Pray for Our World: Ghana

Ghana is on the south-western coast of the Gulf of Guinea in Africa.  79% of the population earns less than $2 per day.  Yet, Ghana enjoys a rich Christian tradition.  With over 100 ethnic groups, there were only 5 Bible translations available in 1965.  Since then, the majority of Ghanaians have at least a New Testament translation and there is work in progress on every language in Ghana!  Hundreds of churches have been planted as a result of the newly translated scriptures in their languages.

May God bless the people and organizations that have faithfully worked on Bible translations over the years in Ghana.  But where God’s truth is being successfully told, there is often strong opposition.  Islam has set out to conquer Ghana.  Almost half of the population is under the age of 15 and very impressionable.  Pray for the Christian workers and churches there, that they may reach the young people for the truth and light and hope of Jesus Christ.

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: France

France is the largest country in western Europe and the sixth largest economy in the world, much of it coming from tourism.  It is traditionally Catholic but Catholicism has been in decline while atheism and other religious groups have increased.  They struggle with immigration and also trying to keep their traditional French identity.  Those practicing the occults has risen dramatically, and outnumber doctors, while evangelicals are very few.

Sadly, the Bible is alien to most French people.  Less than 10% own a Bible and 80% have never even handled one.  Yet Bible sales are at an all-time high, and people are spiritually hungry.  Pray for the availability of Bibles to the French people and that they will read and understand the truth and joy that Jesus Christ brings.

Pray for Our World: Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a very unique country.  It is one of the oldest known nations, and has a long written history even from the Bible.  It is Africa’s oldest independent nation and one of the first Christian nations.  The Ethiopian Orthodox Church was the state church from 1270 until the 1974 revolution.  The Orthodox church had been isolated from the rest of the Christian world for a long time, as a Christian island surrounded by Islam, so they developed a unique culture, theology and tradition over time.  In recent years, the demand for the Bible has increased, and the Orthodox Church has helped in distributing Bibles and they have started to work more closely with other Christian groups including Catholics and evangelicals.

Ethiopia is mentioned in the Bible from Genesis to Acts – from the Garden of Eden, to Noah’s sons who inhabited the land, to the Ethiopian eunuch whom the Apostle Philip explained the scriptures about Jesus.  Even today, we see the roots of Christianity in this country, which is one of very few countries in this part of the world that is predominantly Christian.

A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.  The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush (Ethiopia). And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. Genesis 2:10-14

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.  Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.  Acts 8:26-40

Pray for Our World: Congo (Republic of Congo)

Congo Republic of Congo is west of the Congo DRC, which it is often confused.  During its Marxist-Leninist period of 1968-1991, the youth were heavily indoctrinated against religion.  Eighteen denominations were banned and some missions expelled.  All restrictions were removed in 1992.  But as a result, not many churches have been built and the people are not trained or educated in Christianity.  Though most profess to be Christian, much of it is actually a thin veneer over traditional African religion (or animists, where everything has a spirit).

Bible translation is an ongoing challenge with all the different languages.  Pray for missionaries, tools and resources to allow the people to learn true Christianity and lift the veil of darkness and deceit.