by Michael Sove (filling in this week for Rob Campbell)
Last year around this time God began to send me pastors from the nations who were seeking encouragement and even mentoring in cell church principles. In a very short period of time I had twelve pastors from nine nations who I was in constant communication with. I felt God prompting me to begin the International Cell Church Prayer Network. The idea here was to pray for each other across the nations and build friendships through prayer. I would send out a weekly update highlighting one of these pastors and their ministry needs and prayer requests. When you pray for people you have never met you really develop a heart for them. God used the following verse to capture my heart.
Isaiah 56:7 NCV â€œI will bring these people to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. The offerings and sacrifices they place on my altar will please me, because my Temple will be called a house for prayer for people from all nations.â€
After catching the vision for praying for the nations, I began to include our cell groups in this as well. I wanted the cell groups to have a heart for the nations and to think outside of their own needs and the needs of our church. Cell groups could adopt these pastors and their ministries for prayer and as God would lead, they could focus on a practical project as well. One common thing I found in the pastors from the nations is that they had many struggles when it came to basic needs and supplies such as Bibles for distribution in their language.
Some of our cells raised money for Pakistan and were able to provide 500 Bibles and 5 bikes for Pastors. Recently a few cells were able to contribute for Bibles for some Indian pastors as well. During the witness portion of our weekly cell gatherings, the cells pray for the pastor they have adopted as well as praying for those weâ€™re trying to reach locally.
When a cell experiences the blessing of getting involved directly in foreign missions, they will never be the same. Recently one of the pastors from India asked the cell group who was praying for him to help him come up with a name for his church and ministry. One of my dreams is for the cells not only to pray and contribute to these pastors on the front-lines, but also to take short term trips together to go and experience ministry face to face with those they have been praying for.