Pray for Our World: India

With a population of about 1.3 billion, India dominates South Asia and the Indian Ocean.  The capital Delhi has 22 million, second largest Mumbai (Bombay) has 20 million, and there are 45 other cities over 1 million.  30% of the population is under 15, and life expectancy is 63 years.

India is ancient and complex, with a history of racial, ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity.  It is the most ethnically diverse nation on earth with over 2500 distinct people groups.  Community and identity are still mostly based on caste.  There are around 4700 castes and 25,000 subcastes, and the system affects both social and occupational situations.  India has emerged as a leader in IT, which provides a lot of opportunity both economically and geographically.  Being in the IT field myself, I have worked with many Indians over the years.  I have enjoyed their cooking, their festivals, and their weddings.  The previous barrier of language and social differences has been replaced with a common computer language of work and thought.  I have found we are much more alike than different!

The majority of Indians are Hindu, with Muslim being the second largest.  Only about 5% are Christian, and India has the largest and least-reached people groups in the world.  We have a great opportunity now to introduce Indians to Christianity, but it is very difficult.  Cultures are different and Bible translations are difficult.  India faces many problems too – poverty, health concerns, and women and children are still in crisis.  An Indian colleague of mine once told me he had to choose between taking an IT job offer with a major beer corporation here in the U.S. or face being sent back to India where he could not provide as much money for his family.  It was a difficult decision for him, not only because he was a Christian, but because he felt he could not work for an alcohol company when he saw so many families back in India destroyed by alcohol.  Many men were alcoholics and often prostituted their wives and daughters for money.  He did not take the job.

I have many more stories about those I have met from India over the years.  At the end of the day, we all want to provide the best we can for our families, and we all want love and respect.  We also can no longer look the other way to the poverty and conditions of a country that contains about 1/5 of the world’s population, and is destined to become the most populated country on earth.

 

Pray for Our World: Honduras

Honduras is a mountainous land with rain forests and fertile coastal plains on both the Caribbean Sea and North Pacific Ocean.  It is one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere, and was under military rule for most of the 20th century.  Evangelism grew significantly in the 1960’s and went from 1% of the population to 23% of the population by the 1990’s, and continues to grow.

The biggest concern are the children at risk.  More than half of Honduras’ population are children, with the majority living in poverty.  Thousands of children attempt to cross to the USA to find family members working there, but most end up incarcerated in Guatemala or Mexico, in terrible conditions.  The Pepenadores, or garbage dump children, are more prevalent in Honduras than in any other nation in the Americas.  Street children, which number in the thousands, are often exterminated as a nuisance by ruthless groups in the name of social cleansing.  And many get swept up in organized crime as gang members or sex workers.

God weeps over His children.  Please pray for these children and help support them.  They need help where they live, so they do not get swept up in the false hope that leads to crime, sex trade, or prisons.  We will all be accountable for our lives someday, and it won’t necessarily be the things we did that will be of most concern, but the things we did not do.  Don’t miss that chance to make a difference, to help others have a little better life, to ease their pain or give them something to eat.

Pray for Our World: Guinea

Guinea is located on Africa’s west coast.  The country has huge mineral deposits, fertil and plentiful land and water, but an inept and corrupt government has reduce it to poverty.  It was a French colony until 1958, then led by a Marxist-Muslim government that virtually destroyed it, and finally has become more democratic with the elections in 2010.

Christians are a very small minority and Guinea remains largely unreached.  Bible translations and literature are a great challenge.  The Jesus film has been seen by many in the country.  Pray for God’s protection for the Christians that are there, and that the ongoing translations, Jesus film and other means will have an impact for Christ in this area.

Pray for Our World: Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe is a French-owned island in the Caribbean.  France has owned the island since 1635, and with its subsidization from France, there is little motivation for them to be independent.  However, the riots of 2009 showed some of their dissatisfaction with France in their standard of living.  There is widespread unemployment especially among youth.  The people are predominantly of African and South Asian descent.

The island is nominally Christian (in name only), but occultism and magic are large influences.  There is the grim legacy of slavery as well that has left its mark.  Before 1946 there were no evangelical churches on the island, but the Southern Baptists have helped establish a strong network of churches that have risen up in the last few decades.  There is only one Christian bookstore on the island, but the Gideons and The Bible Society help distribute Bibles and Christian literature.

Pray for the people of the island – for employment, freedom from the occult, and for the churches that they may be able to effectively reach the people of the island.

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.