I just posted a prayer request, with fairly lengthy explanation, on Covington Bible Church's Facebook page. I'm re-posting it here, with even more explanation and links.
A prayer request:
It will require a bit of explanation. Chuuk, one of the Federated states of Micronesia, is one of the places that missionaries from Liebenzell Mission worked in the last Century. Churches were started there. These churches banded together in what amounts to a small denomination, the Evangelical Church of Chuuk (ECC).
The US branch of Liebenzell is an organization with which I am privileged associate. Missionaries from Liebenzell Germany and US bravely went to the Islands of Micronesia with the Gospel (You can get some basic information about Micronesia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micronesia. Keep in mind that "Micronesia" is the name of a region in the Western Pacific (about the size of the continental US, but with a land mass like Rhode Islands), and at other times is used as an abbreviated reference to the Federated States of Micronesia. Chuuk, the subject of this prayer request, is the largest of the four states that make up FSM.)
Unfortunately the church organization, and some of the local churches, have been influenced by politics and clan in an unhealthy way. (The same can be said for many US Evangelical churches, but that is another posting.) Recently, a major split has taken place within the ECC. I know people on both sides. They love the Lord, and on some level are convinced they are right. I guess, because of broken relationships in my recent past, I am particularly sensitive to this (though I know that much more than feelings are involved.) When people with whom you formerly wept and worked cut themselves off from you, it is painful.
I know that I don't know what should happen in these lovely Islands. Perhaps the sound churches within the ECC should simply do what my Fundamental ancestors did--separate and become independent. Perhaps the young men graduating from solid schools like Pacific Islands University (a majority of our student body is Chuukese) should simply start new assemblies of believers rather than try to work in churches torn by--or at least affected by--the strife. I raise those questions with a profound knowledge of my ignorance. I am compelled to pray that God's will be done, Romans 8:26. I ask you to join me in that prayer. Knowing the limited resources of Chuuk and the incredible investment that has gone into what has become the ECC, my heart and gut would like to see it redeemed and the conflict resolved.
There have been and are those, both on the islands and off, who, it appears to me, are more interested in building their kingdom, rather than THE Kingdom. I know this is a charge that is easily made, and just as easily denyed. I make the observation with humility. I pray that wherever it is true there will be repentance and a heartfelt praying of the part of the "Lord's Prayer" that says, "THY KINGDOM COME."
Several friends of mine, including Bill Schuit (Global Ministries Director of Liebenzell USA, and leader for the Micronesian area for Liebenzell International), whom many of you know, will be traveling to Chuuk later this month. Their plan is to meet with, pray with, and encourage leaders on both sides to seek Godly solutions.
Pray for this team.
Some of the key Chuukese leaders that I know are Mokut, Yosta, Switer, and Asael. Some outsiders with strong influence are Martin, Roland, Steve, Ron, and Sandy. Pray for them and their colleagues. There are many others in both groups.
Pray for these leaders on and off Island, who have opportunity to make a difference.
There are many outstanding Chuukese men and women, some recent graduates, who just want to impact their Islands and their world for Christ. Pray that they will have wisdom and sound guidance in making career decisions.
(By the way it will help you remember to pray if you know how to say the name of the place. If you say what you do with food and put a "K" on the end you'll be close or say "you" with a "ch" on the front and a "k" on the end you've got it--at least good enough for a small-town American like me.
Please join me in prayer.