Pray for Our World: Small islands of the Caribbean

There are several small islands that make up some of the best tourist destinations in the Caribbean, and most of these are named as saints. St. Barthelemy, an overseas collective of France, is a high-end tourism and luxury duty-free economy mostly bought by wealthy American and French visitors. St. Kitts and Nevis are federal democracies independent from Britain, and used to produce most of the world’s sugar. St. Lucia, considered one of the most beautiful islands of the Caribbean, has been independent from Britain since 1974, but is still highly contested at times. St. Martin is an overseas collective of France, and shares an island with Saint Maarten which is part of the Netherlands. St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been independent from Britain as a parliamentary democracy since 1979.

There are no shortage of churches on most of these islands, but they are limited. Though considered religious countries, they are prone to the same spiritual apathy that has taken hold of many of the countries today. We are in a spiritual crisis. Churches of the past line the streets but they are empty or have closed their doors. We have more knowledge at our fingertips than ever before, but people do not know what the Bible says. Pray for the revival and restoration of the churches on these small islands in the beautiful Caribbean.

Pray for Our World: Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands are volcanic islands near Papau New Guinea. With over 76 ethno-linguigistic peoples, the islands do not have much of a national identity, but rather ethnicity dominates their identity and government. They also have a unique gene for blonde hair among dark-skinned people. They have been independent from Britain since 1978, but had a civil war after that which led to a downward economy and displacement of up to 30,000.

The islands are predominantly Christian and have had a history of revivals over the last 100 years. The churches and Christian ministries played an important role in trying to keep the peace during the civil war and within the government. Significant progress has been made on Bible translations, but they need more. Only three languages among the 76 ethnicities have the entire Bible. The Bible in Solomons Pijim, the most widely used language, was just completed in 2008, and the New Testament recently completed in other languages. Pray that they will be able to continue translating the Bible to all 50+ languages still needed.

Pray for Our World: Seychelles

Seychelles is made up of 452 square km containing 92 granite and coral islands spread across the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar. The country received its independence from Britain in 1976, and then quickly became a socialist nation. With the end of the Cold War, they no longer received socialist aid, and so they became a multiparty government, but where the dictator became the president.

Though most claim to be Christian, it is overshadowed by much superstition and black magic. The outer and less-populated islands are very isolated and are some of the lesser-reached peoples. They have one version of a translated New Testament, and there is a team working on translating the Old Testament. However, the bookshelves are empty, and there is a shortfall of New Testaments available. Please pray they will have the funds and the means to receive copies of the Bible in their own language – something the rest of us usually take for granted.

Pray for Our World: Papua New Guinea

The second largest island in the world, along with many other islands in the Pacific area, make up Papa New Guinea.  There are about 1000 people groups speaking approximately 830 different languages, which is 20% of the world’s total.  It is one of the most complex nations ethnically and linguistically.  Despite those challenges, Christian missions have had a big influence over the years.  Almost everyone in the country has some link to Christianity, though the old ethnic and animistic religions still have influence.  Bible translation projects are actively being worked on, with several New Testament translations being completed every year.  Given the diversity of language, this is a huge project, but thankful there are people who spend their time and lives doing this for others.

Pray for Our World: Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is the ninth-largest country and dominates central Asia between Russia and China, and is a large trade route between the east and west.  They were under communist rule and suppression of all religion until the collapse of the USSR in 1991.  Today only traditionally recognized religious groups can operate freely, but there are still strong laws that suppress Christians.

The Kazakh church has continued to grow from virtually no believers in 1990 to about 15,000 in 2010.  There is a great demand for Bibles both among the Kazakhs and the Russians.  However more translations and access are needed.  Pray for the translation and distribution of Bibles to a people that are hungry for it yet do not have it.  I wish we would all have such a hunger for the Bible, especially for those of us who could walk into almost any store and pick up one for just a few dollars.

Jesus promises to all who are searching, “Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7