Pray for our Nominating Committee as they put together their report regarding leadership for 2021. Pray that God would direct them to put the right folks in the right places. Pray that the Committees and Teams of GIBC would be stronger and more effective than ever in the coming year.
Pray for the lost in our area. Pray that they would look to Jesus during the Christmas season. Pray that we would be faithful in proclaiming Jesus. Pray that God would give us opportunities to share.
Pray for the work of One More Child (Florida Baptist Children’s Homes). Pray that God would continue to use them to provide care for vulnerable children and families. Pray that all of the children without homes would find forever families soon.
Pray for the speedy and successful release of the COVID vaccines. Pray that these vaccines would be made widely available, especially among vulnerable populations. Pray also that these vaccines would not bring any harmful long-term effects.
As with any city, the more of Toronto you see the less you’re able to sum it up into easy quips and quick stats. But here are two: It’s where a fifth of the nation’s population lives and where you find its greatest diversity.
Toronto is among the most ethnically diverse cities on earth, topping Miami, Los Angeles and New York City. The population is nearly 6.5 million, and of that number, about 2.3 million are foreign-born. Toronto is an exceedingly drivable city, and from the suburbs to the urban core, it provides an international immersion without the loss of comfortable western amenities.
Although about 33 percent of Torontonians claim Christianity as their religion, the evangelical presence in the area is a little better than 3 percent. There is only one Canadian National Baptist church for every 106,808 people.
Add to this an increasing immigrant population bringing growth in Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism and other world religions. Toronto has one of the world’s highest Jewish populations as well.
About 410,000 Torontonians speak a Chinese language such as Mandarin or Cantonese. More than 100,000 speak Filipino; 56,000 speak Arabic. In total, more than 2 million Torontonians report that they primarily speak a language other than the official languages of English and French.
Statistics are like skylines. They give you a glimpse of a city that only grows more diverse and complex with each community you visit, each home in which you eat and each ministry opportunity that brings you face-to-face with a city full of stories and needs.
Pray for Send City Missionary– Brett Porter
Brett, his wife Kathryn, and their children Ashton and Clayton, have called Toronto home since 2005. Brett grew up in Houston, Texas, and Kathryn in Clinton, Mississippi. The Porter family joined The Sanctuary Church planting network and planted The Sanctuary Mississauga. In 2012, Brett was invited to join the NAMB team as the Toronto City Missionary. Brett holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Both Brett and Kathryn are graduates of Mississippi State University, where Brett also ran cross-country and track for the Bulldogs. The Porters love sports, the outdoors and being a part of city life in the Greater Toronto Area.
Send Brett an encouraging email and let him know we are praying for him: firstname.lastname@example.org
People Groups: 22
Christian Population: 90.00%
The flag for the Republic of Equatorial Guinea says, “UNIDAD, PAZ, JUSTICIA,” Spanish for unity, peace, and justice, though this motto is often forgotten by a corrupt government. Located between the Central African nations of Cameroon and Gabon, Equatorial Guinea is scattered with interior hills and volcanoes. The hot and humid nation is said to have the fastest growing economy in the world, and it ranks as the 3rd largest oil exporter of the Sub-Sahara. However, the continuous fluctuation of oil prices vastly affects the nation’s GDP.
Equatorial Guinea gained independence from Spain in 1968, and was later ruled as a dictatorship by Macias Nguema. He turned Equatorial Guinea into a nationwide labor camp, earning a reputation as one of the worst human rights abusers in Africa. Today, the nation functions as a republic, though opposition parties have little power. While oil production provides the nations wealth, subsistence farming has become vital to the economic survival of the non-elite population due to the high amount of government corruption. This corruption and mismanagement are so pervasive they have led the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to withdraw all relief funds. The nation must independently stabilize and become united, peaceful, and just.
The vast majority of the population consider themselves Roman Catholic. In fact, Equatorial Guinea has the highest population of Catholics in Africa, although many pagan practices still occur, such as animism. This syncretism results in a diluted form of Christianity and a tainted Gospel message. There has been an increased number of missionaries in the region, specifically from West and Central Africa. The government has shown acceptance of the Gospel message, and the Church has a respected reputation.
- Pray for the government to seek a Godly plan for developing society in light of great oil wealth.
- Pray for Christian immigrant oil workers to boldly share their faith.
- Pray for nominalism and animistic traditions to die as Christ is revealed.
Yerwa Kanuri in Cameroon
Population: 167,000 in cameroon
Christian Population: 0.02%
Main Religion: Islam
The Kanuri tribes consist of the Yerwa Kanuri, the Manga Kanuri, and several other sub-tribes. The majority of the Kanuri live in the Borno province of northeastern Nigeria, where they are the dominant people group. They are also located in the countries of Niger, Chad, and Cameroon, and areas around Lake Chad. This region was once the powerful Borno Empire, ruled by the ancestors of the Kanuri. Others can be found in western Sudan.
The Kanuri began losing power in this region when the British took control in 1914. Nevertheless, they have remained politically active and still have much influence on the surrounding people groups. In fact, aspects of Kanuri culture, language, and religion have been adopted by many of the neighboring tribes.
The Kanuri are tall, with a stately, dignified look. This signifies their pride and appreciation for their past as rulers, as well as their present position of leadership and influence. Many Kanuri speak Hausa, Arabic, or another area language in addition to Kanuri.
Most of the Kanuri are farmers; however, they usually practice some other occupation during the dry season. Those who farm raise millet as their staple crop, and supplement it with sorghum, corn, and peanuts. They raise sheep, goats, and some horses. Among the Kanuri, horses are a symbol of prestige.
The Kanuri who live in cities are involved in government jobs, public service, construction, transportation, and commerce. The Kanuri who have occupations that are related to politics or religion have a very high social status; whereas, those who work as blacksmiths, well-diggers, or butchers have a low social status. The majority of the Kanuri, however, are farmers, craftsmen, and merchants.
Kanuri settlements vary in size; but most contain walled-in compounds surrounding several mud or grass houses with thatched, cone-shaped roofs. These houses are very cool during the hot months. Farmland surrounds each settlement.
Towns serve as local markets and administrative centers for the Kanuri. They contain a local school and mosque. Attached to the mosque are smaller schools for religious teachings.
The household (not the family itself) is an important economic unit to the Kanuri. The greater the number in a family, the more prestige the family head is given. For this reason young men are often loaned to households to help with field labor, to provide support, and to help in defending the family. In return, the head of the household will clothe the young man, feed him, pay his bride price, and possibly provide a bride for him. At that time, he will leave and start his own household. This type of relationship is widespread in Kanuri society. It is similar to the father-son relationship in that supreme loyalty and respect is given to the head of the household at all times.
Like most children, the young Kanuri children often play games with each other. Even before puberty, children learn the roles they will take on when they reach maturity.
Kanuri men marry while they are in their early twenties. Polygamy is common and a man may have as many as four wives. Young girls marry while they are in their teens. Ideally, a man wants his first wife to be a young virgin. However, the bride price for a virgin is quite expensive, so men often take divorced women as their first wives. The divorce rate among the Kanuri is extremely high, with eight out of ten marriages ending in divorce.
The traditional Kanuri dress consists of large robe-type garments that are worn with turbans or brightly embroidered caps. The large robes provide protection from the consistent heat. This attire is never worn while working out in the fields, but rather at festivals and Islamic ceremonies.
The Kanuri have been Muslims since the eleventh century. The Koran emphasizes the importance of the family and the authority of the father. Women are considered inferior to men in the Islamic scriptures, and are treated as such in Kanuri society.
Some folk beliefs are still practiced in conjunction with Islam. Charms and amulets are worn around the neck or in pockets for various reasons. There is a charm to ensure a good pregnancy for a mother. There is also one to keep the ghost of the dead from haunting its descendants.
Some Kanuri tribes have Bible translation needs in their native language. Additional Christian materials and laborers are desperately needed.
- Ask God to call people who are willing to go to Africa and share the love of Jesus with the Kanuri.
- Pray that God will use the small number of Kanuri believers to share the Gospel with their friends and families.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Kanuri towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
- Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through intercession.
- Pray that God will grant favor to missions agencies currently focusing on the Kanuri.
- Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Kanuri.