Around the World in Prayer
Christmas 2021

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us …”
Isaiah 9:6a

This promise of a child given to the world is a promise both of deliverance from reproach and the assurance of hope. In Jewish culture, a man or a woman without child was a man or woman living under great reproach. The Hebrew word for reproach is cherpah, meaning “disgrace, shame, scorn.” Hannah suffered such scorn from Penninah until the Lord heard her prayer and gave her Samuel. When the Lord remembered Rachel and opened her womb, she joyfully declared, “God has taken away my reproach” (Genesis 30:23).

We are born into this world under the disgrace, shame, and reproach of sin. But a child was born unto us; a Son was given! The promise given in Isaiah was fulfilled in the Person of Jesus—the perfect Son, who was born a “reproach of men and despised by the people.” At the cross, the reproach of the world fell onto Him. The reproach of your sin and my sin, fell on Jesus. He willingly took that reproach that we might be presented before the Father, “holy and blameless and beyond reproach” (Psalm 22:6; Romans 15:3; Colossians 1:22).

As we celebrate this Christmas season, let it be a celebration of deliverance and hope. For the child born to us, and the Son given, was all to take away our reproach and deliver us to a life of forgiveness, purity, and hope. Paul exhorts us in Philippians 2:15 to live in light of what Christ has done so “that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among who you appear as lights in the world.”

May the light of Jesus Christ shine in your hearts, in the midst of our crooked and perverse generation, to the glory and honor of The Son who was so graciously given!

Though we have not been able to minister on the ground overseas for two years now, we continue to keep in contact and send quarterly support to the ministries mentioned below—all by God’s grace and your offerings! The greatest gift we can give to any other believer or ministry is the gift of prayer. On behalf of your brothers and sisters around the world, we thank you for your prayers and your support!

Updates and Prayer Requests:


  • PJF and his family have endured many trials this last year. Pray for him, his family, Grace Tabernacle Ministries and the many churches under his care.

  • His grandson, John Franklin, has been very sick and hospitalized in ICU with a breathing problem. The doctors say it could be a long recovery for this little babe.
  • The churches of India have been greatly weakened by the Covid situation and government mandates. Please pray for their faith to stand firm in these trials and for the churches to grow rather than recede.
  • We recently sent money over to allow the village pastors and their wives to be blessed with a new set of clothes for the Christmas celebration.


  • Kyotho Theological College. Continue to pray for the students at KTC as they persevere in their biblical education to be equipped for village and church ministries.
  • Bethel Children’s Home. The precious orphans at Bethel Children’s Home, under the care of Throngji and team, continue to grow and thrive. They have been schooling online a lot over Covid restrictions, but all passed their final exams and are moving on next year to a higher grade. They were gifted wool caps and scarves from the local police force and have had the opportunity to share their love for Christ through song at churches and civic organizations in their area. BTBM continues to send quarterly support to the orphanage and also welcomes your prayers for these girls. They have new Christmas dresses thanks to your offerings!

  • Here is a picture of two sisters who are cared for at the orphanage. When we first saw these girls in their dirty little shack of a home, their living conditions brought me to tears. They were with two other siblings—four small children, ages one, two, three, and four left to themselves all day long as their parents went to the fields to work. They were disheveled and disoriented, wandering aimlessly about. Now these two girls are well cared for, educated, and growing in the Lord. Oh, how the love of Christ can transform a life—both physically and spiritually!


  • Katie and Daniel Zanich continue to have ministry to youth and Aboriginal groups in Western Australia.
  • It has been two years now since we were last able to visit our three children and seven grandchildren in Australia. We hope and pray those borders will open soon to reunite family members. Please pray for the people of Australia who desire to remain free without being forced to vaccinate.


  • Tika and Martha continue to travel the rough and dangerous roads of Nepal to bring Bible teaching to remote areas. Pray for the safety of their travel, protected health, and effective ministry.


  • Julio and Betty are conducting evangelistic ministry and providing food baskets for children in the villages over the Christmas season.
  • Pray for the hearts of both young and old to respond in faith to the glorious gospel message.


  • The main contact that we support in Myanmar (RJ) has been fighting quite a battle for the life of his eldest son, Daniel. He was very sick with Covid, and RJ was unable to find medical care or medication. Thankfully, Daniel is recovering now, by the grace and healing of God, but the situation in this country is very difficult for all right now.
  • Please remember our brothers and sisters in Myanmar in your prayers, asking the Father that their faith would stand firm in these trials.

Papua New Guinea

  • Ese Bible Institute. Because of travel restrictions due to Covid, former graduates from the institute are now taking over the role of instructors at the institute. Earlier this year they graduated another group of students and will have a new intake this January.
  • Pray for EBI, the teachers, leaders, and new students as well as the recent graduates as they go out “into the world to preach the gospel and make disciples.”

Basic Training Bible Ministries

  • In the absence of our overseas travels, we have been able to concentrate more on conferences here in the USA, conducting eleven in 2021. We are always so blessed by the attendance of hungry souls and the fellowship of like-minded believers. This is a praise point!
  • We have also been able to reprint a lot of the books that we send out and keep the office well-supplied.
  • Please pray for Gene as he continues to work on his Notes on the New Testament. This project is taking longer than anticipated, however, the prayer request is not for speed, but rather for accuracy and content according to the leadership of God’s Spirit.
  • Please pray for the members of the BTBM board. There are so many people behind the scenes that serve selflessly to enable God’s Word to travel the world and we are grateful for all:
    • Ken and Sharon Curcio: Ken is the head of the BTBM board and Sharon is our head editor. They spend many hours, with a team of helpers, taking our far-from-perfect writing and making it look good! They also organize the printing of our handouts and publications.
    • Monty and Cheryl Watkins: They run our home office in Hot Springs, AR and deal with the offerings and book orders that come in through the website or by mail, as well as a million other details that keep us running smoothly.
    • Paul and Phyllis Stanton: Paul is our master webmaster and tech expert. How can a couple that is so technically challenged have such a beautiful website? The answer to that question is—Paul! Phyllis is an encourager and prayer warrior, always by his side in life and ministry.
    • Ron and Gloria Bassett: Ron is our chief treasurer and uses his financial expertise to make sure we are doing everything according to the law. As a couple, they travel to as many of our conferences as possible and minister on a very personal level to those in need of wisdom, prayer, and encouragement.

We understand that many have suffered disappointments, challenges, and loss this past year. Yet, the grace and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ remains the stable constant in an ever-changing world. As you celebrate the birth of “the child born to us,” may this Indescribable Gift of God be your anchor and joy!

Merry Christmas,
Gene, Nan, and the BTBM team

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