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Prayer requests from Global Diaspora Forum participants
Some of the countries hosting the largest diaspora populations are going through leadership changes. Last month saw the passing of the long-reigning king of Thailand, who was credited with maintaining the country’s stability. This month, the USA holds its presidential election after a particularly divisive campaign season. Please pray for smooth, peaceful transitions. Pray for government leaders to seek and receive wisdom from the Lord. Pray for the doors of opportunity to freely spread the good news of Christ in these countries among diaspora peoples will remain open.
Please pray for JU as she addresses diaspora mission issues in various settings. Pray that the Lord will speak through her as she teaches courses at a seminary in the Philippines, leads a seminar at a Chinese church and presents at conferences.
Please pray for ministry in East Africa among refugees from Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan. Pray that physical, emotional and spiritual needs will be met through the work of the Church. In one refugee camp, a pastor who was once a refugee himself is raising goats to fund education for refugee children, a radio program ministry and other church planting efforts. Please ask our Father to supply 450 more goats so that many more families will see, hear and recognize His unfailing love.
In areas such as Ningxia and Qinghai, China has been relocating residents due to reported environmental changes. Overuse of the land as well as droughts has led to these “ecological migrants,” many of whom are ethnic minorities such as Hui and Tibetans. Please pray that these uprooted families will learn that Jesus is their firm foundation. Ask God to bring healing to these areas under environmental distress. Pray that the sons of God may be revealed in these lands.
The migrant crisis in Europe continues. At the end of last month, the “Calais Jungle” was cleared, but thousands of Afghan, Eritrean, Sudanese and other migrants in France continue to set up tents elsewhere, still hoping to go to the UK. Days later, around 200 migrants were reported to have died off the coast of Libya while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Please pray that the Lord will extend His mercy and grace over these migrants and families. Pray that He will empower His Church to effectively respond.
The final preparations are underway for a diaspora-focused prayer guide for use during Advent. Please pray that many people around the world will unite in prayer with this tool.
People Going: Maldivians
The Maldives, an island chain in the Indian Ocean, has a very hostile environment to the Church. Islam is the only recognized religion and it is often claimed that 100% of the population is Muslim. The very few Maldivian Christ-followers do not generally fellowship together because of distrust, fear of persecution and a complete lack of privacy. Scripture and other biblically based materials are illegal. Even the term “Christian” is used as an insult.
About 1 in 7 Maldivians are in diaspora. A significant number are asylum seekers in Sri Lanka. Others are seafarers. Some, especially children from wealthy families, are students, often in Malaysia or India. Many Maldivians also travel for medical care, business and government work.
Praise God for sending forth His salvation so that all peoples may draw near to Him. Thank Him for moving some Maldivians to places where they can more easily hear the good news of Christ and grow in Him. Pray that God will send dreams and visions of Jesus to diaspora Maldivians and their relatives back home. Ask our Father to send Christ-followers to reach out to diaspora Maldivians in each of the cities, schools and ships where they are found. Pray that these Maldivians will have access to fellowship and to the Bible portions in their own language and that God’s Word will accomplish His purposes.
People Coming: Qatar
About 65% of the population of Qatar are migrants. The largest numbers are from India, followed by significant numbers from other South Asian countries, the Philippines and Egypt, but there are many nations represented in Qatar. There is some religious freedom for expatriate Christ-followers, although outreach to Muslims is forbidden.
Qatar has been criticized for the treatment of migrant laborers, especially regarding construction in preparation for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. The working and living conditions as well as the visa and wage payment system have often been denounced as modern-day slavery. Government leaders have promised certain specific reforms, but these have not yet been implemented.
Praise God for the opportunity for many Christ-followers from other countries to work and worship the Lord in Qatar. Thank God for raising up spiritual leaders who are pastors and teachers among those who came to Qatar for economic opportunities. Thank Him for the unity which exists between brothers and sisters from different countries and languages and which can now be displayed in Qatar.
Ask God to increase the love between Filipinos and Sudanese, Lebanese and Indian, Pakistani and British Christ-followers. Pray that more of them will be mobilized and equipped to share the good news of Christ with other migrants as well as with Qataris. Pray that migrants who have not yet entered the Kingdom will come to know the Lord as their provider and protector. Ask God to move the hearts of Qatari employers and government officials to treat migrant workers with respect and dignity. Pray for much spiritual fruit among the Qatari people.
(Information gathered from Operation World, BBC News, New York Times, Pulitzer Center, islandprayer.com, Fellowship of Prayer Strategists, and Migration Policy Institute)