Two of our team members, Jack Magruder and Gene Ort, recently returned from field visits to the One Prayer Church Planting movement in Cambodia and India. Our team was there to observe the One Prayer church planters in action and to assess the physical needs of the communities these new churches are planted within.
These baby churches are growing at an astounding pace. Reminiscent of the early church in the book of Acts, new people are coming to faith every day.
As we celebrate the new souls saved, simultaneously our hearts break over the poverty which oppresses these communities.
Jesus is not just for saved souls, but saved wholes: mind, body, and soul.
This year One Prayer is expanding beyond church planting into holistic community development initiatives in these villages, bringing “up there” down here.
Watch for more video updates about this grass roots revolution. This first intallment will introduce you to the sights and sounds of Cambodia and India.
Last night before I went to bed, my friends who are currently in Cambodia, sent me a One Prayer update video. This morning my favorite person shared a another video with me. The similarity and alchemy between the two diverse videos made me literally laugh and cry with joy.
I hope you have the same experience.
What do these two videos have in common? It will take about 7 minutes to find out. Let me know what you discover.
We are extremely excited to announce for the first time publically to the One Prayer Network, that together, we have raised a total of $448,576.32 for the One Prayer movement!
That is almost half of a million dollars used specifically to plant churches in limited access countries, to disciple new believers and to radically change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. We are truly honored by the sacrifice of the One Prayer churches during this difficult financial season for many.
Already since the first run of One Prayer two years ago…over (wait for it)…1800 NEW CHURCHES HAVE BEEN PLANTED in China, Sudan, Cambodia, and India!
If you’ve been reading these One Prayer updates and thinking, “I wish I could meet some of these amazing men and woman of God firsthand. I wish I could experience what God is doing on the frontline of the Great Commission.”
I have great news. You can. We have put together opportunities for you to travel to each of the One Prayer sites. Please see the information below on how to participate on one of the trips:
ONE Prayer ‘09/’10 is just around the corner. At this point, over 1100 churches are committed! Over the last year, we've been tracking the progress of the One Prayer church planting movement started during last year's One Prayer campaign.
The team at Lifechurch.tv asked the EnterMission team to connect the hands of the churches in One Prayer with potential church planters in four countries: Sudan, China, Cambodia, and India. The dream? Plant 500 churches in 18 months.
We're pleased to announce that the dream is reality. With six months still left in the this cycle, take a look at these figures:
Cumulative ONE Prayer Figures YTD 2009:
Pastors Enrolled: 609
Evangelistic Contacts: 65,563
Bible Study Participants: 44,618
Churches Planted: 667
That's what you call a slam dunk! The Kingdom is forcefully advancing through the loving service of these men and woman planting churches on the frontline of the Great Commission. I can't wait to see where we end up!
Here's an breakdown on the individual countries:
Phase III Detail per Focus Area
· Pastors Enrolled: 245
· Evangelistic Contacts: 26,466
· Bible Study Participants: 18,938
· Baptisms: 3,544
· Churches Planted: 82
· Pastors Enrolled: 240
· Evangelistic Contacts: 11,737
· Bible Study Participants: 6,886
· Baptisms: 3,558
· Churches Planted: 150
· Pastors Enrolled: 64
· Evangelistic Contacts: 8,479
· Bible Study Participants: 5,667
· Baptisms: 10
· Churches Planted: 295
· Pastors Enrolled: 60
· Evangelistic Contacts: 18,611
· Bible Study Participants: 13,127
· Baptisms: 0*
· Churches Planted: 140
An update from the One Prayer church planting movement in Cambodia
He will bless those who fear the Lord, both great and lowly. 14 May the Lord richly bless both you and your children.15 May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalms 115:13-15 (NLT)
Those who go out to share the good news of Christ leave a trail of blessing in the families they reach, especially among Cambodia’s youth and children, who make up 50% of the population. You can clearly see God’s blessing in the life of “Ben” and his family.
Ben is a typical 14 year old Cambodian youth. Like 85% of Cambodians, he lives in a rural village with his family and works on the farm. He is required to go to school, but is not highly motivated, so he finds himself “walking around” a lot, as he describes it. Although he is growing up in a deeply religious Buddhist culture (95% of Cambodians are Buddhist) and dutifully attends rituals at the pagoda with his mother, he describes the experience like this, “I follow my mother to the pagoda but I do not really understand much. I am not really interested. It seems to have no meaning to me. Other religions do not really interest me either.”
Then one day a man named “Peng” came into his village. Ben says, “He came to our village and shared about God and about the good news of Jesus Christ. At first, I didn’t want to hear about Jesus, but every time Peng came to our village he would take time to visit me and my family. For six months I learned about God from the word of God as Peng shared it with us. Now I pray to God and learn word of God at home with my mother. After I understood clearly about God’s love for my life, I decided to believe Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior. Since I trusted in Jesus Christ, my life has been changing from day to day. I have happiness, true peace, hope and joy in my heart. I stopped just walking around and wasting time. I now obey my mother and help her do to housework. In my schoolwork, even my grades have improved!”
Ben has also learned of God’s special blessing in answer to his prayers. He relates this story, “One day my neighbor lost one of her earrings. I and other people tried to find it, but we couldn’t, so I had an idea, I prayed to God and suddenly I saw the earring, I picked it up and I gave it to her. I know that it was because I have God leading my life and He will help me when I need Him. I thank God that He has forgotten all my sins and is helping me be freed from the sins of my past and lets me know Him and His love for me.”
Yesterday, I posted some "numbers" on One Prayer. Each one of those numbers is a person who known and loved by Jesus. Each of those numbers is another story of grace. Today, you will get to hear four stories from the "numbers" in Cambodia.
Throughout the villages of Cambodia, people like these were waiting to hear about Jesus Christ for the very first time. Have you ever wondered what kind of impact that offering you gave last year to One Prayer is having for the kingdom? Just ask any one of the hundreds of people who have shared their stories of transformation and victory in Jesus Christ with us. Each month I spend hours reading the reports from the 50 church planters who are being trained and mobilized in Cambodia through your offering. Each month those reports include from 50 to 80 translated testimonies of new believers. I have the blessing of being one of the first people to hear about their changed lives. I wanted to share some of those vignettes of victory with you. Here are some of their stories from January 2009.
Bob Craft – Coordinator / Trainer for One Prayer, Cambodia
Victory Over Loneliness And Pain Name: Doc Soka Male, Age 42
Before I believed in Jesus Christ, I felt lonely inside. Our way of living was not good, and I was sick all the time. Even though I worshipped all the local spirits, they didn’t give me any peace. So I wanted to find a true God who could help me and my family.
One day I heard about God, I was very interested in Him from the first time I heard about Him. And I wanted to know more about Him and His words. When I learned and understood that God could give me peace in my life and in Him we could find joy and happiness also. It touched my heart and gave me hope. I also came to know that Jesus Christ died for my sins and I wanted to follow Him. I gave my life to Him and made Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior.
Since I began following Him, my life has been changed more and more. God blesses our family with His goodness. In my life I now have peace, joy and happiness. I will always have hope in Him. I give thanks to God for His forgiveness and His blessing.
In the past, I did a lot of bad things that turned the people in my village against me. I didn’t want to make peace with others when they did something wrong to me. I had a difficult life. I believed in the Buddha and worshiped evil spirits and idols. I believed that they could give me wealth and all the good things in life, so, I prayed to them. One thing became clear, they could not give me what I asked for. That made my life very hopeless.
One day in December, I heard about Jesus Christ when some Christians invited me to join their Christmas celebration. I joined them only for having fun, but they told me about Jesus Christ. They said that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to the world for our sins. If we believe in Him, He can save us from our sins and can give us peace in our life. It touched my heart. I was very interested to hear more. They shared stories of Jesus from the Bible and I understood what He had done for me. I decided to give my life to Him.
Since I trusted in Jesus Christ my life has changed. All my hatred has gone and I can control my anger now. I have faith in Him and this gives me hope in my life. Not only me, but my whole family also has experienced joy and peace. I am so thankful to God for giving me new life and allowing me to experience this peaceful life. I give thanks to God for all His blessings and saving me from my sins.
Victory Over Abuse and Hardship Name: Nourn Female, Age 45
Before I believed in Jesus Christ I had a husband who would drink alcohol every day and wouldn’t work to support our family. He always made trouble for me. I didn’t have a happy life. Then he died and I was a widow, living in hardship with my children. During that time I believed in Buddha, worshiped evil spirits and idols, and asked them for happiness, peace and blessing. But those things couldn’t help me. I lived my life in darkness.
One day when I went out to cut lotus leaves, I met some people who shared that Jesus could help all people be free from their sins and sorrows. “If you put your faith in Him, He will help you have a happy heart. He is the true light for all people.” So I desired to know more about the Lord Jesus and I went to hear more. They taught me and other people about God’s love. At that time the word of God touched my heart and I had a deep desire to believe God. I studied more of God’s word with them. I understood and decided to trust Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior.
Since I put my trust in Jesus Christ, my life has been changed day by day. I live in the new life that God has given me, and I have true hope in my life. The Lord Jesus truly can help all people and He leads my life to walk in His light. I have found the true light in God and I won’t go back to those idols and evil spirits. God forgave my sins and helped me be free from my sins, let me to know Him and His love for me.
Victory Over Poverty and Sickness Name: Brea Male, Age 43
I had serious illness in my life for a long time. I tried to find healing from Khmer traditional medicines but could not find any relief. I was living in hopelessness because my family was poor and had no money to buy medicine to help me.
One day, I heard the good news about Jesus from pastor Cherng. He shared me that there is a Creator God who is the real God who loves everybody. He alone is the perfect one. He came and died on the cross to redeem my sins. In my heart I knew that it was true and I put my trust in Jesus Christ that time. After that, pastor Cherng prayed and asked God to heal me. Immediately I was healed. God is wonderful!
Since I have believed in Jesus Christ, my life has changed. I have a desire to serve God. God has saved me from my sin and curse. God blesses me. God always cares for me and healed all my pain in my body. My family is now living in joy and peace through God. I praise the Lord Jesus every day.