“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
– Luke 4:18-19
When Jesus read these words from the prophet Isaiah at the synagogue in Nazareth, he set the precedent for the upcoming years of his ministry on Earth: to proclaim the good news to the weary, to set free the oppressed and to heal the sick.
Toward the end of his ministry, Jesus articulated what it looks like to sacrificially love others: “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you… for when I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’… Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” – Matthew 25:34-36, 40
With Christ’s commandment as our guide, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, offering them the hope we have in him and being gracious with the abundant blessings that God has given us. This month, we pray over our transformational initiatives which seek to holistically meet the spiritual and physical needs of their communities so that each person will come to know the life-giving love of God and be transformed by His power.
1. The Recife Redemptive Ministries team responds to spiritual and felt needs, demonstrating God’s heart for the impoverished in Brazilian communities, making it known that God and His people value them. Pray for the ministry’s partner churches in Tabajara, Rio Doce, and Dois Unidos. Ask God to guide the church’s leadership teams to firm standing in God’s truth and mercy seen in Jesus. Pray for these communities of the redeemed to demonstrate God’s love, in word and deed, to the poverty stricken surrounding communities.
2. Latidos de Esperanza (Heartbeats of Hope) is a crisis pregnancy ministry based in Pucallpa, Peru, longing to see society value the sanctity of human life, bring all the unborn into this world and know Jesus as the author and perfector of life. In addition to spiritual counsel, Latidos provides vocational training through sewing classes, which begin this year in April. Pray for at least 10 women to sign up for the sewing classes, for them to learn and apply new skills in ways that provide for their families. Ask God to provide finances for Latidos to sustain its newly hired Peruvian director, and for her work boosting the morale and commitment of the ministry’s volunteer workers.
3. The Wájaro Foundation exists for the body of Christ to extend its hand of grace and mercy to the indigenous and vulnerable communities of Colombia. Pray for the leaders of ASPEWA, an association of Wayuu pastors founded with the help of Wájaro, as they build for unity of the body across the nine Wayuu denominations they represent. Thank God for providing funding for an educational initiative catalyzed by Wájaro—equipping more than 100 pastors and leaders with certified educational training from the most practical (literacy, primary, secondary, technical) to seminary level. Ask God for more funding to reach more through this educational initiative in partnership with the Colombian entity COTELGUA. Ask God to dispense his wisdom and grace as Wájaro develops an artisan program for Wayuu women that builds for economic sustainability among Wayuu communities.
4. Novō Transformational Communities exists to empower God’s people in the majority world to create spaces where hurting and broken people can find healing, wholeness and hope. Novō’s first residential community, for men who are dealing with drug and alcohol addictions, is in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and just celebrated its one-year anniversary. SAM’s Bolivia team serves alongside Novō’s leadership. Pray that Rogelio, Antonio and Dario, Novō’ residents who completed the 9-month program on April 8th, will experience lasting freedom from addiction and abundant new life in Christ. Pray for compassion, strength and wisdom for Project Coordinator, David Salazar, and the rest of the team.
5. Iglesia de la Ciudad (IDC) in La Molina sector of Lima, Peru, embraces the community of Caritas Felices, a girls home for victims of abuse, with gospel-centered outreach and financial support as the church discerns God’s lead in building for the welfare of the city of Lima. Pray for the girls from the home who are attending a weekly discipleship group at IDC before the church meets for worship on Sunday evenings. Also, pray for a core group from IDC being sent to the Miraflores sector of Lima to plant another church this fall. Pray that as additional church plants form throughout the city, church leadership will see where the Holy Spirit has begun redemptive works in which the church bodies will be engaged.
1. Pray for Stephanie Edgar, member of SAM’s team in Pucallpa, Peru, as she transitions her directorship of Heartbeats of Hope crisis pregnancy center to a Peruvian friend and co-worker. Ask God to give Stephanie discernment as she continues to volunteer with and help shape the ministry of the center. Pray for Stephanie and family—Todd, Naia, Anya and Kaitlin—as they prepare for a four-month ministry assignment in the US beginning mid-May. Pray that Stephanie’s time seeking the Lord during the coming months would reveal direction for her future involvement in ministry and professional development.
2. Pray for Julio and Olga Chiang as the size and scope of their ministry in Peru grows. Ask God for grace as they balance responsibilities of pastoring their congregation in Lima, strategically planning growth initiatives, developing pastors for other congregations across Peru and pursuing professional development opportunities. Pray for the provision this year of an Executive Pastor whose gifting and skills contribute in areas of ministry that advance Julio and Olga’s visionary progress.
3. Jorge and Ginny Enciso, and children Matilde, Maia and Matthias,are preparing to transition back to Colombia in May after 10 months in the US on Home Ministry Assignment (HMA). Thank the Lord for his provision for the Enciso family during their time on HMA, for the community they’ve been able to enjoy in the States and for the support—relational and financial—that has been raised to sustain them for the coming years in ministry. Pray for the Encisos’ leadership of Fundación Comunidad Viva in Bogotá as the team develops new ministry initiatives this year, for wisdom and for God to maximize the redemptive impact of the various initiatives.
4. In March, Craig and Mary DeLille returned to Recife, Brazil, for a new season of ministry after several months in the US on home ministry assignment. Ask God to enable their gracious and effective leadership among the Recife Redemptive Ministries team as they transition back. Pray for the DeLilles’ discernment as they pursue and for God’s provision of more Brazilian ministry partners to teach at Touch of the Master Music School.
5. Pray for Jake and Lauren Jones, members of SAM’s team based in Bogotá and co-founders of Wájaro Foundation. Ask God to grow their ministry team, specifically providing someone to nurture and care for the Joneses’ children as Jake and Lauren travel to ministry sites across Colombia and as Lauren especially seeks more dedicated time to learn Spanish. Pray also that God will lead Jake and Lauren, as the main representatives of Wájaro to support bases, to people and churches who believe in the vision of Wájaro and are willing to invest financially in the work.
6. SAM partners with Fundación Comunidad Viva (FCV) based in Bogotá, Colombia. FCV’s community center in the neighborhood of San Antonio is a vibrant place where after school tutoring and activities for kids occur in a safe environment six days a week. Pray for Janneth, a Colombian partner on FCV’s ministry team, as she seeks stamina and grace to balance her job of carefully running the community center with time for her family. Ask God to pour out his grace and mercy for continued transformation in San Antonio through the work of the community center.
You can download this month’s prayer requests as a PDF here: April Prayer Focus