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In mid-August the Democratic Republic of Congo opened its borders and started loosening the restrictions related to COVID-19. Churches were allowed to meet once again, although masks and social distancing have been required. We observed a 14-day quarantine after arriving back in Congo but have been able to get back to a bit of normality since then. We are fairly free to move around Kinshasa. Masks are required at all places of business, and temperature is taken and hand washing observed. Life with COVID continues. Now that churches can meet again, we’ve been able to have a few training events here in the city. Please pray for the children’s workers of the DRC and their continuing impact on a new generation with the gospel.
— Mike and Kari Ness, AGWM missionaries
CBS News recently reported that suicide claimed more Japanese lives in October than 10 months of COVID. This is why sharing the hope of the Gospel is so very important, especially in this season. Pray with me for Japan today.
— Justin Canavan, AGWM missionary to Japantor
Throughout 2020, we have been seeking to help 20 newer church projects as part of our Moldova 20/20 Vision Tour. Like the Apostle Paul in the Book of Acts, we are working to plant, build and establish churches in communities that do not have one. In the village of Radenii Vechi, a former Soviet library is being transformed into a church that will provide many opportunities for children and adults spiritually, educationally and physically. Pray with us for God’s guidance and His favor on these new community churches.
— Troy and Heidi Darrin, AGWM missionaries to Moldova
We’re back in lockdown, but the Kingdom of our Lord is not. We may not be able to meet, but God is working among believers. The Church is moving forward, in the power of the Spirit. For example, a new church has been planted here! Franck Alexandre, an evangelist with whom we work here in Troyes, started meeting with believers for Sunday morning services and evening prayer meetings via Zoom. Regular in-person services can begin after lockdown ends, but it isn’t necessary to wait until then to gather and pray! We give thanks for this new church plant, and for God’s grace to use technology for His Kingdom!
— Ed and Kirsten Buck, AGWM missionaries to France
Since 1982, Global Initiative has been equipping and mobilizing the Church to reach Muslims everywhere with the Good News about Jesus. Global Initiative started a prayer network that has grown to a Fellowship of over 60,000 believers who join in prayer every Friday at Noon. Visit reachingmuslimpeoples.com/get-involved and click on “Sign up for Weekly Prayer Requests” to participate.
Join us in prayer for missionaries to be called to LAC to join our church planting initiative. God has some big things in store.
Most Zhuang believers are city dwellers who found Christ through the ministries of Han Chinese churches. Since they speak Mandarin and have largely assimilated into Chinese culture, they are generally approachable by the Chinese church. Pray for the rural Zhuang, who are less influenced by Chinese culture and maintain more of their unique identity. These Zhuang have been much less responsive to the gospel.
China, home to well over one billion people, is the world’s oldest living civilization.
China sprawls across more than 3 million square miles of Northern Asia and is home to more than one-fifth of the world’s population. Its massive land area encompasses some of the highest mountains, driest deserts and most fertile farmlands on earth. China is the world’s oldest living civilization, and its written history reaches back nearly 3,500 years. The Qin dynasty established a strong central government in 221 B.C., and the empire stayed intact for more than 2,000 years. In the 1800s the Chinese Empire began to weaken and was overthrown by revolutionaries in 1911. The next year China became a republic, but by 1949 the Chinese Communist Party established the current government system. Most Chinese today would consider themselves to be nonreligious. However, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and animism are prevalent. Islam is predominant in the northwestern region of the country. Many estimate that as many as 100 million Chinese are Christians. European missionaries preached Pentecost in China as early as 1907. Prior to the 1914 formation of the Assemblies of God, many American missionaries were already at work in China. Many of them died while bravely furthering the cause of Christ. Today there is no Assemblies of God national church in China. However, there is a strong national church in Hong Kong. The church in China is now comprised of the “Three-Self Patriotic Protestant Movement” and a large house church movement.
Exotic Hong Kong, a tiny land comprised largely of mountains and rugged terrain, is home to a variety of religions, cultures and ethnicities.
Mainland Hong Kong is comprised of 422 square miles of mountains, wooded hills, grasslands, badlands and swamps. Its climate is subtropical and monsoonal, and typhoons regularly strike in the summer and fall. The Sham Chun, Hong Kong’s only significant river, forms part of Hong Kong’s northern border. Hong Kong was a colony of Great Britain from the mid-1800s until 1997. At that time Hong Kong came under the sovereignty of China and now exists as a special administrative region within the nation. The first Assemblies of God mission in Hong Kong opened under the leadership of Mattie Ledbetter. Other missionaries soon joined the work, and the Assemblies of God continued to expand. On Pearl Harbor Day in 1941, the Japanese attacked Hong Kong. Eight AG missionaries were seized and detained for six months before their release to the United States. When they returned to Hong Kong they discovered that the Chinese believers had continued faithfully serving God, and the church was flourishing. Today there is a vibrant Assemblies of God national work comprised of churches, a Bible school and several day schools. Due to Hong Kong’s mixture of cultures and ethnicities, all major religions are represented within its population. Many people continue to practice ancestral worship, stemming from ties to Confucianism. Only 10 percent are considered to be believers.
Considered to be indigenous to China, the Hui are untouched by the modern Christian awakening.
The Hui are a Muslim people group now considered to be indigenous to China. Their history dates back to the seventh century when Arab and Persian traders traveled the Silk Road routes and established a presence in China. As they assimilated into Chinese society, the Hui lost many of their original ethnic distinctives. Only their clothing, diet and religion give them a unique identity. The approximately 12.5 million Hui in China enjoy many privileges. They receive government subsidies for certain items, and Hui couples are exempt from China’s “one-child” policy. Their population has increased through migration, intermarriage and adoption. The government also has subsidized the reconstruction of mosques and given permission for Islamic literature to be published and sold. In 1989, China’s first Muslim university opened in Xian. A strong sense of Muslim identity makes the Hui resistant to Christianity. Groups of Hui live in 2,310 of China’s 2,369 counties and municipalities, yet they are culturally and socially without access to the gospel.