Thursday, September 28, 2017

Pray for Jordan: Young People Are Hungry for God's Word

It’s the Islamic prayer time. While the Muslim call to prayer is being broadcasted from minarets all over Jordan’s capital, Hannah* speaks in a determined voice about an even stronger call: the call of God to follow Him. In this country where Muslims make up 98% of the population, this is not an obvious choice, even when you are born into a Catholic Christian family like Hannah was. “I grew up in a traditional Christian family,” she shares. “Though I knew who Jesus Christ was, I didn’t know Him personally. When I visited a Christian youth camp when I was 17, and we talked about our Christian identities, I was shocked. I realized that I was only a Christian on my birth certificate and ID card. It meant very little for my everyday life.”

Sadly enough, this is not uncommon for youth growing up in the small Christian community in Jordan. About 170,000 Christians remaining in Jordan, and their numbers are gradually declining mainly due to migration. Christianity in Jordan has strong historical roots, dating back all the way back to the first Christians of Pentecost. However, not all Jordanians belonging to one of the Christian tribes are actively committed to God and His church. In Hannah’s case, her parents sometimes went to church, but faith was not talked about. Her parents did, however, send her to a Catholic school. But when the preacher at the Church youth camp started talking about God’s love, this was a different and new message for her and things began to change. “I immediately experienced a showering of God’s love. After I prayed for salvation, my whole world turned upside-down. Before that, as a teenager, I had been struggling with a lack of self-worth; I thought I was untalented, not worth anything and that my life was useless.”

Her experience at the Christian youth gathering marked the end of this downward spiral that Hannah was in. “Suddenly, I knew, there is a reason why I live on this planet. Suddenly, my eyes were opened to God’s reality. He has a plan for me and wants me to grow and reach out to others.” She felt spiritually hungry. “I wanted to eat more of God’s Word and feel more of Him every day.” She started to attend biweekly Bible study meetings and volunteered in her church as a children’s worker. “I felt I was being used by God.”

When attending the church services, suddenly things started to make sense to her. “Before, I was often bored in the church, I didn’t care about the liturgy at all. But after this experience, I listened to the sermons better and I grew to appreciate them. The thing is, now, when the priest starts sharing, I know what he is talking about!” One thing that was immediately clear for Hannah is that she wanted to stay a member of the church. “This is the church God called me to be in. I have people here I trust and Christians I can pray with. This is my community and I’m not leaving it. But I will try to open more eyes here to the real character of God.”

Not everybody was excited about Hannah’s newfound love for God and the Bible. Hannah puts it like this: “To serve people can be a huge experiment.” At first, the priest in her church was reluctant to the weekly Bible study meetings Hannah attended. “But now he sees the fruits of it, he is asking me more and more about it.” Her family was an even bigger obstacle. Wary of the impact of the Bible study groups and youth camps on their daughter’s life, Hannah’s parents made her stop attending them at first. “That was a very hard time. I prayed a lot. I don’t know how, but after a while, things became easier. They saw the change in my life and started accepting it. They now let me attend these meetings and my relationship with them has improved.”

Hannah is now part of the team of volunteers organizing weekly Bible study meetings for young people in a number of Jordan’s traditional churches. Many of the attendants are from poor families. Their parents can’t afford to send them to Christian schools, so they receive a public education based on Koranic teachings. Without the church Bible groups, these Christian youth would hardly ever read the Bible. Hannah even knows examples of Christian girls getting into relationships with Muslim boys and converting to Islam. “Not knowing enough about the Bible can really be dangerous.

There is a huge need in Jordan, and the youth are so hungry,” she says. “Many young people are so lost. They think that God is not there, or that He is very far away. But I know that once they learn who this great God really is, their lives will change.”


[Edited from]
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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Jesus Deka Nulong Kitai Maya 'Ribut', Anang Takut! (Mark 6:45-52)

Kemaya nya Jesus ngasoh sida murid iya nepan ka dalam perau, lalu mansang ngagai menoa Betsaida, di seberai danau nya, dulu agi ari iya. Nyadi iya tinggal dudi, agi ngasoh orang mayuh pulai. Udai iya beserara enggau sida murid iya, dia iya lalu niki ngagai sigi munggu, besembiang dia. Leboh hari nyau lemai, perau ti dikena sida pen datai di puak danau, leboh Jesus agi tinggal kediri di darat. Iya meda sida murid iya kena penusah nayong ka perau sida, laban sida nanjak ribut. Nya alai kira entara pukol tiga dini hari enggau pukol enam pagi, iya datai ngagai sida, bejalai atas ai. Iya deka bejalai mansa sida
(Mark 6:45-48, Berita Manah Ka Rebak Diatu)

Aram kitai bejalai kediri ngagai endor bukai,” ko Tuhan Jesus ngagai sida murid iya, “ngambi ko kitai ulih diau kediri, lalu kita ulih belelak enda lama” (6:31). Tang maya sida udah datai ba endor ti sunyi, sida enda sempat belelak laban mayoh orang datai ngagai sida (6:34). Nyadi, sekali agi Jesus “ngasoh sida murid iya nepan ke dalam perau” awakka sida ulih belelak jauh ari orang mayoh. Jesus tinggal dudi laban Iya “agi ngasoh orang mayoh pulai.” Peda kita dituk, tu meh chunto ketua ti badas. Jesus sinu meda bala murid Iya enggau orang mayuh. Iya nemu sida murid lelak nyadi Iya nyuruh sida pergi dulu; Iya nemu orang mayuh “baka bedus ti nadai orang ngibun” (6:34) nya alai udai Iya meri sida makai Iya kedirik “ngasoh orang mayoh pulai.” Pengerindu ngau pengasih Jesus sigi enda ngira siapa orang nya – murid tauka orang mayuh, nuan tauka aku – tu meh Tuhan di peduli ka kitai!

Tu ti ka ditanya aku: Ukai Simon Peter enggau Andrew sida murid Jesus tu “orang berikan” (1:16)? Ukai James enggau John tu mega orang berikan (1:19)? Sida murid ke lain enda ngawa, tang kati ko sida orang berikan baka Peter, Andrew, James ngau John tau takut maya ribut? Tentu ribut tu ukai ribut ti baka selalu iya. Tu aku deka nanya agi: Apa ‘ribut’ dalam pengidup nuan? Pengarap nuan diuji baka ‘ribut’ nyau nuan takut diatu? Nama utai ti ngachau pengerindu nuan ngagai Allah Taala? Peda kita agi, Jesus peduli ka sida bala murid sampai ka Iya “bejalai atas ai” deka nyelamat ka sida. Ari munggu, Jesus meda sida murid ari jauh ditinggang penusah, Iya datai ngagai sida. “Anang takut!” ko Jesus, “Aku tu, anang takut!” (6:50). Siapa kita ti takut ka antu sitan? Siapa kita ti takut ka penusah? Siapa kita ti mit pengarap? Ko Jesus ngagai kita: Anang takut!

Udah nya [Jesus] nepan ka dalam perau enggau sida, lalu ribut nadai agi betiup” (6:51). Maya Jesus enggau sida, sida enda pelu takut agi. Samoa tu nadai guna laban Jesus bisi ngau sida. Maya kabut besai datai ngau gelumbang ti kuat datai, Jesus semina bejako, “Anang agi betiup!” “Anang agi mangka!” lalu kabut ngau gelumbang tedoh (Mark 6:37-39). Ukai samoa penanggol tauka penusah kitai deka di-buai Jesus, tang samoa tu deka di-peda kitai mit laban Jesus bekuasa ngau Iya besai agi ari nya. Ko Jesus: “Samoa utai ulih magang, enti orang bisi pengarap” (Mark 9:23). Rasul Paul mega bisi nulis: “Aku bisi pengering kena nangkup samoa macham utai ulih kuasa ti diberi Kristus ngagai aku” (Pilipi 3:13). Jesus peduli, Iya rindu ka kitai samoa. Kuasa Iya ulih ngalah ka ‘ribut’ dalam pengidup kitai.

Anang kitai baka sida murid ti “balat alit ati” ngau “enda ulih mereti ka utai” ti di-gaga Jesus (Mark 6:52). Sida iya “enda nemu reti roti” tauka sida agi nadai pengarap ti bendar enggau Jesus ti ulih meri 5,000 orang makai ngena 5 tuko ikan enggau 2 iko ikan. Jesus ulih nyuman ka mayoh macham penyakit, muai antu, ngasoh kabut tedoh, meri orang mayoh makai, bejalai atas ai, ngau ngasoh ribut badu. Nama ti enda ulih di-gaga Tuhan Jesus? Nadai! “Samoa utai ulih magang,” ko Jesus, “enti orang bisi pengarap… Anang takut!... Aku tu, anang takut!”

O Tuhan Jesus, ‘ribut’ sigi deka nyadi dalam pengidup orang Kristian ti arap ka Nuan.
Maya ‘ribut’ datai dalam pengidup aku, tulong aku enda ngelaban iya kediri.
Ngingat ka aku Nuan selalu ngemata ngau meri pengering ngagai aku.
Beri aku pengarap ti bendar ngagai Nuan, laban Nuan sigi Tuhan ti bekuasa belama-lama iya.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Jesus Ngajih Utai Ti Mimit Nyadi Mayoh (Mark 6:34-44)

Leboh hari nyau lemai, sida murid iya datai ngagai iya, ko sida, ‘Hari tu nyau laun, lalu endor tu mega menoa ti sunyi. Asoh samoa sida aangkat ari endor tu, awak ka sida tau bejalai ngagai kebun enggau tumpok ti semak endor tu, meli barang pemakai ka diri empu.’ Ko Jesus nyaut, ‘Kita empu patut meri sida pemakai.’ Ko sida nanya iya, ‘Kati nuan ngasoh kami nurun meli roti ti be-ungkus dua ratus ringgt, kena meri sida makai?’”
(Mark 6:35-37, Berita Manah Ka Rebak Diatu)

Semoa crita tu bemula ari Jesus laban “iya balat bendar sinu ka sida.” Jesus meda sida lapar ka jako Allah Taala nya alai Iya “ngajar sida mayoh bengkah utai” (6:34). Luke 9:11 madah ka kitai nama ti di-ajar Jesus, Iya “bejako ngagai sida ngenang ka pasal Perintah Allah Taala.” Tang Jesus mega meda sida lapar tubuh ka ke pemakai. Tu nunjok ka kitai Jesus peduli ka roh ngau tubuh kitai. Ukai roh aja, ukai tubuh aja, tang dua-dua skali. Sida ninga ka jako Jesus sampai ka sida enda ingat ka makai. Nama kebuah sida murid Jesus deka nyuruh orang mayuh angkat ari endor nyak? Sida peduli ka orang mayuh? Tauka sida deka belelak diau jauh ari orang mayuh? Enda kitai nemu. Tang Jesus enda ngereja ka utai ti di-asoh sida. Jesus nyuruh sida: “Kita empu patut meri sida pemakai.”

Sida murid Jesus udah meda Iya ngereja mayoh bengkah utai. Jesus udah muru antu (1:21-26), nyuman ka orang ti kena mayoh laban macham penyakit (1:34), nyuman orang ti sakit lan (1:40-44), nyuman orang ti bajong (2:1-12), ngau sida mega udah meda Jesus ngasoh kabut tedoh (4:35-41). Tang sida enda ingat siapa Jesus tu. Sida murid Iya agi mikir, agi enda nemu, agi enda chukup pengarap. Sida enda nemu Jesus ulih nyedia ka semua pemakai orang mayoh. Sida iya meda penusah tu besai amai sampai ka sida enda meda pemesai kuasa Tuhan Jesus. “Nya alai ko Jesus nanya sida, ‘Berapa mayoh roti kita agi tinggal? Uji abas dulu.’ Udah sida nemu pemayoh roti ti agi tinggal, ko sida madah ngagai iya, ‘Lima tuko roti enggau dua iko ikan’” (Mark 6:38). Jesus deka ngaga kereja ajih sekali agi. Sedia?

Udahnya Jesus ngambi lima tuko roti enggau ikan dua iko, nengkadah ka langit, lalu meri terima kasih ngagai Allah Taala. Iya mechah ka roti nya, nyua ka utai nya ngagai sida murid iya, awak ka sida lalu nyadong roti nya ngagai orang mayoh. Iya mega lalu magi ikan dua iko nya ka samoa sida. Genap iko sida bela makai sereta chukop kenyang. Udah nya sida murid iya mai dua belas iti bakol ti penoh laban laloh roti enggau ikan nya tadi. Pemayoh tuboh sida ti lelaki, ti enggau makai roti nya lima ribu iko.” (Mark 6:39-44). Peda kita, 5 tuko roti + 2 iko ikan = chukop makai 5,000 orang. Ti di kira enggau sida ti indu enggau anak biak ulih sampai 10,000 ka 15,000 orang. Nya pan bisi 12 iti bakol ti penoh ngau laloh roti enggau ikan. Dini semoa utai tu datai? Ari Allah Taala! Mimit lulih nyadi mayoh sampai ka bisi laloh.

Tuhan Jesus ulih ngena utai ti kitai bisi kena ngereja pengawa Iya. Taja pan iya mimit, taja pan iya nadai apa nama, taja pan iya di-peda kitai enda cukup tang laban kuasa Allah Taala Iya ulih ngajih ka utai tauka pengawa kitai nyadi besai seta chukop. Ngambi ka chunto, enti kitai ngerembai ka Jako Injil taja pan mimit, enti kitai bisi pengarap besampi lalu “meri terima kasih ngagai Allah Taala” (6:41), Iya deka ngajih ka pengarap dalam ati orang ti ninga kitai. Kitai meri duit deka nulong orang lain, Tuhan malas kitai enggau belimpah. Ti kitai ngereja pengawa Iya kena meh semoa ti bisi ba kitai – pengering, penemu, duit – awakka Iya ulih nambah nyadi mayoh kali lipat, “sekeda bebuah saratus, sekeda enam puloh sekeda tiga puloh” (Matthew 13:23).

Dalam jari Nuan, O Tuhan Jesus, roti mimit pan nemu nyadi mayoh. Asoh aku arap amat pengawa badas ti mit ti digaga aku ulih ngereja utai ajih dalam ati orang ngena kuasa Nuan. Pia mega, asoh ati aku sinu ngagai orang lain sama baka Nuan sinu ka sida ya mega. Amen.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Pray for China: Jesus Appears to a Shaman

Ting (not a real name) made a living summoning the darkness. As the local Shaman, villagers in her surrounding area of northwest China would seek her out for the wisdom of the spirits.  And their requests were many: Who should I marry? What must I do to be successful? What does my future hold? Why am I sick? Have I offended the spirits? Ting delighted in her success. Word of her abilities drove thousands of the curious and desperate to seek her divine counsel, which she was eager to give. But only for a price. And then the spirits demanded a price of their own…

Without warning, Ting’s health started to deteriorate. In just over the course of a few days, she was bed-ridden and completely paralyzed. Her illness perplexed doctors. No one had any answers, and they were running out of time. Every passing moment could be Ting’s last. She couldn’t even speak of her agony. Or her fear of death, which seemed inches away and creeping closer. She fell into a deep sleep. And in the midst of her slumber, she heard a voice summoning her in her dreams. Ting says,

I was in the back seat of a taxi as my brother drove me towards an endless darkness. But then three men, who were wearing brilliant white robes, approached. But their light was so bright, I couldn’t see their faces. They told me I must make a choice. And as they spoke, two other men wearing black robes invited me to follow them. I knew in my heart one of the men wearing a white robe was Jesus. So I followed Him.”

When Ting woke up, she found she could move. Miraculously, her body was working again, and she felt her strength returning. Ting immediately remembered her dream. And she knew she’d made the right choice when she followed the man in white. In her heart-of-hearts, Ting knew He was the power behind her restored body. He was the reason she was alive. And she was eager to place her life into His hands. So Ting immediately gave her heart to Jesus.

Jesus had appeared to her. And He had healed her. And because of this one monumental encounter, without any other shred of evidence, she was willing to risk everything. When her family abused her, she could’ve denied Christ, and saved herself from tremendous pain. Like the seed sown among the rocks, Ting could have given up when persecution came (Mark 4:17-19). But she endured, holding fast to the Word of God who became flesh within her as she dreamed upon her death bed. A dream that changed everything. Without God’s radical intervention, how else would Ting have believed?

Believers in Ting’s area of China face the most severe persecution.  And much like Ting’s experience, the persecution is driven on a personal level—from friends, family members and the community. Conversion to Christianity is an utter disgrace—a slap to the face of the family and a treasonous act to the community. If Christians are discovered, they will be disowned by their loved ones. And banished into exile. Ting knew the risk. But Jesus had moved so powerfully in her life—through her dream—she no longer wanted to summon the darkness. But to serve her Saviour. Our Saviour.


Taken and edited from
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Friday, September 22, 2017

Ko Jesus Ngagai Nuan "Pergi Endor Ti Sunyi" (Mark 6:30-34)

Dua bengkah penemu ti aku belajar ari jako Tuhan tu:
#1 Nyimpan ka jako Allah Taala
Setiap kitai mesti bisi Maya Sunyi enggau Tuhan Jesus
#2 Ngereja ka jako Allah Taala
Kitai dikuatka kena melayani

Sida rasul pulai lalu betemu enggau Jesus. Sida nusoi ngagai iya semoa pengawa ti udah dikereja enggau utai ti udah di-ajar sida. Orang ti datai enggau ti pulai mayoh bendar, nya alai Jesus enggau sida murid iya nadai awak alai makai. Nya alai ko iya bejako enggau sida, ‘Aram kitai bejalai kediri ngagai endor bukai, ngambi ko kitai ulih diau kediri, lalu kita ulik belelak enda lama.’ Nya alai sida lalu merau mansang ngagai endor ti sunyi
(Mark 6:30-32, Berita Manah Ka Rebak Diatu)

Sida bala rasul baru pulai ari ngereja pengawa ti diasoh Tuhan Jesus. Sida “ngajar orang, ngasoh orang ngelengka ka dosa sida. Sida muru mayoh antu, lalu ngunsut orang ti sakit ngena minyak sereta nyuman ka sida” (Mark 6:12). Maya sida pulai betemu enggau Jesus tentu sida lelak. Taja pan sida lelak tubuh, semengat sida enda lelak. Sida iya amat gaga ati “nusoi ngagai [Jesus] semoa pengawa ti udah dikereja enggau utai ti di-ajar sida.” Aku mikir, mesti Jesus pan sama mega gaga ati. Tang laban sida telalu sibuk sampai “nadai awak alai makai”, Jesus berunding deka mai sida “ngagai endor ti sunyi.”

Kati ko kitai diatu? Nuan kelalu sibok enggau pengawa Tuhan tauka ngereja pengawa dirik empu sampai ka nuan nadai maya sunyi enggau Tuhan? Maya sunyi tu perlu laban dini-dini endor nuan diatu – ba gerija, ba ofis, ba rumah, ba tempat bukai – kitai sibuk lalu nadai ruang deka mikir ka jako Allah Taala ngau bersampi ngagai Tuhan Jesus. Jadual kitai kelalu mayuh sampai baka utai ti nyadi ngagai Jesus enggau bala rasul Iya, “orang ti datai enggau ti pulai mayoh bendar” – enda nemu berenti. Enti kitai terlalu sibok, kitai nadai maya enggau Tuhan. Nya alai kitai mesti bisi maya sunyi kena kitai nyimpan ka jako Allah Taala dalam pengidup kitai.

Macha Bup Kudus, besampi ngagai Tuhan, diau seta ninga ka Roh Kudus. Pergi retreat kediri, niki bukit/gunung, ngagai taman rimba, gerija ti kosong, kediri di library tauka masuk ke dalam bilik, kunci pintu lalu besampi. Kediri tauka enggau orang. Sejam, dua jam, setengah jam tauka 10 minit setiap ari. Anang ngela ka semengat kitai puang, isi iya enggau jako Allah Taala enggau pengerindu serta pengelantang Iya, pengering Iya, penemu Iya lalu enggau peneka Iya.

Lapa kitai mesti bisi Maya Sunyi? Laban leboh Maya Sunyi kitai nyimpan ka jako Allah Taala awakka maya kitai enggau orang lain (maya kitai melayani), kitai ulih ngereja ka jako Allah Taala enggau pengabis ati. Enti kitai nadai maya sunyi, kitai enda bisi semengat ngau kuasa kena melayani. Maya sunyi ngau melayani enda tau ditinggal ka. Tuhan Jesus selalu ngambi maya sunyi enggau Apai diserga (Mark 1:35, Matthew 14:13, John 6:15). Maya sunyi nyediaka ka kitai ngereja pengawa ngagau orang mayoh baka Tuhan Jesus: “Leboh Jesus nurun ari perau, iya meda orang mayoh bendar, lalu ati iya balat bendar sinu ka sida, laban sida baka bedus ti nadai orang ngibun. Nya alai iya ngajar sida mayoh bengkah utai” (Mark 6:34). Nyadi, kitai patut #1 Nyimpan ka jako Allah Taala awakka kitak ulih #2 Ngereja ka jako Iya. Ati ngau pikir kitai mesti di-isi enggau jako seta Roh Tuhan ngambi ka kitai enda lelak tauka lembau tang berapi-api deka melayani orang lain sama baka Jesus.

O Tuhan Jesus, asoh aku ingin ati amat deka belelak enggau Nuan ba endor sunyi,
Ninting ari chukup penglama, ninting taun ba maya ti patut.
Minta Roh Nuan nyimpan ka jako Allah Taala ba ati seta pikir aku,
awakka aku sedia ka sebarang pengawa ti kedeka Nuan. Amen.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Nuan Deka Nyadi Murid Jesus Bakani: John, Herod tauka Herodias? (Mark 6:14-29)

Nyadi orang ti udah nangkap John Pemaptisa suba ari asoh Rajah Herod empu, lalu disimpan iya dalam tutup. Kebuah Herod ngereja utai nya laban Herodias, ti udah jadi enggau iya, taja indu nya bini menyadi iya ti benama Pilip. John Pemaptisa selalu madah ngagai Herod, ko iya, ‘Nuan enda tau jadi enggau bini menyadi nuan empu!’ Nya alai Herodias pedis ati ngagai John lalu deka munoh iya, tang iya enda ulih munoh John, laban Herod. Nyadi Herod takut ka John laban iya nemu John nya orang ti manah sereta kudus, nya alai iya ngidup ka iya. Herod deka ninga ka John, taja iya selalu kena pangka jako John
(Mark 6:17-20, Berita Manah Ka Rebak Diatu)

Maya Herod ninga pasal Jesus “ngelekai di serata dunia” (6:14a), iya mikir Jesus tu John laban iya bisi ninga orang bejako, “John Pemaptisa udah angkap idup baru! Nya kebuah kuasa ti baka nya bisi ba iya” (6:14b). Ayat 17 sampai 29 nyerita ka bakani pengujung pengidup John. Bisi tiga orang dalam crita tu ti ulih nyadi ka chunto pengidup kitai Kristian: John, Herod ngau Herodias.

John sigi nabi ti brani ngau bendar. Iya selalu ngajar orang di menua puang, “Lengka ka dosa kita, awak ka kita lalu dibaptisa”. Ko iya mega, “Allah Taala deka ngampun dosa kita” (Mark 1:4). John diguna ka Tuhan “nyadi seruan” ngau “nyedia jalai” ka Tuhan Yesus (1:2). Taja pan John tu kasar dalam jako, iya nabi ti lemi ati. Iya madah ngagai anak murid iya, “[Jesus] deka beguna agi ari aku, lalu aku kurang agi beguna ari iya” (John 3:30). Jesus mega madah bakatu pasal John: “Nadai siko orang ti udah nguan dunya tu lebih besai ari John Pemaptisa…” (Matthew 11:11). Pia mega, John enda malu ngajar Herod, “Nuan enda tau jadi enggau bini menyadi nuan empu!” di mua Herod. Bagi Herod, John tu “orang ti manah sereta kudus.”

Herodias mula iya bini Pilip, tang Herod udah ngambi ka iya nyadi ka bini maya iya nyadi rajah. Herodias tu dibeda aku baka indu tik suka ngambi kesempatan. Iya gila kuasa ngau suka meri perintah ngagai laki iya Herod. John disimpan di rumah pasung (rumah tutup) “laban Herodias” (6:17). Iya amai pedis ati ninga ka jako John, nya alai Herodias ngiga “awak kena munoh John” (6:21). Iya mega indai ti enda peduli bakani orang ngelayan anak dara iya. Maya Herod udah mabuk, iya nyuruh (ko runding aku) anak dara iya betanda di mua Herod enggau pengabang ti datai. Udah Herod betanya ngagai anak dara iya, “Nama utai ti dikedeka nuan?” Anak nya “nanya indai iya, ko iya, ‘Nama utai ti patut dipinta aku?’ Disaut indai iya, ‘Pala John Pemaptisa’” (Mark 6:22, 24). Semoa dendam ngau pemetang ati iya dipuas ka enggau pemati John.

Bisi penyalin madah Herod tu “Rajah”, bisi mega ngumbai iya “Gabenor” (Luke 3:19). Herod tu orang ti bekuasa tang lemi. Iya balat ninga ka jako bini iya ti jai. Herod mega idup dalam pemetang.  Iya “ngereja mayoh macham penyai” ko Luke 3:19. Ati Herod dua tiga, nadai bisi bepanggai dini-dini. Iya rindu ngagai John tang iya mega takut. “Herod deka ninga ka John, taja iya selalu kena pangka jako John” (6:20). Ukai semina ati iya enda tetap, iya mega orang ti enda nemu bepikir maya bejako. Meda anak dara Herodias betanda di mua iya, iya nyadi rindu bendar. Nya alai Herod betanyak nama utai ti dikedeka indu dara nya seta iya besumpah, “Aku besemaya deka meri sebarang utai ti dipinta nuan, datai ka satengah ari menoa ti diperintah aku, deka meh aku meri ka nuan!” (Mark 6:23). Ketegal betanda aja, iya udah bersumpah, besemaya! John mati laban iya takut ka bini, laban malu di moa bala temuai (6:26), ngau laban enda bepikir sebedau bejako.

Kati ko pengidup Kristian nuan? Baka John Pemaptisa ti brani, lemi ati, kudus seta enda malu mantah ka penyai ti dipeda iya? Baka Herodias ti pembenci, suka ngambi kesempatan seta gila kuasa? Baka Herod ti lemi, takut, ati dua tiga serta enda bepikir maya bejako? Nuan deka idup ti ngemesai ka nama Tuhan Yesus baka pengidup John? Tauka nuan deka nyadi orang bekuasa baka Herod ngau Herodias tang pengidup ti ngereja mayoh macham penyai? Dalam crita tu, John ti manah, mati; tang Herod ngau Herodias ti jai, idup. Tang maya tu, John bulih “pengidup ti meruan” (John 3:16); Herod ngau Herodias masuk ka “api neraka” (Luke 16:24).

O Tuhan Jesus, dalam pengidup Kristian kami ajar kami idup dalam jako Nuan.
Awakka kami nitih pengidup John Pemaptisa ti brani, lemi ati, kudus
seta enda malu mantah ka penyai ti dipeda kami. Amen.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Pray for Ma Thay: Your Children or Your Faith?


For Ma Thay, the consequences of becoming a Christian began immediately. Her devoutly Buddhist husband attempted to catch Ma Thay reading her Bible so he could burn it. His initial attempts to gently persuade Ma Thay to change her mind turned violent, and he began to regularly beat her. One night, Ma Thay’s husband hit her so hard with a metal pump she had to be taken to the hospital by her neighbors. But the pain of these moments pales in comparison to the day she lost her kids. Ma Thay’s eyes fill with tears as she remembers that day. Her husband moved to another house, taking everything in the house with him: including their two sons and two daughters. “My own children, my daughters, told me that they would leave me if I did not convert back to Buddhism,” Ma Thay remembers. Ma Thay was left with an impossible, unimaginable choice between her children or her faith.


Fifty-six-year-old Ma Thay was born and raised in a Buddhist family and was a strong Buddhist herself in her younger days. From the outside looking in, Ma Thay led a normal family life. Her husband owned and maintained a cycle repair shop, while Ma Thay worked at the nearby railways as a railway track flag holder. It was through Ma Thay’s mother and younger sister that she first learned about Jesus. For years, Ma Thay tried to lure them back to Buddhism, and eventually, Ma Thay’s brother excommunicated his mom for accepting a foreign faith.

I had one younger brother who did not like it when my mother accepted Christ,” Ma Thay remembers. “He destroyed the roof, so that when it rained it leaked inside the house. He also burned my mother’s clothes. He destroyed some pieces in the house. He threw all the clothes of my mother out of the house and told her to leave the house. At that time, I thought that my younger brother was doing the right thing. I went to my mother and scolded her. But later when I became Christian, I told my brother that God is good.”

It was through her mother’s prayers and faithful influence that Ma Thay became a Christian. One day, a Christian friend who was also a Buddhist-background believer visited Ma Thay, and slowly, eventually, she accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior. Her life was changed by Christ and Ma Thay quickly began sensing the Holy Spirit’s prompting in her life. “One early morning, a little voice inside of me told me that I should learn Psalm 23,” Ma Thay remembers. “I am illiterate so I asked my niece to teach me the Bible verse and how to read it.” Ma Thay then pauses and begins to recite the Psalm from memory.


Alone, Ma Thay moved to a new place away from her old home. Christian friends of Ma Thay’s who attended Open Doors’ Women of Worth trainings invited her to attend the seminars and services, helping her through the ordeal. Time passed and Ma Thay was divorced by her husband who shortly after joined a Buddhist monastery. The rift between her family grew. “When my oldest daughter was to be married, I was not invited,” Ma Thay said. “My friends were not happy because I was not invited, but I prayed for her.” Though they were forbidden by their father Ma Thay’s children began secretly visiting her. ‘’My daughters would visit me when they had problems and I would pray for them and teach them from the Bible,” Ma Thay said. “They would go back home feeling at peace and happy.’’

When her second daughter was married Ma Thay was allowed to attend her wedding. Her ex-husband was also there. One of Ma Thay’s daughters decided to return to her mother’s home, but her husband soon came to get his wife. Ma Thay took the chance to share the Bible with both of them. Ma Thay often gets to see her grandchildren and she celebrates their birthdays through Christian traditions. There have also been sweet moments of reconciliation between her and her children. ‘’One time, my youngest son was ill and he missed me very much. His father could not take good care him, so he sent him to me,” Ma Thay recalls. “My husband told him not to say that he sent him.” Smiling, Ma Thay proudly says this son accepted the Lord as his Savior and was baptized.


Ma Thay continues to pray for her children, and as a believer she reaches out to her family and teaches them the Bible. She also has taken in four children, loving them as her own. Ma Thay requests that Christians around the globe pray for her, that she might be used by God to find lost souls and lead them back to Christ, especially her children. Her desire and prayer is that all her children will find the Lord. As she is nearing retirement, Ma Thay is concerned about what will happen when she retires; however, after all she’s been through Ma Thay has faith God will provide. “Without Him, I can’t go to heaven. He is my salvation. I keep Him close and I pray. I’ve never felt tempted to go back to my old faith. The more hardship I face, the closer I get to God.”


Source: by Janelle P, August 1, 2017
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Jesus Ngirum Kitai Ngerembai ka Injil Enggau Kuasa Iya (Mark 6:6-13)

Udah nya Jesus bejalai ngagai mayoh bengkah tumpok rumah ti ngelingi endor nya, ngajar orang mayoh. Iya ngangau ka sida murid iya lalu ngator sida bejalai, dua iko begulai. Iya meri sida kuasa kena ngalah ka antu jai…
(Mark 6:6-7, Berita Manah Ka Rebak Diatu)

Bedau lama bala sida murid Jesus – tauka, bala rasul – begulai enggau Iya, ninga ka jako ajar ngau meda utai ti di adu ka Iya. Sida empai tentu nemu utai ngau agi lemi pengarap. Kati ko Jesus maya nyak ngirum sida ngerembai ka Injil? Ukai penemu ti digiga Allah Taata, ukai pengering ti dipinta Iya. Jesus deka ngena orang ti bepengarap ka Iya, ti ngereja ka pengawa Allah engkau kuasa Iya. Jesus empu ngering sida semoa. Iya meri kuasa ngagai sida rasul, kuasa Allah Taala empu, “Iya meri sida kuasa kena ngalah ka antu jai…”

Dalam runding Tuhan Jesus, pengawa ngerembai ka Berita Manah patut digaga enggau jambat. Tajapan bala sida rasul empai tentu sedia, mengawa tu enda ulih di anti agi. Laban Tuhan Jesus deka ninggal ka sida enda lama agi, nyadi, maya tok meh Iya ngajar ka sida ngerembai ka Injil Tuhan. “Bejalai kita ngagai serata dunya,” ko Jesus dalam Mark 16:15, “lalu tusoi Berita Manah ngagai semoa mensia.”

Sambung: “…lalu ko Jesus bejako enggau sida, ‘Kita anang mai sebarang utai, semina sebatang tungkat aja. Anang mai bekal, anang mai kambut di dikena orang miskin, tauka duit dalam kandi kita. Kena selipar, tang anang ngena baju dalam’” (Mark 6:8-9).

Enda irau nuan macha ka mayoh macham utai ti ditagang Tuhan Jesus ditu? Anang mai sebarang utai, anang mai bekal, kambut, duit ngau ngena baju dalam (anang mai dua bengkah baju ko eti ya). Enti tu pengawa dunya, tentu Jesus enda meri pesan bakatu. Tang tu meh mengawa Allah Taala! Enti Jesus ngirum ka kitai ngerembai ka Injil-Iya, Iya deka meri kitai kuasa ngau deka nyedia ka utai ti dikena kitai. Erti ya: Pengawa Allah Taala mesti bepanggai ba Allah Taala! Nya alai anang irau, ‘Dini endor aku bulih pemakai? Tauka utai di-irup, tauka gari?’ Apai kita ti di serega nemu kita beguna ka samoa utai nya. Kita patut irau ka Perintah iya enggau samoa utai ti diguna iya, lebih agi ari samoa utai bukai, lalu iya deka meri kita semoa utai bukai” (Matthew 6:31-33). Anang irau! Anang tusah! Anang takut! Ti kitai deka ngereja ka pengawa Allah Taala tentu Iya deka nyukong.

Tang dalam ngereja ka pengawa Iya, bisi mega sida ti enda nerima ka Berita Manah. “Ko iya mega madah ngagai sida, ‘Datai kita ba menoa orang, diau enggau orang ti nerima kita, datai ka kita angkat ari nengeri nya. Enti kita datai ba menoa orang ti enda nerima kita tauka enggai mending ka ajar kita, angkat ari endor nya lalu tesai ka keresik ari tapa kaki kita. Nya deka nyadi ka jako tangkan ngagai sida!” (Mark 6:10-11). Semua utai tu deka nyadi. Bisi orang nerima, bisi ga orang nulak; bisi orang gaga ati, bisi mega orang nadai pengerindu; bisi orang ninggal ka pengidup lama lalu idup baru dalam Jesus Kristus, bisi orang nadai peduli.

Dini Tuhan Jesus udah ngirum ka nuan ngerembai ka Berita Manah? Di tempat keja nuan? Di tempat nuan belaja? Di rumah nuan empu? Di gerija? Enggau kuasa Iya, ngereja meh pengawa tu. Anang irau, Roh Kudus Iya bisi enggau nuan. Anang tusah, Iya deka meri nuan jako Allah Taala. Anang takut, arap ka Iya. Nyadi baka sida bala rasul tu: “Sida angkat lalu ngajar orang, ngasoh orang ngelengka ka dosa sida. Sida muru mayoh antu, lalu ngunsut orang ti sakit ngena minyak sereta nyuman ka sida” (Mark 6:12). Kati ko sida ulih ngaga semoa utai tu? Laban Tuhan Jesus “meri sida kuasa” (6:7).

O Tuhan Jesus, aku amai enda nemu utai; ambik aku ka murid Nuan.
Ajar aku, kering ka aku ngena kuasa Nuan
awakka aku ulih ngerembai ka Berita Manah Nuan. Amen.

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Pray for West Bank: A Man Become a Secret Believer and Loses It All for Jesus

New believers baptized in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit

And Yet He Still Chose to Pursue Christ

Having grown up in a devout Muslim family on the West Bank, Ismail* knew that starting to follow Christ would cost him everything: his status, his income, his house, his friends and his family. This is how a Koran-memorizing Palestinian teenager grew more and more towards Christ. And he keeps following Him, despite all the struggles he encountered while living as a secret believer on the West Bank.

He is in his late thirties now, but Ismail remembers vividly when he first laid eyes on a Christian book. “One day I came home from high school. A package from Europe had been delivered to my cousin. I was curious because there was English writing on it. He had written to a Christian organization and they had sent him some evangelistic materials.” Ismail and his friends had just been busy memorizing the Koran—a process that takes a number of years in many young Muslim’s lives when they grow up. “Whenever we had another third part of the book memorized, there was a celebration in the mosque. That week I had just memorized two chapters about Mary and Jesus. The Koran teaches that Jesus was not crucified but Judas instead of him,” Ismail explains.

He asked his grandfather why the Christians would still believe in Jesus as the Son of God if this really was the case. “My grandfather was an esteemed Islamic scholar but he responded harshly. He said: ‘Don’t think. There is no answer. The Christians made up their story, otherwise, no one would have believed them.’ To be honest, I didn’t buy that. I was not satisfied with this explanation.” This set Ismail off on a quest for the truth. At first, he tried to find answers in Islam. But when he couldn’t find the truth about Jesus there, he started studying the Bible together with his cousin. “Until then I never had met a Christian in person. But we started exchanging letters with an organization in Europe, asking them our questions. Every time we sent a letter through it would take one and a half months for an answer to arrive.”

Tails Like Devils

Even to correspond with a Christian would have been a huge step for any Palestinian Muslim, especially back in those days. Ismail shares how many Muslims in his country grow up with a distorted view of Christians. “Some parents tell their kids stories that Christians are not human beings, or that they have tails like devils. That was the time before internet and social media, so we lived more isolated.” A few months later, one of Ismail’s discussions about Christianity with his relatives was overheard by one of their neighbours. “I heard you talk about Christianity. If you’d like to know Christian people, I´ll introduce you,” he said.

Ismail responded quickly: “I want to understand why God came to earth to ride on a donkey.” He explains how that question kept nagging him. Why would an almighty God humiliate himself like that? “In my Muslim mind, it was unbelievable and unacceptable to talk that way about God.” The neighbour introduced Ismail to a group of Christian students. “They told me more about Jesus and their religion. I had tons of questions for them.”

Christians: Crazy and Delusional?

What he didn’t see back then is that he gradually started growing towards Jesus. When the students couldn’t answer his questions anymore, they introduced him to a pastor who started to teach him about the Bible. “I quickly told him: ‘Everything you say I already know. But what I don’t know is how to live with Christ.’ In my head, I was still in doubt: were the Christians right, or were they crazy and delusional?”

He decided to put it to the test. “I was fascinated by the way Christians speak directly to the Lord in prayer. So I remembered some prayers I heard Christians pray. When I was alone I closed my eyes and repeated those words to see what would happen. I told the Lord that I was a sinner and prayed about His love. The words were amazing, but in my heart there was still doubt. The Muslim notion of ‘what you don’t see doesn’t exist’ kept me from accepting Christ.” Then God intervened and in a simple and short dream cleared that barrier: “I saw a white face and heard a voice: ‘Follow Me.’ Nothing more. But it was enough. I made the decision to follow Him.”

“Leave and Never Come Home”

It may sound easy now, but that was the hardest decision Ismail ever made. “Following Christ would mean losing my family and losing my nice life. Being born again meant, for me, being completely alone with a lot of problems.” He explains how, in the Palestinian village he grew up in, leaving Islam was seen as bringing shame onto the whole family and community. “Instantly, I was the black sheep, the worst family member they had. In our tradition, you have to respect the community, and you have to take care of the elders. Social status is everything. When you lose that, it’s not easy to rebuild.

He left all of this behind when he was cast out of his community directly after his family found out about his newfound faith. “I lost all my status, all my family. I was forced to leave the house. My father told me to leave and never come back again.”

“Cut Off from My Family, Christ Filled My Whole Existence”

A new chapter started in Ismail’s life. He started to read the Bible even more intensively, writing down all his questions so he could ask his pastors. The group of students quickly became his new family, and he started reaching out to other Muslims with the gospel. “My faith is not something that affects just the Sunday prayer time and church visits, like it is for some Christians. For me—someone who lost his entire normal life—my faith in Christ is everything. It fills my whole existence.” Ismail saw several Muslims accept Jesus as their Saviour over the years. “We don’t do the work, we are just a tool,” he says. “Most Muslims come to the Lord through visions and dreams, not through evangelists.”


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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Pray for Central Asia: From Drug Smuggler to Bible Smuggler

Alim’s* life almost sounds like the plot to a suspense movie. The main character? A man who once trafficked in underground drug networks. The twist? He turns out to have the exact skills necessary to run an undercover Bible distribution centre later in life.

As a young man, Alim would never have predicted he’d one day be in full-time ministry. In those years, he was busy running an ambitious drug-smuggling operation in Central Asia. But when Alim was caught, his life was derailed and he was locked away in a prison cell with nothing to live for. “For a long time, I neglected the spiritual questions. I was empty, and I didn’t want to live,” Alim recalls. But, behind bars, Alim’s cellmate offered him the Gospel according to John to read.

With little else to do, Alim began reading all the disciple John had written. As he turned the pages, he wrestled with the concept of eternal life. It was this experience in prison that finally began to change Alim. “I met Jesus through the book of John,” he explains. Alim’s life was forever changed. While serving the remainder of his sentence, he became free from drugs and alcohol and began to grow spiritually. After his release, he had become so passionate about his faith that he decided to enrol in seminary.

Eventually, Alim began pastoring a local congregation in a hostile area to Christians. As a result, Alim’s church is forced to meet in hiding, rotating between different locations to avoid detection. But all of these life experiences built upon each other to prepare Alim for another ministry as well—one that is conducted entirely in secret. Alim and his team smuggle the illegal Bibles, discipleship resources and evangelism materials to churches throughout five nearby countries. This underground network provides believers with the vital words of Jesus to sustain their Christian walk. They also do what Alim’s cellmate once did for him—help unbelievers meet Jesus for the first time through the words of the Bible.

Of course, it’s dangerous,” Alim concedes. “The authorities will come and search, but the materials are hidden.” A sign hangs over the illegal Bibles that displays the words of Proverbs 8:10: “Choose my instruction rather than silver; knowledge rather than choice gold.” It’s an appropriate reminder for an operation so risky. If the Bible distribution centre is discovered, it will be shut down and Alim will return to prison. In the face of this danger, Alim leans over, smiles, and says, “We are here to start a revolution: to bring people from death to life!”


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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Pray for Laos: Homeless "Because You Are A Christian"

“Aelen” woke up one night to the sounds of someone burning her house down. Thankfully, she was able to grab her baby son and escape. Unfortunately, it was one of many hardships she’d been forced to face since deciding to leave her tribe’s traditional religion and follow Jesus instead. Many in her village, including her family, perceived the change in her religious beliefs as an offence to their culture.  Many Laotians believe Christianity is an American religion. When someone in the community becomes a Christian, the community worries that the spirits they worship will be offended, and that the community might also suffer ill-effects as a result.

Though she escaped the attempted arson of her home, Aelen’s problems weren’t yet over. A little while later, she visited her sister in another city for a while. When she came home, she found that her father and brother had moved into her home and were claiming it as their own. Aelen went to the local authorities to complain. She then found out that the village headman had even issued her father a new property deed for her home. Further lobbying for justice at the local level and even provincial level hasn’t helped. It looks like Aelen will be forced to leave the village. When she asked her father how he could do such a thing to her, he told her, “Because you are a Christian.”

It’s not just young people who suffer like this.

An older gentleman, “Keowynn” and his wife and daughter were also recently evicted from their home, in this case by their own son. Keowynn is a key Christian leader in his area and he leads a church that he planted many years ago after he moved to an unreached region as a missionary.
In spite of Keowynn’s faithful example, his oldest son despises his parents’ faith. He also drinks and uses drugs. Much like the prodigal son in the Gospel of Luke, his son demanded his inheritance from his father and said that the house should be his portion. The conflict between the oldest son and the family has been ongoing for at least three years, and on March 15, 2017, the son finally forced his father, mother and sister from the home.

Keowynn and his family are now living under a roof they erected in a rice field. It’s a tough life, but they don’t want to abandon the other believers in their community. They are afraid if they leave, the other believers will become too discouraged and renounce their faith.

Pray: For both Aelen and Keowynn and their families. Other Christians in Laos are assisting them, but it’s difficult to lose home and family. Pray that they and other believers in Laos will stand firm in Christ, no matter what they encounter.


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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Pray for China: Bible-Smugglers Arrested

In May 2017, several men split into three small groups to cross into mainland China. With bags stuffed with Bibles, they timed their entries 20 minutes apart to increase their odds of getting copies of God’s Word into the communist country. The final group and a member of the second group, however, were stopped by customs officials in Shenzhen, one of China’s largest cities, while on their way to Guangzhou. The men were detained for 10 hours and, after being questioned by 50 officials, were banned from the country for three years.

The men, plus another Bible smuggler not tied to their organization who happened to be crossing into China at the same time, were interrogated for six hours. Officials confiscated everyone’s Bibles and other Christian materials. “These books are forbidden in China,” one official said, pointing to the Bibles. “They are foreign-published.”

Since opening in 1987, China’s only government-approved Bible printer, Amity Printing Company, has printed more than 115 million Bibles. However, the majority of these Bibles are for export. The relative few that remain in country are sold by China’s official Three-Self Patriotic Movement churches. Even so, Amity alone cannot meet the Chinese citizens’ demand for the Bible, as Bibles wear out and as new people become believers.

During the men’s detainment, most of the 50 officers looked through the materials and flipped through the Bibles. Many officers wore body cameras and recorded everything. At least two officers remained with each worker and monitored their every move — even while they were in the restroom. The smugglers had to sign a paper admitting they broke laws regarding Bible smuggling and each paid a small fine. They were then transported in police vehicles to the district police office, where they were held for another four hours while officials processed their passports. Once finished, they were forced to sign deportation papers and were told they are not allowed back into China for three years. Armed police officers and undercover agents then drove them to the border and made sure they bordered a bus back to Hong Kong.

One smuggler said he only felt love and forgiveness for the officials involved during the ordeal.I felt bad for them because they didn’t realize they were barring the one thing from their country that would bring good news and hope and truth to them,” the man said. “The love that I experienced for these officials was the same love that sent Jesus to the cross, and the same love that caused him to cry out: ‘Father forgive them; for they know not what they do.’

[Sources: The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) website]

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