Thank you for your prayerful support for the work of Langham Preaching around the world. This week Mark Meynell, our Director for Europe and the Caribbean, shares some thoughts leading to a focus for prayer in the week ahead.
God gave the prophet Hosea a tough mission, one that made extraordinary demands on him very close to home. His marriage and family life were designed to provide a unique visual aid for the people of God. This one family showed God’s agony at enduring his people’s unfaithfulness. Since they had lived their lives as if they were not his people, God’s judgment would result in them ceasing to be God’s people (Hos 1:10). And yet, despite it all, Hosea is given this remarkable message to preach: Say of your brothers, “My people”, and of your sisters, “My loved one” (Hos 2:1). They don’t deserve it; but then nobody ever does. That’s the nature of grace!
Please pray for the work across Europe and the Caribbean…
I don’t know if this is true where you are, but in our region we find that preachers can slide back into a “do good works to earn God’s favour” mentality. We might claim to believe in God’s grace with our lips. We might even try deliberately to show grace to people we encounter. But our sermons can still add on the guilt in order to encourage good behaviour. Whether we mean to or not, we imply that being a member of God’s beloved people is somehow something we can earn or achieve. Please pray for all of us in the global Langham family and especially those who facilitate the training of preachers, that we keep on coming back to the bedrock of the gospel. That we belong to God, not because we deserve it, but because he loves us.
Let’s remember to give thanks…
Last Monday was the monthly call for those women who participated in the Women’s Forum in Cyprus in 2019. Together with some new friends, they join together for fellowship and prayer. Regina John, from Pakistan, led with a devotional from Psalm 103, with an encouragement to Bless the Lord, oh my soul. We are thankful that the friendships developed during the Forum continue on, more than 18 months later.
Please pray for the work in other places around the world…
Greece: On Monday, the end of the first year of the ‘Beta22’ training programme is being marked by the four teams coming together. Constantinos Apostolou asks us to join them in giving thanks for the 35 participants who have responded with enthusiasm and commitment to the training. Remember them in your prayers as they make plans for the coming year.
Central America: Also, on Monday, the six preaching movement coordinators from across this region have their monthly meeting together, hosted by Dionisio Orjuela. Pray that this time of prayer, fellowship and planning provides an opportunity for encouragement, for renewing the vision and for gaining practical tools for their roles.
Colombia: Dionisio also informs us that a Level One seminar is taking place, at the end of the week, in his home town of Ibagué. 48 participants from seven escuelitas, or preaching clubs, will be guided through the training by Luis Miguel Huertas and Elías Alvarado. Please pray that each one remains dependent on the Lord in prayer and love, as they look to be faithful to the text as well as be relevant to the context.
Burkina Faso: Multiple seminars are taking place in Bobo through this week: a Level One seminar, with 35 participants; a Level Three seminar with 50 participants; and a training event with 10 preaching club coordinators. People are travelling long distances and so pray for safety — and for good understanding as people learn from the facilitators: Roland Tamini, Amos Nougtara, and Romain Zabre.
Central Asia: The final training session (of four) takes place on Zoom on Thursday-Saturday. It is a mixture of Levels One-Three seminars and is offered in partnership with IFES, as the Fellowship of Eurasian Bible Expositors (FEBE). 20 people from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Georgia are participating. Most of them have been meeting in their preaching clubs, or, ‘FEBE groups’. Please pray that they will persevere with this commitment and that the facilitators — Paula Viles (IFES Eurasia), Jenny Brown and Kanat Kalmakiev — will be sensitive to the differences in learning needs and cultural contexts that they encounter. Kanat also asks to pray for the future of the FEBE partnership, as they prepare to train facilitators later this year and then commence a fresh round of training in January 2022.
Philippines: A Level Three seminar is happening on the Saturdays in June. It is being held across seven locations as a hybrid seminar, with some of the 110 participants joining in-person and others on Zoom. Phil Nicholson, Rene Futalan, Ronnel Delima and Paul Windsor are involved as facilitators, with Iljo de Keijzer providing the overall coordination. During the hot summer months, the internet can become unreliable and so please pray for stable internet. Pray also that the testimonies of those who have been active in on-line preaching clubs will inspire those who have not yet started, or who have stopped.
Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer!
The Langham Preaching Team