Pray for Our World: Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico was a Spanish colony for 400 years, and then became related to the USA after the Spanish-American war of 1898. The US President is chief of state, but Puerto Rico is administered by an elected governor. However, corruption has been a big problem in local governments. They have a free market economy, and one of the higher per capita incomes in the Caribbean, but they also have one of the highest costs of living.

Puerto Rico is traditionally Catholic, but the trend seems to follow that of many other countries. Evangelicals are growing, from .1% in 1990 to over 25% in 2010, while Catholicism is on the decline. Yet, there is still a struggle for churches to make an impact on the social and spiritual needs of the nation. Over 45% live below the poverty line,  62% fail to complete high school, and many households are headed only by females. Pray for the needs of Puerto Rico to be reached through the church and neighboring Christians.

Pray for Our World: Panama

Panama is the narrowest point of the Central American isthmus between North and South America.  Due to its key geographic location, Panama’s economy is service-based, toward banking, commerce and tourism.  The Panama Canal sees 4% of the world’s trade pass through.  However, the wealth is held in only the hands of a few while 40% live in poverty, and a porous border with Colombia means that drug cartels hold much influence.

With help from the US, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903 and helped to build a canal between 1904 and 1914.  In 1977, the canal was transferred to Panama.  There has since been peaceful elections and political stability.  Most are Christian.  The country has great diversity and great potential with its strategic location and stability.  Pray that the Christians will continue to grow and be a good influence for the region.

Pray for Our World: Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a large area of land between the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, connecting North and South America.  It is one of the poorest countries in the Americas due to nearly two centuries of dictatorships and civil wars.  Young people have grown up in a country ravaged by war, where stable families are rare, and churches are not equipped to handle all their needs.  Despite the challenges, evangelical growth is on the increase from only 2% in 1960 to 30% in 2010.  Pray that Nicaraguans will continue to see the source of their help comes from God and a belief in Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Pray for Our World: Mexico

Contrary to what one may think about the land in Mexico, only 10% is arable land.  Mexico has a wide range of topography from rainforests to volcanic plateaus and mountains.  It is also diverse in people groups from Mestizo (Mexican/Amerindian/Spanish) to Euro-American and Amerindian.  The once-sophisticated Aztec Empire was destroyed by the Spanish and smallpox in the early 16th century.  Much of its northern territories were lost to the US in the 19th century.  Today much of the country is plagued with drug trade.  The US shares a responsibility for much of that with our insatiable drug habit.

The Catholic church (Vatican) broke away from the Mexican government for 130 years before reconciling again in the 1990’s.  Pray that the churches in Mexico will unite and become strong in their fight against injustice, poverty, and evil that plagues much of the country.

Pray for Our World: Martinique

Martinique is a small volcanic island in the Caribbean Sea.  The majority are African Caribbean, and the economy is based on exports of sugar, bananas, petroleum, and rum, along with tourism which is very popular.  Martinique is considered an oversea department of France, and dependent on French aid and subsidies.

It can be a very dangerous place to live with major volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.  In 1902, Mt. Pelee erupted killing 30,000.  The legacy of slavery remains strong too.  Pray for the churches there.  Many Christians come from dysfunctional families and from a background of immorality and drug abuse, and there seems to be much spiritual apathy among the people.  Pray for a spiritual awakening.