Category Archives: Poverty

Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners (10/18/2016)

The door burst open and Quon stood in the doorway, his face red with anger.

“Next time, you better have a baby boy or I’ll send you back to North Korea. You’ll end up in prison, and this time, you’ll die there,” he screamed with his fists clenched, ready to strike.

Twenty-year old Soo Jin flinched, lifting her arms to protect her face from the expected blows by her elderly Chinese husband. She said nothing, knowing her excuses would only provoke him to greater wrath.

“And don’t even spend time thinking about your baby,” Quon said, “she’s dead.”

“How? Can I see her?” said Soo Jin, looking up at his gray whiskered face, but revealing little response in her vacant eyes.

Quon shook his head.

“I told you if you had a girl baby I’d throw her in the river and I did,” he exclaimed as he turned and partially closed the door. He added, “Tomorrow, you’ll clean the barn. It smells like you. You’re such a loser.”

He slammed the door and locked it.

Soo Jin leaned back against the wall with her knees pulled up near her chest. Her breasts ached from engorgement, but the vaginal discharge from the delivery had ceased. She hoped to wash up in the morning after finishing her chores and then change into clean clothes. Yet, changing clothes presented a problem as Quon would watch on and might be aroused by her nakedness, something she could not bear to think about.

Although exhausted and filled with grief for her dead daughter, Soo Jin braced herself and refused to curl up on the mat. She needed to make decisions, ones she had postponed until after her baby was born. It now was time.

“Oh Jesus, if only You could help me today and not just when I’m dead and in heaven,” she whispered, not waiting for an answer or expecting one.

 

Fourteen months earlier, a frail woman at the prison camp near Hoeryong, North Korea, just across the Tumen River from China, told Soo Jin about Jesus. The woman quoted John 3:16 and stated that if Soo Jin believed in Jesus she would go to heaven when she died.

It was an easy decision to make because heaven sounded better than any future Soo Jin could ever have dreamt for herself. She asked Jesus into her heart. Peaceful warmth comforted her, but agony and hunger soon dimmed its effects. It was now a distant memory hidden in the recesses of her heart.

A friend convinced Soo Jin to escape the prison camp with her. This was another easy decision. Eating rice husks, having electric cattle prods stuck in every body cavity by guards, and watching mothers boil young children for food had driven her close to the edge of insanity and suicide. Escape seemed to be her only answer.

The two girls’ plan was simple: avoid the guards, cross the Tumen River at night, and live happily ever after in China. Their plan succeeded on two out of three counts.

As soon as they crossed the river, two traffickers captured them. Soo Jin’s thirty-year old friend was sold for 3,000 yuan ($761) to a Chinese prostitution ring. Soo Jin was purchased by the elderly Chinese bachelor, Quon, for 7,000 yuan ($1,066).

Thus began her yearlong ordeal at Quon’s farm. Farm chores. House chores. Constant sexual assaults. Beatings. Verbal abuse because she was a North Korean, a loser in Quon’s eyes. It all blended itself into a living Hell for Soo Jin.

Soo Jin made up her mind. She would no longer be a slave and a sperm depository for Quon. She would escape and take her chances. Maybe, this time, she would make it to South Korea.

“Oh, Jesus, why did You create me to be such a loser?” Soo Jin whispered.

(Excerpt from Deceived Dead and Delivered by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2013, Amazon eBook)

Although the above is a fictional story, it is totally based on facts. And sadly, this nightmare continues for thousands and thousands of women in Asia.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us American believers to realize we will reap in the future what we sew today so that our hearts will be broken and opened up to praying and fasting for female prisoners in Asia. (Based on Galatians 6:7)

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for  prisoners in Asia, according to Hebrews 13:3.

Why Asia?

1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.

2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)

3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.

4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.

5. 600 million people live in abject poverty in the slums of Asia.

6. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)

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Filed under America, Asia, Christianity, Church, Fasting, Gifts of the Spirit, Judgment, Kingdom of God, Poverty, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners (1/12/2016)

For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have Me. (John 12:8)

Matthew, Mark, and John record the above words by Jesus during His last week of life. In John’s version, we learn that Lazarus’ sister Mary had poured a pound of expensive ointment over Jesus’ head and His feet. Judas Iscariot, who was the treasurer for Jesus’ ministry – and also a thief – was upset and asked, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?

Jesus intervened on Mary’s behalf, complimented her, and then spoke the above words about the poor.

Without doing some research, it almost seems Jesus’ words about the poor were callous and indifferent, but actually Jesus was referring to a verse in the Torah (first five books of the Bible).

For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore, I command you, “You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy, and to the poor, in your land.” (Deuteronomy 15:11)

And by mentioning the first part of the verse in the Torah, Jesus was using a Jewish teaching technique to encourage His listeners to obey the commandment about helping the poor.

My prayer today:

Lord, help American believers to open wide our hands and purses to help our brothers, the needy, and poor in Asia.

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for prisoners in Asia, according to Hebrews 13:3.

Why Asia?

1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.

2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)

3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.

4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.

5. 600 million people live in abject poverty in the slums of Asia.

6. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)

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Filed under 10/40 Window, Christianity, Church, Fasting, Kingdom of God, Manilla Slums, Poverty, Prayer, spiritual warfare

Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners (10/20/2015)

The above photo was taken by Mark Pedder on December 25, 2008. Mark is a missionary to the slums of Manila and wrote about this scene:

It’s a family we know who are scavengers and they’re having their Christmas meal…

The father got permission to scavenge from a local fast food outlet’s bins for Christmas. So they have three big bags of rubbish which they’re going through and sharing the scraps of food with the kids. While I was there they opened up a styrofoam container with chicken bones and a part of a hamburger crust in it. It was given to their little girl because the boy got the last bit of chicken they found. Some of the food is being unwrapped from servettes, some is still in the packaging, sauce sachets are found and squeezed for that last drop of sauce, a plastic cup with the lid on it still has a mouth full of drink for someone. The family is not ashamed or shy, we know them and they just have to do this, it’s how they live.

But on the positive side, they were all having Christmas together and they actually had something special – three whole bags of rubbish. They really were happy. The kids were smiling and laughing, no one was arguing or fighting over the food, there was plenty for all of them.

If there was ever a picture or an event that really shows us what Christmas is about, this was it for me as I sat by a fire, in a muddy rubbish dump, with two adults and three kids having Christmas. What a world we live in. But in all honesty, I really felt special, they were happy I was there, not embarassed or ashamed in anyway – it was sad, but at the same time it was great. (Mark Pedder’s Weblog, December 25, 2008)

My prayer today:

Lord, I ask for You to open American believers’ ears to hear the cries of the poor in Asia so that in our times of need You will hear our cries for help. (Based on Proverbs 21:13)

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for prisoners in Asia, according to Hebrews 13:3.

Why Asia?

1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.

2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)

3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.

4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.

5. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)

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Filed under Asia, Christianity, Church, Fasting, Kingdom of God, Poverty, Prayer, spiritual warfare

Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners (10/13/2015)

Children's Church markpeddar.wordpress.com

Children’s Church
markpeddar.wordpress.com

Have you ever wondered if I always fast on Tuesdays and Thursdays or do I sometimes fake it? You know, write the article and then go out for a large pepperoni pizza at Papa Johns. Who would know, right? So, here’s my rule of thumb: if I don’t write an article, I didn’t fast that day. Simple enough, okay?

But all rules have exceptions…even this one. 

Today, I took my wife to breakfast at the Swing Inn Cafe in Old Town Temecula. There was no specific reason for doing so, except that it felt right according to my spirit. Fasting, like almost everything else, has to be backed by the Holy Spirit because the Spirit gives our efforts life whereas just following the letter of the law will always bring death.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I come boldly to Your throne of grace asking for Your mercy and grace to fall upon the people of Asia in their time of need. (Based on Hebrews 4:16)

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for prisoners in Asia, according to Hebrews 13:3.

Why Asia?

1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.

2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)

3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.

4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.

5. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)

 

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Filed under Asia, Christianity, Church, Fasting, Kingdom of God, Poverty, Prayer, spiritual warfare

Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners (9/29/2015)

Soon, I had a dream…

I saw myself standing in front of a vast wheat field looking out upon a harvest that was clearly ripe. I stood there for a while overwhelmed at the sheer size of the harvest. What seemed like endless acres continued for as far as my eyes could see.

Watching the golden wheat sway in the breeze, I got this sudden understanding that I was looking upon the fields that Jesus spoke about in John 4 and Matthew 9. It was as though the Lord was telling me this harvest was free for the taking, much like Psalm 2 tells us to ask for the nations and He will give them to us.

Overcome with excitement at seeing such a great harvest ready for reaping and knowing this represented millions of souls being rescued from an eternity in hell, I began to jump up and down in excitement.

I could see it. The harvest was plentiful. It’s ready…

As I raced toward the field with all my might, I was already thinking about printing tracts and missionaries going door-to-door to tell people about the Gospel proclaiming the Good News to everyone in sight! This is what I knew of bringing in the harvest.

But I was wrong!

I suddenly couldn’t go any further. Right in front of me was a river so wide and raging that I dared not step any closer or try to cross it. I had not seen it from where I was standing before.

My heart broke. Was I only going to look at the harvest but not be able to embrace it? I stood there weeping, feeling so helpless and full of despair.

All of a sudden there appeared before me a bridge reaching from one side of the vast river to the other. It was not a narrow bridge, but one that was very broad. It was completely filled with little children from all over Asia — poor, destitute children, like those I’d so often seen on the streets of Calcutta, Kathmandu, and other Asian cities.

Then, it was as though someone spoke to me and said, “If you want to have this harvest, it’s all yours. But this is the bridge you must cross to get it.”

(Excerpt from No Longer A Slumdog by K. P. Yohannan, © 2011 by K. P. Yohannan, GFA Books, pp. 89-90)

I believe the above vision given to K. P. Yohannan is a true prophetic word for all of Asia.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I ask You to raise up many ministries who believe Yohannan’s vision is the bridge to the 4.4 billion people in Asia. I pray that each ministry interprets the vision as You lead them.

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for prisoners in Asia, according to Hebrews 13:3.

Why Asia?

1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.

2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)

3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.

4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.

5. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)

 

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Filed under 10/40 Window, Asia, Christianity, Church, Fasting, Kingdom of God, Poverty, Prayer, spiritual warfare

Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners (9/1/2015)

The above video is taken from a commuter train as it travels through the Mankhurd & Govandi belt in Mumbai India. These areas are slums, which are now larger than the Dharavi slum where the Academy Award winning movie, Slumdog Millionaire, was filmed.

You only have to watch two minutes or so of the video to realize how hopeless and overwhelming the prospects are for these slum dwellers. Although the Indian government has promised solutions, let’s get realistic, okay? These slum dwellers will most likely never see changes in their lifetimes. Maybe their children or grandchildren or great grandchildren will, but even that hinges on politicians keeping their promises.

Today I prayed:

Lord, give prophetic visions to believers with solutions for the slums of Mumbai. Let these visions be like burning fires in the believers’ hearts so that they can do nothing except trust You to fulfill these visions, no matter what obstacles may be in the way. Attract people, resources, and creativity to these visions to propel them to their completions. And Lord, I pray millions of people come to know You because of these visions.

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for prisoners in Asia, according to Hebrews 13:3.

Why Asia?

1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.

2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)

3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.

4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.

5. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)

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Filed under 10/40 Window, Christianity, Church, Fasting, India, Kingdom of God, Mumbai Slums, Poverty, Prayer, spiritual warfare

Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners (7/28/2015)

BASECO Slum in Manila markpedder.wordpress.com

BASECO Slum in Manila
markpedder.wordpress.com

Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners began about four and a half years ago just after I had read Hope Flinchbaugh’s novel, I’ll Cross the River, which depicts the incredible human tragedy occurring today inside North Korea.

Flinchbaugh’s novel stirred me up, but it was the Lord who broke my heart one morning with a vision during my prayer time. In it, I saw a young girl in a prison cell in North Korea. She had been raped, beaten, her teeth chattered from the cold, and she was starving to death. Her clothing consisted of a thin, washed-out dress.  She had no blanket or bedding to protect her from the frigid temperatures of North Korea.

As I looked on, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: “Would you trade places with her?”

Time stood still as I considered my answer.

Now, keep in mind, that the vision seemed so real to me that it actually felt like I was there in the cell with the young girl. I felt the cold and her fear.

Did I really want to change places with her? Absolutely not!

But I also had memorized the following verse:

Remember the prisoners as if chained with them, and those who are mistreated, since you yourselves are in the body also.” (Hebrews 13:3)

What went through my mind in those seconds of indecision were thoughts of never seeing my wife, children, grandchildren again and being forgotten in that prison cell forever, but I looked at her face once more. She had no hope and didn’t know Jesus.

I finally decided that if this was the Lord’s plan for my life, He would then give me the grace to embrace it.

So, I broke down and said, “Yes, Lord, I will trade places with her because I trust You.”

The vision ended, but I didn’t jump up and rejoice, realizing that the Lord had spared me from an agonizing death. You see, the vision chained me to that girl, to North Korea, China, India, Vietnam, Philippines, and all of Asia.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, help us American believers to hear the cries of the poor and the prisoners of the kingdom of darkness in Asia, so that when we ourselves cry, You hear our cries. (Based on Proverbs 21:13)

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for prisoners in Asia, according to Hebrews 13:3.

Why Asia?

1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.

2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)

3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.

4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.

5. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)

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Filed under 10/40 Window, Christianity, Church, Fasting, Kingdom of God, Poverty, Prayer, spiritual warfare