PRAYER CIRCLE Up to 6 April 2015

Over 700 Lisu Christians attend Scripture thanksgiving service in China. Lisu believers.JPG

In This Issue
Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu
Pakistan Attacks
Lisu Believers, New Bible
News at Home

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' Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.'  And with that he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'
(John 20:21-22 NIVUK)

How incredible it must have been for the people who were eye-witnesses to the physical appearance of the risen Jesus. Can you imagine this scene in the upper room. The disciples have locked themselves away, afraid when suddenly there is Jesus! The presence of Jesus turned their fear into joy! We can experience His powerful life-bringing presence also as Jesus did not leave us alone. We have the presence of God through His Holy Spirit living in, working through and empowering us to be His hands and feet in a broken world. Please pray for our colleagues who are bringing Christ into many difficult situations. Join us in rejoicing, mourning, praying and expecting miracles! Our God is able to do so much more than we can even dream of. Let's enjoy His presence and believe in His resurrection power for people everywhere!

Overwhelming destruction as homes are completely destroyed.
Tropical Cyclone Pam - Vanuatu

Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam, which hit the island nation of Vanuatu on Friday 13 March is regarded as the worst natural disaster in their history. Devastating winds of up to 250kmh (156mph) created havoc in Port Vila alone where up to 90 per cent of housing in the capital is reported to have been seriously damaged. There was minimum information from the extremely vulnerable outer islands which are home to 33,000 people. At least ten people are known to have lost their lives, with many more fatalities reported but unconfirmed. The storm's impacts were also felt, even though to a lesser extent, in other islands in the South Pacific such as the Kiribati, and Tuvalu. The Bible Society of the South Pacific has launched a project to reach out with God's Word (Bibles, portions, selections) to around 10,000 families who survived Cyclone Pam particularly in Vanuatu (and a handful in Kiribati and Tuvalu). The majority of families lost almost all their belongings in the cyclone, including their Bibles. Pray for all the people in Vanuatu, Kiribati, and Tuvalu who have suffered miserably from the impact of Cyclone Pam. Pray for all organisations and countries that have stepped in to provide food, shelter, medication, and other forms of assistance. Also commit the lives of Church leaders in prayer for the rebuilding of spiritual lives with the help from organisations such as the Bible Society.

See a short video clip here. In it, local residents including Pastor Shem Tema, who is a member of the Bible Society board there, describes what it was like to live through the storm.

Pakistan's Church Under Attack  Anthony, Pakistan

At least 17 people were killed and over 80 others injured in suicide bomb attacks on two churches in the Christian district of Lahore in Pakistan on Sunday 15 March. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks and warned of more to come. The bombers attempted to get inside the two churches, but were stopped by security personnel outside. Head of Bible Society in Pakistan, Anthony Lamuel (pictured), says church and government security personnel at the two churches "sacrificed their lives to stop [the bombers] from getting inside the churches... Thousands attend every week. Had the bombers gotten inside, it would have been very, very... I'm shaken when I think of it. The loss of our Christian brothers and sisters is very sad. But it could have been so much worse."  Rev Lamuel says Christians came together on the night of the bombings, holding a press conference to openly condemn the attacks. They announced that the following day, March 16, all Christian institutions would be closed as a protest. Bible Society closed its doors as part of that protest. "We called on the government to do something more substantial with security," says Rev Lamuel.

But the press conference was designed to send a clear message: the bombings would not stop Christians from worshipping. "The bombings are scary, very scary. The fear is always there. But our churches are still full."

Please really lift Pakistani believers to the Lord asking for His miraculous arm of protection over them, particularly in worship gatherings and Christian premises. Ask God to help the spread of His Word through the Bible Society, their partners and the Churches, so that many will be reached with the truth of the Gospel. 
Chinese Lisu Believers Praising God!

Lisu.JPG As more and more Lisu people in China have been turning to Christ in recent decades, annotated Bibles, study Bibles and other spiritual resources are greatly needed. A recent thanksgiving service took place to dedicate the first Annotated Bible for Lisu speakers. This has been published to aid the spiritual growth of the Lisu believers and strengthen their biblical foundation. "In 2009, with the support of UBS, we started the work of translating the Chinese Annotated Bible into Lisu," shared Rev. Yu, who also serves as the leader of the translation team.

Amongst the 700 Lisu believers who attended the thanksgiving service was Li Chunxiang, 30, a Lisu pastor serving in Gongsan County. He readily welcomed the Annotated Bible. "Lisu people are coming to know God but the church is lacking in good pulpit ministry. Preachers usually rely on limited Chinese resources, which are not in their mother tongue. So the translated Annotated Bible is a very valuable resource for pastors and preachers. It will improve the quality of our sermons!"

In closing, Rev Yu thanked UBS for support in this translation project so that the Lisu people can have the heavenly manna of God. "May the Lord continue to help the Lisu Church to be more anchored upon His Word and bear more fruits for Him!"

Praise God that this new Bible with notes is now in the hands of Lisu believers! May God use it to draw people into deeper love relationships with Himself and in turn share their faith with others.


Speaking Engagements and Events
The next few weeks are quiet for us in terms of external engagements as we head for the Easter break. Ask God to bless our staff team over this time as we reflect on Jesus and the wonder of His death and triumphant resurrection.

Tues 24 Mar at 7.30pm - John is visiting Brownlow House, Lurgan to receive a substantial gift from the Royal Black Institution towards the provision of Bibles for the Bible Society's Trauma Healing project in South Sudan. Mission Aviation Fellowship will also be supported through the gifts of local Preceptories as MAF provide air freight for the Bibles from the port of Mombasa, Kenya to Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

Wishing you the joy of His  resurrection  presence today and every day.

Bible House will be closed on Friday 3 April and Mon 6 & Tues 7 April.