For 20 Years, Global Partners has had ministry among the Karis people (a pseudonym). They number about 30 million and 4 million of them reside in this central Asian capital city which our short-term team visited.
On one day, we carried out a “prayer walk” in groups of three, strolling past businesses, mosques, and homes for hours. No doubt we appeared to be talking to one another, but in reality we were taking turns talking to God. With eyes wide open, we prayed about everything and everyone we saw. We asked God to deliver his truth and pour out his love upon the city and its people. Even while pausing to eat, drink, or rest at sidewalk cafés, we never ceased praying.
On the very last street we visited, we paused below the balcony of a 400-year-old apartment, praying for the single missionary who lived there with a local family. We were told that Vincent was doing a year of intense language and culture immersion and needed our prayers.
A robed gentleman with a long white beard was watching us from across the ancient, narrow street.
Before long, he beckoned for us to join him. After introductions and friendly conversation, he exercised the well-known hospitality of his people and implored us to join his family for supper. We had no choice but to leave soon for our rendezvous appointment elsewhere, but we left a detailed gospel booklet in his hands, in the local language. He accepted the tract from us with both hands, as if it were a precious gift.
We paused at the end of the street, at the top of hill, and turned back to pray over the area once more. We prayed that the gospel booklet would be read and understood by at least 100 people before it fell apart or was discarded.
The next day our large team crowded into an apartment with resident missionaries to worship, debrief our experiences, pray, and eat together. When I spoke to Vincent about praying under his balcony, he asked, “Did you leave a gospel tract with a man there?”
He soon explained that at about 9:00 that evening, three men appeared at his door, one of them holding the tract. Distinguished heads of families, they were welcomed in. The one we had met asked Vincent if he believed all of the message in the booklet was true. And he asked if Vincent had copies of the Injeel (represented today by the New Testament) in their language, which had been recommended by the tract. Vincent happened to have three copies, which he gave them.
Immediately, they opened the New Testaments and began reading and asking many questions. Vincent had the help of a family member for translation at times, and did his best to answer their questions. He was greatly encouraged, because often heads of families are the most difficult men in that culture to reach with the gospel.
Twenty years ago there were only a few hundred protestant Christians in this overwhelmingly Islamic nation of millions. Today, those numbers have multiplied into many thousands and there is a significant witness in the culture. No force has been more powerful than prayer in advancing the gospel among the Karis people. Have you considered a prayer walk?