Valentin Siniy, President of Tavriski Christian Institute in Ukraine, shares that the current economic situation is worse than in 2008. Still, he reminds his faculty and staff that God is merciful and provides.read more
Christmas Devotionals Series
On the night when Christ was born, some shepherds stood watch over their flocks in the fields near David’s town. Luke tells us that, all of a sudden, an angel of the Lord appeared. Overwhelmed by God’s radiant glory, the shepherds cowered in fear. But the angel reassured them with good news of great joy: The Savior – the Messiah, the Lord – had been born in Bethlehem!
This unlikely audience for such a heavenly announcement then saw the skies filled with angels, each one praising God, saying:
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
This Advent, as we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, we especially remember and pray for our brothers, sisters, and neighbors who endure war and persecution in so many places, including in the Holy Land. May we continue to find the peace that surpasses understanding in Emmanuel, our God who is with us in every circumstance, who has come to defeat sin and death, and who will come again in glory and righteousness.
This year, we have again invited several leaders from around the world to offer a meditation on Scripture and to share about celebratory customs in their home countries. We hope that these Christmas devotionals and stories will encourage you as we celebrate the Lord’s first coming and anticipate his next.
Image: “The Angel Brings Good News to the Shepherds” (1948) by Luke Hua Xiaoxian (Credit: Art & Theology)
The challenge has been how to care for and support everyone. We need to get in touch with those who are not participating in online learning, to understand the reasons, and to give the support they need. Some have infected relatives or acquaintances, and we have been praying for them. We created a “Virtual Chapel,” so students can receive messages and share prayer requests.read more
All faculty members are now working from home, and the government has ordered that teachers continue teaching from home. We are in a very desperate situation, since the vast majority of our faculty members do not have laptops. This is a very critical and acute need. We are also in need of teleconferencing equipment, so we can continue offering lectures.read more
We have been working on contingencies for all our ministries in light of COVID-19. In India, we are currently under a nationwide lockdown, one of the most stringent in the world. This has caused difficulties for us in arranging food supplies for our campus, but the Lord has provided ways for us to get by. We have 70 students on our campus who were unable to leave before the shutdown. Daily wage workers, however, are facing a serious threat of starvation. We are currently working to supply 500 families with food for the next four weeks.read more
Before the pandemic and lockdown, I experienced an epiphany that I would like to share. It was during my recent study trip to the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS). I was asked to speak in the chapel, so I chose a passage dear to my heart: Mark 9:14-29. This passage focuses on the desperation of a father whose child is demon-possessed. Jesus heals the child, but not before addressing the father’s doubt, through both rebuke and empathy. As someone who has struggled with doubt myself, this was a good reminder.read more
The sudden shutdown of India, due to COVID-19, has taken all of us by surprise! This has led to massive confusion, as people do not know how to respond. Factories, shops, industries, offices, schools, and colleges have been shut down. Public and private transportation have completely ceased to function. People are prevented from going out of their homes, and those who venture out are beaten by the police. Heavy restrictions limit people’s movements. The shutdown has drastically affected people’s lives. While life at every level has been disturbed, the poorest of the poor are the ones most deeply affected by this shutdown.read more
This Easter will be unlike any other, perhaps in the history of the Church. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most church buildings will remain locked and empty on what is usually the best-attended Sunday service of the year.read more
My doctoral research focuses on social justice, particularly for immigrants. This interest comes from my own experiences working with Karen refugees, displaced by communal violence, at the Thai-Myanmar border and in Australia. In my own context, the influx of Muslim Bangladeshis into Nagaland has led to serious issues. To the natives, immigrants are outsiders who are invading our land, exhausting our resources, and threatening the identities of our indigenous peoples.read more
Like almost everyone, ScholarLeaders has felt COVID-19’s impact. This week, please join us in prayer for a situation that has reached over 180 countries. First, we pray for those infected by the virus and those who have lost loved ones. We pray that the most vulnerable among us would be protected. We pray too for those facing quarantines, travel and employment restrictions, financial pressures in shrinking economies, new caregiving and homeschooling responsibilities, and limited supplies.read more
Eighty percent of the rural pastors in India, especially non-denominational or non-affiliated church planters and pastors, have very little knowledge of the Word of God because they enter ministry with no theological training or in-depth bible knowledge. They seldom have a spiritual mentor. With great passion, faith, and hard work, they successfully plant churches, but are not able to nourish new believers in the Word, since they cannot offer what they do not possess.read more
Maqsood is Vice Principal of Gujranwala Theological Seminary, which trains 80% of church leaders for all major Protestant denominations in Pakistan. He recently completed his PhD in Islamic Studies at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (UK). His research on Christian-Muslim debates in 19th-century India will provide valuable insights for interreligious dialogue in Islamic contexts.read more
Please pray for God’s wisdom in my leadership at Bandung Theological Seminary (BTS). It is a great opportunity to be able to lead in this God-given moment to develop theological education with a holistic vision, to bring the whole gospel to impact the whole society with the whole church.read more
I am currently in my fifth year of PhD studies at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS) in the United Kingdom. My research examines the extent to which the practice of the Assemblies of God of Malaysia has changed, with respect to its espoused Pentecostal Theology, since its inception in 1957 to the present day.read more
I ask for your intercessory prayer for my people and my country, Myanmar, which is full of conflicts between the Burmese military and ethnic minorities. Christians and ethnic minorities have been tortured by the military for a long time. Consequently, many ethnic groups are seeking refuge in neighboring countries and in Western countries as well. Please do pray for the total dismantling of military power in the Union government.read more