Pray for Our World: Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa.  25-50% of the population fled the country following the economic and social meltdown, and scourge of disease.  Independent from Britain since 1965, it was followed by intense guerrilla warfare and government fraud and corruption.  The church has grown amidst these trials as a refuge and to help meet the many desperate physical and social needs of the people.  Pray for the strength of these churches, for desperately needed resources, and the healing of their country.

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This is the last country (alphabetically) in a year of prayer around the world.  This is the final image too.  If nothing else, I hope you remember this picture.  It is a real part of the world we all live in, that we all participate in. 

Someday, God is going to ask each of us, “What did you do to help?”  Jesus’ direction to us was very clear: “Love God, love others, and tell others about Me.” For those of us who believe in Jesus as our Savior, we are completely covered in His grace and forgiveness, so we should act like it.  Go out and do things for God, and then you’ll worry less about all the “don’ts”.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Colossians 3:17

Pray for Our World: Zambia

Zambia is a landlocked central southern African country. Debt, corruption and AIDS have driven the economy spiraling downward, so that 86% live below the poverty threshold. Independent from Britain in 1964, then under socialism until 1991 when Chiluba, an active Christian, was elected and declared Zambia a Christian country but with full religious freedom for all faiths. It was written into their constitution in 1996.

There is still much to be done to help the country economically and socially. Health services are overwhelmed with AIDS, leadership training is urgently needed, and Islam has been aggressively targeting Zambia. Pray that the country and people will turn to God as their source of strength and help.

Pray for Our World: Uganda

Uganda is known as the “Pearl of Africa”.  It is a fertile and well watered land with a temperament climate.  Agriculture accounts for 80% of the work force.  The population has been reduced over the years by the many wars, tribal killings, AIDS and diseases.  Previous regimes also imposed restrictions and intense persecution of Christians.

But they now have freedom of religion.  Since 1986, there has been widespread revival and prayer movements in the churches there.  This makes Uganda one of the most truly Christian nations in the world, with church attendance high, and public prayer common even in government buildings.  There are mega churches and house and storefront churches.  Crime rates have fallen and it is estimated that half the population attend evangelically oriented services.  This is very encouraging, and a testament to the power of Christianity!

There are still many needs and obstacles they have to overcome.  Continue to pray for the people of Uganda, for their well-being, for Christian training and leadership, for youth ministry, and the ability to reach out to the increasing Muslim communities.

Pray for Our World: Tunisia

Tunisia, located in northern Africa, is a mountainous region to the north and part of the Sahara desert to the south. It is the site of several notable ancient civilizations, and more recently, the movie site for the Star Wars desert scenes.

The Carthaginian Empire, the first of the notable ancient civilizations in this area, was a Phoenician state from the 7th to 3rd centuries BC that expanded into northwest Africa. Berber Christians, of the Early African Church, next came to the area during the Roman era. Saint Augustine was one of the most famous Berber Christians. Later, the Arabs invaded the area after the 7th century and Christianity began to disappear. Today the country is 99.37% Muslim. Islam is the state religion, and all other religions are not favorable. Most Christians remaining in the area are expats. Pray that the message of the Early African Church ancestors will once again be revived to this area.

Pray for Our World: Togo

Togo is only 56 km long on the Atlantic African coast but the land stretches 650 km northward between Ghana and Benin.  Coffee and cocoa are the main cash crops. Democratic progress has been made in recent years, since independence from France in 1960 and subsequent military coups. There was a period of intense anti-Christian rhetoric in the 1970’s. Several religious groups were banned, with only Muslims, Catholics and five Protestant churches legally permitted to function. By 1990 nearly all restrictions have been lifted, and Christianity has expanded, particularly evangelical and pentecostal movements from West African pastors. There are still many voodoo and animistic societies that intensely oppose the gospel. Pray that the light of Christ and the Gospel will break through the darkness that still holds much of the land.