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.

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.