Missions: Countries & People Groups

Map of Old Hungary
Last weekend, Don and I stepped out of our typical world of college admissions and invoicing/public relations/running a household & business and connected in with a church body (E Free) and their conference about their mission efforts in Hungary. I think they have been sending people to Hungary for at least 13 years. The most interesting thing to me was that no one there seemed to have any connection to Hungary by ethnicity except for one guy, who was a Hungarian from Hungary, and me. But these people were all so passionate about Hungary and her people. God gave them a heart for Hungary! And then I read Kisses from Katie and she, too, had no ethnic connection to Uganda, but fell in love with the people of Uganda. God gave Katie a heart for Uganda!

If you don’t have a heart for a certain country maybe God is giving you a heart for a people group. Some people become connected to and passionate for a country or a people group because they have heard a missionary speak. Maybe you know a missionary in the field who has asked for prayer. Ask God to cultivate in you a heart for encouraging those who serve in missions and a passion for sharing the Gospel. And ask Him to give you a heart for something bigger than yourself!

As you pray for a country or people group, consider these PrayerPoint starts:

* receptive hearts to the Gospel
* native ministry partners
* creative & relative connecting points to share the Gospel
* funds needed for the workers and programs
* careful spending of the funds donated
* healthy and multiple partnering churches and church bodies
* creative ways to work through governmental issues
* language barriers to be removed
* the Gospel to be shared in many ways
* long-term relationship building

If you have a certain country on your heart, keep in mind, you may never be called to serve there. Being a prayer partner for a country or a people group is a big job but don’t be so overwhelmed that you are unable to do anything. Take it one step at a time. Learn about the country. Trace a map and label the top 5 cities. There are other hands on and practical ways to become more connected to a country. And if you have kids or work with kids, follow their lead. Encourage them to adopt a country or multiple countries during a year. If you do it monthly in your home or classroom you can pray for 12 countries in a year!

I do suspect God will grant you a heart for a country or a people group if you ask Him because He loves people. If you ask Him for a heart like His, He will certainly grant you a heart for missions. Having a heart for missions opens the door for God to work and develop in you a heart for certain people.

And who knows where that might lead.

More Missions & Missionaries

Do you know someone serving in an “outside the US” mission field or planning to go on a short term in 2013? Have you considered praying for them on a regular basis?

Here are some PrayerPoints for missionaries to get your mind thinking. I am sure God will bring more to mind if you just ponder it for a few minutes.

language acquisition
cultural awareness and sensitivity
separation from US family
relationship development
culinary adjustments
climate acclimation

Being a missionary to a foreign land takes much more obedience then just saying “Yes, send me!” Intercessory pray-ers are essential. Fund raising is necessary. If you have been invited to support a short or long term missionary in some way, prayerfully consider the offer. Even if you haven’t been personally been asked to support someone, hopefully your church is sponsoring some a missionary or some sort of mission work. Expand your world by connecting with a missionary. Your connection will definitely be an encouragement to them but will most likely change you in the process.

Missions & Missionaries

Kisses From Katie

Kisses From Katie ~ A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis with Beth Clark

Hannah and Elizabeth were assigned to read this book for a book discussion group. They are big readers but this book gave them a lot to think about! I am about halfway through. I think you ought to find a copy at the library though it is absolutely worth buying. Be prepared to be stretched!

We have recently had missions and missionaries on our minds. Please pray for those you know serving in missions abroad. I know there are a lot of missions within the US, but today, let God impress upon you a certain country or region of the world and intercede on behalf of the people who live there. Pray for those who have responded to the call to serve in a foreign land. And find a copy of this book! If you know of other inspirational stories involving missions, please share the title and the author as we would love any recommendations!