COVID-19 IN CENTRAL ASIA, MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA
Persian Speaking World
In the Persian speaking world, one of our partners is Words of Hope. They have requested prayer for wisdom in how to care for staff and ministry leader's needs during this time. Many of whom are feeling anxious during this time.
The director of Words of Hope, Jon, shares, "I tend to see opportunity for the gospel and can easily pass over the concerns of those close to me in the work."
A couple of years ago in Iran, they took their ministry from radio to digital. As a result of this, Words of Hope is now teaching US-based churches how to do zoom discipleship! This is a great example of how the body of Christ is working together to spur one-another on.Jon shares, "All this has fueled me with hope! One thing I am getting tired of is how "lamenting" our North American Church people are. I just want to yell out - 'I serve a risen Saviour!' The Iranians are leading the way with leveraging the moment for God's glory."
- The restrictions in the countries in Central Asia are much tighter than they are in Europe. Schools were closed and nobody could travel. Work is done from home. Prices for groceries rose and domestic violence increased at an alarming rate. Even the suicide rate rose and we cannot visit any believers. Despite all these worries, the transmitters work without disruptions and the program production continues in restrictive circumstances. Pray that the transmitters continue to work so that the programs can be heard by those who are searching for hope during these times.
Pray for the seven-minute video that was produced with COVID-19 in mind and is being distributed on Social Media channels and the radio.
Pray for the program, Spirit Filled Life as it is produced and distributed this week (first week of April).
Pray for the opportunity to record Uzbek programs. In the mean time, pray for the pre-recorded content to speak hope to those who listen.
- Pray for people in Iran as they are one of the countries with the largest impact of COVID-19.
Pray for the 30-minute COVID-19 program that the TWR Farsi team has created. This program also addresses fear from a biblical perspective.
- Pray for the newsletters and programs that are being created by staff.
- Pray also for the special live-broadcast program that they intend to make available on TV, radio and Social Media channels.
- Pray for the team in Turkey. Due to the number of COVID-19 cases increasing in they have moved to a shift working system. Pray this does not interrupt their ability to work together and helps them to be protected.
North Africa and France:
- Pray for the teams in these regions as they continue to produce programs to engage the audience.
- Pray for their safety and protection from the virus.
During these times of soul-searching pray for many to be drawn to the Lord Jesus through our broadcasts. Pray that our in-country team will be able to respond in the best way possible to this pandemic and that we will be able to speak hope to people crippled by fear.
- Pray for the team as they produce Thru the Bible and Women of Hope programs.
Our ministry partner CEF Armenia shared the following
- CEF stopped all direct ministries to the local children and teenagers. They have also asked all staff to stay home until further notice.
- Praise the Lord for the peace he's given him of knowing he's in control.
- Pray for wisdom for the team as they began to plan their online ministries.
- Please pray for the audio recording in the CEF studio. They are working on 170, 3-minute lessons and are planning to have Video Bible lessons for children.
One of our offices in the Middle East is currently closed due to a country wide lock-down. All people are told to stay at their homes. Accordingly, all our team members are working from home. We are glad that we already had the needed setup in place to carry on with most of our ministry activities, sharing the message of hope and pointing people to Jesus, the main source of comfort and healing.
- Pray for those who are in curfew because of the COVID-19 and were not able to get the initial daily needs due to lack of finances, may the Lord meet their needs through their governments and/or caring people.
- Pray for the TWR Arabic team as they all work from home due to authorities' orders. Pray that they will be able to keep their peace and work pace, and for wisdom for the leadership in how to keep the team upbeat.
- Pray that we can speak the message of hope creatively to a hurting world, sharing the Word of truth about God’s sovereignty over any situation “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” Psa 46:1-2
- Praise God for His perfect timing! The Discipleship Essentials Arabic radio program started to air on March 29, as more people are turning to the radio during this pandemic. We had hoped to start airing the DE Arabic radio program months ago but were delayed. Please pray for the effectiveness of this radio program and for increased contact with the listeners.
- The Way of Righteousness, which has been the most successful program TWR has in terms of reaching Muslims with the gospel, is airing immediately after the airing of the Discipleship Essentials Arabic radio program. Pray that people are encouraged to listen to this program and that it draws them to Jesus.
- Praise God for the 6000 families that are being reached in one country. The team has been able to share Discipleship Essentials online and send a love gift of food to these families, which includes ads for DE with the website and contact information.
- Pray for the 2400 pastors that will be trained and equipped to use online methods for discipleship groups. The goal is to see 400 churches utilizing Discipleship Essentials through Zoom and other software.
You can learn more about our ministry in Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa here.