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Pray for Revival and Peace in the Midst of Hostilities in China

Pray for Revival and Peace in the Midst of Hostilities in China

Every five years, all of China grinds to a halt as the Chinese Communist Congress takes place. The weeklong meeting determines the Party leadership and its policy direction. The Congress last month resulted in the appointment of President Xi Jinping to a historic third five-year term as Party general secretary. 

In the decades preceding Xi’s leadership, China had experimented on collective leadership. However, since Xi’s appointment in 2012, he has consolidated all power to himself and rivals have been pushed out. In 2018, he abolished the presidential two-term limit. Western editorials have nicknamed him, “Emperor Xi”; and Xi Jinping is now said to be the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. 

Under the current leadership, China has pursued an aggressive nationalism powered by the world’s second biggest economy and military expansion with global aspirations. Moreover, his reelection spelled continued tensions between China and the West in the foreseeable future.

While the rest of the world has shifted to learning to live with the pandemic, Xi remains  determined to beat it via the zero-COVID policy. This has proven disastrous and unpopular at home. Since March this year alone, China has had partial or full lockdowns in 152 cities affecting 280 million citizens. Beijing is the only major city that has not suffered a lockdown. These incessant and sudden lockdowns that go on for weeks and months have led to food shortages, crippled the healthcare system, and plummeted property prices. Economic growth has shrunk to 3%, the lowest in over thirty years. 

More worrisome, anger is brewing among the people. In September, residents were forbidden to leave their homes in Chengdu during lockdown even in the midst of an earthquake. Many expected the Congress to retract the zero-COVID policy.

This dire situation is never easy for Christian churches. Our Every Nation pastors report that this rule has also seen the worst persecution of the Chinese Church in the last twenty years—church buildings demolished, crosses torn down, properties confiscated, and pastors jailed. This despite the Chinese constitution’s guarantee of “freedom of religious belief.” Nevertheless, Christianity continues to grow exponentially. A recent study by Notre Dame estimates the number of Christians at over 100 million despite the circumstances. 

Therein lies the hope of China. In the land of Communist rulership, the kingdom of God grows like a mustard seed.

Prayer Points

  1. Let us stand in the gap for the nation of China and its leaders. Let us pray that a spirit of peace and reconciliation will replace the hostile and war footing of its current leadership. 
  2. Ask God for a desire among the Communist Party leadership to help establish a world of peace, unity, and harmony. Pray that God would reveal Himself supernaturally to its leaders.
  3. Ask God to continue to release a spirit of revival on the land. May the current climate of persecution result in a greater hunger for God and the truth of His word. 
  4. Intercede for courage for Christian pastors as they lead their churches through these difficult times. Pray for protection over churches and its members. Intercede for the continued explosive growth of the Church in China and the preaching of the gospel.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about this situation, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Hold the Ropes for Myanmar

Hold the Ropes for Myanmar

In early February 2021, the military junta of Myanmar staged a coup to contravene the results of the Parliamentary elections as it was not in their favor. Martial law was declared, communication lines were cut, opposition leaders jailed, and hundreds of demonstrators killed. The world was quick to condemn the reversal of democracy in the nation.

We have continually interceded for our leaders, members, and church in Myanmar but get very little information as communication is limited and monitored. Nevertheless, our pastor was able to send a letter to us a few weeks ago. This was the first time we have heard from Pastor John in a year:

“Mingalaba! Warm greetings! Shalom! First of all, we are doing well and stand firm in our faith by His Grace through your prayer. We trust that you are holding the ropes for us from your end. Myanmar is still crossing her darkest days without seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. In these darkest hours, many times, we sob. We feel dismayed. We are afraid and disappointed. However, we choose to preach the word, make disciples, pray for the sick, and encourage one another. The joy of the Lord is our strength!”

Pastor John continued to describe their current realities: daily gun battles, deaths, thousands of houses burned in villages, relatives and friends still in hiding, explosions, check points. The value of the local currency is now just a third of its value before the coup. That would be equivalent to the Philippine peso dropping to USD 1 = PHP 150! In response, the church started the Food Basket Project, where they distribute rice and cooking oil to 120 families every month.

The best news is that Every Nation Myanmar is back meeting onsite. Around 80 of our church members are willing to brave the dangers of just getting to church on Sundays, coupled with COVID protocols that are still enforced. Most church activities and programs are now being run through small groups, where many Burmese are coming to Christ and getting baptized. Even this is clouded with risk, as new attendees could actually be police informants. Every church service and small group meeting is a step of faith. 

Our pastors and leaders in Myanmar are true heroes of the faith. They constantly put their lives on the line for the sake of the people God entrusted to them. They are our brothers and sisters. Let us do our part by regularly holding them up in prayer.

Prayer Points

  1. Pray for the safety of our pastors, leaders, church members, and their families. Ask God for protection. May our church and the people be surrounded especially when they gather together. Pray for discernment against spies and informants. 
  2. Believe God for provision for our church members as they experience hyperinflation. Intercede for open doors for the gospel and favor in the community as they continue to bless families through their Food Basket Project.
  3. Pray for the families of our full-time workers, especially their children. May they be filled with grace as they pursue their schooling despite circumstances. They are believing for scholarships so they can pursue studies outside Myanmar.
  4. Intercede for the Burmese people to open their hearts to God and the gospel during this time of crisis in their nation.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

Pray for Restoration, Reconciliation, and Hope for Hong Kong

Pray for Restoration, Reconciliation, and Hope for Hong Kong

Lost amidst other major world events—such as the continuing war in Ukraine, an upsurge in covid and monkeypox cases, and the overturn of Roe vs Wade—was the quiet passing of the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong as a British colony back to Communist China on July 1st. Despite the assurances of mainland China that the civil, political, and economic freedoms Hong Kong had enjoyed under the British for 150 years would remain intact until 2047, there was much trepidation among its citizens who fled by the droves to London and Vancouver.

This political experiment called “one country, two systems” was unprecedented, especially back in 1997. Hong Kong was a global financial hub in the ’90s standing toe-to-toe with New York, Tokyo, and London. Can a Communist Party properly manage and sustain a democracy and a free market economy? Will China turn into Hong Kong or the reverse? Most importantly, would they keep their word?

Now we have the answers. In 2020, China introduced the national security law and electoral reforms, which effectively limited government posts to Beijing loyalists. Monuments to the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre have been removed. Pro-democracy news agencies have been closed. Hong Kong does not even rank in the top ten cities in China economically. The history of the city is being rewritten in school textbooks denying it was a British colony. 

As Hong Kongers felt the vice grip gradually tighten, hundreds of thousands took to the streets to protest. This became known as the Umbrella Movement in 2014, when locals used umbrellas to shield themselves from tear gas. The situation escalated during the second half of 2019, which saw the largest and most violent demonstrations in the city. The pandemic and police crackdown combined effectively silenced the protests. There are now more than 1,000 political prisoners in Hong Kong.

Twenty-five years later, Beijing had broken its promise and is fully in control.

Our pastor in Hong Kong attests to the fear that has spread. People are scared and frustrated in different ways. At the courts, there are trials almost every other day that are related to past protests. There are pictures taken in the airport departure hall every day, that friends and families are leaving their home and their city, seeking to live new lives afar. For those who are staying in the city, they are struggling to adapt to the new reality involving changes in politics and education. The city is quietly waiting for the pain to hurt less, also for the memory to fade out. 

Please pray that there will be restoration and reconciliation for Hong Kong. Pray that the LORD will turn the mourning to dancing. Apart from Jesus, “we can do nothing.” 

Nevertheless, churches continue to meet despite tightening restrictions. They are banding together in prayer for their beloved city, believing that as they make a stand for righteousness, justice will flow like the waters (Amos 5:24).

Prayer Points

  1. Let us stand with the people of Hong Kong as they hope for the liberties that were promised to them.
  2. Let us agree with the churches in Hong Kong as they activate believers in prayer. Pray that this would lead to a spirit of unity among the body of Christ in Hong Kong leading to righteousness, victory, justice, and freedom.
  3. Pray against the spirit of violence. Let us intercede against the forces that are trying to take advantage of the situation by unleashing a spirit of violence on both sides.
  4. Pray for peace, justice, freedom, and righteousness to prevail in Hong Kong.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about this situation, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Pray for the revelation of God’s value for human life

Pray for the revelation of God’s value for human life

Since 1973, it is estimated that over 60 million unborn children have died through abortion procedures. The Center for Disease Control estimate that one out of six pregnancies in the US end in abortion. Last month, June 24, the US Supreme Court handed down a historic ruling on Dobbs vs Jackson Women’s Health Organization, voting 6-3 to effectively reverse the effects of Roe vs Wade. Within hours since the ruling, several states banned abortion immediately and abortion clinics across those states closed. Twenty-six of the fifty states are expected to ban abortion, with twenty expected to legalize it. 

 

However, many observers believe it will have little effect on abortion rates as those who choose to have an abortion can simply drive to a state where the practice is still legal. Overall, this decision struck down the argument of Roe vs Wade that abortion is a constitutional right. That decision was premised on the assumption that the US Constitution contained a right to abortion. 

 

With the issue of abortion becoming a heated political battle in the U.S. in the coming months, the battleground now shifts to the individual states to determine whether to regulate or ban abortion in respective states. The November elections will particularly be significant as whoever ends up controlling the House between the Democrats or Republicans will determine the direction of the abortion issue in the years to come. While the Supreme Court decision cannot be overturned, the House can pass bills that will either aid or circumvent the ruling. The battleground has also become global, with the international community quickly following suit with the United Nations, President Macron of France, Prime Minister Johnson of Britain, and Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada, among others, criticizing the ruling and characterizing it as a step backwards.

 

Beyond the political battles, reviews, and protests that have ensued, our prayer as God’s people stems from Psalm 139:13–16, which says, “each person is fearfully and wonderfully made by God.” That life begins in the womb and it is our duty to fight and believe for a revelation of the sanctity of life.

 

Prayer Points

  1. Ask God to grant wisdom and discernment upon governments as they formulate laws regarding issues such as abortion, upholding righteousness and the value of human life. As state officials face tremendous pressure from the US President, government, liberal groups, and media, ask God’s revelation and word to be the moral compass of our society today.
  2. Intercede for women dealing with crisis or unwanted pregnancies. Pray for divine appointments with churches or godly counselors who will lead them to protect both their lives and the unborn as well as practical advice on how to raise the children.
  3. Pray for a deeper and growing understanding of the value God placed in each human life through Jesus Christ. May God use this landmark ruling to turn people’s hearts toward Him and for their minds to be renewed by the gospel that is for the salvation of all.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about this situation, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Let us Stand with the Community of Uvalde, Texas

Let us Stand with the Community of Uvalde, Texas

The world recoiled once again in horror at the tragic news of another gunman who opened fire on defenseless, random people. The senseless act of violence occurred in late May in Uvalde, Texas, and the victims were nineteen young children between the ages of 9 and 11 and two adult teachers who shielded the students with their bodies. The shooter, identified as 18-year old Salvador Ramos, entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde unhindered and opened fire on the 4th grade students. He, in turn, was later killed by the police. It is the deadliest shooting at an elementary school in the US since the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in Connecticut in 2012.

Uvalde is a city of 16,000 located just 90 kilometers east of the Mexican border. It is the kind of small town where everyone knows everyone, which makes the pain that much deeper among the surviving families. The incident raised multiple contentious issues in the US—gun control laws, school security, police response and procedure to name a few. It will showcase the divide among the Conservatives and Liberals once again. Changes in public policy could be the result, but no human power can bring those 21 lives back again. No government agency can make the families they left behind whole again.

There will be plenty of discussion once again on how to prevent mass shootings. Those conversations which hopefully would lead to reforms in policies are necessary. But ultimately, it wasn’t guns that killed those children. It was an 18-year old with evil intent in his heart who used a gun for murder. It is another sad reminder that man is a sinner and the result of his sin is a fallen and broken world (Romans 3:23). While new legislation and policies will help and are needed, because this is a moral problem, the only real answer is the gospel (Romans 1:16).

Most troubling for Western nations, particularly the US, where most of these types of random senseless killings happen, is that they seem to occur with alarming regularity. The pattern and scale we are seeing in the last twenty years alone has been frightening. Since the tragedy in Uvalde, a white nationalist shot at African Americans at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and another shooter killed three at a medical center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Washington Post counted over 200 mass shootings in 2022 alone.

Tragedies like these go straight to our core as humans. We must grieve with the families of victims. Let us pray that they experience the comfort and grace of God during this most difficult time. Let us intercede for the West, once the center of Christianity and Christian missions, to ask itself the hard questions and to turn to God for the answers. While the depravity of such sinful acts staggers us despite our exposure to wars, crime, and such, only Christ’s work on the cross is able to match and triumph over such evil deeds and wickedness.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Let us lift up to God the surviving families and friends of the victims in Uvalde, Texas. Pray that the God of all comfort and the Prince of peace would blanket that entire community with His grace and love.
  2. Intercede for US lawmakers to arrive at a reasonable, practical, effective, and constitutional solution to the longstanding issue of gun control. Ask God for a spirit of bipartisanship to overrule any partisan politics in light of this national tragedy.
  3. Let us stand in the gap for the US. May this incident cause Americans to search their hearts and consciences. Pray for a spirit of humility and repentance that they might turn back to God as a people.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about the situation in the United States, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Pray for Sri Lanka

Pray for Sri Lanka

The nation of Sri Lanka is grappling with its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948. The government has declared that it is no longer able to pay its foreign debt of $50 billion and it has failed to pay $78 million in debt interest. With depleted foreign reserves, it is seeking help from foreign nations in the amount of $75 million, which it needs within days in order to import essential goods for its people. It asked for further assistance for a period of a full year. The world’s leading credit agencies have officially declared this as a default in loan payment, which will further affect Sri Lanka’s investor ratings and devalue its currency.

Citizens are protesting against high prices brought about by an inflation of 30%, which as projected by the prime minister will rise to 40%. Food prices have tripled. Cafes have stopped serving milk tea, a staple product in Sri Lanka, due to soaring prices in milk. There is a shortage in medicine, fuel, and essential items, and regular 13-hour blackouts. Violent demonstrations are also frequent. 

During a televised address, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe declared that they are down to the last day in its fuel supply and described their economy as “broken.” He added, “The next couple of months will be the most difficult ones of our lives.” However, he assured the people that there will be no hunger crisis.

It is the result of a combination of the effects of the pandemic and domestic religious terrorism on its tourist industry, as well as economic mismanagement. Tourism, Sri Lanka’s largest source of revenue, has dropped 90% since the pandemic. The World Bank, India, and China have all lent money as aid, but this sinks Sri Lanka further into debt in the long run.

In 2012, after years of working in the UAE, Jude Manickam and Sanjaya Kotuwegedara returned to Sri Lanka with a vision to reach the youth and plant a church in their home country. We now have a thriving church, whose members were reached on campus and former Buddhists. They were in the middle of a building project when the economic crisis hit.

Pastor Jude gave us this update: “Thank you for taking the time to pray for our nation. Sri Lanka is in a really bad situation. All 3 crises have hit us at the same time: political, economic, and social. Due to these reasons, our country has now filed for bankruptcy.

“People are really struggling even for their basic needs due to high inflation. Prices have increased tremendously. We have many hours of power cuts due to lack of fuel. Queues at fuel stations are kilometers long. We are also lacking cooking gas and essential medicines, because of which even hospitals are struggling to treat patients. All of this is due to a depreciation in foreign reserves. 

“As a church we have really been looking into the needs of our members and providing those struggling with dry rations, such as rice, milk powder, tinned fish, dhal, and sugar. We have also been focusing on strengthening their faith during these times through our preaching series. In spite of all these difficult situations, we see this as an opportunity to preach the gospel, and we know that our God is faithful.”

Let us hold the ropes for our Sri Lankan brothers and sisters.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Intercede for divine wisdom on the Sri Lankan government to repay its debts, restructure the economy, and provide basic necessities to its people. Pray for grace as it enters a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.
  2. Stand in the gap for the Sri Lankan people for what is expected to be the most difficult next few months of their lives. Pray that they turn to God as a people in this moment of crisis and need. Ask God for a spiritual awakening over the nation as they turn to God and as they encounter His miraculous provision.
  3. Pray for our Every Nation churches in Sri Lanka. Ask for wisdom and grace over our pastors and leaders as they impart faith and hope during this difficult time. Ask for divine provision for our church and its members. May they know and see God as Jehovah Jireh.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about the situation in Sri Lanka, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Pray for Ukrainians Fleeing the War

Pray for Ukrainians Fleeing the War

The economic, social, political, and infrastructure cost of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be felt for many years to come. Due to the interconnectedness brought on by globalization, these effects will be felt throughout the world.

However, one of the most tragic consequences of the war is the current refugee crisis as over 4 million Ukrainians and counting have fled and been displaced. Millions more will be forced to leave behind families, homes, professions, and a way of life almost overnight as the war drags on. Most of the displaced are women and children as men of fighting age stay behind to defend their nation. For comparison, only a million refugees combined from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq for the entire year of 2015 resettled in Europe. In Ukraine, a million are leaving on the average per week. This is the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

The Bible places a huge emphasis on the care for the alien, orphan, widows, and the poor throughout Scripture. In Leviticus 19:34, God made it part of the covenant responsibility of Israel, “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” The reason is because they themselves were once refugees and aliens in Egypt.

The New Testament applies the same truth to the Church (Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 2:11). Therefore, as the body of Christ, we need to intercede for the safety, protection, and needs of those suffering in today’s war. Many fall prey and become easy victims to wicked crimes of human trafficking and exploitation.

Our Every Nation (EN) churches in Ukraine and Poland have been in the thick of this crisis serving as refugee centers. In Lviv and Ternopil alone, our churches feed up to 300 refugees a day. They provide food, beds, clothes, stipend, and free transport to Poland. Our pastors drive to war zones including Kiev to deliver tons of supplies and help residents escape on the way out. We also have a couple of pastors fighting on the frontlines.

According to Pastor Oleg Savchak of our church in Ternopil in Western Ukraine, “Since the beginning of the war, we have evacuated over 300 people from Kyiv, took 500 people to the Polish border, distributed 8 tons of humanitarian aid, and we have housed more than 3,000 refugees in our church!”

Pastor Przemek of EN Krakow purchased a few vans through the help of our churches worldwide, including Victory. He personally drives to EN Lviv, empties the vans of relief goods, fills it with refugees, and drives them all the way back to Poland every day. During a recent EN Global Team meeting, Pastor Przemek shared how he was stunned by the fact that there are over 2 million Ukrainian refugees in Poland, but you will see little to no refugee centers. The reason is because the Polish people have instead taken them into their homes and churches.

It is always the innocent civilians who suffer the most during times of war. God made it the covenant responsibility of His Church to help the poor, widows, orphans, and aliens. Let us stand in the gap and give toward their care.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Ask God for a quick end to this war. Pray for both sides to agree to a truce very soon. Ask for wisdom and discernment for the diplomats and negotiators to arrive at amicable conditions for peace.
  2. Intercede for the millions of refugees including the millions more who have been displaced but choose to remain in Ukraine. Ask God to send angels to protect and provide for them.
  3. Stand in the gap for our churches in Ukraine and Krakow. Pray first for supernatural protection over our leaders and staff not only as they stay behind but go to the frontlines to deliver aid and help residents escape. Ask God to protect our church buildings and homes so that they may continue to serve as refugee centers.
  4. Pray for hearts to be open to the gospel. As tragic as crises are, these are the moments when the human heart is most open to God. Ask God for divine appointments and encounters for all those displaced; that even as they find themselves lost, they would find God.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about the situation in Ukraine, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Pray for Peace to Prevail in Ukraine

Pray for Peace to Prevail in Ukraine

As news continues to unfold about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we turn to God for peace and hope and participate by sending help to support Every Nation’s relief efforts by giving through this link.

Russia has aggressively been placing itself in the middle of tense situations. It is seizing a perceived opportunity to take center stage in global affairs, highlighting what they conclude as the U.S’s failed mission in Afghanistan. In December, satellite images detected an unusual build-up of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border. When the new year opened in Kazakhstan with a political crisis, Russia was quick to send troops to quell the protests.

Threat of War

Ukraine’s location and vast expanse serves as an important military buffer against the West for Russia. When Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, it was a vital ally. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has leaned Westward and Russia fears its membership in NATO which would leave Russia totally vulnerable to an attack from the West in case of a war. Ukraine President Zelenskyy has acted against the interests of Russia and has strengthened political and economic ties with the US, the UK, and EU. Furthermore, Russian President Putin has accused NATO of placing missile systems in Ukraine aimed at Russia. This is what worries Russia. 

Estimates of up to 130,000 Russian troops are deployed along the border in addition to artillery, heavy weaponry, tanks, and air defenses. To put that in perspective, during the US war in Afghanistan, US troop deployment peaked in 2011 with over 100,000 soldiers. In other words, there is no reason to deploy over 100,000 troops unless a nation is engaged in or is preparing for war. An additional 10,000 Russian soldiers have been placed in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and another 30,000 in neighboring Belarus very soon. This has had the effect of surrounding Ukraine on three sides geographically. The US has gone so far as to accuse Russia of planning to stage a fake invasion by Ukraine in order to justify war. The Western allies have threatened heavy economic sanctions should Russia launch against Ukraine.

Russia states that the build-up is simply a matter of staging military drills and not plans for attack. However, despite possible diplomatic solutions, the negotiation ended in a deadlock. To complicate things further, China recently threw its support behind Russia’s efforts, potentially aggravating the current situation.

 

Emerging Conflict in the Midst of a Pandemic 

In an interesting twist, an Omicron surge has hit both Russia and Ukraine in record numbers and has also spread to the soldiers. This has led to a welcome disruptive and delaying effect on military operations and on any potential conflict.

The world is watching events in the region very closely. Russia has placed itself in a position to launch an all-out war quickly. As always in times of conflict, it is the ordinary citizens who stand to suffer the most. 

 

But in the wake of this turmoil, we hold on to Proverbs 21:1 and declare that God can indeed turn the hearts of kings and leaders toward His will. Let us lift up the situation in Ukraine in prayer.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Ask God to thwart the plans of political and military leaders on both sides to start a war. Intercede that such leaders be removed from power. Declare Isaiah 2:4 over the situation—for swords and spears be turned into plowshares and pruning hooks, for war to be no more.
  2. Pray for wisdom over Western, Russian, and Ukrainian diplomats to arrive at a peaceful solution. Pray for genuine reconciliation to take place among Russian and Ukrainian people.
  3. Intercede for affected citizens in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. Pray for peace as well in the Russian separatist Donbas region in Ukraine. Declare the will and purposes of God to prevail.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about the situation in Ukraine, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Stand with Europe as It Battles Another Wave of Cases

Stand with Europe as It Battles Another Wave of Cases

In the Philippines, we are enjoying a much needed respite from our long hard battle with COVID. We are enjoying record low numbers in new cases and positivity rates, an official “low risk” status from WHO, and more relaxed restrictions. Many are looking forward to having small Christmas parties once again with immediate family. But even as we breathe easier, much of the world is facing tremendous uncertainty as the global struggle against the virus enters a new round.

The major concern now is the new COVID variant Omicron. South African scientists made public its existence on November 25, after having discovered it in Botswana. Within days, multiple nations imposed heightened travel restrictions and the financial markets tumbled.

Little is still known about Omicron. However, because it is a highly mutated form, it is spurring fears that it could be more infectious than Delta. While current vaccines continue to protect individuals, it could be more vulnerable against Omicron. 

More will be known in the coming weeks. So far, based on confirmed cases, it seems more transmissible, even among the vaccinated, but much less potent, resulting in mostly mild cases. If true, this could actually be a positive development as herd immunity could potentially be reached with minimal casualties.

As of writing, it has been detected in over 60 nations and in 25 states in the US. It couldn’t have come at a worse time for Europe, as it was already in the middle of a fourth COVID surge. Reported cases in the region were at 700,000 per week in early September climbing to 2.6 million per week in November. This was before Omicron. There is much unrest as several European governments have imposed lockdowns and have been experimenting with varying degrees of compulsory vaccination.

But the spotlight is on the UK. Omicron comprises a fraction of the 48,000 new cases a day. However, at its current rate of doubling every three days, it is poised to become the dominant variant in a few weeks. All eyes are on Britain, as it could serve as the pattern of how potent Omicron is and how governments can contain it.

With all of these developments, it is easy to lose heart. But the apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:6–7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Let us look to God for His protection and deliverance. Let us intercede for the nations. Allow the grace of God to blanket our hearts and minds.

During this Christmas season, let us honor God, celebrate His birth, enjoy our families, pray, and stay safe. God bless us all.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Pray that this new variant quickly disappears and dies away. Let us believe that Omicron will turn out to be a weak variant with little to no effect.
  2. Intercede for Europe, the US, and Africa, as they are at the frontlines of research and fighting Omicron. Pray for wisdom, cooperation, and generosity over governments, health departments, the WHO, pharmaceuticals, and the scientific community as they seek to understand the new variant and how best to contain it.
  3. Let us continue to ask for God’s favor and protection over the Philippines. That we will continue to have low case numbers and positivity rates over the holidays so that we can enjoy Christmas with our loved ones. Pray for a delay in the arrival of Omicron, so our government will have time to prepare.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about the situation about the Omicron variant and what’s going on in Europe, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Pray for an End to the Crisis in Lebanon

Pray for an End to the Crisis in Lebanon

Last year, a horrific explosion at the Port of Beirut placed the spotlight on the decades long struggles of Lebanon. Tons of ammonium nitrate, abandoned in a port warehouse for years, were ignited by an uncontrolled fire. The resulting blast ranks as one of the largest nonnuclear explosions in history, leaving 300,000 people homeless. Tragically, things have only gotten worse.

Lebanon’s fractured government took over a year to rebuild. Their nation is facing a pandemic, sectarianism, bankruptcy, endemic corruption, a refugee crisis, 22-hour power blackouts, and an empowered Hezbollah. No one has been held responsible for the explosion. The Lebanese pound has lost 90% of its value in the last several years alone. There is a triple digit hyperinflation. The World Bank assessed the situation as belonging to the world’s top three of “most severe crises since the mid-nineteenth century.” In its present state, it is considered by many experts as ungovernable.

But not everyone has given up on Lebanon. In August this year, missionaries from Every Nation Philippines landed in Beirut. Armed with the message of hope of the gospel, they are reaching young Lebanese and giving them a sense of purpose. 

According to lead church planter Franco, “People are dismayed and losing hope over the domino and snowball effects of sectarianism and disunity in government and society. Despite the challenges and hardship, God is turning all these into something beautiful. He is opening doors for the gospel to be preached, and people from all walks of life and religions are coming to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Lebanon may not be in the best situation, but now is the great season of harvest.” 

Jeng, a veteran missionary, added “COVID is the least of the problems here. Imagine a life without electricity and traffic lights, where thousands of people are without jobs, there is no school and no government, there are refugees, as well as constant threats from the Hezbollah, people are unable to withdraw money from the bank, prices change every few days, and there is no help from the government. You really need the grace of God every day.”

In Isaiah 29:17 it was prophesied, “Is it not yet a very little while until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest?” Let us stand in the gap for the people of Lebanon. No government can turn their situation around, but as they begin to turn to God, let us pray for God to deliver them mightily.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Intercede for a new government that will unite in serving its people and rebuilding the country. Pray that they would have the wisdom to halt the downward spiral of the economy and runaway inflation. Ask God to either convict or remove the government leaders who have plundered their nation.
  2. Pray for a spirit of unity to change the prevailing culture of division brought by religious and social sectarianism.
  3. Part of its problem is the huge economic and social impact caused by its open door policy on refugees, with over 1 million refugees from Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Ask God to bless Lebanon as it has become a place of refuge for millions of innocent victims of conflicts in the Middle East.
  4. Pray for the hearts of the Lebanese to become more open to the gospel. Intercede for favor and protection for our missionaries are they preach the gospel and plant a church.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about the situation in Lebanon, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Pray for Peace Between China and Taiwan

Pray for Peace Between China and Taiwan

Tensions between China and Taiwan are at their highest in 40 years according to Taiwan’s defense minister. Close to 150 Chinese air force jets, including nuclear capable bombers, flew into Taiwanese air space for four straight days in early October in an unprecedented display of military aggression. October 10 is recognized by Taiwan as its National Day. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke threateningly a few days ago while vowing a “peaceful reunification” between the two countries. Taiwan views any such reunification as an act of “coercion.” China views Taiwan’s insistence on independence as the “biggest obstacle to achieving the reunification of the motherland.” China has long made clear its political determination to reunite what it views as its rogue territories—Hong Kong and Taiwan—to the mainland using military force, if necessary. 

The ruling government of China, then called the Republic of China, fled to the island of Taiwan in 1949 after losing the civil war against the Communist Party led by Mao Zedong. It eventually declared independence from the Communist People’s Republic of China, established a modern democratic state of 23 million, and officially calls itself the Republic of China. 

Both sides claim to be the true China. Few nations in the world officially recognize Taiwan for fear of breaking relations with Beijing. It is China’s way of isolating Taiwan from the world diplomatically. The US only officially recognizes one Chinese government—Beijing—but maintains informal relations with Taiwan, which includes military support. However, many consider the recent domestic and international issues of the US as signs of its increasing weakness which China is taking advantage of.

During Sunday’s National Day celebrations in Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen defiantly declared that Taiwan will not “bow to pressure” and warned that the nation will be ready to defend itself. Tsai was re-elected last year by a landslide, specifically for her pro-independence stance. Beijing has refused to enter into talks with her, dismissing her as a separatist who refuses to recognize a future where Taiwan becomes part of China. Analysts believe that China’s acts of aggression are meant to be a warning to President Tsai not to make a formal declaration of independence, which Beijing is convinced she is moving towards. Others foresee preparations for a full-scale invasion by China by 2025.

Every Nation has churches in Taipei and Kaohsiung. According to Filipino missionary Jason Yu, who serves as our senior pastor in Kaohsiung, “We’ve been serving in Taiwan for almost 8 years now . . . and we’ve never encountered or experienced this much tension before. We are going through a series entitled King and Kingdoms. Through this, we want to remind everyone that even though there are kings and kingdoms around us, there’s only One True King of kings and Lord of lords who is sovereign over all His creation and sovereign over all the nations, and His plans and purposes will prevail.” 

Pastor Noel, who has a heart for the nation of Taiwan, asks us to “Pray for God’s intervention for peace and bilateral agreement between the two countries. Pray also that Taiwan will soon ease out its travel policy so that God’s work through missions can continue.” 

Pastor Bruce Ho, who serves as our senior pastor in Taipei, said, “The current unpredictable tensions in the China-Taiwan situation are a reminder to us that we must ‘make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.’ This is true for all of us, but situations like this make us more aware of that truth. More importantly, we remember that ‘there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God,’ so whatever happens, God is in control and we have a crucial assignment to preach the gospel and make disciples. We covet your zealous prayers that we may do so boldly and effectively!”

Let us stand in the gap for Taiwan at this time.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Let us pray for peace to prevail between China and Taiwan. Ask God to remove government and military leaders on both sides who are intentionally pushing this crisis into a war.
  2. Continue to pray for revival to spread throughout both nations and reach government and military establishments. Declare the promise of Isaiah 2:4 over them, where swords will be beaten into plowshares and nations will unlearn war.
  3. Intercede for our senior pastors, Bruce Ho in Taipei and Jason Yu in Kaohsiung. Pray that they may have the wisdom to lead our Taiwanese congregations to stand in the gap for their nation.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about the situation between China and Taiwan, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Pray for Afghanistan

Pray for Afghanistan

As of Tuesday last week, after twenty years of American and international intervention capped by a chaotic and tragic exit, Afghanistan reverted fully to Taliban control. In a little over a week in August, the Taliban dismantled two decades and USD 83-billion worth of rebuilding efforts. There is plenty of blame to go around spanning four US administrations, the Afghan government, and the Afghanistan army, military contractors, etc. But the biggest victims, as always, are the Afghan people themselves.

While the Afghan army was heavily criticized by US President Biden for not putting up a fight, in truth, the Afghans are a warrior people whose courage is beyond question, earning the nickname “graveyard of the empires.” The problem was that they could not bring themselves to fight for a Western installed, corrupt, and failed government whose President left in a huff. 

The dilemma facing the international community is whether to shun or recognize a Taliban government. As of this writing, Sheikh Haibatullah Akhundzada is set to be proclaimed as the supreme leader of an Islamist Afghan government. Akhundzada is the Taliban’s religious leader who oversaw the implementation of Sharia law during the Taliban’s first rule from 1996 to 2001. 

Domestically, the big question is whether the Taliban know how to actually govern a country. There is a looming food, electricity, inflation, and COVID crisis. A spark of hope is the ongoing armed resistance led by the former Vice President allied with Ahmad Massoud Jr., the son of a national mujahideen hero in the Panjshir province. Again, it will be the ordinary Afghans who will suffer.    

Every Nation (EN) started a work in Kabul in 2003 just before the US declared victory over the Taliban. By the grace of God, all our EN missionaries and local disciples have been out of the country years before this crisis. The sad news is that their families are still trapped in Kabul. While we were able to source international contacts who were in a position to airlift some of them out, the situation quickly devolved to where they couldn’t even get to the airport as all the roads were controlled by the Taliban. In their words, it was “impossible.” And even if you could get to the airport, rival IS-K suicide bombers began targeting departing Afghans. Everything seemed to turn from bad to worse. 

As of this writing, for all practical purposes, they are still stranded in Kabul, fearing retaliation from the Taliban who are going house to house. Despite the Taliban’s repeated assurance of no retribution against Christians and those who helped the American forces, on the ground reports reveal that they are hunting these people down.

Romans 5:20 says where sin abounds, grace abounds even more. Even as the darkness of a fundamentalist theocracy begins to cover Afghanistan, there is a thriving underground community of believers. They may be the size of a mustard seed now, but it will someday grow to become the biggest tree in the garden.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Let us stand in faith with our Christian Afghan brothers and sisters. Ask God for supernatural protection, courage, and faith in the face of extreme persecution. May God open doors for Christian witness among other Afghans.
  2. Pray for Afghans and internationals who still need to get out to be able to depart safely. Pray for wisdom, favor, discernment, and protection.
  3. Lift the Taliban up in prayer. May there be a visitation from God upon them from the top leaders to rank soldiers. Intercede for the Holy Spirit to convict their hearts. May they honor their word not to retaliate against Christians and locals who helped the allied troops.
  4. Pray against the spirit of fundamentalism and terrorism in the land. Pray that Afghanistan does not revert to a safe haven for international religious terrorists. Ask God to expose the evil forces who will attempt to do so.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about the situation in Afghanistan, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Pray for the Halt of the Global Surge

Pray for the Halt of the Global Surge

Even as the NCR and parts of the Philippines revert to ECQ in order to preempt another surge, much of the world is already in emergency mode largely driven by the Delta variant of COVID-19. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned in the middle of July that “Unfortunately . . . we are now in the early stages of a third wave.” The variant is now in over 130 countries, cases are rising in a third of the world’s nations, and it is becoming the dominant strain globally.

Worldwide total COVID cases passed the 200 million mark last week. This means that 2.5% of the global population has acquired the virus. It took more than a year to hit 100 million but only 6 months to reach the next 100 million. Business Day reported that if the total number of individuals that have been infected so far were a nation, it would be the world’s 8th largest. The actual number is believed to be higher because testing in many countries is limited.

While Southeast Asia comprises only 8% of the world’s population, it is responsible for 15% of global daily new cases. Indonesia accounts for 20% of the total daily global deaths causing some to refer to it as the new epicenter of the global pandemic. Malaysia is seeing record numbers of new daily cases with 18,000 per day, with 70% of those cases attributed to the Delta variant. Thailand is suffering with its hospitals overwhelmed and 80% of the cases in Bangkok linked to Delta. At the time of this writing, the Delta variant accounts for only 1.5% of new cases in the Philippines. Even nations that were celebrated last year for effectively containing the pandemic are now struggling with surges and lockdowns, such as China, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam.          

The situation in Africa is tragic, creating a lot of panic in many communities with death rates rising exponentially. WHO described the surge in the region as a “destructive pathway.” In one month, alone, the continent accounted for 1 million new cases. Their vaccination rate is at less than 3%.

In the US, new cases hit a 6-month high, with the White House reporting nearly 97% of severe cases being among the unvaccinated. These findings are driving a number of states and corporations to consider mandatory vaccination for its workers. CDC’s Dr. Anthony Fauci issued a warning that “things are going to get worse.” 

Nearly half of Australia is under lockdown with Sydney going on 7 weeks and deploying the army to help keep people at home. Newcastle, a city of over 600,000 people, was recently added to affected areas when tourists from Sydney violated the lockdown and partied in one of Newcastle’s beaches spreading the Delta variant.

The UK presents a glimmer of hope as cases boomed until mid-July and then suddenly dipped. Many credit this to the fact that the UK has one of the most successful vaccination campaigns, with 73% of its population fully vaccinated and another 15% having already received one dose. This has allowed it to reopen its economy and allow people to gather in large events.

The Delta variant, referred to by WHO as “dangerous and the most transmissible SARS-CoV-2 virus to date” is changing the way we understand the coronavirus. Studies on booster shots are ongoing, the duration of the pandemic is being reconsidered, nations like France are considering mandatory vaccination, vaccine passports are becoming common, and the “new normal” is more and more being redefined to mean not as the end of the pandemic but as learning to live with viral outbreaks.

In Mark 11:17, Jesus declared “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations.” Even as we stand in the gap for our own nation during this time of crisis, we must never forget our calling as God’s people to intercede for all the peoples of the world. Let us cry out to God for healing and deliverance.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Let us look to the same God who protected Israel in the midst of plagues and sickness to deliver the world from this modern plague of COVID-19. Ask God to stop this surge and to defeat all other future variants from developing.
  2. Intercede for world leaders and medical agencies to have the wisdom, courage, discernment, and to be willing to cooperate to help bring the pandemic to an end at the soonest possible time. Pray for transparency, openness, and honesty as they develop and implement lockdowns, vaccines, medicines, and alternative approaches and options.
  3. Continue to war against the spirit of division and anger that is riding the back of this global crisis, which tears relationships and parties apart. Pray for a spirit of unity, love, and respect to prevail among all people as we face a common enemy.
  4. Pray for the global vaccination program to progress speedily, especially in poorer nations. Pray for the swift, equitable, and strategic global distribution of the vaccines as well as the safe, organized, and efficient vaccination programs among nations.

To learn more about the COVID situation worldwide, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Pray for Japan

Pray for Japan

Governments all over the world are engaged in the delicate balancing act between public health and national economy. The most precarious at the moment is Japan. Japan is staking its reputation as one of the safest, most efficient, and well-organized nations in the world as it prepares to host the Olympic Games from July 23 to August 8 in the midst of a state of emergency.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced on July 8 that a state of emergency will take effect in Tokyo from July 12 until August 22. This is the fourth time the city has been placed under this status since the start of the pandemic. This is due to a resurgence of COVID cases in Japan’s big cities and densely populated areas and concerns over the Delta variant. Only 15% of its population has been fully vaccinated so far. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike reported that “The situation is becoming increasingly severe.”

In the midst of this emergency, the Olympic Games, probably the largest international event to be staged since the beginning of the pandemic—which was already postponed from 2020—will push through. The decision is highly controversial because it is viewed by many as a potential superspreader not only in Japan but around the world, as thousands of athletes and officials arrive and return to their home countries. The implication of the state of emergency is that no spectators will be allowed in the Games in the host city for the first time in history. A limited number could still be allowed for events held in other prefectures.

During a survey held in May, 83% of the Japanese were against the Olympics being held and preferred to either cancel or postpone again. According to Pastor Scott Douma who leads Every Nation Japan, “The people of Japan are very divided about the Olympics . . . so much money and energy being spent on something that most people feel should have been canceled last year. Pray that the Olympics will run smoothly, and instead of causing more division, bring national hope and a healthy inspiration.”

The primary reason Japan’s government is determined to continue with the Olympics is that they stand to lose around US$ 20 billion in investments and refunds should they cancel. Many also view the prime minister’s political future as dependent on the staging of the Games.

Pastor Scott also noted that the pandemic has brought about isolation and loneliness. He asks for prayers as our churches are able to meet in limited groups, yet more than half of church members stay home. However, he reported that “many family and friends are joining in the worship services. Even in the pandemic, most of our churches are reporting baptisms. Pray that we catch this ‘wave’ that the virus has caused and ride it for God’s glory.”

Let us stand in the gap for the nation of Japan and our Every Nation churches.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Ask God for a successful staging of the Olympic Games and for all participants and spectators to be kept safe and healthy.
  2. Stand with our Japanese brothers and sisters for the new surge of the virus to cease and for the Delta variant to stop spreading.
  3. Let us agree with Pastor Scott that the Games will have a unifying and inspiring effect on the Japanese and the world. May it provide moments of joy and triumph for all as the world continues to battle the pandemic.
  4. Intercede for our Every Nation churches in Japan. Pray that thousands of Japanese will open their hearts to the message of the gospel during this crisis.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about the situation in Japan, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Pray for Lasting Peace Between Israel and Palestine

Pray for Lasting Peace Between Israel and Palestine

It was with great alarm that the world witnessed the escalating violence between the Israeli army and the Palestinian militant group Hamas in early May. It was the worst conflict since 2014 with Hamas launching hundreds of missiles at Israel who countered with its Iron Dome missile defense system and bombarded Gaza in return. Caught in between were innocent civilians on both sides leaving hundreds dead and thousands wounded.

Thankfully, a ceasefire was reached on May 21. But we all know that a ceasefire in this ongoing conflict will only last until the next issue sparks another war. The world has sought to help resolve this conflict for decades with ideas such as the “Two-State Solution,” but peace has remained elusive and resolution improbable.

This last fighting ignited over a Supreme Court ruling evicting Palestinian families in East Jerusalem. Jerusalem is home to a mixed population of Jews, Muslims, and Christians who each consider the city central to their faith. The Israelis saw the issue as legal enforcement, while the Palestinians viewed it as forced deportation and a land grab. There were heated protests on both sides. The spark turned out to be the Israeli police’s raid on the Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites, due to protesters who were throwing rocks. Hundreds were wounded in the process. From there, Hamas rained rockets on Israel who retaliated with airstrikes.

However, the root of the conflict is ancient and a complex mix of religious, political, geographical, and historical aspirations. Since the Babylonian invasion around 600 BC, Israel has been displaced from its Promised Land, scattered abroad, and has sought to return and reclaim its home in fulfillment of God’s covenant promises in the Old Testament. When the United Nations granted Israel the status of a nation state in 1948, many viewed this as a significant fulfillment of this promise. 

In the meanwhile, as Israel was dispersed over several centuries, the people who remained are eventually those we refer to today as Palestinians who became predominantly Islamic in religion and culture. They see the 1948 UN ruling as a grave act of injustice as they saw their claim to the land disappear by the vote of foreign powers. Thus, what you have today are two peoples and nations packed together with competing religious, political, and historical claims on the same piece of real estate.

Dozens of world leaders have attempted to make a name for themselves by coming up with the answer to this centuries-old conflict. Each one has failed. Interestingly, the one true answer to all of these problems was a Person who was born on that same land—Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9). Political strategies have failed because both the problem and solution are spiritual. It is only the love and righteousness brought about by the gospel that is capable of establishing lasting peace between warring peoples.

Every Nation has ongoing work in Israel, and it has been difficult. Nevertheless, the mission continues and hope is always rekindled as we reach both peoples one soul at a time. Let us pray for the gospel of Jesus Christ to take root in people’s lives, resulting in love and peace even among the opposing sides.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Pray for wisdom on Israeli, Palestinian, and world leaders as they continue to seek a solution and arrangement that is acceptable to both sides. Ask God for fairness and justice to reign over selfish political interests.
  2. Pray against the agenda of both the Hamas and rightist groups in Israel who oppose ongoing attempts at peace and reconciliation. Ask God to expose them and their schemes. Intercede that their continued efforts to destabilize the region be thwarted.
  3. Stand in the gap for the salvation of both Israelis and Palestinians. Stand in faith with all Christian churches and ministries in Israel as they continue to help disciple the nation and both peoples through the proclamation of the gospel. Pray that the Jews would see that the Messiah they had been waiting for has already come in Jesus Christ.
  4. Intercede for our church’s ongoing work in Israel. Ask God for a local man of peace to be saved who will serve as our future pastor and raise future leaders.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about the situation between Israel and Palestine, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Stand in the Gap for India

Stand in the Gap for India

India needs our prayers. While the whole world is in crisis mode, India has reached catastrophic levels. When major cities in the Philippines reverted to ECQ status in late March, it was to halt the daily new cases from reaching the projected 15,000 per day by mid-April. While we are now down to over 5,000 cases per day, India has just breached 400,000 per day. At that rate, they will overtake in a few days the entire number of Filipinos who tested positive since the beginning in March 2020 (over 1 million). It is widely believed that actual numbers could be five to ten times more than what is officially being reported. Brazil is a far second with under 60,000 new cases per day and the US with under 50,000. This is a tragedy of epic proportions and a humanitarian crisis not only for India but for the world.

 

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Ironically, India’s Health Secretary Harsh Vardhan publicly declared on March 7 that they are in the “end game of the COVID-19 pandemic” as the government felt certain about the strength of their local vaccine program. In light of the current outbreak, his phrase “end game” has taken on a new meaning. Soon after the health minister said those words, a perfect storm of conditions sabotaged the government’s efforts. An Indian variant emerged, which spreads faster and is suspected to be driving this second wave. Election rallies and Hindu festivals, attended by thousands, served as super spreaders. Planning and funding slips resulted in a vaccine supply shortage despite India being the world’s leading vaccine manufacturer. As a result, the national health care system has crumbled and there is a global surge in the pandemic.

Pastor Kevin Menezes of Every Nation (EN) Mumbai says that the “main challenges” they face are “lack of beds at hospitals to admit patients, lack of oxygen cylinders for the patients resulting in increased deaths, and too much pressure on doctors and front liners who have been weary due to the prolonged period of over a year.” He noted however that “while many in our church and even their families are infected, there have been no deaths so far. We are grateful for God’s protection. Thank you for standing with us.”

Pastor Yesupadam at EN Vishakhapatnam reports that his children and their families in the province are sick, “Many church members are sick, a few have passed away, one of our pastors died on Saturday, many people we know are in the hospitals. The need is so great.”

This is the time for us to unite in prayer for our church family in India and for the nation as a whole. When God revealed Himself in Exodus 15 as Jehovah Rophe, the God who heals, it was a promise to protect His people from disease and death, which plagued the Egyptians. Let us call on His name to cover our church members with protection and to extend mercy to the entire nation of India.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Plead for God’s mercy to cover and heal the land of India. Ask God to halt the rampant spread of the virus throughout the nation.
  2. Pray for wisdom and courage for the national and local government leaders to make right and timely decisions, so they can save as many as possible and end this second wave.
  3. Ask God for world leaders to come to the aid of India through vaccines, medical supplies, equipment, and other means of support.
  4. Pray for our churches in India. Ask God to protect our pastors, leaders, church members, and their families. Pray also for comfort for those who have lost loved ones, as well as provision for those who need medicine.
  5. Intercede for the entire Church in India to unite and display courage and boldness to pray for the sick and preach the gospel despite persecution.

Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about the COVID-19 situation in India, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Pray for Racial Healing

Pray for Racial Healing

Your heart will literally sink. Last month, a video circulated online of a large man beating up a 65-year-old woman. The woman was a Filipina on her way to church in what turned out to be the latest of the increasing hate crimes against Asians in the US. This comes on the heels of a confessed gunman who shot and killed 6 Asian women, out of his 8 victims, in what he claimed was his battle against temptation.

Even as overall hate crimes declined, attacks against Asians in the US increased by as much as 150 percent in 2020. Much of this is attributed to a wrongful sense of blame against Asians, the Chinese in particular, for the global pandemic. The irrational thinking behind this points to the true nature and root of this crime—sin and wickedness. Racial discrimination comes straight from hell.

This sin is not unique to the US or to this generation. Racial discrimination is a universal problem whether it is division in South Africa, the persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar or the Uighurs in China, or the plight of the Maoris in New Zealand. History is a record of man’s condemnation for racial hate crimes against his brother in the form of wars, slavery, or the Holocaust.

Racism goes against the very nature of Creation: Every person was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26–27). Any form of discrimination devalues, distorts, and belittles a person’s God-given value. Division was a direct result of the Fall in Genesis 3. Since then, man has divided, fought, and discriminated over race, gender, religion, social status, and other reasons. Discrimination is a cultural manifestation of idolatrous sin, which has become institutionalized over time. It is the exact opposite of the Greatest Commandment to love God and our neighbor (Matthew 22:36–40). Because it is spiritual at its root, only the gospel, which restores individuals and communities to their original purpose and adds them into a spiritual community, is able to bring real and lasting unity (Galatians 3:28). The Cross is the answer to the crime of racism.

 

Photo from the 2016 Every Nation World Conference in South Africa

 

As part of Every Nation (EN), Victory sees the outworking of its mission to help fulfill the Great Commission as the planting of ethnically diverse churches. We intentionally build in a way that reaches locals primarily but welcomes all cultures in a community. Many of our churches all over the world are at the forefront of local efforts to bring reconciliation and understanding among all races through discipleship, humanitarian efforts, dialogue, and political action. Our church in Myanmar is home to the varied tribes that make up the nation. EN India is where students from all the states in India are being discipled. Our churches in the US and South Africa are witnesses to peoples of different color worshiping together. EN Guam is where islanders from the entire region are discipled together.

We want our churches to be a reflection of heaven here on earth (Revelation 7:9). Let’s take a moment to pray for racial healing in our world today.

PRAYER POINTS

Pray for those who discriminate against other races globally. Ask God for a spirit of repentance and deliverance upon them. Pray for a revelation of God’s purposes and created order on all sides. Pray that the tragedy of racial sin leads peoples and nations to repentance towards a spiritual revival. Pray for healing and forgiveness for the victims and that this would lead them to God.

Pray for the churches and spiritual leaders in nations that suffer from racism. Ask God to give them wisdom and leadership to be salt and light during these times and for divine opportunities to share the truth of God’s word. Pray for churches to be at the forefront of reconciliation among peoples.

Pray for the governments of these nations to be able to provide protection and justice for the victims. Pray that they would be able to restore order and contain the hate and violence.

Pray against the socio-economic discrimination in the Philippines. The division among our people is not so much racial or regional as it is socio-economic. Intercede for genuine unity and for the privileged to use their resources to help uplift our countrymen from poverty.


Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.

To learn more about recent events related to racial issues, you can check the news and resources in the links below.

Pray for the Political Turmoil in Myanmar

Pray for the Political Turmoil in Myanmar

“From day one, the situation is now hourly changing.” That is how Pastor John, senior pastor of Every Nation Myanmar, described the situation in the first of five updates he has sent to friends outside. He described how, in the early hours of February 1, the ruling military junta staged a coup before the newly elected Parliament members could hold their first session. All communication lines (telephone, media, internet) were cut and opposition leaders were arrested which left the people of Myanmar unaware of what was happening until later that day. The outside world was first to know, and Pastor John himself only learned what was happening through the messages of friends from outside much later. Since then, martial law has been declared and lines of communication are intermittent.

The people have gone out and participated in daily acts of unprecedented civil disobedience as displays of defiance and courage. People have refused to report to work to cripple the nation, have engaged in a nightly noise barrage, and have openly demonstrated on the streets in the thousands.

Photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash

But there are troubling signs ahead. The Burmese military junta has always brutally repressed all forms of protest since it took power over thirty years ago. Fake news is intentionally being spread to create confusion. There are constant nighttime arrests. A reported 23,000 prisoners were released to burn houses down. Local communities have organized themselves street by street to protect their homes from these armed criminals. Members of Parliament who have not been arrested organized themselves into a government so there are technically two governments now. All Covid-19 protocols and reports are being neglected.

Pastor Carlo Ratilla, who serves on our Missions Team and in Victory Santa Rosa, planted our church in Myanmar in 2002 together with his family. According to Pastor Carlo, during their time in Myanmar under military rule, “We encountered and ministered to a lot of young people who felt they had lost their hope, freedom, and future. It saddens me to know that the military regime has gone back to full control. But in the midst of this very difficult and dark time, what gives me hope is that we have our church community who is responding by regularly praying for peace and forgiveness towards the military regime and its leaders. I have hope that God is going to do something greater than what we have seen before. A transformation is coming to this nation. Let’s continue to pray!”

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

Pastor John rallied the church to pray as families, in small groups, and as a church through a weekly online prayer meeting. They have also joined a prayer chain with the rest of the body of Christ. Pastor John is asking us to intercede for the nation and their church, “We cannot be feeble and shabby. We need to stand up and call upon the name of God. That is what we are going to do every day. Only Yahweh can save Myanmar. So my dear friends, would you hold the rope on the other end for us? In our desperation, may the name of the Lord be blessed in Myanmar. May El Shaddai turn this situation into a beautiful and wonderful thing for He is awesome. Will you pray with us?”

PRAYER POINTS

Pray for Freedom and Justice. Ask God for the integrity of the recent elections to be upheld and for the rightfully elected leaders to be set in place. Pray that the long and slow path to democracy that Myanmar has been on since 2010 will not be hindered by these recent events.

Pray for Peace. Intercede against the outbreak of violence on all sides. Intercede that the government, military, and demonstrators would value all life and property. Pray that the intentional acts of violence against innocent people and property will completely cease.

Pray for Unity. Myanmar is made up of over a hundred distinct tribes with strong cultural and political differences. Pray that this current crisis unites them as one people.

Pray for the Church. Ask God that Every Nation Myanmar and the body of Christ there will become witnesses for His kingdom during this great trial in their nation’s history. Pray that this Buddhist nation will be drawn to God and His gospel through the example and faith of Christian Burmese. Intercede also for wisdom and discernment for all Christian leaders in the nation to know how to respond and lead His Church at this time.


Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations. Starting today, we will be posting prayer points for different nations every month.

To learn more about the events in Myanmar, you can read the news in the links below.