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SBC DIGEST: Gateway professor Lisa Hoff dies; IMB workers focus on prayer

Gateway Seminary professor and missionary Lisa Hoff dies

ONTARIO, CA — Lisa Hoff, Gateway Seminary professor and former missionary, died Monday (Sept 21) after a sudden illness. She was 51.

Lisa Hoff

Hoff served the seminary most recently as the director of the Kim School of Global Missions and as associate professor of intercultural studies. She was an alumna of Gateway Seminary, having earned both a master of divinity and a master of intercultural studies in 1998.

Prior to her faculty appointment at Gateway, Hoff worked in East Asia for 15 years as an educator, intercultural trainer and entrepreneur. She also served on the board for two global training organizations and provided seminary education to Christian leaders in countries around the world.

“Lisa was committed to serving Jesus Christ and equipping others to do the same,” Gateway President Jeff Iorg said. “Her life demonstrated a resolve, intelligence and sincerity in sharing the Gospel which inspired us. Her untimely death is a devastating loss for all of us.”

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IMB workers in Northern Africa and Middle East say prayer initiative ‘begins with us’

Leslie Peacock Caldwell

In 2012, a church in Texas committed to pray for an unengaged people group in Northern Africa, even knowing they would not have access to much, if any, information or updates.

Several Christian workers in the Northern Africa region were also burdened to pray for this same people group. In 2015, through a series of events and connections that only God could orchestrate, the Gospel was taken to this group by believers from other people groups, and workers reported the first believers among this previously unengaged people group.

James Keath*, leader of IMB’s Northern Africa and Middle East affinity, said another leader reminded him recently that prayer is the most important work we do.

“He’s right. It is. We’re reminded of this when we hear stories, over and over again, of how prayer precedes breakthroughs and fuels gospel advance,” Keath said. “I don’t really understand why or how God works through prayer. I’ll probably just need to be content with this remaining a mystery until my faith becomes sight. But I do know this: God works through prayer.”

During some powerful prayer experiences in which Keath was directed to pray for the unreached and workers among them, he sensed there were not enough people praying for the unreached in Northern Africa and the Middle East. He decided that a new effort to encourage prayer for specific people groups was needed. He also decided that the prayer strategy should start with his team – the very ones working among the lost.

“Ultimately this will extend to churches and partners around the world,” Keath wrote to the NAME workers, “and will be featured in any mobilization efforts in the coming months and years. But we want it to begin with us.”

*Name changed for security

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