. This happened for three days and she even had enough to share with her neighbors.
Shireena has seen God reveal Himself through dreams and visions, miracles and healing to the hapless refugees. But the stories of suffering in Afghanistan broke her heart. One refugee told how her sister had come to Pakistan to deliver her baby. But at the border Taliban soldiers accused her of revealing her ankle under her bursa (outer garment which covers a woman from head to toe). They beat her until her legs were broken.
The Taliban has imposed harsh regulations on all women in Afghanistan. Not only must they be covered from head to toe in public, but cannot appear on the streets without a male relative. Women are not allowed to hold a job, forcing many schools and hospitals to close. Girls past the age of eight cannot attend school.
Just across the border Shireena still had freedom to minister to those who had fled the cruelties of the Taliban. But in the midst of the most fruitful time of her ministry, she and her family were forced to leave the country.
They are now living in the USA but are trying to get a visa to enter Afghanistan in a secular capacity. They must make a decision about taking their 15-year-old daughter into such a culture. In the meantime Shireena has discovered a community of over 200 Afghani's living in her city with whom she is sharing Christ.
The Women's Link
How you can be part of the connection to the unreached
Millions of women in the 10/40 window have never even heard the name of Jesus, much less that He loves them. They need an advocate - someone who will care about them, pray for them and learn about their culture and needs.
An advocate has a special concern for women in a specific people group that has little OR NO access to the gospel .She may link up with a partner like Shireena who is serving among her unreached people in the United States now. Her goal is to pray and care until God establishes a strong church, able to propagate the gospel to others.
Patrick Johnstone, author of Operation World says, "If we do not reach women in the unreached people groups of the world, so that they can pass on faith and Christian lifestyles to their children, the next generation will be pagan." Women are the key to the culture - the most important and lasting influence on their children. Unfortunately their needs are often ignored, and they are hidden and out of reach, especially in Muslim cultures.
First of all, ask God to help you select a specific people group. It may be a tribe in your region where the gospel has never been taken. It may be an ethnic group in your city among whom there are few if any Christians, and no church strong enough to reach out to others. It may be a nation in another part of the world to whom your heart is particularly drawn by the Holy Spirit.
Once you have selected your unreached people, ask God to show you how you can connect with them. There are many ways to advocate for unreached people-and you don't have to do them all. God will show you the gifts He intends for you to exercise. Here are just some of the ways to be an advocate:
You can decide to be an advocate on your own, or with women in your church or Bible study group. If you need more information or suggestions, contact your regional AD2000 Women's Track representative or our Women's International Network Advocacy team in Colorado Springs. (See address on back)
Click here for the Women's International Network ADVOCACY TEAM brochure and application for you to become an advocate for unreached peoples.
The primary goal of the AD2000 Women's Track is to mobilize and enable women to use their gifts for world evangelization, especially among the unreached . As you become an advocate you will become part of a growing team of women helping to fulfill this goal.
The High Cost of Discipleship
Debbie recently traveled to a former Soviet republic with a group of adovocates from her church who have adopted this unreached people group. The situation is becoming very difficult there and missionaries working in the country asked that nothing be printed that even indicated a church existed. Thus Tanya is a pseudonym for a real person - a person you can pray or become an advocate for.
Discipleship costs a variable amount, often depending on the square of earth in which you were born. For Tanya a woman born in a village in one of the former Soviet republics, the costs have been numerous. As one of few believers fluent in English and capable of translating the Bible, she is a pearl of great price in God's economy. As we visited over a cup of steaming green tea, I was very aware that the Enemy was trying every means to pull her from her critical task.
She showed me gnarled fingers with knobby joints that befitted a much older woman, and asked me to pray for her rapidly-progressing arthritis. Her work on the computer has been hindered and will grow worse. She felt that she needed a rest and perhaps more translation training. The time she had taken off had not refreshed her.
She had just returned from a visit to her village, and was filled with anguish that her family was enduring pressure and criticism that they had not yet found her a husband. As her physician aunt said "Tanya, you're too young to be choosy, just grab someone, anyone, and get married!" In a nation with only a handful of believers, the family's choice would not be a Christian, and she would be lost to the translation project. Her family granted permission for her to choose a man herself, but there have been no interested suitors except one Muslim. When he pursued her to the city, her heart was torn about whether to allow him to find her or not. She prayed that God would hide her, but it was with mixed emotions that she heard that he had given up and returned home. Every woman, especially in a culture where motherhood and children are so important, wants to be loved. In hers, her middle-aged singleness is a shame. Practically speaking, who will provide for her if her disease totally cripples her?
Recently, the secret police brought her into the jail. "You must stop seeing these Westerners!" They demanded. "Don't you realize that they are not your people. If you continue seeing Christians, you will regret it!" they threatened.
Tanya told me that in that second, Jesus reminded her that "He who denies me before man, him I will deny before my Father." So she countered, "No matter what you do to me, I will not stop following Jesus or working with these people."
She is often tired and discouraged as her disease, family pressure, and KGB harassment try to wear down her resolve and dissuade her from her calling to help translate the Scriptures for her people. There are only a handful of believing nationals in the city where she lives and the Church itself in this former Soviet state is less than a decade old. Please pray for our sister,Tanya: for courage, refreshment, wisdom in making an accurate translation, relationships with her Western coworkers, and for a believing husband who will love and treasure this pearl of great price.
What causes you to be bent-over?
Standing in the back of the synagogue, the woman couldn't see what was happening at the front. Bent over from her waist like a shepherd's crook, she could barely raise her head. Her eyes saw a narrow world of feet and dirt, and sometimes children's faces staring into hers as they shouted taunts.
We don't know why she came to the synagogue for she'd never been taught the Scriptures and was ignored by its leaders. Perhaps she'd heard that this day the Healer would be there?
Yes! She heard a deep gentle voice reading comforting words from the prophet Isaiah, and she closed her eyes imagining that they were meant for her.
Suddenly the voice grew louder, "Woman come forward." Her head swung from one side to the other. What woman was he talking about? But there was no other woman around her. Did he mean her? Slowly she shuffled forward, the gnarled walking stick she'd carried these eighteen years steadying her progress.
A face appeared in her line of vision - a warm strong face with compassion in his eyes and a hint of a smile around his expressive mouth. He knelt before her so she could look into his eyes and spoke more softly now, "Woman you are set free from your infirmity."
With a firm grip he took her hand and slowly he raised her to a standing position. Freed! She was free of the frozen spine and the aching muscles; she could straighten her neck and lift her arms. She stood tall and regal in her ragged robe, her stick clattering to the ground.
Those around began to murmur, and the ruler pontificated, "This is the Sabbath. Come on a work day for your healing." As if healing was a common occurrence in his life!
But Jesus suddenly turned in anger to the crowd. "You hypocrites. Doesn't each of you untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give water? Should not this woman whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years be set free on the Sabbath day?"
Jesus is still freeing people today from the bondage that cripples them. What is causing you to shuffle bent over and self-effacing? Are you frozen by a lack of self-worth? Have past sins burdened you with shame? Are you taunted with insignificance?
Jesus is calling you to come forward, stand up straight, look Him in the eye and accept the freedom He offers you. He says to you,
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor . . . and to release the oppressed." Luke 4:18
Story based on Luke 13:10-15
Theme: Praying for peace, especially for women and children suffering under the brunt of war
Co-sponsored by: AD2000 Women's Track, Commission on Women's Concerns, PACWA, Lausanne Women's Network,
More information and prayer guide to follow in our next issue. Set aside the date and call women from across your city and all denominations to pray for women suffering under the evils of war.
Getting there is only half the battle:
Thelma Pantig, our regional representative for Southeast Asia wanted to visit several young Philippine missionaries working among the mountain people of Mindanao. She had heard their testimonies and was impressed with their courage and passion to share Christ with the Manobo people.
Getting there was not a simple matter. After landing by plane she traveled by bus, mini-bus and motorbike. One leg of the journey took her across a half-built bridge at 3am only to find her guides who were supposed to meet her at the other end had overslept.
She met four more women missionaries in their twenties who hiked up a slippery trail with her, leading her to a chapel where she spoke to a small group who had been waiting for her in the pouring rain. On the way back the women tried to share one umbrella and they arrived soaking wet at the pastor's house.
At the final village Thelma met Mildred and her husband, Pat, working in another Manobo village. Mildred said when they first came the Manobo's were cold and unreceptive. "They wanted to see that we walked what we taught."
When the women refused to come to a Bible study, Mildred joined them in the "waiting shed" in the middle of the community. The women would sit by the hour gossiping and searching each other's head for lice. Mildred asked them to search her head too, and while they were busy with their chain activity she told them Bible stories, loud enough so the men on the other side could hear too.
Many of the regular shed occupants accepted Christ and have joined the growing church in the community.
Thelma was overawed by the caliber of women she met on this challenging journey. "At last," she writes," I have come across women who are really involved with the unreached."
The Joshua Project 2000 list includes the Manobos,<>
who are made up of five related language groups. They total about 850,000 people and are
less than 1% evangelical. Though in some areas small churches have been established,
because of their inaccessibility, many communities have no contact with the gospel.
There is one known church of 100 or more believers. You can learn more about the
Manobos by requesting a people profile from our office or through the Christian
Information Network Tel. 719-522-1040, Email: CIN@cin1040.net.<>
Write the representative from your region:
Africa (South of the Sahara; French, Portuguese and Spanish speaking): Madeleine Goutenou, Box 411, Man, Ivory Coast
Africa (English-speaking): Esme Bowers, 3 Wyehill Way, Retreat 79X5, Cape, South Africa
Caribbean: Blossom White, 36 Mottley Ave., Kingston 20, Jamaica, West Indies
Europe: Elizabeth Mittelstaedt, Lydia Magazine, Postfach 1222, D-35608 Asslar, Germany
Latin America: Mercedes Dalton, Calle Los Abetos, PJE No. 1Ð36, Colonia San Francisco, San Salvador, El Salvador
Middle East, N. Africa, CIS countries: Iqbal Massey, 1136 Ginger Lane, Corona, CA 91719-7776, U.S.
N. America: Evelyn Christenson, P.O. Box 29557, Minneapolis, MN 55429, U.S.
N. Asia: Kai-Yum Cheung-Teng , Block A, 3/F., Podium of Tak Bo Garden, 3 Ngau Kok Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Pacific: Robyn Claydon, 12 Cornwall Avenue, Turramurra, NSW 2074, Australia
S. Asia: Contact the International Coordinator
S.E. Asia: Thelma Pantig, 6 Sampaguita St., Roxas Cir. Subd., Sanyo Novalches 1116 Q.C., Philippines