As UBA congregations and ministry teams serve together to demonstrate the presence of Christ to those in need, you can be praying specifically for a number of different needs.
Josh Ellis, Executive Director
Josh Ellis is coming to end of this first month as Executive Director of UBA. Leading the largest association in the most diverse city in the United States is no easy task. Continue to hold him in your prayers as he settles in to this leadership role. Pray for wisdom, discernment, and physical stamina as he prioritizes multiple issues.
M, A Young Man Incarcerated
He participates in the Organic Church Leadership training at the Wynne Unit in Huntsville. One of the volunteer trainers who is part of the monthly rotation said, "He is young and looking at a very long sentence. He is going to have some ups and downs." But that night M "came in with a big smile and did a great job leading out in the 30 minute training session." Pray for this young man that he will stay focused on growing in Christ; that he will not become too discouraged or overwhelmed with his circumstances; that he will not be drawn away from Christ by negative influences in the prison. Pray for the volunteers who see him monthly. Pray that they may have wisdom to give him good counsel and encouragement.
Church in Nizhniy Novgorod
Pray for a church in Nizhniy Novgorod that is experiencing oppression. Sally has learned that the church has been levied a $15,000 fine due to a visiting exchange student posting an invitation to the church on her social media. Pray for a favorable outcome and for Jesus to be exalted.
Celebrate God at work in the lives of 27 men who participated in the weekly Organic Church Leadership training at the Wynne unit. 10 were in the trustee camp. One of the inmates who led the session is a new convert; another has recruited 3 new guys to train in the sessions. 17 men participated in the Trustee Camp. Continue to pray for Sally, Leonard, Guy, Tre9, Rafael, Parris, and Jerry who faithfully rotate in teams of two.
Pray that the Russian Government issues letters of invitation to Leonard, Sally, Reginald, and Ann for the September trip to visit friends and churches in Nizhniy Novgorod. These official letters are required for the team to obtain the religious visas that they need to enter the country. Pray for a trip that glorifies God. Pray for opportunity to speak good news and encouragement to friends and churches.
Continuing Disaster Recovery
Pray for the ministries such as Houston Responds, Shalom Builders of Texas, Texas Baptist Men Disaster Recovery, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (Contact Butch Green for Houston area), and Southern Baptists of Texas Disaster Relief as they continue to minister to those who have been impacted by floods and disasters.
Pray how God might be leading you to respond. The ministries need financial donations and both skilled and unskilled workers. If God is leading your to be a part of this recovery effort, contact the ministry directly to give financially or schedule a time to volunteer.
Foster Care Families & Children Who Need Them
Earlier in April, UBA hosted a panel to raise awareness on the needs of foster care children and the families who care for them. (Read the story of a couple of UBA foster care families.) Pray for the over 3,000 children in foster care in Harris County and the nearly 800 who need an adoptive family. Pray for families to become foster care families. Pray for the agencies that serve foster care children and families. Pray for wisdom, generosity, patience and grace. Pray for healing and wholeness for the children. Pray that they will feel and be safe.
Pray how God might be leading you to respond. Not every family is equipped to be a foster care family. There are many ways to provide encouragement and support. If you are interested in learning more, contact the representative at one of these agencies. Learn what your family and your church can do to support foster care families and initiatives.
Department of Family Protective Services, Ashley Smalls, Faith-Based Specialist-Region 6A. email
30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World
Beginning May 15, participate individually or as a church in the 30 days of prayer for our Muslim friends and neighbors and for Muslims throughout the world. As Muslims observe the 30 days of Ramadan, May 15 - June 14, this year, be in prayer for them to gain a deeper understanding of who Christ is and the life that He brings.
You may find the guide, 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World, published by World Christian News & Books to be of help during your prayer time. It is available for $3 and recommended by Sally Hinzie, UBA Church Consultant, as a helpful resource.
30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World gives Christians guidance on praying for Muslims around the world during Ramadan. Ramadan is a time when all Muslims spend 30 days fasting, doing good works, and seeking God. This year Ramadan is from May 15-June 14.
The volunteer writers are a diverse group who have lived and worked among Muslims. Some of the prayers address the culture of Islam like the Night of Power and Eid al-Fitr. Some of the prayers are about specific Muslim people groups like the Sylheti of Bangladesh, the Swahili Bajun of Kenya, and the Peoples of the Caucasus. - Sally