eNews and prayer update December 2019
A year of blessings
You may be forgiven for believing, based on impressions gained from the media and various interest groups holding centre stage in Australia, that Christianity is dying, or at the very least, past its use by date. It seems we are a small and irrelevant religious anachronism, holding out against an inevitable demise in an enlightened, progressive world.
How wrong you would be! It is true that the Church is under attack and in many places declining in numbers and struggling to hold fast to the truth – however this is most likely to be the experience of those of us in the West.
Meanwhile, around the world, every day more than 170,000 new Christians bow the knee to their Lord and Saviour. Every week, there are more than 4000 new Churches planted, to cater for the growth and to reach out to their communities.
What is outdated and irrelevant is the belief that somehow we, in the West, are more enlightened, more educated, and more correct in our understanding of God and His world than the millions of Christians – now the majority of Christians – who live outside Australia, the UK, North America or Western Europe.
As God is blessing His Church, and as His Spirit does His work throughout the world, the need has never been more urgent for growing maturity and depth – in OUR churches as well as those of the world wide Church. In our new global world, we have the opportunity for a new unity, where we can mutually benefit from the different gifts and resources with which we have been blessed. We who have material plenty can direct our support towards those who are rich in faith and trust, but limited in access to clear, Biblical teaching and culturally relevant literature. We, who have so much to learn, can now hear the voices of our Majority World brothers and sisters as they teach their own people and us. Who better to help us come to grips with persecution and discrimination than Pakistani or Chinese believers? Who better to teach us about faithfulness and service in the face of suffering than the Myanmar or East Asian churches that have experienced and responded to cyclones, tsunamis and earthquakes? And who better to show us how to reach our non-believing neighbours than our Middle Eastern friends who risk their lives in order to share the gospel with their communities?
By equipping the Majority World Church and its Bible teachers and Scholars, we are not just helping them to grow to maturity in Christ, but helping ourselves – for we are all one body, and one part cannot flourish while another starves. What a privilege it is to join in unity across the worldwide family of believers, and witness God building His Church!
Thank you for your faithful support and prayers for the work of Langham Partnership throughout 2019. May God richly bless your Christmas season with love, peace and joy, as we celebrate the birth of the Saviour.
Gillean Smiley, CEO, Langham Partnership Australia
Please join us in prayer for…
- Thank God for Anwar’s graduation ceremony in Melbourne, conferring his PhD. Thank God, too, for Anwar’s powerful testimony at the “Tackling Trauma” book launch in Melbourne in December, and for the family’s safety through recent violence near their home in Addis Ababa.
- Pray for the new Masters in Christian Muslim relations introduced in Ethiopia to assist in training Christians in evangelism to the Muslim World, and for the new Christians converted through Anwar’s training. Pray for his health to remain improved to enable him to continue in his ministry.
- For preaching movements to grow and spread, effective administration is as important as effective training. Please pray for the Personal Assistants, often working just a day or two each week, alongside our Directors. Esteban Améstegui(Bolivia, Latin America), Sharon Watkinson (UK, Europe & Caribbean), Claire Bennett (UK, International), Sandra Abeyie (Ghana, Africa), Benjamin Stephen (India, International), and Santi Widiastuty (Indonesia, Asia & South Pacific). Give thanks to God for these people. Pray for the plans to bring them together for a week in June 2020 – and pray for them by name, asking God to encourage them with the significance of what they do to assist His mission in the world.
Upcoming Langham Preaching Events
Please pray for safe travel and good health for the facilitators and participants, pray that all have the commitment to learning.
- December 14 Liberia
- December 16-18 Democratic Republic of Congo
- December 19-22 Kenya
- January 1-4 2020 Trinidad & Tobago
- January 2-4 2020 Democratic Republic of Congo
- January 3-5 2020 Guatemala
- January 10-12 2020 Honduras
- January 17-19 2020 Honduras
- January 18 2020 Benin
- Thank God for the launch of the Langham Literature book “Tackling Trauma” in Melbourne, and pray that it may be used widely and wisely by counsellors, pastors and others.
- Pray for the work commencing on an East Asia Bible Commentary, and for the safety of scholars preparing to contribute, despite official sanctions.
- Pray that the Latin America Commentary may be a blessing to the Latin American churches, and help grow understanding of God’s Word.
- Pray for the new warehouse plans, to manage the stock of Langham Literature distributed around the world.
- Pray for the new Chair of Langham Partnership Australia, Jill McGilvray, as she takes on this challenging role, including significant Langham Partnership International responsibilities. Thank God for our previous Chair, Trevor Cork, and his faithful, generous and wise leadership as he steps down from this demanding role. We are delighted that he has agreed to continue to serve on the LPA Committee.
- Pray for the new work arising from the Strategic Planning Day in November, especially in how to engage with young people and how to secure the long term future of Langham in Australia and worldwide.
- Pray especially that Langham may be successful in our attempt to gain tax deductibility, for the benefit of our supporters and to allow applications for grants from a number of Christian foundations.