May & June - 2021
These first days of the month of May is very special for thousands of Muslim people. They all are dedicating themselves to prayer and fasting, in hopes that their god will listen to them. This also is a great opportunity for us to pray for them. Read the article My Ramadan Experience in the Field, by Marina Sordi Bryant, and learn more about Ramadan and how to pray more specifically.
On our section about Mission Life Style, you will find the article The Inescapable Culture Shock I Thought I Had Overcome, written by Juliana Kath. Juliana shares about her experience of shifting from one country in Africa to another, the challenges, the differences between the cultures and the cultural shock. This is also a good opportunity for you to learn how to pray for the missionaries who are working overseas.
On Highlights from WNI, you must read about our community center in Indonesia, the Hope and “Happy Day” - LifeCenter. We also want to invite you to know more about this project and we would love to have you as our partner in it!
In the Project Report section, we invite you to know more about the work WNI is doing among the Unreached People Group (UPG) and how to be part of this!
And of course you cannot miss the Leadership Lessons from our executive director, Matt Mattos! Every edition you will learn short and practical ways of how to be a better leader, according to God's Word.
In the Wise Money section, we have more practical hints from our partner, Ana Lis, who is working in Indonesia. She is teaching about Two Money Tips You May Not Know in order to be a good steward of what God is trusting in your hands.
How To Make Friends and Be an Influencer
My Ramadan Experience
in the Field
Ramadan—the holy month for Muslims—started April 12th and will end May 12th. It is a month of prayer, fasting from sunrise to sunset, nightly feasts, celebrations, and recitation of Qur'an. They celebrate the initial revelation of their holy book, the Qur'an, which they believe Muhammad received from the angel Gabriel.
Ramadan is when the atmosphere changes in Muslim majority countries. During the entire month, Muslims fast water and food from just before sunrise to just before sunset. In some countries, they can go 19 hours without eating or drinking anything! It can be very hard and help them to experience the hunger pain some of the people experience everyday. It's also a month of charity and fraternity.
I remember when I was living in the Middle East during Ramadan. There was a mosque about a block away from my house. The minarets were blasting with Quranic recitations—one of the traditions is to recite the entire Qur'an, their holy book, during the month. People would go in flocks daily to celebrate the end of the fast, the night prayers, and the whole night of eating and chatting together.
They would decorate their houses, the streets, and the mosques with lanterns and lights—almost like our Christmas time. The stores open at night, especially the ones that sell sweets and cakes. It's a full month of celebration.
My friends would invite me over to have iftar (the breaking of the fast meal) with them. If I told you the amount of food that was put on the table, you wouldn't believe it. Generosity and hospitality were things that most impacted me in Arab societies. They would give you all the food they had at home. It's an incredible culture.
The iftars with my Muslim friends were always opportunities for great spiritual conversations. They are open and searching for meaningful stories, for discovering the meaning of life, love, and spiritual connections. Jesus was also constantly around the table with friends and people who were searching for Him, because the table is a place of openness and warmth.
Around the table comes meaningful conversations, telling of stories, sharing of life experiences, sometimes with tears of sadness, but many times with laughter until the belly hurts. Around the table they could see Jesus in me, because He was definitely there.
You can be part of this mission, being a collaborator
Jesus is near to the brokenhearted, to the people who are searching for Him. And this is what the Muslims are doing during that whole month: looking for God. They are looking for answers, searching for hope in a troubled world. They fast and pray to get God's approval, to get closer to Him. But what they really don't know is that Jesus is at the door of their hearts, knocking.
My prayer for my Muslim friends is that Jesus will reveal Himself to them in a supernatural way, that the Lord will give them dreams and visions with Him, and help them to see the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Would you join me in prayer for them? The Muslim population makes up to about 22% of the world's population. A survey carried out by Joshua Project shows that about 3,1 billion people have never heard of Jesus Christ. That means that about one of every four people alive in the world today have never heard of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not even once.
This is where we, as the World Nations team, are putting our efforts: to reach those who have never heard about Jesus before. Those people are called Unreached People Groups and with our projects and programs we are reaching nine different groups. Those groups are living in Muslim majority countries, like the area in which I used to live.
As you read this, and through your prayers and financial support, you are also helping bring the good news of Jesus Christ to those who have never heard it before. Let's continue to pray for our friends. As Luke beautifully puts it in chapter 16:9: "Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home."(NLT)