Belated Birthday Prayers for Pastor Eric

Yesterday was Pastor Eric’s birthday.  Pastor Eric is leading a TIBM sponsored church, Calvary International Baptist Ministries.  Please bless Pastor Eric & Calvary with your prayers!

Praise God for watching over Pastor Eric and his family.  We rejoice that Pastor Eric’s wife and four children were able to join him from Ghana in October.  We also thank the Lord for keeping them all safe when their car was totaled in an accident last month.  Praise God also for the ways He has been working in Calvary, gathering to Himself a growing multicultural and multinational fellowship of new and mature Christ-followers.  We thank God for the encouraging Christmas and New Year services they had (even in the very cold and snowy weather).

Please ask God to provide a minivan (or similar vehicle) for Pastor Eric.  The insurance company is no longer making a rental car available so Pastor Eric is currently without a vehicle.  Pray that transportation will no longer hinder God’s work through this family.

Please continue to pray for Pastor Eric’s application for a religious worker visa to be processed quickly and accepted.  Obtaining this different kind of visa will allow Pastor Eric to concentrate his full attention on Calvary’s ministry.

Pray that Calvary will continue to grow spiritually, numerically and in diversity.  Pray that the Lord will raise up more leaders as Calvary looks to start more congregations in other Chicagoland areas.  Pray that God will provide the resources needed — especially suitable spaces — for Calvary to expand.

Katie’s Sabbatical

Katie, our Next Gen Ministry Specialist and MoveIn-er, has recently started a sabbatical through January or so.  Here are some ways you can pray for her during this time:

Please pray for Katie to finish her graduate studies well.  Pray that what she studies in the classroom will continue to strengthen her ministry.

Ask the Lord to give her clear guidance as to what her ministry should look like next.  Pray that He will also speak to brothers and sisters to confirm His word.

Pray that she will trust in the Lord’s provision — either through increased financial support, another job that is well-suited for her to continue ministry, or some combination.

Meeting Partners in Uganda and Ethiopia

In answer to prayer, TIBM began partnering with Endiro Coffee in Uganda and Goh Bright Future in Ethiopia.  We are looking forward to advancing these partnerships as Cody travels to Uganda and Ethiopia the first week of December.  Please pray for this trip and for these ministries.  Pray that the Lord will continue to provide for all the expenses related to this trip.

If you haven’t already seen Cody’s post about his trip, here are his prayer requests:

1. Pray for a safe trip without complications.  Also pray that I would not get any health problems.

2. Pray that God will bless me with great fellowship during this week of travel.  I need it.

3. Pray that I will be able to hear clear direction and instruction from the Lord that will help me as a leader and helper in relationship to these ministries.

4. Pray for the ministries of Goh Bright Future and Endiro Coffee.  Pray for their leaders.  Ask God to deepen and expand their impact to bless more children, plant more churches, and engage more people in diaspora with the gospel.

Gathering Friends and Family for Thanksgiving

Thankful feathers

“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” – Psalm 50:23

Here at TIBM we are thankful for Thanksgiving, which reminds us to thank God for His many blessings and which allows us to share these blessings with our friends and family.  Please pray for the goodness of our Lord to be evident in all of our Thanksgiving plans.

Pray for the TIBM-ers traveling this week to have safe and pleasant trips.

Pray for the two Bhutanese Nepali youth who have become Andy’s brothers as they spend the week with Andy and his family.  Pray that this cultural exchange will be fun and frutiful.  Pray that these youth will see what it can look like for a family to follow Christ together and will grow closer to Christ as a result.

Pray for the multiple Thanksgiving meals that the non-traveling TIBM-ers are hosting.  In addition to blood relatives, the invited guests are from different nations — Burma, Bhutan, Iraq, Nepal, Ghana, Thailand, Pakistan.  Some of these are new friends while others are for all intents and purposes family.  Some follow Christ and others do not.  Pray for delicious food to accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences.  Pray that these gatherings will be marked with humble thankfulness and joyful celebration of God’ grace in our lives.  Ask God to reveal His salvation to those who have not yet entered in.

Sharing (8 or 9 times) at Two Conferences

Some of our team members are traveling soon to speak at two upcoming conferences. The first is a missions conference where they will be sharing about what God is doing among unreached people in Chicago. This conference will be primarily focused on mobilizing the church to engage in missions among the unreached refugees and immigrants living in Illinois. The second speaking engagement is a youth conference in Iowa where they will be speaking on spiritual disciplines.

Please pray for travel mercies.  Pray that God will help them prepare and give them peace as they visit multiple churches over the next ten days.  Pray for God’s power to speak through them.  Ask God to mobilize His church through the upcoming missions conference.

Ye iYesus Tsega: the Grace of the Lord Jesus

Some people may think that diaspora missions only involves the Church in a host country reaching out to migrants (tourists, international students, immigrants, etc.) who find themselves in that country.  On the contrary, diaspora missions also involves migrant Christ-followers reaching out to members of their people group around the globe as well as cross-culturally to other people groups.  These Christ-followers who have been scattered from their homelands have much to offer their host country brothers and sisters.  We need both churches of primarily diaspora peoples as well as diaspora individuals to share with the rest of us so that the larger Body may be built up.

To give an example, an Ethiopian sister attending Tensae Church started a ministry with a website to share her family’s testimonies and messages from Scripture.  Some of the resources are in Amharic but others are also in English.  Here is how Aster explains the origin of her ministry, Ye iYesus Tsega:

The thought has its origin in the amazing grace that had sustained my beloved husband, Mesfin Birru Dehnanew, who went to be with the Lord on April 20 2011, after long years of debilitation with chronic illness. Despite the enfeebling illness, my husband regularly went to his office for work, performed all other activities for living and, astonishingly, wore a big smile all the time.

To whoever asked him how he was doing, his answer was always the same: “I’m well and strong in the grace of the Lord.” Indeed, I do not remember any occasion of hearing him grumble against God on account of his illness.

Praise God for the way Aster is seeking to bless and encourage others through recounting how the Lord has worked in her life.  Please pray that many people from various backgrounds will more fully know the grace of the Lord Jesus through this ministry.  Pray that the Lord will continue to provide for her and her children in miraculous ways.

Pray that many more individuals like Aster will have the confidence in the Lord to share their stories and that they will find many brothers and sisters from many nations eager to listen and learn.

Lord of the harvest, send Next Gen workers

A couple weeks ago, we asked you to pray for God to send more laborers into the plentiful harvest field.  Today we’d like to highlight the need for workers among what we call the Next Generation.  The Next Gen consists of 1.5 and 2nd generation immigrants – that is, children, youth and young adults who either came to the States as teenagers or younger or who were born in the States to immigrant parents.  Next Gen-ers often do not fit firmly into their parents’ culture nor into mainstream American culture.  They need to discover that their identities are rooted in their Creator, that all the cultures they participate in have aspects which are beautiful, pleasing and acceptable to the Lord, and that their personal cultural jostlings can lead to effective cross-cultural ministry.

May the Lord call forth men and women to guide Next Gen-ers to these truths while serving as:

  • college ministry workers.  Based on Census Bureau’s Community Survey, Chicagoland has over 670,000 college students.  There are around 100 schools, yet embarrassingly few college ministry workers.  Ask God to call forth at least one worker for each Chicagoland campus.  Pray specifically that the Lord will provide at least one man and one woman to lead Next Gen ministry at the College of DuPage, one of the largest community colleges in the nation with an enrollment of around 29,000.

– youth mentors.  As TIBM-ers Abby and Katie examined through a research study earlier this year, a godly, cross-culturally sensitive mentor has a huge opportunity to help youth understand these truths.  Please continue to pray for God to provide at least six youth mentors for our International Youth Group.  Please also pray that youth ministers across Chicagoland will be equipped to help meet the spiritual, social and emotional needs of Next Gen-ers.

– child care helpers.  Besides being able to help train Next Gen children in the way they should go, here are just three possible scenarios where a child care helper may greatly bless a family: 1) when the young children are being cared for primarily by an aging grandparent; 2) when a father and mother must work opposite shifts so that the children can always have an adult at home; and 3) when a single parent has difficulty working due to needing someone to care for the children.  Please pray for God to provide more people willing to bless children and their families in this way.

“Taking us to the next level”

Our brothers and sisters at Calvary International Baptist Ministries, led by Pastor Eric Aidoo, believe that God is taking them to “the next level”.  We invite you to be a part of that through prayer!

Praise God!  He has made it possible for Pastor Eric’s family to finally join him in the States.  We thank God for sustaining Pastor Eric and his family while they were geographically separated for dozens of months.  We thank God for providing Pastor Eric’s wife and four children with visas and plane tickets so that we can all celebrate a joyful reunion!  Moreover, we thank God for the prayers, encouragement, support and energy that Pastor Eric’s wife will be bringing.

Please pray that Pastor Eric’s family will have safe travels and a smooth transition to living in the States.  Ask God to bless and reward this family for the personal sacrifices they have made for the sake of God’s kingdom.  Pray for God’s protection over them as they learn to minister together again.

Praise God for the three people who were recently baptized by Pastor Eric’s church, Calvary International Baptist Ministries.  Pray for these individuals to grow in maturity in the Lord.  We also praise God that Calvary now has members from six different nations.  Please ask God to continue to bring different peoples to pray and worship together at Calvary.  Pray specifically that the Lord will add 10 to 15 more people through baptism to Calvary by the end of December.

As Calvary grows and seeks to grow, please pray for the Lord to provide a good location for them to meet on Sunday mornings.

Lord of the harvest, send forth more workers!

In Luke 10:2, Jesus told his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Our denomination is encouraging people to pray on October 2 (10/2 – get it?) for God to send forth more workers in North America. Regardless of what your denomination may be, we hope you will join us in asking God to call forth the following specific workers to our harvest field of Chicagoland:

intercessory pray-ers
people group researchers
administrative assistant
neighbors to live in strategic areas
English tutors and teachers
youth mentors
driving instructors
child care helpers
college ministry workers
counselor or mental health professional
doctor or nurse
medical liaison
ethno-arts facilitator

We believe some of the people the Lord will call do not live in Chicagoland right now. Pray that the Lord will clearly guide them to moving here and that the transition process will be smooth.

We also believe that some of the people the Lord will call already live in Chicagoland. Pray that the Lord will help more Chicagoland followers of Jesus to become aware of God’s heart for the nations to know Him and God’s purposes in moving people from every nation to our great city. Pray that these followers of Jesus will grow in love toward other sojourners and that they will become equipped to build cross-cultural friendships.

Diaspora: the final frontier?

TIBM’s pastor/church planting leader Cody will be speaking in the Dallas area at two events from Sept 18-19.

First, he will be sharing at the DFW Diaspora Roundtable.  Pray that local North Texas leaders will be encouraged and better equipped to reach out to diaspora peoples there.  Please also pray for Christ-centered unity and fellowship among the participants.

Hours later, Cody will speak at the International Society of Frontier Missiology annual meeting.  ISFM, founded by Ralph Winter, is focused on promoting thinking and sharing about missions as it relates to the unfinished task.  In attendance will be many leaders who influence the direction of missions for sending organizations, educational institutes, etc.

This year, the entire program will be focused on diaspora missions.  Cody will be speaking on Wednesday about missions to diaspora peoples and participating in a panel discussion on Thursday about the implications of diaspora for mission agencies.

Pray that the Lord will help Cody be physically able to speak (as he has been dealing with various ailments lately).  Pray that the Lord will give Cody wisdom and insight as he speaks.

Pray that the Lord will make the meeting a key moment to mobilize and compel the top frontier missiologists in the US regarding what the Lord is doing among the people on the move.  Pray that the Church will take notice of God’s movements as He scatters and gathers people around the globe and will take the steps to move with Him.