2010 MARCH PRAYER ASSIGNMENTS
As you read through the prayer assignments for this month it is understandable why the Lord said to his disciples:
“…..that men always ought to pray and not lose heart….” (Luke 18:1, NKJV)
Persistent prayer for many of the nations listed below is what will turn the spiritual atmosphere and release a wave of revival, restoration, healing and the love of a gracious God. We must not grow weary in well doing, even in prayer, for we shall reap a harvest of souls into the Kingdom of God if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9)
One of the remarkable things about the current situation in Haiti was the vast number of Christian organizations that were already present and doing a quiet and consistent work in that nation. They were able to be a liaison for many outside the devastation because of their credible presence. As you read the daily assignments please pay careful attention to those nations where there are small numbers of faithful workers and take time to bless their work. Also pray with increased intensity for those nations where I have highlighted the Christian Media outreaches that are going on. For some areas of our world that is the only way the gospel message is getting released. God is faithful to bless all the work of our hands so let us keep pressing into and covering all of the outreaches in joyful intercession.
1: Belgium: Belgium is a deeply divided nation. Its territory has straddled the cultural divide between the Latin/Romance and Germanic worlds for 2,000 years. It has also long been oppressed and fought over by surrounding nations. Though one in Catholic culture, the Walloon-Flemish rivalry and resentments color the use of language, the economy, politics, religious life and worldviews of both communities.
Pray that national leaders at every level may successfully work for the unity of the nation. The break-up of the nation could occur without this.
The nation was shocked in the 1990s by the exposure of murderous pedophile rings, some with Satanist practices that reached into the top levels of society. Christian churches were even affected. These have led to a deep distrust of political and religious leaders. There is a rapid rise in neo-paganism and the occult.
Pray that these works of darkness might be bound, exposed and routed out and that many may be set free in Jesus.
These are Specific outreach challenges that need to be covered in prayer:
a) Belgium, as a nation, is spiritually one of the neediest countries in Europe.
b) The provinces with the greatest need – Flemish Brabant and East Flanders, also the Francophone Liège, Namur and Luxembourg.
c) Brussels is a strategic city. It is 29% foreign and over 8% Muslim. Brussels is 5.9% evangelical and a further 3% historic Protestant. Many of the larger churches are of ethnic minorities – especially Congolese. The spiritual needs of the diplomatic, business and Eurocrat communities are many. There are now growing prayer networks among and for them. The Full Gospel Businessmen’s Association has had a significant impact.
d) Antwerp has only 40 or so evangelical congregations – a large proportion being for non-Flemish. The majority of the Jewish community of Belgium lives in the city – one missionary couple ministers among them. No church exists for the 20,000 Moroccans.
e) North Africans (predominantly Moroccan) have increased through legal and illegal immigration – the majority living in poorer urban areas. They are almost entirely Muslim but there are now two Arabic-speaking congregations. AWM and BEM have two couples ministering to them, but many more workers are needed. ‘Good news by telephone’ has proved a fruitful method of witness, and a ‘Good news by radio’ ministry is planned.
f) Turks and Kurds have proved hard to reach with the gospel. There is one small fellowship of believers.
g) The German-speaking cantons on the eastern border were neglected by Evangelicals until recently – there are now 2 BEM churches.
h) The student population of 135,000 in 17 universities and colleges is a major challenge. IFES has a ministry in 8 Flemish universities (Ichthus with 120 students involved) and in 5 French universities (GBU), but the total membership in each of the two branches is 50.
Pray for the evangelistic ministry of OM in cooperation with these groups and in a teaching ministry in the IFES groups; there is one staff couple.
2. Belize: Belizeans are largely professing Christians, but nominalism and syncretism are common. The Spanish-speaking immigrants with their superstitions and superficiality, the Mayans with their underlying paganism, and the Garifuna with their black magic – each need a culturally relevant and sensitive presentation of the gospel. Many settlements still need church-planting ministry, despite the five-fold increase in congregations since 1960.
Pray for an outpouring of revivals across this nation.
Pray for these less-reached groups:
a) The Mayan peoples – there are a few Nazarene and Mennonite believers.
b) The Garifuna have had their own NT since 1983. Their strong animistic culture has only been marginally penetrated (CoN, Brethren). There are some Nazarene and Brethren believers among them.
c) The Chinese have increased through immigration from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, but only a few are evangelical believers.
d) The East Indians are almost entirely Muslim or Hindu.
3. Benin: There is a problem with government corruption.
Pray that the commitment to genuine democracy might be honored and the endemic corruption in the country tackled.
Pray also that all of the leaders may work for the good of the people rather than for self-enrichment.
Pray for Media opportunities that abound in the new day of freedom:
a) The effective use of audio recordings in evangelism and teaching. GRN has recordings in 38 languages.
b) The best use of the JESUS film in French, Fon, Bariba, Gurma, Kabiye, Tem, and Yoruba.
c) Radio. After Radio ELWA (Liberia) was destroyed, Radio Parakou, a government owned station, began to broadcast gospel messages with some results. There is daily programming in Fon, Bariba and Fulfulde, and weekly broadcasts in French. There is also progress in developing a shortwave station in Benin. Maranatha is a full-time Christian FM station broadcasting from Cotonou.
d) Television. WorldReach broadcasts 30 minutes of Christian television per week.
3. Bermuda: Bermuda is an earthly paradise, but despite having numerous gospel-preaching churches, it is spiritually impoverished.
Pray for revival that brings lifestyles in line with biblical knowledge.
The impact of the churches is blunted by lack of unity and common spiritual goals.
Pray for a willingness to come together and build bridges for effective ministry in Bermuda and beyond.
The world’s wealthiest Black-majority territory, but it has little missions involvement.
Pray that Bermudans may make a significant impact on world evangelization.
4. Bhutan: Bhutan is one of the world’s least evangelized nations. The strongly isolationist policies of the government further reinforce the hold of Tantric Buddhism with much that is demonic and occultist.
Pray for true spiritual liberation for this land of the Dragon (Druk Yul).
Pray for King Wangchuk and his salvation.
The Drukpa majority is strongly Buddhist, and Christians among them number only a few hundred. Most of these believers are isolated and scattered with little opportunity for fellowship, and some have suffered for their faith.
Pray for the emergence of a vital witnessing fellowship in every ethnic group of the Bhutanese.
The ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Nepali population has been vigorously promoted since 1990. Suppression of Nepali culture and language, beatings, destruction of homes, rape and many expulsions have created anger, fear and a large refugee problem with over 100,000 in UN refugee camps in SE Nepal.
Pray for a wise, enlightened government that gives peace and freedom to all the land’s peoples.
Bhutanese Nepalis have responded to the gospel and since 1970 there has been steady growth. There are little churches and house fellowships all along the southern half of the country that have been planted through several Indian agencies. Many groups have suffered harassment and persecution.
Pray for them.
Indian believers in India’s border region are active in evangelism and literature distribution among visitors from Bhutan. Many of the Christians in Bhutan have come to the Lord by these means.
Pray for conversions among the Bhutanese.
Pray also those Bhutanese students in India and lands around the world may hear the gospel.
Mission agencies have been welcomed to operate leprosy hospitals and be involved in health, agricultural and educational programmes, but only on the condition that they do not proselytize. Since leprosy is almost eradicated, such ministries are being phased out. A few small aid projects continue.
Pray for the silent witness of Christians in various aid missions (TLM, Interserve, Norwegian Santal Mission, etc.) and for a relaxation of restrictions on entry and witness for missionaries. Visas are difficult to obtain.
Pray that more aid workers may be called by God and granted visas. GFA has a small training base in India near Bhutan’s border.
5.-6. Bolivia: Democracy and freedom are new realities for Bolivia. The benefits are only now beginning to reach the Amerindian majority that has long been mired in poverty, exploited and politically marginalized.
Pray for courage and moral integrity for the national leaders as they grapple with the economic inequalities and social ills of society, not least of the latter being the cocaine “industry”. About 50% of the world’s cocaine is grown in Bolivia.
Pray that Bolivian Evangelicals may live holy, exemplary lives as they seek to bring change for the good of their land.
The growing of coca and manufacture of cocaine has become the major economic activity of many Bolivians. Poor roads and distance from markets make alternative crops far less viable. Government and international efforts to suppress the illegal industry have had limited success.
Pray for believers that have compromised, and also for those who stood against the pressure – and are impoverished as a result.
The Catholic Church is confronted by multiple crises. Its long-held political supremacy is threatened; annual losses to other churches and religions have provoked local discrimination and pressures against non-Catholics. It has failed to develop an indigenous clergy or challenge the rampant paganism within the majority it claims to shepherd.
Pray that millions of nominal and Christo-pagan “Catholics” might come to a living faith in Christ.
The spiritual darkness of centuries is beginning to be broken, but Christians need to grapple in prayer with the entrenched idolatry and pagan superstitions of society, the injustices, corruption and vested interests of those with power and, above all, to strip the ‘strong man’ of his long-held possessions. Growing churches are numerous, but so also are the needs and challenges. These include illiteracy, lack of understanding of the basics of true Christianity, apathy and widespread compromise with the social evils of fornication, family breakdown, violence and alcohol abuse.
Pray for revival.
Pray for Christian Media which is a powerful tool for the sharing of the gospel
a) TV and radio have continued to make a big impact. A radio is a vital possession in every family. Local radio stations have an increasing listenership – Ekklesia with its commercial Christian radio, Musoj Chaski radio in Quechua launched by NTM, SIM, Pioneers, and others. International stations (HCJB, TWR, FEBC and others) broadcast daily in Spanish and HCJB especially in Quechua and Aymara.
Pray for this vital medium in a country where all other media are restricted in impact by illiteracy, poverty and isolation.
b) Christian literature – especially tracts, teaching materials and books – is in short supply in Aymara and Quechua. SIM have a significant ministry in this area. There are 13 Christian bookstores.
c) The JESUS film, widely used with considerable impact in Spanish, Aymara, Quechua and Chiriguano, has been seen by a high proportion of the country on television, video and in the cinema.
7. Bosnia: Bosnian refugees are scattered around the world as well as in Bosnia itself. Of the 1.3 million who fled to other lands only 400,000 had returned by 2000. Most of the internally displaced are still homeless.
Pray that Muslims, Orthodox and Catholics alike might find healing for their deep psychological wounds, peace with God and with one another through faith in Christ and willingness to forgive the perpetrators of their misery.
Pray for UN personnel, as well as secular and Christian NGOs who seek to help Bosnians rebuild their lives.
Pray for these unreached groups:
a) Only a very small percentage of the population has ever been clearly presented with the claims of Christ and the need for personal repentance and faith.
b) The Bosniak Muslims – from only a handful, the number of believers in Jesus has grown to 300-400, but most are unreached.
c) The Serbs. Over 500,000 became refugees, but they received the least aid and are bitter against the world that has ganged up on them. Pray for their eyes to be opened to the message of peace in Jesus.
d) The largely Muslim Gypsy, and wholly Muslim Turkish, minorities have only a few specific ministries directed to their evangelization (Vineyard, IMB-SBC).
e) Student ministry. By 2000 there were 30,000 students in Sarajevo. Hitherto no work has been done among them, but in 2000 a new ministry was begun.
Pray for lasting fruit.
8. Botswana: The Tswana were the first Bantu people in Africa to respond to the gospel; several tribes turned to God in the 19th Century through the LMS from England. Other missions followed. Nominalism soon became a major problem, since each mission planted what became virtually a ‘state’ church for the tribe that received that group. The majority of Tswana are Christian in name but given over to immorality and drunkenness accentuated by the breakdown of family life. In some areas, over 90% of children are illegitimate.
Pray for a reversal of the moral decline.
African indigenous churches have multiplied. There are now over 150 such denominations. Their emphasis on healing (especially with the AIDS crisis), and local culture can often lead to syncretistic beliefs. Many are led by those with little education or theological training. Several basic theological courses run by the Mennonites and the Botswana Bible Training Institute are specifically geared to help these leaders.
Pray for these churches and for the Scriptures to mould their development and outreach.
Pray for these Christian Media and support ministries:
a) The Bible Society oversees the translation programme.
Pray for wisdom in choice of minority languages for translation projects, the most challenging being the many small San languages.
b) Radio broadcasts and Christian TV on the national network are supervised by the International Church Radio Council. TWR Swaziland broadcasts 45 minutes daily in Tswana. Radio LBOM is being constructed in Maun, NW Botswana. Plans are to broadcast 24 hrs/day in three languages of Botswana and neighbouring lands.
c) Literature for the rapidly increasing literate population is scarce and often expensive. Little variety is available in Tswana, and virtually nothing in minority languages.
Pray for bookstore ministries.
d) The JESUS film is being used in 5 languages including Tswana, Herero, Kalanga and Afrikaans. Production is under way in Kgalagadi, Yeyi and one San language.
e) The Flying Mission serves the cause of Christ with 6 planes based in Maun and Gaberone.
f) GRN has available recordings in 26 languages – 18 of them San.
g) Botswana Christian Prison Fellowship (PFI) has a ministry in all the country’s prisons.
9-11. Brazil: The government continues to dodge the painful restructuring and righting the wrongs of the past. It is said Brazil is a paradise for some, purgatory for most and hell for 20%.
Pray that the endemic corruption, cronyism, injustices of society and discrimination – against the poor, underprivileged children and indigenous tribal peoples – may be ended.
The under-18s are over 50% of the population. There is a widespread gap in ministry to children and young people both inside and beyond the churches.
Pray specifically for:
a) Children in crisis. Remember before the Lord:
i) The 10 million children who make their living from the streets.
Pray for the many churches and agencies which have orphanages, homes of refuge, rehabilitation and training ministries (YWAM, UFM, WH, WEC, AM, etc.).
ii) The hundreds of thousands of street kids who have no home and are subject to drug abuse, prostitution, misuse by criminal gangs and even murder by police death squads (over 1,500 murders every year).
iii) The 7 million child laborers.
iv) The 500,000 involved in prostitution.
v) The 540,000 already infected with the AIDS virus in 1999.
Pray also for Christians to be active in social action to address the spiritual and economic causes.
Pray for change through: Christian literature:
Brazil’s most widely sold books are about magic and the occult. The evangelical community, as a whole, reads one book per person per year, though the rate of Bible reading is high – 84% of Evangelicals read it every day.
a) Christian publishers such as the two large AoG publishing houses, JUERP (Baptist Conv), EVN (New Life, CBI), Betânia (Bethany Fellowship), Mundo Cristão (EUSA) and ABEB (IFES). Most of these operate under the umbrella of the Evangelical Literature Committee of Brazil.
b) Bible distribution which increased markedly in the ’90s. The Bible Society has massive sales of Bibles and portions of Scripture, distributing over one million Bibles and 142 million portions or leaflets annually. The Gideons distributed 10 million NTs and a further 17.2 million copies of the leaflet ‘New Life for the ’90s’.
Pray for change through: Christian media:
a) The JESUS film has been widely used and over half the Brazilian population has seen it. The video version has been successful among professionals. The film is in preparation in two indigenous Amerindian languages. Pray for those who respond and for their integration into Bible study groups and churches.
b) Radio. Brazilian Evangelicals operate numerous TV stations and local and national radio stations. The wide use of these media can lead to abuse. Internationally, TWR Bonaire, KYFR USA, and HCJB Ecuador beam in 226 hours of broadcasts per week. Projeto Luz (700 Club) gains huge audiences across the country.
Pray for lasting impact.
c) Cassettes. GRN have prepared tapes in 90 indigenous languages.
12. British Virgin Island: The tourist trade brings large numbers of pleasure-seeking visitors and also attracts many illegal and often less-desirable immigrants, with the resultant impact on the moral life of the island.
Pray for local Christians and their witness to the tourists.
This ‘Paradise’ is one of the most beautiful in the world, yet sin mars many. Most of the population profess Christianity and even belong to congregations that preach holiness, yet 75% of births are out of wedlock.
Pray for a Christian lifestyle that is in accordance with their confession.
The motto of the Virgin Islands is ‘Where there’s no vision the people will perish’.
Pray that the Christians might have a vision for the lost locally and globally, which is largely absent.
13. Brunei: Muslims aim for a ‘pure’ Islamic state by 2020. Islamization by offers of houses, jobs and favors and by intimidation of Christians has yielded a slow but steady trickle of converts from among the tribal and Chinese minorities.
Pray for both the thwarting of these designs and the re-instatement of constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom.
The Christian Church is under much pressure. No foreign Christian workers are permitted – even to visit, and all Catholic priests and nuns were expelled in 1991. No Bibles or Christian literature may be imported legally. All schools, including the 6 Christian schools must give instruction on Islam alone. There are three registered churches but many others’ applications for registration are ignored, and they must meet clandestinely.
a) Unity, courage and a wise boldness. The pressure has increased the earnestness of many and a moving of the Holy Spirit among locals and Filipinos is reported.
b) Provision of mature Christian leaders and teachers of the Word.
c) Further growth despite the restrictions. Most of those converted are local tribals and Chinese.
Brunei students usually complete university education in Malaysia, Britain, Australia or other lands.
Pray that they may come into contact with a vibrant Christian witness, be won for Christ, and ultimately return home as witnesses to their Savior.
14. Bulgaria: Religious freedom is still not fully achieved. In the past, persecution was severe with many Christians imprisoned or killed and by manipulation through informers, infiltrators and imposters in the churches. The subversion of the Orthodox hierarchy was particularly widespread. Some leaders courageously suffered, others compromised–a fact that still breeds division, mistrust and lack of cooperation in Orthodox, Protestant and Pentecostal churches alike.
Pray for repentance, reconciliation, healing and spiritual unity.
Pray for lasting fruit from Christian help ministries:
a) Literature. New Man became the first Bulgarian Christian publisher with a vision for producing solid evangelical books, Scripture aids and teaching/evangelistic materials. There are four Christian bookstores (CLC, Berean Publishers). Pray for viability in the prevailing poverty. EHC has plans for a nation-wide literature distribution campaign. Effective cooperation between foreign and national literature agencies is needed.
b) Bible translation and distribution. Praise God for the registration of the Bulgarian Bible Society in 1993. The Bible Society has at last gained inter-confessional agreement for a new translation of the archaic Bulgarian Bible. Work has begun; pray for its rapid completion. Pray also for the continued impact of the Cyrillic Turkish NT and the Children’s Bible. Illiteracy among the Turk and Gypsy populations is a hindrance.
c) Christian radio and TV. TWR has a studio producing programmes in Bulgarian and Romani (the latter being a World by 2000 project). Studio 865 prepares TV programmes for local stations.
d) The JESUS film is available in Bulgarian, Romani, Romanian and Turkish; viewers are 25% of the population.
15. Burkina Faso: The power of the occult has yet to be decisively challenged and broken in many peoples of Burkina Faso. Few countries in West Africa are more dominated by idolatry, fetishism and secret societies. Even in the churches occult power is wielded, hampering and polluting the message of Christ. Especially strong is that of the many Lobiri peoples in the southwest (WEC), Gurma (SIM) in the east, Gurunsi (Canadian Pentecostals, AoG), Senufo and Bobo (CMA) in the west.
Pray that the power of the risen Christ might be demonstrated for the saving of many.
Pray for increased impact through Media ministries:
High levels of illiteracy and poverty and the limited availability of literature in local languages enhance the importance of other media.
a) Radio is being used to broadcast the gospel in 10 languages. Radio Evangélique Dévelopement is possibly the only indigenously launched and operated gospel radio in Africa. Local radio is used extensively by churches in different areas.
b) Audio materials for evangelism and teaching have not been adequately used, yet they are vital for ministry. GRN have made recordings in over 50 languages and dialects. In 1998 alone GRN translated material into 21 ‘tail-ender’ languages which previously had no translated Scriptures.
c) The JESUS film is proving a key pioneer evangelistic tool in Bambara/Jula and is available in Bissa, Bomu, Dogon, French, Gurma, Gurenne, Kassena, Moore and Soninke. Pray for the ongoing translation into 21 other Burkinabé languages.
16. Burundi: In the midst of suffering, evangelical Christians have continued to grow. The most significant are a number of Pentecostal churches, Anglicans, Free Methodists and Eglise Vivante.
Pray for the witness of believers when all around has collapsed and so many people are embittered with the ongoing genocide being perpetrated by both sides.
Pray for increased impact through the following Christian media:
a) Literacy programmes – the vast majority of the population is illiterate, including many believers.
b) Bibles – there is such a dearth that some reckon 4 million are needed. The Bible Society has distributed many Bible portions that challenge readers concerning reconciliation.
c) Radio. TWR and SU have established a communications centre in Bujumbura, where locally-produced programmes are prepared. In 2000 a Christian station, Radio Outreach-Ivyizigiro (Hope) started broadcasting from Bujumbura to Burundi and neighbouring countries.
Pray for life to be imparted through these broadcasts.
d) The JESUS film has been viewed by most Burundians.
Pray for lasting impact.
17. Cambodia: The spiritual darkness of Cambodia must be lifted by prayer. That darkness is shown by the ubiquitous spirit shrines, the strong opposition of Buddhism to any ideological rival and the moral collapse. The sex industry thrives, but a third of all prostitutes (an estimated 50,000) are children. Cambodia has the highest rate of child abandonment in SE Asia. HIV is spreading rapidly with 180,000 known to be infected in 1999 and 3,500 children born with HIV each year.
Pray for the light of the gospel to so shine that the structures of society as well as individuals may be decisively changed.
The Cambodian Church has survived against all odds. Beginning in 1923, CMA missionaries laboured for 47 years before the breakthrough began. There were only 700 believers in evangelical churches in 1970, but by 1975 this had grown to 9-12,000. Only 2,000 survived the slaughter – many fled to Thai refugee camps where a great harvest was reaped for the Kingdom. During the 1990s churches spread to all 19 provinces.
a) Freedom from government manipulation and interference, and wisdom in how to relate to the authorities.
b) Freedom and deep deliverance from past sin, hatred, suffering and abuse through faith in the precious blood of Jesus.
c) Children and young people to be effectively discipled in the churches. Few are equipped for this, yet over half the population is under 21.
d) Many Christian families to be raised up who can live for Christ as examples of his power to save and change.
e) A vision for the lost and to take the gospel to every person.
Pray specifically for Christian media ministries:
a) Literature. CMA missionaries have translated a range of materials, and continue to do so. There is a real need for teaching materials, for false teachings abound. The largest church, the New Apostolic Church, is sectarian. The UBS and others are providing Khmer Bibles and New Testaments. A new Khmer Bible was completed in 1998. SGM Scripture portions are widely appreciated.
b) The JESUS film is being used in Khmer, Chinese and Vietnamese. Its greatest impact was through national television.
c) Christian radio. FEBC and CCCI have been allowed to broadcast 6 hours a week on local radio – a first! Lutheran Hour has also been given a similar opportunity. FEBC also broadcast from Manila in Khmer (12 hrs/wk) as well as in Jarai and Stieng. TWR have recently begun weekly broadcasts.
d) MAF has a plane servicing Christian work.
18. Cameroon: The spiritual poverty of the churches is the country’s greatest tragedy. Nominal Christianity is a bigger problem in this land than in any other in Africa. The early pioneer work of Catholics, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Baptists was damaged by compromise and the arrival of liberation theology. These large churches lost spiritual life and opened their doors to millions who had no personal faith in Christ and with no one to lead them to Him. Tribalism, pagan practices, alcoholism and low moral standards are endemic. Most in these churches have no concern for the unreached of the north, nor do they have a prophetic voice to address the major ills of society.
Pray for deep repentance, lasting deliverance, true revival, and a restoration of Bible reading, preaching and holiness among Christians.
Intercession is needed for the following Support ministries:
a) Christian literature is a major need. CMFI run a publishing house that has already printed 3 million books and 10 million tracts. More literature workers, both expatriate and national, are needed for writing, publishing and distributing French, English and local language materials.
b) Christian radio programmes may be aired on local and private stations; but few workers have the skills or equipment to prepare quality material. Sawtu Linjilla is a studio run by the various churches and missions working in Cameroon, Chad and Central African Republic, which produces French and Fulani radio programmes, cassettes, and audio-visual materials. The aim is pre-evangelism among the northern Cameroon peoples who use Fulani as a trade language. More Christian radio and television stations and programmes are needed in Cameroon.
c) The JESUS film has become a major evangelistic tool. Maybe 63% of the population has viewed it. It was available in 10 languages in 1999, but 70 other language versions were in production with a further 28 needing research.
d) EHC launched a nation-wide literature distribution in 1996.
e) The Swiss-based Helimission operates a helicopter service for Christian ministries.
19.-21. Canada: The Christian Church has become marginalized in Canadian society. Many major historic denominations have suffered disastrous declines in membership. The loss of biblical roots, lack of vision for evangelism, and compromise on ethical issues have all contributed to this tragic situation. The church has allowed pluralism and secularization to undermine its foundations.
Pray for Canada to experience revival.
Missionary vision has been great in the past, but the number of missionaries declined by 15% between 1992 and 1999. Giving to national missionaries and relief and development programmes, however, has increased in recent years.
Pray for increased involvement by churches and individuals in the evangelization of the unreached in Canada and around the world.
Pray for increased missionary concern in the many growing evangelical churches among the ethnic minorities; such a vision is vital for Canada, and could be strategic for the evangelization of their lands of origin.
Pray also for the unifying and strategic work of the Task Force for Global Mission of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.
22. Cape Verde: The political leaders must address the ecological and economic problems confronting the nation. Scant resources were poorly managed in the past, exacerbating the Republic’s poverty.
Pray for stable and wise government, and for social and economic betterment.
Caboverdians are Christian in name, but in practice are more influenced by superstitions and African fetishism. Christian literature is lacking in Creole, and most understand Portuguese only partially
Pray for true conversions among them.
The increasing growth of Evangelicals has been largely though the ministries of the Nazarene Church and the more recently-arrived Pentecostal groups.
Pray that more indigenous workers may be trained up for these growing groups.
Pray that believers might mature and increase despite the poverty and geographical isolation.
There are 350,000 Caboverdians who live in migrant communities, the largest being in New England, USA (170,000), Portugal (37,000), Angola, Senegal, Italy, and France.
Pray that many in these communities may become true disciples of Jesus and be a blessing to their homeland.
23. Cayman Islands: Christianity is numerically strong. Most of the 70+ churches are evangelical.
Pray that the government and people might hold fast to Christian values.
Pray that Christians may live exemplary and consistent lives in the midst of wealth and the materialistic, complacent lifestyle it brings.
Over a million tourists a year visit the islands.
Pray for many to be confronted by the claims of Christ while in the pursuit of pleasure.
24-25. Central African Republic: Mission agencies have played an important role in education and health as well as in planting churches, translating the Scriptures, etc., though personnel are now much reduced in numbers. The largest are Baptist Mid-Missions (41), Grace Brethren (21), InterAct (12), Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (8). The great challenge is for effective partnership as equals between the national churches and missions.
Pray for good relationships and cooperation for outreach and support ministries.
Whole areas of the Central African Republic (CAR) were cleared from the 17th century onwards, as people were kidnapped and sold into slavery – a practice that continued into the late 19th century.
Since the 1960s loads of people have become Christians, but there has not been enough discipleship to see their faith mature. The church is struggling with divisions and lack of trust between leaders.
Pray for leaders to rise up with maturity and a new trust in one another for the sake of the gospel.
Pray for the following Christian media and help ministries:
a) Christian radio – pray for the removal of all obstacles to setting up an effective evangelical radio station in Bangui.
b) EHC launched a nation-wide distribution of literature – some for illiterates – in every home in 1995 . Pray for the successful completion of the task.
c) The JESUS film has been widely shown in French, Sango, Gbaya and Zande, and is in production in other languages. Pray that good follow-up may lead to more and stronger churches.
d) MAF has two planes for serving the churches and missions in this large country.
e) GRN has recordings available in 17 languages, but this number could be increased.
26. Chad: Freedom of religion is a precious reality, but is threatened by the polarization of the country. The population is almost equally divided between the politically dominant Muslim northerners and the increasingly marginalized Christian/ethnic religion southerners. Their cultures are so different and their history is one of northerners enslaving southerners. Although most of the schooling is in French, many in the north only read Arabic.
Pray both for continued freedom of religion throughout the country and peace between the different religious and ethnic communities.
Training of leaders is a major challenge – poor communications, poor churches, regional instabilities, wars and lack of finances have hindered the training of pastors and evangelists.
Pray for the Shalom Higher School of Theology in N’Djamena (which serves the Entente), the Apostolic Bible School ESDRAS and the CoG Bible Institute.
Pray also for secondary- and primary-level Bible schools in the south.
Pray that the new generation of pastors may be men full of the Holy Spirit.
Pray, too, for refresher courses arranged for those already in the ministry.
Missionary work continues despite the upheavals of the past three decades. The main missions are working together under the EET Church in an organization called COCOAM with a total of about 171 workers. The need for more workers is obvious.
Pray for those with a pioneer spirit and perseverance to give years to language learning, necessary to contribute much to the unreached and to developing churches.
Pray also for their daily provision and safety.
Pray also for the small, but growing number of Chadian missionaries involved in pioneer church planting and Bible translation.
Pray that these films and recordings may be widely and effectively used through the resource of Christian media ministries:
a) The JESUS film, widely used in Arabic, is also available in Fulfulde (Fulbe), Kanuri and Sango. About 30% of the population have seen the film. The Chad Arabic version has been well received, and over 37 other Chadian language versions are also being prepared.
b) GRN has prepared gospel messages in 298 languages and dialects and a further 30 were being recorded in 1999.
27. Chile: The Roman Catholic Church has been deeply impacted by three major forces:
a) Liberation theology. The identification of many Catholic leaders with liberation theology (with its Marxist presuppositions) alienated many Chileans of the middle and upper classes from the Church and did little to win the poor who had already abandoned it because of its past identification with the ruling classes.
b) Loss of political power – now that there is equality of all religions before the law.
c) The widespread distribution and use of the Bible, the growth of the charismatic movement, and a significant exodus of Catholics to evangelical churches. About 20% of the population was born Catholic, but has left the Roman Catholic Church. Only 15% of Catholics regularly attend church.
Pray that Catholics may adapt to a new era and that many might find true liberation and peace through a personal faith in Christ.
The middle and upper classes have been far less impacted by Evangelicals. Only 12% of Evangelicals are of these groups. Evangelical denominations from abroad have generally been more effective than Pentecostals in reaching them. Santiago has 1,150 evangelical congregations, but only 20 of them are middle/upper class. The Baptists, CMA, Anglicans (SAMS), AoG, CoN, SIM and others have made some progress in planting churches among them.
Pray for every stratum of Chilean society to be reached.
28.-31. China, PRC: There may only be a ten-year window of opportunity for receptivity. Materialism with increasing wealth, the debilitating effects of spreading corruption, the moral decline and the social impact of the one-child policy all are conspiring to blunt the cutting edge of the Church.
Pray that present openness in the midst of opposition may be used to the full.
Communist Party members are the elite and number some 60m. All are officially atheist, but among them are many who are secretly religious and even Christian.
Pray for the collapse of the whole atheistic system and its lies so assiduously propagated in the education system.
Pray for the conversion of those within the Party.
The social and health needs in China overwhelm the available resources. Diseases are a challenge – 1.9m with tuberculosis, over 300,000 with HIV/AIDS, 10m mentally retarded through iodine-deficiency, 60m disabled, 13m blind and 520,000 registered drug addicts. Then there are the unemployed and the numerous victims of famines, floods and earthquakes due to the density of the population.
Pray that Christians may find many openings to serve such in the social and caring professions and opportunities to show and speak about the love of Jesus for them.
Leadership training is woefully deficient, and a crisis need. It is reckoned that there is but one ordained pastor for every 7,000 TSPM members. By 1999 there were 18 official seminaries with 1,200 residential and 3,000 distance-learning students.
a) Faculty – often selected for their political correctness rather than for their walk with God. Pray for those teaching who are Evangelical despite the prevailing liberal theology and textbooks. Pray that biblical teaching and holiness of life might be central in their lives. In 2000 the anti-Evangelical stance was strengthened.
b) Students. Many apply, but few are selected; nevertheless most are Evangelical but face a constant battle against the erosion of their faith. The number of students and ordinations has been deliberately restricted, but during 1999 a considerable expansion in facilities and enrolment was reported. Only 800 pastors were ordained 1992-95, and most of these were over 45 years of age.
c) Protection from interference. During 1999 a severe purge of evangelical faculty, textbooks and students was carried out at the national seminary in Nanjing. Support from congregations for Nanjing, the five regional and 12 provincial seminaries is very low because of the political manipulation. Libraries are usually poorly stocked.
I have a continued confidence in the promises of God’s word and I believe that our prayers will touch the nations of the earth and bring new life to every region. Until next month….
Lane M. Holland, M.Div.
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