Pray for Our World: Germany

Germany is strategically placed in the center of Europe.  The post WWII recovery has become one of the world’s strongest economies.  With the inclusion of East Germany in the 1990’s, it led to high social security costs and a dip in the economy, but they are starting to recover.  Unemployment of over 3 million is still a concern, mostly in the east.

As a new post-war generation is taking over the leadership, Germany is starting to become more active in an international role.  Post 9/11 has also brought a greater interest in the Christian way as an alternative and counterbalance to Islam, and evangelicals are much more prominent now than before in media and politics.

Germany has many opportunities and challenges.  Strategically their location, wealth and influence are important in the EU and Europe.  Yet, the 1989 unification of the east and west remains a burden, especially spiritually and psychologically.  Mental illness is occurring in record numbers, including clinical depression.  Suicide is the second-largest killer of 15-29 year olds.

But there is much hope for the once-darkened Germany.  Pray that the hope and light of Jesus Christ will reach the people of Germany.  Jesus is the only true and lasting cure to our world’s problems.  He died for all.  He is available to all who seek Him.  This is why Jesus tells us He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), for anyone who comes to Him will be saved (John 6:37).  No other religion or person promises that.

Pray for Our World: Gabon

Gabon is on the equator in central coastal Africa.  Two-thirds of the land is tropical rainforest.  It is one of the wealthier African countries and has a stable government.  The Catholic church was dominant in the past but has been declining.  Witchcraft, black magic, and other animist spirits are strong influences.  The former president converted to Islam, and his son/successor is following the same, and has great influence in terms of financial investments for the country.

Missionaries have committed to reaching the people of Gabon and presenting the gospel to them.  Pray for these missionaries as they go into an area that is strong in witchcraft and very foreign to the concept of the gospel.  Yet, Jesus Christ also died for these people, and as Jesus commanded us, “Go into all the world and tell them about me.”

Pray for Our World: Cameroon

Cameroon in central Africa is one of the most ethnically complex countries with many sub-groups and dialects.  There are 278 languages in Cameroon, which makes Bible translations very difficult.  Only 10 languages have a complete Bible, and there are many unreached people groups.

We know that Jesus will not return until His story is told to the entire world.  What a day that will be when all people groups and all languages will hear about their Savior, Jesus Christ.  Heaven and nature will rejoice!

Pray for Our World: Brazil

Brazil has become a leading mission-sending nation as well as having one of the largest groups of missionaries there.  They are religiously open and enthusiastic toward faith, but have little preparation and support.  Recently a ministry in Atlanta hosted a team of women from Brazil.  The summary of that visit below shows the heartfelt attitudes of the Brazilian women.  There were tears in their eyes when they heard the complete story of the Bible being told.

“For the past week, we have hosted a team of 12 female leaders from Brazil to train them to be teachers of the newly translated Bible study Be Amazing. The leaders desired to become experts in the material so they could teach women and introduce the study to other churches.

They came to the United States with a purpose, but God had a different plan. The Big Dream Ministries’ teachers taught the various subjects from Titus 2:3-5 and the women learned a great deal. However, what they learned by observing us was far greater. They noticed when each teacher taught, we would open the Bible to teach and then give an explanation about what the Scripture meant. This pattern was repeated multiple times during the talks. This was a foreign concept to them. The Brazilian ladies knew bits and pieces of the Bible, but they were not comfortable handling the text for everyday life. They were hungry to learn more. They were willing to delay eating and sleeping in order to hear more about the Scriptures. They realized that they needed to return to the basics of the Bible, that being a student of God’s Word was the most important thing they could learn.

These precious ladies made big sacrifices to come to the United States to learn but are returning to Brazil with very full hearts and ready to share their newfound love for the Bible.”

– from The Amazing Collection, Big Dream Ministries

Pray for Our World: Belgium

Belgium has a particular personal interest for me.  Many of my past co-workers and managers lived in Brussels, the capital of Belgium.  Belgians are highly skilled and educated, and very internationally savvy due to their strategic location in Europe.  Belgium is the capital of the EU and NATO headquarters.  I am also a little partial to Antwerp Belgium diamonds, the so-called diamond capital of the world.

But there are many differences between Belgium and the United States.  Religion is largely irrelevant for Belgians.  Most don’t even think about God.  Over 30% are non-religious or atheist.  The Catholic church is in rapid decline, with only 7% attending mass, and in some areas it is as low as 1%.  The Bible was banned by the Catholic church prior to 1960, and it is just now being reintroduced.

My co-workers would often speak of violence as just being a way of life in Belgium.  It is a very divided nation, and there wasn’t much evidence of hope.  There are centuries of blood and violence spilled on Belgium soil.  And even though it has a strong economy, jobs and opportunities are minimal.  Pray that the Bible will once again emerge as a beacon of hope and truth to this country.