In Papua, Indonesia, women used to be seen as less than the household animals. Because men had to pay a high bride price, they worked their wives very hard. They wanted to make sure they got their money’s worth. Women had to tend the gardens, carry all the heavy food and wood and care for the children.
But then TEAM missionary Charlotte Griffiths came and started teaching a sewing class. Learning how to sew gave women a new status in their community. Now these women provide clothing for their families — and extra income.
One of the women in this class was named Marice.
Charlotte not only taught Marice how to sew, but she also taught her about Jesus! And in time, Marice took over the class and added a Bible study to go with it.
Through these Bible studies, women learned that they do have value — not just because of their sewing skills, but because God created them in His image.
This month, join us in praying for workplace ministries like Marice’s. Pray that missionaries hosting these ministries will know what types of skills will best help communities, and pray that people attending the ministries will be receptive to the Gospel.
1. Pray that as people develop work skills, they will learn to place their identity in Christ.
Workplace ministries focus on developing valuable skills people can use to help them in their vocations. For example, TEAM missionaries in Zimbabwe lead an agriculture-based skills program for orphans who have aged out of government support systems. Another ministry in Puerto Vallarta focuses on teaching abused women valuable life skills.
No matter what form workplace ministries take on, the goal of all of them remains the same — to teach people to develop their skills, while ultimately showing them that their identity is in the One who created them. See, although skills are important to develop, missionaries’ main goal is spreading the Gospel.
This month, pray that people will recognize their value in Christ, and learn to place their identity in Him. Pray that the skills they learn will be helpful to spread the Gospel with their friends and coworkers.
2. Pray that Christians will be able to advance the Kingdom in their workplaces.
The workplace is one of the biggest mission fields, but it can be discouraging when the people you spend a significant amount of time with don’t share your foundational beliefs.
TEAM missionary Caleb Trim is helping with this problem by hosting seminars that teach people how to live out their faith in the workplace.
“We cannot stress enough how important it is to pray over those engaged in workplace ministries and for every believer who is embracing their calling to live out their faith Monday through Friday in their workplaces,” Caleb says. “It is a spiritual battle and a hard one. … No one can do it alone! We all need each other for encouragement, support, and prayer.”
Pray that God will give Christians courage to live out their faith at work. Pray against discouragement, loneliness and burnout.
3. Pray that missionaries will know what unique workplace ministries are needed in different areas.
The sewing ministry Marice leads fits well with the people and the culture in Indonesia, but it may not fit as well in a different part of the world. For example, in areas like Europe, a sewing ministry would not be as effective as a ministry that teaches corporations how to steward their finances well. But in Mexico, stewardship resources wouldn’t be as helpful as ESL classes.
This month, pray that missionaries will be able to discern what’s needed and organize workplace ministries that will be helpful to the community. Pray that the ministries will attract people who are open to hearing the Gospel.
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