“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out…”
From the start of his ministry, Christ set the example that we are first called to abide in him and then sent to go and make disciples. These precedents directly complement what Christ regarded as the “greatest commandments”: love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.
At the heart of discipleship is the intentional act of walking alongside our brothers and sisters and bearing their burdens. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer described it: “We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God… thus the law of Christ is a law of bearing. The Christian, however, must bear the burden of a brother.”
Whether it’s on the dusty streets of the countryside or the busy neighborhoods of cities, we actively engage in discipleship to share our hope with the nations. The indigenous church in eastern Bolivia is currently laying foundations and building roofs for what will become a discipleship center. Believers gather in homes throughout Bogotá, Colombia, to witness to each other and refine one another’s walk with Christ. SAM’s team and partners help mentor students to explore their creative nature through music and point them to the Lord through art in Recife, Brazil. Missionaries and Bolivian volunteers disciple local churches in Bolivia to broaden their understanding of the role of the local church within the Great Commission in their own communities and around the world.
Throughout South America, we see communities coming together in the name of Christ, seeking his redemptive grace in their lives and leading one another to abide in his presence. Pray with us this month over these relationships and communities of believers.
1. PROCLAMA, founded in Bolivia, exists to see Latin American churches contributing toward the completion of the Great Commission by being a strong gospel witness in their communities and beyond. Pray for Dona, a Bolivian woman hoping to leave in March to serve in the Middle East. Ask God to provide funding to sustain her in ministry as she is sent. Pray for the PROCLAMA team as they disciple Dona’s sending church (Iglesia Cristiana Misionera) towards God’s heart for the nations, infusing a vision within the congregation for the church’s agency in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
2. Jorge and Ginny Enciso’s (SAM Colombia) 24-year-old adopted son, Juan, took a step of faith by agreeing to attend a 6-month training program in Guadalajara, Mexico. The program grounds students in scripture while teaching how to work and serve the church cross-culturally. Pray for Juan as he discerns a call for missionary service. Pray for his growth in the spiritual disciplines as a means for Christ to disciple Juan’s heart. Pray for the Fundación Comunidad Viva team that Jorge and Ginny lead, as they look to develop relationships with programs (like the one Juan is attending) where they can direct young people from their community to be discipled into future leaders for Colombia.
3. SAM Bolivia and Fundación Raphá are collaborating together to build an indigenous discipleship center in eastern Bolivia. During these early stages of the center’s development as many indigenous volunteers and an international missionary team work side-by-side, pray for many discipling moments for the entire community as they make sacrifices to serve and as God builds unity in pursuit of the vision of the center.
4. The Recife Redemptive Ministries team in Brazil uses the arts and sports, music and soccer, to point young people to a Creator God who has given the good and perfect gifts of artistic expression, athleticism and good health. Pray for the ministry of the Touch of the Master Music School that elicits human creativity from its students and points them to the Father of Christ as the source of all creative expression. Pray for the young soccer players whom Chris Himes has been coaching for a few years, for them to grow in wisdom and knowledge of Christ and to participate in the dedicated discipleships groups that Chris is forming.
5. The Ayacucho (Peru) Initiative Team works among university students and professionals, communicating the gospel of grace and pointing people to Christ as the team builds the foundation of a church-planting movement in the city. Pray for the SAM team in Ayacucho as they discern the people God is directing them to this year to form relationships that mutually point to Christ. Ask God to give the team the impulse to create space and occasions where the gospel can be shared and discipleship initiated, whether its through English language instruction, special meals and gatherings around holidays, or through introductions to friends’ places of work or businesses.
6. The Semiraitá Discipleship Center team in Iranduba, Brazil, asks for prayer as a new term begins and students come from isolated areas, eager to learn God’s Word but with limited knowledge of Portuguese. Pray for knowledge to reach hearts, that the Holy Spirit will translate what is important and that the teachers will know how to guide the young students into maturity in Christ. Pray for Alcerís Dias, the young Director of the Center. Pray for his faith, courage and stamina to see the project through.
1. Pray for Chris Himes in Recife, Brazil. Pray for his leadership and wise discernment as he develops a plan to begin a discipleship group with boys he has coached for years through the Redemptive Ministries team’s Soccer ministry.
2. Pray for Dina Condori of the PROCLAMA team in Bolivia. Pray for stamina to finish her master’s degree and for financial resources for the PROCLAMA team to hire her as the ministry’s Member Care coordinator.
3. Pray for the Lord to introduce Donna Martin of the Ayacucho Initiative team to one or two women this year with whom she can form long-term, discipling relationships that lead to soul renewal and desires to serve the community.
4. Pray for Wes and Trudy Seng at the Semiraitá Center in Iranduba, Brazil. Pray for the Sengs as they discern how to support well the Center’s new Director, Alcerís Dias. Pray for wisdom, for the Sengs to be able to encourage Alcerís’s flourishing in his role.
5. Pray for Jason Weigner’s ministry alongside the indigenous community to develop agricultural and infrastructure systems for the new discipleship center in eastern Bolivia that promote long-term, sustainable growth.