10/40 Window Reporter August 2012
Cambodia: Memory of past Killing Fields, killing the present
Thirty years later, the daunting memory of what is known as the Killing Fields overshadows Cambodian culture.
"The Killing fields" refers to 20,000 grave sites in which approximately 2 million Cambodians were systematically exterminated, starved, or worked to death by the Khmer Rouge government from 1975-79. The number of deaths would be damaging to any nation, but, considering the American equivalent of the Cambodian genocide would mean the death of 70 million Americans.
As I paced myself through killing field exhibits, listening to the account of Cambodia's dark ages, a somber presence overwhelmed my Spirit. It's a bleak place. The killing fields seem peaceful, a pleasant stroll through a shady orchard. However, when you realize that what appears to be random litter is the clothes of the victims, and the white slivers of plastic are actually shards of human bones, the reality of children and teenagers executing helpless adults and children paints too real of an image.
Bone fragments were scattered around, and a large monument contains the skulls of about 8,000 victims. Looking deep into the eyes of a Cambodian, it's hard to miss the unsettled nature of their demeanor as they narrate the past.
The unfortunate result of traumatizing pasts is their ability to cripple the future. Memories like this have a way of desensitizing a person to the point of narrowing the outlook of life to ‘preserve oneself'. This is exactly what has happened to Cambodian culture.
Instead of banding together as a society, with a sense of rebuilding a culture in light of the past, they live through the lens of the past. Becoming so consumed by protecting their individual freedoms, they have literally isolated themselves from communal living and growth.
Although the Killing Fields may have ruled Cambodia's past, it doesn't mean it has to control its future.
Forgiveness must take hold of Cambodia. Receiving and granting forgiveness is the only way to release this country into a bright future filled with the freedom to live!
Indonesia: Will Fruit Remain?
There I stood, in the midst of a 100,000-plus prayer gathering in Indonesia. Something our culture has trained us to be proud of, something revealing a great move of God—but why the unsettledness? Questions began flooding my heart. Why the initial hesitation to go? What will become of all these people? Will they bear fruit? Will fruit remain?
There has been a philosophy born out the past 20 years of Church growth . . . the more the better. "If only we could gather 10,000, God would surely show up." Christian leaders and ministries have spent millions on large ministry gatherings — but why? What is there to large numbers?
We have begun to see thousands of Mega Churches spring up all around the world, birthed out of this belief and motive that God is moved by more. Why have we become so focused on the amount of people more than the amount of fruit that will remain?
A democratic mentality has penetrated the heart of the Church. Majority rules! We have worked so hard at creating, planning, orchestrating, and funding LARGE events with the belief and expectation that "God will surely show up now." It's as though we see the Lord observing us from Heaven thinking, "51% want me to move, 49% don't. That was close, now I can move My will to pass." Of course it sounds silly even writing that, but honestly, have we not succumbed at least once that "more is better"?
What does God want from us? What is God looking for? God wants fruit to remain.
"You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit." John 15:2
It's undeniable in Scripture that God longs for fruit! In the Body of Christ, we have become so consumed in simply spreading the seed of truth. We teach, preach, share, gather — all in hopes that seeds will go forth. There is one problem with just focusing on seed:
A seed is of no value unless it gets nurtured to the point of bearing fruit.
Seeds only carry the DNA to create fruit, but perseverance and steadfast faith cultivate seed to the point of producing fruit. Fruit provides nourishment to people, but it also carries the seeds to reproduce.
If 100,000 gather and 100,000 seeds of truth were planted into good soil — is God pleased? Yes, but not simply because 100,000 gathered, rather 100,000 seeds were sown. Whether we gather by the thousands, or in a pair of two, the Lord's desire is that we go forth from it: producing — multiplying — bearing fruit.
We need to change our focus as leaders. Does this mean we don't hold large gatherings, certainly not. If God asks us to, than we obey. But we must go into it with the understanding of what the Lord wants out of it. He is not interested in the number of people who come, but the number of people who come in, go out, and reproduce. Our strategy needs to include the nurturing of the seeds if we desire fruit to remain from our labor.
So may we all humbly ask ourselves: What becomes of our events? Do they produce fruit that remains? It's an important question to which one day we will all be accountable to give report!
Power of Testimony
I thought I'd share with you a few wonderful testimonies received from my time in India. There is great power in testimonies, so may the Lord stir, challenge, and change our hearts from reading lives lived by faith. We are intentionally keeping these testimonies as authentic as they came.
TESTIOMONY: When I was young, my father and mother left us. From the age of 12, I started to steal cycles from cinema halls and sold them in the black market. Soon after I started to pedal drugs. Once, in a drunken brawl, I was attacked by 50 people — they axed my head and stabbed me. I attempted suicide twice. I had warrants out for my arrest, and at that crucial juncture of my life, I met a Christian Believer. I got saved by the grace of God and He transformed me as a disciple of Jesus.
Now I am conducting seminars to the pastors in different parts of India. My wife and I are counseling many people, including even some foreigners. Our home is open for all at all times. I gave more than 100 baptisms before I began empowering others to baptize.
Fruit of Faith and Obedience — 40,000 baptisms.
TESTIMONY: I was born in Prakasam d.t.AP. Since my childhood I would talk to God directly, but at one point He directly spoke to me. I believed in His Son and His power. I currently have 1500 disciples, and our team works in 5 different districts.
Fruit of Faith and Obedience — 2000 baptisms and 3000 house churches planted.
TESTIMONY: I was born in Vijayawada. One day my son fell down from a three-stair building. At that time I prayed to Jesus and my son was healed. My whole family received salvation. Now I am doing ministry in Krishna district where I have made 100 disciples.
Fruit of Faith and Obedience — These disciples performed 1500 baptisms.
Oman, Arabian Peninsula
Oman is Located in southwest Asia, on the coast of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultanate of Oman has been consistent in fighting terrorist activities and cooperating with international efforts in the region.
Despite its reputation as a relatively moderate Muslim nation, it is ranked 28th on the Open Doors World Watch List 2010 for Christian persecution. The state religion is Ibadhi Islam — a conservative branch that considers Sunni and Shia Muslims to be "those who deny God's grace." Although telling Omanis about Jesus is strictly forbidden, Christians from other countries are allowed to meet together for worship.
Thank God for satellite broadcasts that are making the Gospel available to this closed, spiritually dark nation.
Sources: 24-7 Prayer, Operation World, Wikipedia, Country Reports on Terrorism 2006, International Religious Freedom Report 2007, Open Doors, BBC, The World Factbook, The Bible
Getting results in prayer is a fundamental longing of human hearts. First we desire to know that God hears our prayers; second, we hunger for answers. Of course in Scripture, there are few clear-cut formulas to getting prayers answered. However, there are certain ways outlined on how to move God's heart in that direction.
In the famous "Lord, teach us to pray" section, Luke 11, we see Jesus pointing to this idea that Persistence in Prayer gets results. We have to be careful not to establish the theology that persistence alone guarantees answered prayers. There is only way that promises results...
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13
To ensure God's response, our prayers must be done In Jesus' Name. Now, of course, it is not as simple as tagging our prayers with, "In Jesus Name, Amen." In order to stand confidently before God's throne, calling upon Him to honor this promise that, "Whatever you ask in Jesus' name, this I will do," our petition must be to the Glory and Honor of Jesus. In Jesus' Name must be filled with our benevolent request, and to the highest value of honoring the Name of Jesus. This is why so many "in Jesus' Name" prayers simply do not get answered – God is looking to respond to prayers that bring the highest benefit to man, ultimately reflecting the highest glory on His Son. A lot of prayers are not glorifying or beneficial to Jesus, therefore, God has no legal right to answer. All persistence, all tears, prayers fall short if they do not end with bringing Glory to the Son.
So why does Jesus seem to allude to Persistence being the key to answers?
God chooses and uses man's highest powers of longing, pursuit, and persistence in prayer to reveal our earnest desire within. It is the divine order that truth and answers of every kind should fully reveal themselves only to hungry souls. When we pursue hard after God, it serves us better in the end by holding a greater appreciation for the treasure once it's found. Remember, when we come before God in prayer, He has a two-fold purpose for us. One, He wants to use our prayers to establish His Kingdom on earth. Two, He wants man to walk away better for it, changed, molded. The more valuable the truth or request, the higher the barriers which protect it from timid seekers — leaving conquering only to the determined souls whose undefeated persistence acquires the greatest answers from God.
Golden Nuggets on Persistent Praying
Godly Lessons: From the lighter side of life
My children have this instinct that takes over when I come home for lunch... 'Dad has food, I must eat it'. Valerie my wife may have just feed them a five-course meal, but the moment I walk in and prepare my food, I have two beggars at my side. I have honestly questioned whether Valerie feeds these children when I'm gone. (But of course she does, don't turn us in for neglect.) I have to admit, at first I was somewhat annoyed at my children's clear looting of my food, but, after careful observation, I became sneakishly (is that even a word?) aware I could use this to our advantage. See, my girls would eat ANYTHING on my plate, so just as any good and sneaky parent would do... I began filling my plate with healthy food! Lettuce, broccoli, exotic fruits, and of course, peanut butter and jelly. (You better believe this is healthy.)
I guess I think I out-smarted them, but of course I'm not deceived. They know what they are doing. Anyone who thinks a 2-year old doesn't know how to get what they want, and dispose of what they don't, simply because they can't make sense of any two words in the English dictionary, is deceived!
I began thinking to myself, these girls have to know that I'm feeding them lettuce — it's not like the presence of Daddy makes the lettuce taste like chocolate — it's lettuce for crying out loud: tasteless and nutritious... a ideal combination if you're wanting to throw away food. So I naturally put my ingenuity to the test. I began filling their plates during dinner with lettuce... minutes later; I began filling my garbage with lettuce. So what was going on? It was clearly not the 'type' of food daddy had that interested them; it was simply the fact that it was daddy's food!
The Lord of Heaven quickly reminded me, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Gospel of Matthew 18:3
God then said to me, "I desire My children to have the same hunger for my food (God's Word)."
See, vegetables help produce healthy living in the natural; God's word produces healthy living in the spiritual.
My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings... For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body. Proverbs 20:27
What if we became as these little children and began begging our Heavenly Father for His food?
The Generosity Movement
In Galatians 5, Paul reveals the fruit of walking daily in the Spirit. Do you notice the singular nature of the word fruit, not plural as in fruits? Walking in the fruit of the Spirit implies that we don't pick and choose which attributes (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) we represent today-we must live out them all to fulfill Walking in the Spirit! When we walk in the light of the Gospel, we are to live continuously in all the fruit of the Spirit.
Today I want to highlight the word Goodness and how it translates to our generosity in giving.
There were two men mentioned in scripture (apart from Jesus Christ) who were called 'good'. Ironically, both were named Joseph. Joseph surnamed Barnabas and Joseph of Arimathea. What was it about these two men that the exceptional title of 'good' became part of their disposition?
The answer: They were both Lavishly Generous.
Barnabas sold his personal field and laid the proceeds at the feet of the apostles. Joseph of Arimathea owned an exquisite plot in the cemetery which he generously gave to Jesus. Walking in the fruit of the Spirit, namely revealing goodness, we must be generous in our giving.
Join the Generosity Movement today by investing the resources God has entrusted to you in His Kingdom. Prayerfully consider giving generously to the work WIN is doing in the final frontier of missions.
PRAYING AS ONE SOUL-BURDENED BY ONE SOUL
One soul is geared towards mobilizing youth globally to the awareness of the 10/40 Window and its spiritual struggles preventing people finding Jesus, while instilling an urgency to pray on behalf of lost souls.
By leveraging social networks like Facebook and Twitter, one soul has the ability to connect Believers across worlds and cultures, making the common dominator the salvation of lost souls. Each month there will be a specific 10/40 Window Nation, with information regarding social injustices, poverty, persecution rating, and number of lost souls. This will give the younger generation a better vantage point from which to pray.
Be sure to inform your youth on this global initiative designed to equip, empower, and emerge the next generation prayer warriors.
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Preparing the way for the Gospel of the Kingdom
Pray4Saudi is a global prayer movement dedicated to seeing Saudi Arabia transformed by the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. We believe the Lord is preparing to remove the long-standing strongholds that have kept Saudis from experiencing the love of God and His gift of salvation. We are also convinced that strategic prayer is the key to preparing for, initiating, and sustaining this movement of God.
PRAY4SAUDI MISSION: To prepare the way for the Gospel of the Kingdom in Saudi Arabia.
PRAY4SAUDI VISION: To see the Gospel penetrate every region, city, village, and family in Saudi Arabia (as well as reach Saudis in diaspora), so that every Saudi man, woman, and child will have the opportunity to hear and respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Ramadan: Night of Power
August 2012 Muslims will celebrate Laylat al-Qadr — the Night of Power. This is the night they believe an angel gave Mohammad the Qur'an. It is also when they expect to have visions and dreams.
According to the Qur'an, Laylat al-Qadr is "better than a thousand months." Muslims seek Allah with greater intensity on this night. They expect to have divinely inspired dreams and see visions. They also believe that on Laylat al-Qadr, special angels perform special missions. If they worship with enough diligence on this night, Muslims think their sins will be forgiven.
Some Muslims expect God to answer their prayers on Laylat al-Qadr. It is also known as the Night of Destiny. Many Muslims spend all night in prayer in hopes of receiving direction or experiencing something supernatural.
"Some Muslims rise well before dawn to make their requests, others pass much of the night in prayer," explains "30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World." "They are encouraged to ask Allah with sincerity and conviction for anything and everything they need..."
Our Call to Prayer:
During the Night of Power, millions will be praying from the Muslim world — what will you be doing? Will you join us as we pray? Will you stand in the gap for Muslims globally? Do you believe God will use your prayers and open their eyes to the revelation of Jesus Christ?
What can I do?
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