Thanks for your prayers this week. We have heard once more this weekend from partners in Myanmar who share of the fear for the future among locals. Demonstrations are low key and peaceful, perhaps with the violent and bloody reprisals from previous demonstrations in mind. At the same time, there has been a steady increase in control by the military, lots of political arrests and new appointments to office, flights have been grounded, social media blocked and internet patchy at best. Our partner writes of people’s despairing pleas for outside help. Pray this week for confidence in the purposes and provision of Christ, and for ongoing witness among many who fear a return to difficult times from the past.
Plans are in place to resume some small-scale in-person Bible training in Cuba next month. Three courses are planned, two in Havana and one elsewhere, including one specifically for training women. Lots to pray for!
Show and Tell Fund
Our Show and Tell Fund is a great way to put generous gospel care on display among the nations. This week we have sent help to rural China to villages where finding clean drinking water is problematic. We thank the Lord for opportunities for friends to teach young and old alike how to use water filters...and then to install them. Each filter is giving out enough crystal clear water for up to 20 people every day. Thank you for making this happen.
Food for the Hungry
Not everyone in Europe is always taken care of. Not least among those burdened under Covid restrictions are the outsiders who have arrived in our cities, are eager to work but who cannot find any ways to make money right now. Some struggle to feed their families.
We are helping this month with food packs for them, along with New Testaments, gospel literature and children's materials for families in need of basic help...the more marginalised who are not coping in our own continent this month.
Let's pray for this ministry of generous love and the follow up with each family. Thank you so much for making this happen. 'From the rising of the sun...'
More help goes out
Thank you for your generous giving. Throughout 2020, we have continued to help wherever we can. Covid has created a surge of opportunities to serve others and introduce gospel hope. Thank you for your part in this. Within the last month we have been able to support moves toward financial self-sufficiency at an indigenous Bible College in the Peruvian Amazon; provide solar powered Bibles for East Africa; and encourage Indian evangelists in their work of Christian witness. All these ministries need prayer.
Questions, questions, questions,
Has the Platform 67 office had to close?
No, not at all. We have been working all the way through. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a ring on 0300 365 0067. We always love to hear from you.
What’s the best way to stay informed?
We are always busy on social media so have a look at our Facebook page for news from our projects. You can request our magazine too. It’s really easy to read - just enough for a coffee break!
How has Platform 67 been responding in the UK?
Our biggest concern has been the risk of lost vision. We want to see God praised among all peoples. That’s what gets us out of bed every day and not even Covid will change that.
We’ve put together several short videos on work in different places and how to pray in informed ways. They are called '5 Minutes of Mission'. Get in touch if you could use a copy in your church.
We are also doing our best to keep prayer simple and specific with our Just Pray! series…just a few lines to prompt you to pray every Monday morning right into your inbox.
How has Platform 67 been responding internationally?
Put simply, 2020 has seen a surge of gospel-opportunities. We have been Zooming our partners around the world, encouraging them and being mightily encouraged at the same time. We’ve also been supporting gospel work overseas, lots of it, in fact. As you can imagine, gospel projects using technology have been really important this year but so too have ministries making visible, practical and demonstrable our love for Christ…and Christ’s love for us.
How can I best give financially?
There are easy online options - just visit our Give page or you can give straight into our bank if that’s easier.. You can also post cheques if you wish. Our address is really simple: Freepost PLATFORM 67
(You don’t need anything else on the envelope and please don’t use a stamp as it really confuses Royal Mail.)
What is happening with Platform 67 meetings?
It’s not been at all easy for churches but we are here if we can help you. We have been taking midweek Zoom meetings as well as Sunday services online and as churches get back up and running we’ll do our best to visit and speak.
How can we best pray for you?
We love those kinds of questions! Ask the Lord to keep us faithful each day, to keep His glory paramount in our lives and decisions, and to love one another as Christ loved us. Thank you.
Issue 12 of our Platform 67 Magazine is now out. Read all about new partners ministering to Tokyo's homeless population. There is news too from areas around the world where we have been able to help over the last six months. Great to see God at work! Request your copy here.
The second in our 5 Minutes of Mission video series is now ready. Maybe it's something to help your church in informed ways about ministry in Japan. Get in touch to request a copy for your online services or midweeks.
We have been busy preparing two brief videos to help churches pray. They are in our Five Minutes of Mission series. The first is about student work in Iceland and the second looks at ministry among the homeless in Tokyo. We are working on more too - something easy to drop into your online services and a great way to keep your congregations praying for the world. They are available now so get in touch to request your copy.
(30/6/20) We're working with partners on a couple of new projects that are doing a great job of making Jesus known. One is in Japan where the homeless are being blessed with generous gospel love, and the other is to help evangelists among the Datooga people, one of Tanzania's most isolated ethnic groups. More on these in our next magazine.
We have been working hard on Volume 3 of our series of 30 Days of Prayer for missions.
One of the most serious legacies of Coronavirus might well be our shrunken vision. The more we focus on ourselves, the less we look to the unreached billions and to God's marvellous ways on earth.
You'll find your way to 30 more places, pray in 30 different ways, and walk through all 150 Psalms over the next 30 days. What a great way to spend a month! Download Vol. 3 here.
This is a great time to be praying for the nations. Here are five ways to pray today:
1) Pray for changed hearts at the upper levels of society - royalty and government. Ask God to work genuine, Spirit-led transformation in their lives. May arrogance and evil be brought low and grace and humility reign. Pray for a humbling on the scale of Nebuchadnezzar. May God be utterly glorified on this earthly stage just as He is in heaven. Ask the Lord to raise up peacemakers from among them.
2) Pray for wisdom, integrity, mercy, & courage for those who have direct contact with populations - the educators, media, civil servants, businesses, for example. Pray against abuse of power & greed. Pray for leaders who value and work towards peace.
3) Keep your focus on God, the gospel and the church. Please remember the many followers of Jesus in countries where it is difficult. Pray that He would sustain Christians who are in jail and those doing their utmost to stay out of it. May the joy of Jesus be their portion this week, whether in life or in death.
4) Pray for in-country relationships to bear fruit. Remember believing foreigners travelling into unreached areas who still have access to people and places. Some are there on business; others in humanitarian roles. May they spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ everywhere they go. Pray for opportunities to witness with gentleness and respect.
5) Ask God to throw the doors wide open for the gospel to run freely across regions of the world where His Name is still unknown. Pray confidently that Christ will build His church, assured that nothing and no one can stop that happening.
Show and Tell Fund - Covid Update
What a moment in history we live in! Despite trauma and trial on all sides, we confidently affirm our conviction in God's sovereign ways, assured that He is working to make His name great among all peoples.
This is absolutely the time to proclaim Him widely. Here, briefly, is what we are doing.
For regular news, you can also stay informed through our Facebook page. Thank you so much for praying.
Show and Tell Fund - Coronavirus and refugees
Despite upheaval, mission work continues. This is absolutely a time for pointing people everywhere to the Lord. Having local partners on the ground, already living side by side with those affected, makes a world of difference.
For refugee ministries, problems are heightened at the moment. Our partners in southern Europe have written today, saying ‘For many of our refugee friends, the current situation is alarming. Many depend on ministry centres, now closed, for their meals each week. Refugees crowded in camps have few if any options for social distancing. They are terrified that the coronavirus will take ahold in the camps.
‘However, we are recording sermons and lessons to share virtually. Our local doctors are still working and we will plan clinics with them as they time permits and according to the protocols dictated. We are also providing medical advice and translation services over the phone. One of our Farsi-speaking patients gave birth earlier this week which meant us translating through the entire process by phone!’
Show and Tell Fund - Coronavirus Update
We continue to receive weekly reports from China from those helping manage the virus outbreak. Opportunities for practical demonstrations of grace and mercy abound among those who remain vulnerable.
Among those most susceptible are the volunteers themselves. One couple in their sixties were joined by many younger people who came to help. Volunteers were careful to protect themselves before assembling the medical kits. One commented 'The process is very tiring but I am very happy. Let love manifest itself not only in words but also in deeds.' The medical kits have been developed to protect health care workers and frontline volunteers and contain masks, gloves, shoe covers, mobile phone covers, eye shields, protective suits and alcohol wipes.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers for those serving in China. Ask the Lord to help them make much of every gospel opportunity.
Show and Tell Fund - Coronavirus Update
Efforts to help relieve those suffering in China continue at an extraordinary rate. More than 100,000 masks have been distributed along with 18 tonnes of disinfectant, plus goggles and thermometers. Help is needed on a broader scale however, especially among the elderly in rural areas. China partners sent rice, noodles, cooking oil for the lonely elderly in many areas of the country, hoping to provide them with some help and comfort. Due to the restrictions on travel, basic life cannot be guaranteed for many of the elderly who live alone. Thank you for all your help with this work. It is a privilege for us to help those on the ground. Please continue to pray for relief, recuperation and long-term solutions.
Show and Tell Fund - Coronavirus Update
Thank you for all your help for those affected in China. Our partners are moving forward and making quite an impact on communities throughout the country. They report that the following have so far been distributed: ' '19,300 masks, 100 bottles of alcohol, 300 bottles of hand sanitiser and 160 goggles.
'A total of more than 8,700 volunteers in Sichuan, Jiangsu, Gansu, Anhui and other places are involved and so we are grateful for your prayers this week as they continue their work at grassroots level in China.'
Show and Tell Fund - Coronavirus
There are now many thousands of confirmed cases, almost all of which are in China. As a response, the BBC reports that countries around the world have closed their borders to arrivals from China, as officials work to control the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Among them are the US and Australia as well as Russia, Japan, Pakistan and Italy.
The isolation continues within China too. The entire province of Hubei has been placed in ‘lock-down’, effectively isolating millions, with Wuhan alone home to 11 million people. In little over a week under quarantine, Wuhan has experienced food shortages, an overwhelming number of patients, and evacuation of foreigners in the city. In addition, there has been 'rationing of facemask packs and sanitiser' to areas where it is most needed. For many, the fear is very real.
Chinese partners are responding with compassion and care for those in need - and it’s not the first time they have served in this way.
Several years ago, some local church members began to be trained to meet humanitarian need within their own communities. They are often among the first responders to China’s natural disasters and a great way to engage in society. Their work is welcomed but they are not supplied with all the resources they need.
You can imagine the great connections that have been established. These practical opportunities build relationships and open doors for ongoing gospel witness.
First and foremost, we would love you to pray. One pastor writes ‘The possibility that members could contract the illness has all become a great area of struggle. It is readily apparent that we are facing a test of our faith. Do not be concerned with my welfare, nor be agitated or fearful, but pray in the name of Jesus.’ With every region of the country now affected, ask the Lord for a speedy solution. Pray for those who are fearful. May they be brought to peace in Christ.
If you would like to give to our 'Show and Tell Fund, then visit our Give page. Our partners are able to help where most needed. They are asking for a million protective facemarks and 100,000 bottles of disinfectant to freely distribute. (As a guide, £30 provides around 20 bottles of disinfectant plus 100 facemasks.)
We will continue to provide reports as we receive them.
On the Move Fund
(8/12/19) The flows of refugees into Greece continues. Many camps are overcrowded. We are privileged to help two local ministries with care for some who often have to choose between food or shelter. Our partners have written this month to say 'Thank you for your prayers for our medical outreaches the last two weeks of November. Together with doctors and nurses from the Netherlands, Germany and Scotland we were able to organise five full days of medical appointments, seeing over 200 refugees. We gave advice, prescribed medications, performed several minor procedures, and discovered which patients need to be referred on to a specialist.
As mentioned in our previous letters, some new arrivals to Greece no longer receive the same levels of government help, including medical care. Please pray for us as we begin a women’s group in the New Year as part of our efforts to help women recovering from abuse and assault.
We love to get God's Word into the hands of more people in ways they can understand. Some have already been gratefully received with one friend commenting 'Right now, I am reading the New Testament. I have never read even a page of the Bible in my lifetime. I think this is the best Good News of any book I have ever read.'
If you are looking for a great Alternative Christmas Gift this year, then why not send God's Word on behalf of someone else? It costs just £2 to print and place a New Testament. We have sent some already but there is plenty of hunger for more!
Or maybe you or your church would simply like to help. Let us know how many copies you want to send and we'll take care of the rest. You can give via our Giving page or by post. If you are giving on behalf of someone else, do email us at email@example.com with quantities required so that we can send a postcard with ways to pray and a thank you letter.
Closing date is December 16th 2019.
Love Europe Fund
Thank you for your help in providing gospel tracts for distribution at last month's Montreux Jazz Festival
Our partners commented 'The leaflet "Who said it?" that you kindly paid for has been without doubt the most successful gospel leaflet in terms of interest and response that I have ever used. We had two big pop-up posters advertising it. For the first time in my experience people actually came and asked for a copy. It was not uncommon to have three or four people standing reading it by the kiosk. We have so far given away over 2,500 in French and English and in almost every case there would have been a conversation of some kind. We are now thinking of translating it into several other languages for next year.'
Love Europe Fund
(18/6/19) Day 11 of our new 30 Day Prayer for Missions Vol. 2 looks at cross-cultural evangelistic opportunities in Switzerland. Montreux, on Lake Geneva’s eastern tip, is where many of the world’s languages can be heard in the same place and at the same time.
Take a walk along the promenade in Montreux and any number of languages can be heard. The annual Montreux Jazz Festival attracts 250,000 tourists. That’s ten times the population of the town. The Easter Polymanga Festival attracts 40,000 young people. Christmas markets draw thousands more. Many come from unreached peoples who might never otherwise hear the gospel. The lakefront promenade is filled with events, cafes and stalls, including one bookstore making Bibles available in 40 languages.
Over the Easter weekend, up to 25,000 people walked past the bookstore each day. More than 100 Bibles were given away in over 20 languages, 300 children received John 3:16 balloons and more than 1,000 gospel tracts were distributed to those specifically requesting them.
Thank you for enabling us to fund tracts for this ministry. Let’s be praying for the 100 people who stopped and engaged in serious gospel conversations at Easter and the 5,000 who will receive leaflets during the Jazz Festival at the end of this month. What a wonderful opportunity to make Jesus known across diverse cultures!
(2/5/19) Our second volume of 30 Days of Prayer for Missions is now available. Request your copy from the office. It's a great way to engage daily in prayer for the world - 30 countries, 30 prayers and 30 bible readings.
Volume 2 is also available as a pdf for mobiles and tablets. Download now.
Coming soon! Keep an eye out for some superb missions resources for children.
(9/3/19) Good news from South America where the Quechua Radio station continues its ministry of Bible teaching into remote areas. Many are non-literate and attending churches where few have trained leaders. Helping church leaders and congregations better understand the Bible is a key goal. The work of making the radio station increasingly locally-funded is an enormous challenge. Nevertheless, we are thrilled to hear of growing interest from old and young Quechua speakers. One fourteen year old girl saved for three months to bring in her gift of £3 to radio station.
(11/1/19) We have started the year on a high with the completion of a new video on missions. We hope it keeps the focus exactly where it needs to be - on Jesus! You can watch it here Until The Whole World Hears
We are also working hard on two written resources that we hope to have ready for print soon. The first is a set of four Bible studies simply entitled To All Nations These are great for personal use or for small groups or perhaps even as sermon outlines, in presenting the Bible's big message of mission.
Then too we are working on the 2nd Edition of our 30 Days of Prayer for the World. Lots in the pipeline so keep your eyes open for materials to help you and your church.
(10/12/18) Our partner in the Himalayas sends regular news. His latest road trip takes him up to the roof of the world. We thought his latest would be a helpful pointer for prayer for you. He writes "We left yesterday right after church for the far west. We just arrived and will be serving the Lord for the next two days. We will be back home on Thursday. Please pray that the Lord gives us fruitful ministry and a safe trip back. We have a lot of literature to give out. Please pray that the Lord would open the eyes of the people for the gospel but close them for the wickedness.
To Him be the glory. Glory to the Maker of the mountains!
(15/10/18) We have received news of ongoing work in the Andes region where teams are distributing radios in rural communities. The radios are a life-line for many who are isolated. They also allow easy access to Christian teaching.
One report just received comments "The days have been extremely beautiful, temperature wise, however we have had 3 days in the mountains with over cast skies, rain, and very heavy fog which made driving more than difficult on the mountain roads. Our first day journey lasted about 12 hours and then a second day of approximately 9 hours more to get to the villages. The Lord provided accommodation for us in a medical clinic where we were able to settle into for our time there. This unique community located high in the mountains is where we met our co-worker, Juan Ramos. Juan was likely the first believer here a few years ago and soon his family were all believers and the incredible change in their lives was the light that began to change the darkness controlling the lives of many others. The Ramos family donated some property to build a small building where they could meet to worship God. What an experience it was on Sunday morning to visit with them, worship with them and enjoy a lunch of beans, corn, potatoes, goat/sheep meat and fried eggs. The Lord is opening doors very wide for the future of the Gospel as it goes forth from this little light house on the mountain side.
The afternoon before, we had handed out Bible radios across the valley, about a 4 hour drive away and upon returning in late afternoon we prepared to hand out more Bible radios this time in the midst of a down pour of cool mountain rain… a little change from our original plans, and then we were endeared with a typical supper meal of the area which consisted of a thick creamy soup with several potatoes along with a flattened guinea pig on top. Quite an experience to say the least, but everyone was willing to try it."
Thank you for praying.
(27/7/18) Summer activities in Mongolia have continued at a pace. Our partners have certainly been busy! More than 1,500 Mongolians attended classes offered by workers to help develop godly characters in a difficult society.
There was training provided too to some 60+ pastors, 2 medical trips to Overkhangai province as well as three missionary trips outside Mongolia to make Christ known elsewhere.
Give praise to the Lord for close to 200 people who gave their lives to Christ over the summer outreach events.
(17/5/18) We have been praying much for Andrew, who, after 20+ years of ministry in Turkey, has now been in prison there since 2016. His next trial date is in July. This report reflects events from the most recent court appearance where his pastor from the US was able also to be in court. Let's keep praying.
Sad, angry, and resolute.
These are my states of mind as I wake after Andrew Brunson’s trial. After 10 hours in court, I am deeply saddened that the judge refused to allow Andrew’s request to return home and finish the trial under some form of house arrest.
I’m sad at having to watch Norine be brave yet again for her husband and community. She is like Mary pouring her treasure out at Jesus’ feet. It’s her costly treasure of time, lost time with husband and children, her father’s death, and so much more. I’m also sad for the Turkish people and the blatant miscarriage of justice. This bleeds into my anger.
The judge allowed the most ludicrous witnesses to testify against Andrew. One young man, who had angrily left their church years ago, wanted to return to the church but was denied membership because he was such a troublemaker. He refused to repent. On the stand, this man admitted to creating a fake Facebook page in Andrew’s name and posting pro-terrorist items on it. The judge looked passed this and validated this man’s testimony of seeing terrorist flags in Andrew’s church. It was a total lie, but the judge said it carried weight.
The judge not only led witnesses with his questions, but also linked all the witnesses at the end in an effort to maintain the case against Andrew. The most angering blow was at the end when the judge decimated Andrew’s witness defence list saying that most of his witnesses were also “suspects” and, therefore, could not testify on Andrew’s behalf. This, in effect, ties the hands of Andrew’s defence.
So, what to do with unresolved sadness and justified anger? This morning I am reflecting on 1 Peter 2:23—“When he was reviled he did not revile in return, when he suffered (unjustly) he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to Him who judges justly.” Also, Psalm 30:5— “Weeping endures for the night but joy comes in the morning.” And Romans 12:12—“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation and constant in prayer.”
God did answer many prayers. Andrew spoke with clarity, authority, and boldness in the Lord as he refuted many, many lies spoken against him. Norine remained strong and alert. I had asked the Lord to be able to get into the courtroom. We got in. I asked to be a visible encouragement to Andrew and to have five minutes to visit with him. Everyone assured me that it would be impossible. No clergy of any faith have visited prisoners during this state of emergency in Turkey. BUT…then there was a technical difficulty with the big screens and while all were distracted, Andrew turned around in his seat and looked back at us as we sat in the back of the court. Norine said that this was not allowed. But with the judges distracted with the screen, Andrew was able to lock eyes with Norine and me and Sam and several others. I was able to communicate love, prayers, and blessings. It was a sacred and joy-filled moment from the Lord. We all wept. This technological difficulty lasted five minutes. It happened again later so we got another opportunity for eye–to-eye, loving contact. When Andrew was escorted out of the courtroom I moved to a place closer to his exit door and yelled out, “We love you, brother. We will never forget you. The whole church is praying for you back home.”
Joy, sorrow, anger, and resolution.
I remain resolute in standing with and praying for Andrew. I know you do as well. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Remember those in prison as though with them.” So we must keep praying. God is working something much larger than we can see or understand right now.
Thank you for praying. This is the hard work God has for us. Romans 15:30 says, “I appeal to you brothers and sisters by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered.”
(04/04/18) Grassroots Bible training is always important and especially so in areas where access is limited to church, Christian fellowship, online resources or formal Bible training programmes.
We want to see Christian workers emerging who are well-equipped for ministry among their own indigenous people. Rather than gathering lay workers in a central, formal training school, Platform 67's partners regularly visit lay-leaders in their home communities, often in rural areas. Travel is extensive but the Bible training is deeply appreciated. It has been our privilege to help this work. Thank you for making this happen.
Love Europe Fund
(1/3/18) Our partners in Hungary have sent special greetings and expressed their deep appreciation for the digital Bibles received from Platform 67. One beneficiary, a blind lady by the name of Eva, commented “I was listening to the Bible during the dialysis session and was thinking that I must have been disturbing the other patients. I wanted to plug in the headset but the others around me said, ‘Oh no, we want to listen too!’”
Thank you for making this possible.
Intercession - 30 Days
(5/2/18) One of our really big goals is to help more people pray. It is the best way for everyone to engage in missionary work. We have worked hard on the way we write prayer material and the frequency with which it is distributed. We want to make prayer news for the least-reached nations of the world more simple, accessible and frequent. Over the course of last year, we sent some 25,000 Just Pray! emails, helping people intercede in an informed and timely way for everywhere from Saudi Arabia to the Himalayas, and to Iceland. Thank you for your involvement.
This month we will be making available our 30 Days of Missions booklet. Look out for news from 30 different areas of the world, 30 ways to pray into unreached areas plus 30 sets of Bible readings to keep God's big purposes up front and central. Get in touch to request your copy.
Show and Tell Fund
(15/12/17) Among Mongolia’s extremely poor are those families that simply do not have enough warm clothing to send their children to school over the long and brutal winters. Local churches, together with social services and schools, work to identify the most vulnerable and provide locally-sourced thermal coats, boots, hats and gloves, ensuring children don’t miss classes.
Platform 67 have helped supply the winter packs. You can imagine the great relationships that have emerged through such simple gospel-driven generosity!
(14/11/17) Some 7 million of East Africa's Oromo people have been born again over the last two decades. However, only 1 to 2% have Bibles. Churches will often share a single copy of the Scriptures among an entire congregation. Platform 67 has provided over 1000 Oromo Bibles to help evangelists to preach effectively and believers to grow in their faith.
One pastor comments “Recently, I gave 10 Oromo Bibles to an evangelist and he was joyful, of course, but he said he had 20 missionaries ready to go and asked to which of the 20 he should give the Bibles?”
The arrival of the Oromo Bible has also sparked a little “back-to-basics” movement with educated Oromo Christians now organising classes to teach “the three Rs” to the illiterate among their congregations, so they can read the Scriptures for themselves!
Thank you for your help with this.
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