Have you ever felt called to fast and pray over a situation and seen a breakthrough that made you grateful God called you to prayer? It wasn’t so much that you moved His heart on something you cared about as that He moved yours to get involved in something that He was already planning to do. You never look back at a situation like that and think of meals you missed or consider the time you prayed as time lost to you.
I look forward to the opportunity to share a Thanksgiving letter with you, because it’s always that kind of experience. I’ll do a retrospective on the year, share all the projects, or the reason we were led to a specific one. I’ll share a meaningful testimony of someone who found Christ or just something special God showed me.
This time, I wanted to use the list of the most difficult nations in the world to be a Christian to remind us of what it means to have the freedom and resources to share Jesus with the world in the way that we do.
1. North Korea has been the most restrictive nation in the world for the past 17 years. In April of last year, we asked for prayer that the historic summit between North and South Korea might be an opening for reaching them. Since then, there have been few similarly hopeful signs, but we did somehow receive one contact from there last fall, who said he’d prayed to receive Christ on one of our Russian websites!
2. Afghanistan is next. “S” wrote us in February of this year to profess faith in Christ: “Jesus IS True Lord Alpha Omega Plz Pray For Me In Christ Name.” Online Missionary Heidi in Ohio responded by sharing Hebrews 10:14-17, praying for “S” and offering to answer questions while sharing the YouVersion downloadable Bible link with him.
3. Somalia: “B" from this nation wrote, “Praise the Lord Jesus, appreciate your efforts in spreading Jesus news through social media May the LORD Jesus add you life to live more years because some have [not] yet heard.” Robert, an 80-year-old Online Missionary in California responded.
4. Libya: In June, "E" asked, “Please what should I do to inherit the kingdom of God? I have sinned.” Cindy in Louisiana answered with prayer, 1 John 5:11-13 and a brief personal testimony.
5. Pakistan: "G" asked, “I am a Muslim should I accept Christ?” Jaime responded, applying Isaiah 9:6 and 53, as well as 1 Corinthians 15, sharing several apologetics websites and the opportunity to download the YouVersion Bible app.
6. Sudan: "Y" wrote, “Thank you for your electronic mission” Ace in Virginia responded using Matthew 10:9-13, Psalm 16:8 and Acts 16:30-31, recommending Younan begin reading the Bible online at BibleGateway.com.
7. Eritrea: "Y" testified, "I was saved by his grace through faith because no one can saved by his own work” Joseph in Florida responded using Psalm 119:105, 2 Timothy 3:16 and Romans 3:23.
8. Yemen: "Y" wrote us with the request, “I live among unbelievers who would try to kill me if they knew my belief. Please keep this confidential.” Carl in California gave a detailed explanation of what it means to trust Christ, using passages such as Hebrews 10:14, 1 Timothy 2:5 and Romans 11:6 and sharing a downloadable Bible. (YouVersion)
9. Iran: "M" wrote, “Hi, I am Iranian. I want read books of Jesus Christ, but I can not read because there is not these books in Iran or I can go to the church but I can't because government in Iran. Please pray for me.” A Persian-speaking OM in California responded with a brief outline of the Bible and provided a downloadable version.
10. India: "D" wrote, “I was Muslim and I accept Jesus lord as my lord and my savior but I have to many problems in my life i got married with my husband he is Muslim and he has 4 wife more I have 2 kids 2014 when I decide to commit suicide the Lord Jesus called me” Linda, a seasoned Online Missionary in our Islam community, shared John 8:36, Acts 4:12 and John 14:6 and has continued to work with her since June.
11. Syria: "Y" explains, "I do not trust God because he did not protect his daughters from the attacks of Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra. And I see him save some, and let others die with their sins.” A middle-eastern Online Missionary responded with transparency about our tendency to make God responsible for our expectations, sharing John 16:33 and 14:27, Psalm 34:18, James 1:2-4 and 2 Corinthians 1:3-5) and a prayer.
12. Nigeria: "P" asks, “What is the reason for existence” - Hawaiian OM Bobbi responded, congratulating him on his spiritual hunger, (Matthew 5:6), urging growth, (2 Peter 3:18), and pointing to the abundant life (John 10:10) and worship (Revelation 4:11) as the reasons we were created.
13. Iraq: an unnamed contact downloads our Next Steps App and connects with North African Online Missionary Amin by entering “Peace be unto you” (in Arabic) in the messaging center of the App. Amin responds with several helpful videos, an offer of help and John 8:32.
14. Maldives: "S" wants to investigate more about Christianity but has not yet prayed to receive Christ. Bart, an Online Missionary in Asia, prays for S and shares several helpful apologetics websites including JesusFactOrFiction.com and the YouVersion Bible.
15. Saudi Arabia: "R" cried, "I don't know what happen to me…” Our Online Missionary, Rich, in Oregon, helped by using Isaiah 55:11, Romans 5:8 and John 3:16-17, challenging R to read the gospel of John in the YouVersion Bible.
16. Egypt: "T" writes, “I was a Muslim by birth, then an atheist, agnostic, and now by his grace I'm his son.” Ward in Texas responded with prayer and a personal testimony, offering prayer support and some helpful websites.
17. Uzbekistan: "S" admitted, “I don’t know what to do, I don’t want to live, I need to talk it out, but I don’t have anyone to tell my problems to and few people care about problems! Pray for me.” (Translated from Russian) A Russian Online Missionary shared John 1:29 and 8:34 along with 2 Corinthians 5:21.
18. Myanmar: "D" asked, “I am so curious about baptism. In the bible, everyone has to baptized but He told us we are saved when we believe in Him as He has paid for us with His blood. So my question is will we be saved if without baptism?” OM Joey responded using Luke 23:43, Ephesians 2:8 and Luke 15.
19. Laos: "P" writes, “If I believe in God can I still be Buddha too? as I grow up in Buddhist way! Can I still go to temple pray meditation etc…” Janet in Tennessee shared using Philippians 2:6-11, Hebrews 7:25 and Deuteronomy 5:7, providing a link to the YouVersion Bible app and challenging him to read the gospel of John.
20. Vietnam: "A", writing in Vietnamese, wrote, “I am a Buddhist, so I do not know much about Christianity, but my comment is, no god would want his son to die, Gods just want to teach their children how to live and morally live honestly without lying.” Chris from New York challenged her to pray after the manner of Luke 11:1-10 and worship God according to Psalm 149:1.
21. Central African Republic: "P" testified, in French, “This testimony truly edified my faith and moved me to a life of consecration with God. Thank you.” Online Missionary Sarah in the Middle East wrote a simple presentation of the gospel in response, offering to pray for P.
22. Afghanistan: "A" noted, “We all pretend know god! I suppose there is one only god!!! So why do people hate each other and act in racist ways??? Sad truth” and received an answer from Online Missionary John, in Georgia, USA using a wealth of passages including 1 Peter 3:18, Hebrews 4:15-16 and Romans 1:18-21, several apologetic websites and his own personal testimony of having walked with Christ for sixty years as they wrote back and forth for the next two months.
23. Turkmenistan: "A" encouraged us, “May God bless you all” and was taken by OM Jim in Georgia, USA. Jim shared his personal testimony, Romans 10:17, 1 John 4:18 and Romans 8:35-37 along with a link to a free YouVersion Bible.
24. Mali: "Z" writes, “What may l do to improve my relationship with my heavenly Father? So l really love Jésus Christ and I'd like to follow him forever.” He is answered by James in Florida using Psalm 19:7 and John 17:17 and offered the free downloadable YouVersion Bible.
25. Mauritania: "E" wrote “I pray to receive Christ” and was answered using Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 4:12 and John 14:6 and offered a downloadable Bible by OM Rigg in Washington.
26. Turkey: "M" writes “I want to convert to Christianity. Is your religion faithful to oppression and injustice and help in raising a perfect generation?” (translated from Arabic) He is answered by an Online Missionary in Jordan using some helpful YouTube videos, John 3:5-6, 12:8 and 9:10 and an invitation to download our Next Steps app, which contains a Bible.
27. China: an unnamed contact writes “in the church camp during the holiday this year. I was born again” Answered by a Chinese speaking OM in Texas using Galatians 3:3, 5:16,22, 25 and Ephesians 3:16-17.
28. Ethiopia: "T" wrote, “I have no any idea about the Bible but I want to approach to Jesus Christ. God bless you.” Answered by Justin in Canada who used Philippians 3:13, John 20:31, James 5:16 and Romans 4:3, providing him a link to a YouVersion Bible.
29. Tajikistan: "B" wrote, “I really want to know the truth about this world and hereafter_- not nonsense and mythology. If you can help me in this way I will be grateful for you... Thanks” Dan in Australia responded using an elegant re-presentation of the gospel, concluding with John 14:6 and an offer of a YouVersion Bible app.
30. Indonesia: "A" wrote, “Have my sins and wrongs been completely cleared up? Are my good deeds enough? Or do those sins still prevent me from going to Heaven and avoiding the fires of hell? Maybe we try our best not to sin, not to violate God's commands. But as an imperfect human being; Has even a day gone by without a speck of sin in our lives? The more we sin, the more imperfect we are. That means we become impure.” (Translated from Indonesian) OM "T" in Indonesia used Luke 5:31-32, John 19:30 and Romans 10:9-10 to answer
31. Jordan: "N" wrote, “What is the grace and what is the law according to the Bible” Answered by Colin in Virginia using Matthew 5:6, Psalm 9:14 and the provision of a link to a YouVersion Bible.
32. Nepal: "A" writes, “I’m A from mid-west part of Nepal. As I’m a Hindu but my heart wants to connect with Christ. Help me!” Jess answers using Ecclesiastes 7:20, Acts 20:21 and Romans 6:23, providing a link to a YouVersion Bible.
33. Bhutan: "D" writes, “How should I pray?” and is answered by Chris in New York using Romans 8:3, Ephesians 1:13-14. He also provides her a YouVersion Bible link.
34. Kazakhstan: "O" writes, “I'm scared to live. I'm afraid to lose loved ones and die myself. Thanks.” (Translated from Russian) She's answered by Tanya in Siberia using John 3:16, Romans 3:23 and 1 Peter 2:24-25 and given a YouVersion Bible download link.
35. Morocco: "K" writes (in French) "As I felt that Jesus calls me through his angels and as Islam only brought me misery I decided to turn to Christ” Answered by Pat in Nevada using John 5:24, Ephesians 3:20 and 2:10 and given a Bible link.
36. Brunei: "N" writes, "Thank you for your story. It made me understand more about thy gospel. Its really help me loads. Thank you.” He's answered by Barbara in Utah using Ephesians 2:8-9. They continued to communicate for the next year and a half.
37. Tunisia: "L" writes, "Need christ in my life Christ death for my sins never follow anything without Christ Lord in you. I believe save me bless me to realize your poor son's dream.” Donna in Florida answers with Ephesians 2:8-9, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Acts 20:21 and Romans 6:23. She gives him a link to the YouVersion Bible and helps with his questions over the next six months.
38. Qatar: "B" wrote, "I need you Lord in My life. Set me free from my sins.” She's answered by Robert in Maine with Ephesians 2:8-9, Colossians 2:13, Ephesians 1:4 and 3:12 and given a link to a YouVersion Bible download.
39. Mexico: "M" wrote "I would like to receive and learn Jesus and how to pray” (translated from Spanish) Ceclia in Colombia answered her using Luke 23:40, Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 Corinthians 6:17, 2 Corinthians 2:14, Galatians 2:20 and 1 John 5:13.
40. Kenya: "K" writes, "I receive Christ from today.” He was answered by Ken in Pennsylvania using Romans 5:8 and John 14:6, who also shared the YouVersion Bible with him.
41. Russia: "L" writes, “I ask the Lord to pray for me to get rid of incomprehensible inner worries and emptiness and fill my heart with God's peace and joy. I sincerely thank you for your prayer.” (Translated from Russian) Yuliana in Russia answers her using Psalm 45:11, Matthew 11:28-30 and John 16:33.
42. Malaysia: Muhammad writes, “I don't know God… I know Allah…” Barbara in Pennsylvania answers by referring showing him the WhoisJesus-really.com and JesusFactorFiction.com sites to acquaint him with Jesus, also offering him a YouVersion Bible.
43. Kuwait: "S" testifies, “Yes i am accepting my God.” Paul in Texas answers her with numerous websites and provides her with a YouVersion Bible link.
44. Oman: "R" asked, “How do I know that Jesus has accepted me as a child and forgiven me my sins?” She was given a Bible link and answered using John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 6:23 and John 3:16 by Celia in CA.
45. United Arab Emirates: "F" wrote, “Is he able to change my life from the worst to the best or just talk on the net only?” (Translated from Arabic) He was answered by Sandy over two months and 25 messages.
46. Sri Lanka: A recent unnamed contact wrote, "Good evening, I need prayers for deliverance” - He was answered by "J" in Florida using John 11:25-26, Romans 10:13, Romans 7:24-25, Psalm 91:14-16 and Matthew 5:6, and given a link to YouVersion.
47. Colombia: "A" confessed in Spanish, “I walk with many anxieties without work. I have many debts. I have many things pending and nothing comes out.” She was answered by Ruben in Peru with 3 John 2, 1 Timothy 2:5
48. Bangladesh: "S" enthused, “What a love” and was answered by Chris in New York with Matthew 28:18-19, Mark 16:15, links to JesusFactorFiction and WhoIsJesus-Really.com, and a link to the YouVersion Bible and the GotQuestions apologetics site.
49. Palestinian Territories: "M" writes, “In God I believe and his son Jesus, praying to forgive me for any sin I made in my life, asking them to help me to continue the rest of my life peacefully and under their protection me and my daughter 'L'.” James in Michigan answered him using John 6:28, John 1:12, Romans 10, 2 Cor. 5:21, Romans 10, Romans 1:16 and Acts 4:12 and shared a link to YouVersion Bible.
50. Azerbaijan: "H" shared, “I am alone. But believe Jesus with me.” He was answered by David in Nevada, who prayed for him, shared Romans 5:8 and John 14:6 with him and provided a link to YouVersion.
You are receiving this letter because, at some point, God called you to support our work, either through prayer or by investing financially in our ministry. I hope this sampling of the fruit of our shared harvest is as encouraging to you as it has been to me. It won’t be our earthly riches that will follow us to heaven, as 1 Timothy 6:7 reminds us. At the same time, Daniel 12:3 says, “And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Resources, influence, talent and time spent in the effort to help the lost find Christ are the only earthly things that won’t really be meaninglessly left behind and forgotten. They will resonate forever in eternity. Thank you for making it possible for us to invest ourselves full-time in this ministry!
We’ve found many of our partners make decisions about their end-of-year giving at this time. This has a large impact on our funding for the next year. We’d be so honored if you would prayerfully take us into consideration in your year-end giving! (You can use the "give a gift" button at the top!) Whatever you decide, our deep appreciation for you remains unwavering! We’re privileged to partner with you and would be honored if you’d share your prayer concerns with us using this linked form (Or simply respond to the letter)!
Love, in Christ,
One Day Closer!