Don't Go Solo

Our devotion this month is written by J Winston Sarwahpue (Monrovia, Liberia). After serving just over 19 years in a Thai prison, Winston gain freedom in July this year.

Hebrew 10:25 “let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage  one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching. ”

Due to my own wrong choices and the desires for materialism, without a weapon of stability (Math 6:33), I ended up living in one of Bangkok's (Thailand) most notorious prisons for the period of precisely 19 years two months and 14 days, charged with conspiracy and later sentenced to life imprisonment. Though I had not been imprisoned before I was arrested, I do know from reading about other prisons and comparing them with the ones in Thailand, that ours was primitive and harsh. Yet the ordeal turned out to be the best thing that happened to me in my entire life. It was there that I surrendered my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ who turned my darkness into light and my life sentence into just over 19 years.

In the prison we were not given many facilities, for this reason we used charcoal to cook our meals from the meager income we were able to get from friends and family. One afternoon I was watching an inmate while he was cooking on the small charcoal stove. When he had finished he scattered the coal that had been glowing on the dirt floor. Within minutes each chunk of coal started losing its glow and finally died off! Now when my mind ricocheted on the whole scene, I quickly realized that a lit charcoal cannot burn independently for too long; it needs to be packed closely with the others. This is the same with Christians. For the just mentioned reason the writer of the letter to the Hebrews encourages us..... 'not to give up meeting,.... and encouraging one another (Hebrew 10:25). Yet there are some Christians who love to go solo. If that is the path on which you are walking, learn from the charcoal! You may lose your spiritual glow slowly and could die off spiritually. The truth is that God has commanded the members of the body .... that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it (1 Cor 12: 24-26).

This means that the church, where ever this is located, is a hospital for the sick, the lonely; those who have been hurt by life's burdens, bedraggled and ill-fed, discouraged by wrong choices and weighed down by the consequences of sins. They come to find healing and encouragement to lift them from the doldrums to the bright mountain of hope, from the midnight of desperation to the daybreak of joy. The body of Christ is not for the elite but for the failures. You will be perplexed to see the people Christ accepts in his body.......the unrighteous.... fornicators ..... idolaters .... adulterers ...sexually immoral …….. thieves .... those who covet .... drunkards.... revilers ...... extortioners ...and such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor 6:9-11). Nobody is excluded! Don't ever think you have to go solo, learn from the lesson of the charcoal and fellowship with other Christians so that you may not wither, lose your glow and die spiritually.

Standing with the Persecuted

The 10th November is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. See for details. (Resources and further information can be downloaded from this site)

Lord we pray for all who face the daily challenge of being singled out because of their faith. We long for the freedom of religion in all countries.

Heal Syria

A special day of prayer for the healing of Syria is being called by Tearfund on Sunday 17th November. International leaders have been pushing for a peace conference on Syria, called Geneva II, to take place in late November. However, plans for the talks are now facing delays as the parties involved fail to agree on the terms. Resources available to help with this call to prayer:

A Guide for Churches
Handy tips for churches on how to use the Syria Sunday prayer resources, plus written prayers.

Prayer PowerPoint
Spoken prayers for you to use in your as part of Syria Sunday.

Seven-Day Prayer Guide for Individuals and Groups

Please use this guide to help you pray for Syria. You may like to focus on a different issue each day or to use these topics in a prayer group setting.

Please do share this message and our resources with church leaders, friends and family so that we can all unite in prayer for Syria.

Against Corruption

The impact of the EXPOSED: Shining a Light on Corruption vigils around the world was fantastic. Read some of the stories and thank the Lord for this united effort. For further encouragement listen to the interview on the Vatican Radio with Raymond Perrier of the Jesuit Institute South Africa, and see how we are all standing together against corruption.

The Call to Action has still some way to go. Please pray for the message to get out to many more churches and nations. If you have not signed up as yet please do so at

Around the World

Cambodia: thank the Lord for a great time at the Integral Mission and Domestic Violence Conversation in October.
Mekong river flood is still affecting in some parts of Cambodia, for instant Kampong Chhnang province. EFC Relief and Disaster Management Program is working with Pastor Association in Kampong Chhnang in cooperation with a team from Wesley Methodist Church based in Singapore, conducted need assessment in some most affected areas in Julkiry district and are currently responding. Please pray for their support to reach those affected and they may feel loved and cared for.

India: The Call2Compassion and Justice Conference along with the Micah Network Integral Mission Conversation on Restored Relationships went very well. For follow up impact see the blog of Restored web site. Let us pray that the learning and decisions taken during this week will bear much fruit.

Pakistan: please pray for our up and coming Integral Mission Conversation on the Centrality of Love that is from the 11th to 14th November in Lahore.