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: 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: Micronesia

Micronesia is a UN Trust Territory that is overseen by the United States.  It is a sub-region of Oceania (Australian continent) composed of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean.  There are four main states: Marshall Islands, Northern Marianas, Palau, and Moldova.

These are isolated islands where their only source of income is tourism and agriculture, and therefore they rely heavily on US aid.  Most of the people are Protestant and Evangelical, but there are strong ties to magic from their ancestral culture.  Transportation is a problem, along with unemployment and alcohol abuse.  This causes many to seek work abroad, but this comes with risk of exploitation.  Moldova has the largest numbers of young women lured abroad into human trafficking.

The Salvation Army (a US based ministry to the poor) is very involved there with assisting the people.  Organizations like The Salvation Army and The Gideons quietly do so much good around the world.  Christianity often gets bad press, especially here in the US, but most people are unaware of all the charity and good work that has been done and continues to be done in the name of Christ all over the world.  Evil is still strong in the world, but I shudder to think of what the world would be like without Christ.  

Pray for Our World: American Samoa

American Samoa is a small island in the Polynesian Pacific.  It is only 199 square miles and about 70,000 people.  It is remote and largely a traditional Polynesian economy of fishing and canning.  They are 95% Christian Protestant Evangelical.  Yet there are challenges.  The churches are declining and the void is being filled with Mormonism, which has exposed the mainline churches nominalism of the past – a philosophy of abstractness and being in name only.  Pray that the churches will have revival and that they will stand up for the truth of genuine love and peace that comes from knowing the good news that Jesus Christ brings.

Pray for Our World: Pacific

The Pacific region only consists of 6.3% of the world’s land surface, as compared to the other regions we have been praying for: Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe.  Yet it has more ocean space than Africa, Asia and Europe combined.  It is comprised of Australia, New Zealand and Papau New Guinea, and 25,000 other small islands scattered about, including Christmas Island, Midway Island, Fiji, French Polynesian and many others.  Most of the Pacific Islanders are of European descent and the rest are mostly Asian.  Based on the strategic location, there are several military bases there.

The Pacific was one of the first areas to be evangelized in the modern missionary era, though missionary casualties were high to due disease, violent death and even cannibalism.  Today, the islanders face many of the same problems of the rest of the world – crime, unemployment, lack of opportunity and education, disparity of incomes, and a general decline in interest of traditional forms of Christianity.  The gap is being replaced with atheism, Mormonism, Islamism, and Baha’i-ism.

Just like the popular European phrase, “mind the gap”, we should be praying that in all of our world, people will find the truth and joy that Jesus spoke of to fill the gap in their lives.  We should be showing them what Christianity is – a place of hope, truth, real love and forgiveness.  When you get to know the real Jesus, you will see the same attractiveness that His followers first saw in Jesus.  It doesn’t need to be fancy or showy.  The truth is attractive enough.