2010 May Prayer Assignments
In North America we are beginning to see signs of spring. It reminds us of the possibility of renewal and new life. No matter what difficulties face the nations we will be praying for this month, God’s love is available to sustain, renew, bring hope and life to all who call upon Him. May we stand in the gap for millions of souls who have yet to hear the glorious news that He Is Risen!
1. Eq. Guinea: Pray for these less evangelized regions:
a) Some areas of the mainland have few congregations with spiritual life.
b) The Ngumba, Yaka, Batanga and Benga have no known congregations within their cultures.
c) Annobon Island is so isolated and economically impoverished that it is almost impossible to reach, and is scarcely touched with the gospel.
2. Eritrea: Christians are largely Orthodox and almost entirely among the Tigrinya, with some Bilen and Kunama. Evangelicals are fewer. Christians of all denominations were refined and drawn together in fellowship during the hardships of war and Marxist propaganda. Churches are full and many Christians are actively witnessing. There is a significant biblical revival movement, Medhanie Alam, in the Orthodox Church.
Pray that Christians may be fervent for Jesus and make a significant impact on their nation and beyond.
Pray specifically for the less-reached groups:
a) The Tigre, who are almost entirely Muslim, and the only Eritrean or Ethiopian Semitic people which is not Orthodox. They are related to the Tigrinya, but culturally distant from them. The Bible is available, but there are few Christians.
b) The Jabarti who are a Muslim minority among the Tigrinya.
c) The Afar and related Saho peoples in the southeast with a handful of Christians and no known churches. Many are nomadic.
d) The Beja and Nara peoples of the northwest with no known witness. Many are nomadic.
e) The Arab Rashiada who migrated from Saudi Arabia in the 19th Century.
3. Estonia: Leadership training is a priority with church leaders. Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist and Pentecostal seminaries or Bible schools now exist, training pastors and lay leaders alike. Denominations in the Estonian Evangelical Alliance all agree on the necessity of cooperation in reaching Estonia’s less evangelized and are preparing believers for this goal.
Pray for the increase of teachers to train the emerging church leaders.
Estonia’s attempts to preserve national identity have alienated the large Russian minority. The Russians are not popular because of 50 years of oppression and because of the $4 billion clean-up bill left by their military forces.
Pray that Estonia’s government may act with wisdom and discretion in establishing an identity for all of its people.
Estonia is in need of evangelism in much the same manner as the rest of Europe. Most people notionally recognize Christianity’s principles, but have little desire to commit themselves to Christ.
Pray that God might strip away their secular materialism and empower the Church to reveal the living Christ to them.
4-5. Ethiopia: The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is going through immense change. Centuries of isolation from the rest of the Christian world as a Christian island in a sea of Islam helped form its unique culture, theology and traditions.
a) It has had to adjust to the loss of political privilege under Communism, which has only been partially restored since 1990. Syncretism and the occult are widespread among the millions of nominal Orthodox.
b) The rapid spread of the use of Scriptures and growth of Protestant denominations has led to both millions of defections and the emergence of strong evangelical and charismatic networks in the Orthodox Church.
Pray for a deep work of the Holy Spirit to bring this ancient Church to its biblical heritage and to new life.
Bible translation is a major task to be accomplished. There are 23 translation projects in progress sponsored and assisted by various organizations including Mekane Yesu Church, KHC, SIM, The Bible Society, SIL and Word for the World. Training courses for national translators are regularly given. There is growing interest on the part of the churches in translation, literacy and use of local language Scriptures. A national Forum of Bible Translators has recently been established. Praise God for the completion during the 1990s of the NT in Aari, Afar, Bench, Burji, Gumuz, Hadiyya, Kambaata, Kaficho Komso, Murle and Sidamo. Major projects needing prayer for completion are: the Bible in Afar, Anuak, West Gurage, Uduk and Wolaytta; the NT in Basketto, Daasenach, East Gurage, Hamer-Banna, Koorete, Majang, Male, Mursi and Suri. There are 10-15 languages with a definite translation need and a further 24 yet to be surveyed.
Pray for guidance in assessing needs and for resources to start work in those requiring their own translation (SIL).
Pray for more nationals to become involved.
6. Faeroe Island: Evangelicals are many – over 28% of the population, in contrast to the mother country, Denmark. In particular the Brethren churches have made a significant impact, both at home and abroad as missionaries. The Faeroe Islands send out a proportionately large number of missionaries (see above statistics); pray that this may continue. There are also growing charismatic and Pentecostal groups, but almost all Christian growth is hampered by a lack of trained, godly leaders, secularization and the nominal religiosity of Faeroese society.
The Faeroes need revival. From the largely nominal state Lutheran Church to the charismatic house churches, local Christian leaders all agree that these islands need a fresh move of the Holy Spirit. The Lutheran Church especially has declined. Only a small minority of church members regularly attend. Yet there are strong evangelical movements within its membership, such as the pietist Home Mission with 35 prayer houses and 3,000 members and a growing overseas missions commitment.
Pray for the Spirit to make the Faeroes truly Christian and not just in name only.
Falkland Island: There are only three significant Protestant denominations among the Islanders (Anglican, Tabernacle United Free Church and Baptist) with a few actively witnessing Christians.
Pray for believers in their witness to fellow-islanders and to the oilmen and fishermen of many nationalities who work in the seas around the islands.
The British forces based on these bleak, windswept Islands face a lonely, thankless task.
Pray for believers in the forces as they witness to their comrades and for the work of Mission to Military Garrisons to bear fruit.
Fiji: Christian help ministries in Fiji have Pacific-wide outreach.
a) The Bible Society of the South Pacific based in Fiji. Pray for their endeavours in undertaking surveys of translation needs (much needed in Fiji’s dialects now), translation work, printing and distribution of God’s Word throughout the Pacific. Translation and revision work in Fijian and Fiji Hindi are important projects. There is also a lack of good Christian literature in these two languages.
b) EHC has been so successful in Fiji that after 3 nation-wide distributions, 6% of the population responded, over 2,000 Christ groups started, and a denomination formed with a strong mission’s vision.
c) The JESUS film has been extensively used in English, Fijian and Hindi.
d) Specialized agencies include: WVI, committed to wholistic development, Christian Women Communication International with their KYB programmes, Bible distribution of Gideons International, the prisoner rehabilitation ministry of Prison Fellowship and the Nurses Christian Fellowship. All need prayer.
7. Finland: A new paradigm for the Church is required if it is truly to grow in Finland. The church planting targets set by DAWN show that there is still life and vision, but the structure of the church is in a state of change. The old forms and traditions do not address the needs of many Finns. Specific issues:
a) The many rootless believers who “church-hop” and lack any real commitment to a fellowship.
Pray that the Spirit would convict them to integrate more fully into His body.
b) The widespread growth of house groups. Some of these groups are planted by established churches, some are not.
Pray that all might see themselves in a wider context as part of the whole body of Christ, and contribute accordingly.
c) The development of a national Christian vision and strategy.
Pray for wisdom and discernment for national church leaders in dealing with the wide variety of groups and backgrounds.
Young people’s ministries have great potential. A high proportion of Finnish young people attend confirmation camps. This is an opportunity for them to come to a living faith in Christ. Many students in Finland do not reside on campuses, so organizing the groups is much more difficult.
Pray that the leaders might display a godly example of the walk of faith.
Pray also for the campus ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Student Mission.
Less reached peoples: Many refugees and asylum-seekers have come to Finland from Central and Eastern Europe and an increasing number from Asia and Africa. Many are Muslims, and few have ever heard the gospel before. Some fellowships are providing international meetings for these people, and there are some ethnic fellowships, such as the small Chinese church in Helsinki.
Pray that these immigrants might have the chance to encounter Jesus in a real and attractive way.
8.-10. France: France remains historically and culturally Catholic, but there has been a massive numerical decline in both Catholic and mainline Protestant churches. The non-religious have risen to 20% of the population and non-practicing ‘Christians’ have risen from 10% in 1970 to 50% in 2000. Regular church attendance has plummeted to 6 – 8% of the population. Great swathes of French society have no meaningful contact with a Christian church and have a profound ignorance of, and indifference to, the gospel. Without a dramatic change, Christianity is doomed to marginalized insignificance
Pray for such a change!
The unreached sectors of French society are many, such as:
a) The nearly 50 million French people who have no real link with a Christian church.
b) The many large cities with few evangelical churches – Nancy has three and Nantes, eight.
c) Of the 38,000 communes, around 35,000 have no resident evangelical witness. Many rural communes are quite traditional and resistant to change.
d) The Basques in the southwest who are virtually without an evangelical witness in their language.
e) The Loire Valley, Brittany, Picardy, Limousin, Champagne-Ardennes and Calais which are particularly lacking in evangelical congregations.
f) The island of Corsica. Birthplace of Napoleon, it is renowned for its violence. In the population of 260,000, there are 12 small groups with 250 evangelical believers.
Pray for a Move of God in all these parts of French society.
These unreached minorities need prayer:
a) The large Portuguese, Spanish and Italian communities are more receptive than in their native lands. They have generally not adapted well to French society, but there are few believers who evangelize them in their own languages. There are only seven Portuguese or Spanish congregations for over one million people.
b) The Jewish community, fourth largest in the world and the largest in Europe with 320,000 in Paris alone and a further 100,000 in Marseille. Eighteen workers in five missions labour among them (MT, GMU, CWI, JFJ and the French TMPI). There are about 600 believers among them and three known assemblies of Messianic Jews.
c) North Africans are almost entirely Muslim, few ever having heard the gospel. The majority live in large low-cost housing areas in larger cities. The growing hostility and racism of French ‘Christians’ have both antagonized them and provoked a strong, well-organized Muslim movement that complicates Christian outreach to them. Pray for French and international churches and agencies seeking to break down barriers through friendship evangelism, radio, film, BCCs and literature. Agencies involved: AWM, CCCI, WEC, SIM, SBC, UFM, IMI and IFES.
d) The Berbers form a large minority among the North Africans and possibly make up the majority of Algerians. Kabyle believers have been increasing in number and are active in reaching out to their own people in France and North Africa and producing videos, tapes, radio programmes and literature in Kabyle. The JESUS film on video is being used widely in various Berber languages.
e) Black Africans have come in large numbers as students, refugees and work-seekers from Muslim areas of Francophone Africa. There is little specific outreach to the Bambara, Wolof, Malinke, Soninke and others. Pray for effective church-planting strategies and the committed workers to implement them.
f) The large number of Indo-Chinese refugees of the 1970s and ’80s from France’s former colonies is gradually being absorbed into French life. A small minority have become active Christians – some integrated into French churches, others in their own ethnic churches mainly planted through the ministry of CMA. There are 11 Hmong-Lao groups, seven Chinese (one through COCM), three Cambodian and two Vietnamese congregations, but the few pastors and missionaries can hardly cover the many scattered communities.
g) The growing Turkish, Iranian and Afghan communities need to be evangelized.
11. French Guiana: The most responsive peoples are the Haitians, Antilleans, Hmong and Brazilians, and it is among these peoples that the AoG, Baptists, (SBC, CMA) and Brethren are growing.
Pray for men and women to be called into the ministry and for the young churches to mature in understanding and vision.
Pray for The least reached peoples:
a) The Amerindian tribes – never has any permanent work been established among the inland tribes, but Christians of these tribes in Suriname and Brazil have made evangelistic forays. Pray for the Arawak ,Wayana ,Palikur ,Oyapi and Emerillon.
b) The nominally Catholic Caribs .
c) The inland settlements of largely animistic Maron set up by escaped slaves.
d) The Chinese. There has been a small outreach by Suriname Chinese Christians.
e) The French and European communities linked with the space program – few are active Christians.
Fr. Polynesia: The evangelical witness is very small and largely confined to two Assemblies of God and some charismatic groups. About a third of Catholics are charismatic and are also influential. Evangelical agencies found elsewhere in the Anglophone Pacific have neglected the Francophone territories. In contrast two varieties of Mormonism have thrived for over 150 years in these islands. There is no Evangelical Fellowship – a great need.
Pray for an increased witness and the increased fellowship of agencies present in the area.
Pray for The less-evangelized: almost all adhere to a form of Christianity, but many are without a clear gospel witness:
a) The outer island groups are largely Catholic with little evangelical presence. The Marquesans, Mangarevans and Tuamotuans cannot easily understand the related Tahitian, and have little of the Bible in their languages.
b) The Chinese are 4% Protestant and 4% Catholic and largely secular.
c) The French community lives a life apart, having minimal contact with any church.
12. Gabon: The following Ministries of Help require intercession:
a) Bible translation has been a neglected ministry, and a comprehensive linguistic survey is required. There may be as many as 22 languages which need the Scriptures. CMA are working on New Testament translations in three languages. SIL entered Gabon in 1998 for translation ministry.
b) The JESUS film in French is shown widely, and is in production for 3 more languages. It has been a key tool for opening up ministry to unreached peoples in 1998-2001.
c) GRN has made recordings available in 25 languages.
d) Both national radio and TV are wide open avenues for evangelism and Bible teaching, but are neglected. Radio Evangile Gabon, is being planned by a coordinating committee of 5 denominational leaders. Pray for its swift and effective implementation.
e) Literature. Tens of thousands of tracts are being printed and shipped to Gabon, along with 400,000 copies of the Gospel of John. Pray they might be distributed to the right people and that those reading them would be challenged.
f) Bongolo Hospital ministers to both the physical and spiritual needs of the thousands who visit every year. Nearly 1,000 people every year are coming to Christ through the hospital’s work. Pray for continued grace in this area, and that all who visit would receive healing of body and soul.
13. The Gambia: Islam is dominant, yet the land remains open for the gospel. Little effort has ever been directed at reaching the Muslim majority and converts from Islam have been few – but their numbers are increasing. The Mandinka, made famous by Alex Haley’s book ‘Roots’, are a key people.
Pray for continued freedom to witness and for openness of heart for Muslims to receive the truth.
Islam is gradually gaining ground with the last few pockets of uncommitted animist peoples now becoming Muslim. Saudi Arabia has given much financial aid to the country with Islamic ‘strings’ attached. There is little Christian witness in the up-river towns and villages, though this is increasing.
Pray for significant numbers of Muslim families from all ethnic groups to be drawn to Christ, and thus reverse this trend.
Missionary work in the Gambia was pioneered by the Anglicans and Methodists. Much of their work was confined to the Aku (Creole-speaking descendants of freed slaves in Banjul). Catholics and Methodists have impacted the Jola and both have Manjako congregations. Many newer Nigerian, Ghanaian and Liberian ministries have begun, but most are working more amongst the nominally Christian groups and expatriates than the indigenous Muslim peoples.
Pray that all churches may see results among the Muslim majority.
14. Georgia: Pray for the spiritual needs of ethnic minorities.
Georgian believers are best placed to reach the ethnic minorities but need sensitivity and encouragement in doing so. There is some outreach to Muslims. Lack of resources and expectations of foreign funds hold back local initiatives. Pray for these believers and for a burden for these peoples:
a) Muslim Abkhazians and Ossetians who are a minority within their ethnic groups but need to be reached. The majority are Orthodox Christians. Both peoples have been embroiled with the Georgian government in bitter wars of secession. The New Testament is being translated for both peoples.
b) Jews. There is no known witness to them. They face a rising tide of anti-Semitism in a country which has historically been a haven for them.
c) The Chechens and Kish. Over 10,000 impoverished Chechens have taken refuge in the Pankisi Canyon in northeast Georgia where the related Kish live. The Russian military have made incursions and bombings in their attempts to quell the Chechen resistance. Pray that the limited aid programmes to assist these desperate people may be stepped up. Christian aid is being given to some by World Concern. There are no known Christians or churches.
d) Azerbaijanis who are Muslim. There are few Azeri Christians in Georgia.
e) The Muslim Mingrel (500,000) and Laz (2,000) peoples related to Georgians.
15.-17. Germany: The flood of immigrants, guest workers, international students and economic and political refugees since 1989 has overwhelmed the German administration and voluntary agencies. The economic woes of the former Communist countries has worsened the problem. There are many illegal immigrants and a highly-organized criminal network involved in promoting their entry from all over the world. The vast majority have never heard the gospel. There has been a violent backlash against this inflow – especially in the ex-GDR, and these foreigners have often become bitter and resentful over their mishandling.
Pray that opportunities to show love and concern and to share Christ may not be lost thereby.
Pray also for:
a) The AFA (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Ausländer), a fellowship of mission groups seeking to evangelize through a wide variety of ethnic ministries. A number of local congregations also seek to reach these groups.
b) Greater involvement in outreach by German Christians. Some German congregations are notable exceptions to this, but in the main, most missions outreach is by foreigners (US, Swiss and others). The response to this challenge for ministry to immigrants could determine the future health and size of Protestantism in Germany.
c) International students, who number over 60,000. SMD, YMCA and a number of local congregations have ministry to some.
d) Muslims, whose numbers have grown, largely through immigration and a high birth rate, to over 3 million from over 40 nations today. There are also about 12,000 ethnic German Muslims – mainly Germans who married Muslims. Islamic organizations have intensified their activities and there are now over 2,200 mosques or prayer houses.
e) Specific peoples for prayer:
i) Turks, with over 10 agencies seeking to reach them (including Orientdienst, WEC, OM, CBI). There are no more than 80 believers among them in all Western Europe.
ii) Kurds, with a consortium of agencies seeking to reach them and prepare Scriptures, radio programmes and Christian literature for them.
iii) Iranians, with several Christian groups and localized outreach attempts.
iv) North African Arabs and Berbers – little outreach.
v) Albanian and Bosnian Muslims from former Yugoslavia – no outreach.
vi) Southern Europeans – so many inadequately used opportunities among the nominally Catholic Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese and the Orthodox Greeks. Large areas in their homelands are devoid of an evangelical witness.
vii) Central Europeans – many nominally Orthodox Romanians, Bulgarians, Ukrainians and Catholics from Poland and the Baltic states need special ministry. The Mission for SE Europe gives out millions of pieces of Christian literature annually.
viii) Roma (Gypsies) from Central Europe – many have fled discrimination and persecution in Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, etc., and are destitute.
ix) Jews suffered severely in the Holocaust – 564,000 in 1925 became 27,000 in 1945. Their numbers rapidly increased in the 1990s with immigration from the FSU. There are now 100,000 and about 1,000 have come to faith in Messiah Jesus.
18.-19. Ghana: The mission’s vision of the Ghanaian church has grown, with agencies and workers increasing in numbers. Gradually the reluctance of more sophisticated southern Christians to go to the ‘backward’ north is being overcome.
There are a number of significant movements worthy of prayer:
a) Training for missions is given by CSC and Maranatha as well as Africa Christian Mission at their Amedzofe base.
b) Christian Outreach Fellowship with 24 missionaries has planted nearly 60 churches for other denominations among the Kasena, Mamprusi, Sisaala and Gonja in the Volta Region.v c) The Church of Pentecost has sent church planters to many countries in West Africa and in Europe.
Less evangelized sectors of society that need prayer:
a) The cities – which have grown by absorbing many ethnic groups. The 2.5 million northerners in southern cities easily turn to Islam; little has been done by Christians to reach them until recently.
Pray that both Ghanaian and expatriate workers may be used of God to increase the number of northern-language congregations in the southern cities.
b) Southern traditionalists are especially strong in the Volta Region and among the numerous Ewe people and their sea and river-fishing colonies all over Ghana. The 20,000 trokosi (women enslaved by fetish priests) gained international attention in the 1990s and pressure to end this wicked system has yielded fruit.
Pray for the liberation of all in bondage to the fetish system. The Ghanaian Volta Evangelistic Association has significant outreach in the area.
c) Islam has grown significantly through Muslim men marrying non-Muslim women, and through migration to cities. Now 63% of Muslims live in the non-Muslim southern seven provinces. Confrontations and violence between Muslims and Christians have escalated. A number of Muslim imams have turned to Christ – one factor provoking Muslim ire against Christians.
Pray for peace, a lessening of animosities and for the Lord Jesus to be so lifted up as to attract Muslims to Himself.
d) Abandoned, homeless street children have increased during Ghana’s economic stresses of recent years and now number over 45,000. Few have taken up the challenge to minister to them.
20. Gibraltar: The majority of the population is Catholic. There is a minority of other mainline denominations (Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist). The evangelical witness is small with only 4 English and Spanish-speaking congregations (Brethren, Filadelphia Pentecostal [Roma], charismatic). The scarcity of churches in nearby North Africa and southern Spain make Gibraltar’s Christians strategically placed for the gospel. Specific outreach challenges – to the 6 million tourists, the 7,000+ Moroccan workers (with one small Arabic-speaking fellowship), the Jewish community and the South Asian-origin Hindus.
Pray for revival and for God to inspire them with a new zeal for witnessing.
Greece: The Orthodox Church was a focal rallying point in the dark years of Turkish and German occupations. Orthodoxy became part of the Greek identity and made Greeks often xenophobic. All other expressions of Christianity are seen as a threat to the state and the culture. Greeks have a high regard for Orthodox institutions but are little involved in church activities. There is a godly, committed minority with a personal faith, but the great majority are in ignorance of the message of the gospel and are most unreceptive to any non-Orthodox witness.
ay for the breaking down of prejudice, blindness and fear and for biblical renewal in Orthodoxy.
Many Greeks have never heard a clear presentation of the gospel. More specifically, pray for:
a) The 150 islands. The majority of the Dodecanese, the Cyclades, the Ionian Islands and others are without evangelical congregations. Corfu and Crete are among the only exceptions. HM use their yacht The Morning Star for evangelizing these isolated communities.
b) University students. There is a strong work of CCCI and IFES among them in Thessaloniki and Athens, but most of the 270,000 students in tertiary education have little exposure to the gospel.
c) Albanians who have flooded into Greece during the 1990s seeking seasonal employment, many of them illegally. Involvement in smuggling and criminal activities means high numbers end up in prisons. Pray for more Christians to minister to this underclass in society.
d) Immigrant communities in the Athens area. There are several outreaches and small Christian groups among the Arabs, Ethiopians and others, but few of the present opportunities are fully used. Greece is a key base for ministry to the Arab world.
e) Indigenous ethnic minorities in the north. They are officially ignored, and their cultural identity denied – a reflection of centuries-old Balkan conflicts. Pray for a change in Greek attitudes and fears and for effective outreach to the Albanians and Vlach and to the Muslim Turks, Roma (Gypsies) and Bulgarian-speaking Pomaks.
f) The 200,000 drug addicts. Pan-Hellenic Mercy Mission and others have a year-round ministry to them.
21. Greenland: Only in the 1950s was an evangelical witness established. Through the ministry of Scan dinavian Pentecostal (6 workers) and Free Church (2) missionaries, and also Faeroese Brethren (5), and more recently, NTM (11). Churches have been planted, including 7 Pentecostal congregations. Travel conditions are harsh and the communities along the coasts isolated. There are still 60 settlements without an evangelical gospel witness.
Pray that these may have a chance to hear the gospel in the near future.
Only in the 1950s was an evangelical witness established. Through the ministry of Scandinavian Pentecostal (6 workers); Free Church missionaries (2), and also Faeroese Brethren (5), and more recently, NTM (11), churches have been planted, including 7 Pentecostal congregations. Travel conditions are harsh and the communities along the coasts isolated. There are still 60 settlements without an evangelical gospel witness.
Pray that these may have a chance to hear the gospel in the near future.
Grenada: Much of the population is nominally Catholic because of the earlier French legacy, but Evangelicals have steadily grown in numbers and influence since independence.
The major problems to be faced:
a) Lack of unity and suspicion between denominations which result in little cooperation in outreach and missions. Pray for a closer fellowship and common vision to increase.
b) Widespread nominalism even in evangelical congregations. The illegitimacy rate is 82% and there is little known of a stable two-parent family – in part a tragic legacy of the slave culture of earlier centuries.
Pray that Grenadian churches might begin to assume more responsibility and initiative in evangelism and church planting.
Missionary vision is lacking.
Pray for the YWAM team which is seeking to train and send out West Indian missionaries to unreached peoples elsewhere in the world.
21. Guadeloupe: Pray for the following areas and peoples less reached with the gospel:
a) The outlying dependencies are less evangelized – St Barthélemy, St Martin and Marie Galante. Several missionaries of the Association of Evangelical Churches work on these islands. Both the Evangelical Church and the Church of God have planted churches on St Martin.
b) Those of South Asian descent number over 12,000. Most have become nominally Catholic, while retaining many of their Hindu beliefs. Little direct outreach has been aimed at this community.
c) The French are largely from France, but serving in the military or civil service. Few show any spiritual interest.
Leadership training for the growing churches is provided locally through the Evangelical Church’s TEE programme with 200 students and the School of Discipleship in Guadeloupe.
Pray that Christian workers may be called for service at home and in the Francophone lands around the world.
Guam: The Prison Fellowship of Guam has developed a ministry to prisoners which is also penetrating the indigenous population in a significant way. It has fostered a cooperative unity among evangelical churches which is sadly lacking.
Pray for resources to develop adequate after-care programmes for those converted.
Christian radio: Both TWR and High Adventure Ministries have powerful broadcasting stations for reaching central, south and East Asia and Siberia. TWR’s station, KTWR, airs 264 hours of programmes in 21 languages each week. Over 80% of these hours are to China. TWR also broadcasts on KTWG in six Guamanian and Marianas languages.
Pray for this ministry and the 52 missionaries and staff engaged in it.
22. Guatemala: Pray for these less reached groups:
a) Amerindian peoples with fewer active believers – the Pocomam, Pocomchi, Ixil, Jacaltec, Chorti and Upsantec have shown less response to the gospel yet there are active, growing churches among them.
b) Garifuna (Black Carib) who are descendants of Africans and Carib Amerindians. The JESUS film has been dubbed in their language, and the whole Bible is in preparation.
c) The Chinese – there is only one small fellowship of believers known.
d) Students are a ripe field; both CCCI and GEU (IFES) have campus ministries. The GEU has a strong evangelistic ministry and also a weekly radio outreach.
e) Children in crisis – 27% of the under-5′s are underweight; there are 56,000 war orphans and over 5,000 street children in the capital. The latter have been severely traumatized and persecuted. Pray for local and international ministries seeking to help them.
23. Guinea: Guinea is one of the least evangelized countries in Black Africa. Despite the increase in missionary activity, most peoples are still a pioneer challenge, mostly Muslims with strong animistic elements. The three dominant peoples are all strongly Muslim. The believers from these groups are often unable to break free of their Muslim contexts to live openly as Christians. While the numbers of converts from these groups has grown to a steady trickle, much prayer is required before a major breakthrough is seen.
Pray for their courage and boldness.
Pray especially for the following groups:
a) Malinke. SIM have them as their primary focus in Guinea; radio ministry in the past has provided a solid foundation for evangelism. CMA and the EPEG also have an outreach to the Malinke. The first Malinke Church with a Malinke pastor has been planted, and other groups meet in villages.
b) Fulbe or Futa Jalon, who are strongly Muslim and known as the custodians of Islam throughout West Africa. Many groups are recognizing their great spiritual need and strategic role in the region. Through the work of CRWM, CMA, Calvary Ministries, WEC, SBC, AoG and the Swiss AME/Mission Philafricaine, there are a small but growing number of believers. It is hard for new believers to break free from the societal and spiritual bonds of Islam. Radio broadcasts, Bible portions, and mission workers all help to reach the Fulbe. In recent years, three Fulbe churches with 100 believers have been planted.
c) Susu. Apart from the eight rather nominal Anglican congregations on offshore islands and in Conakry, there are a few believers through the witness of CMA, Calvary Ministries, WEC, Open Bible Standard Mission, the Nigerian Shekinah Mission and the IMB-SBC. The CMA has established a Susu church in Conakry, and the city is targeted for a cell church movement. There are also Susu believers in the southern interior. Three new Susu churches have been planted in recent years with over 100 believers, but the breakthrough has yet to come.
24.Guinea-Bissau: The national church is strongest among the Balanta and Papel, then the Bijago and Manjako peoples. There are a small number of Christians among the other animist and Muslim peoples.
Pray that the national church might catch a mission’s vision, and receive the courage and gifts to be able to reach out to these groups with the gospel.
Pray for these unreached groups: a) The Muslim Fulbe and Mandingo. These are large dominant peoples in many West African countries with a rich history and much influence. They are largely responsible for bringing Islam to Guinea-Bissau; may they become so for the spread of the good news. The Mandingos tend to be more closed to the gospel than the Fulbe, so that while there are now some Fulbe fellowships in Bafata and the north east, there are only a handful of scattered Mandingo believers.
b) Smaller Muslim peoples. The Beafada, Susu, Nalu, Sarakole, Jakanka, Pajadinka and Badyara have had very little, if any, work concentrated on them using their language and culture.
Pray for ministry among them, and that fruit might be forthcoming.
c) Traditional religion peoples. Praise the Lord that there are Christians from amongst the Felupe, Bayote, Mankanya and Mansoanka.
Pray that these Christians might see their responsibility to reach out to their own.
Pray also for the gospel to reach the other small, and often overlooked, peoples.
25. Guyana: There is a vital, vibrant, growing evangelical witness and Evangelicals are found in all levels of society. Pentecostal, charismatic and evangelical denominations and fellowships have multiplied – notably the indigenous Full Gospel Fellowship, as well as the AoG and Baptists. Many of these have multi-racial congregations – the only bridge in a divided society.
Pray for all believers to demonstrate the power of the gospel in their unity, ethical rectitude and divine boldness.
The Amerindian peoples are largely Christianized and predominantly Catholic but many are now becoming Pentecostals through the ministry of AoG, Church of God and the Full Gospel Fellowship. The Wesleyan Church ministers among the Patamona and Akwaio, but results have been meagre. The UFM work in the south among the Waiwai, Macushi and Wapishana has resulted in a growing, missionary-minded church. The Scriptures are being translated in Wapishana and Machusi by UFM workers and in Arawak, Akwaio and Carib by SIL translators.
Pray for the development of mature churches and leadership that can retain their cultural identity and still survive the impact of modernity.
Drug-resistant malaria has become a serious problem
Pray for the protection of Christian workers and the people.
26. Haiti: The recent devastation caused by the earthquake has turned the attention of the world on this island. There has been an outpouring of aid and support from NGO’s, non-profits and mission agencies.
Pray that there will be a strong Christian witness present through the months of restorative work that has to take place.
Many Haitians have accepted Christ as their saviour and there has been spontaneous worship in the midst of the devastation.
Pray that strong churches will be raised up with leaders who will be able to disciple the new believers.
Pray for: The less reached:
a) The street children. Poverty has led to many living on the streets without a home. In 1998 there were reckoned to be 8,000 in the capital, but this number has grown since ‘Mitch’. These unfortunate children face being abused, exploited for sex (30% are HIV+) and most suffer from severe malnutrition.
i) The several agencies seeking to meet their physical and spiritual needs,
ii) Honduran churches to own this challenge, and
iii) The basic causes of poverty, injustice and moral breakdown to be addressed and mitigated.
b) The minority Arab and Chinese communities, among whom there is little specific outreach.
28.-29 Hungary: Suspicion, mistrust and division, legacies of Marxism, still affect attitudes and, more sadly, the Church. This has been particularly noticeable in tensions between the emerging and the traditional churches in Hungary.
Pray for a deep work of the Holy Spirit bringing repentance, reconciliation and renewal within and between all denominations.
Pray for acceptance, trust and unity to truly characterize the Church.
30. Iceland: The majority of Icelanders are only nominally Christian. As modern society drifts away from faith, the rates of suicide, substance abuse, and crime have all increased. Most Icelanders have had some involvement with New Age ideologies, the occult, and other such practices. Some of the more isolated areas are spiritual wastelands, with almost no active Christianity at all.
Ask the Lord to arrest this spiritual slide and awaken Icelanders to their spiritual needs.
The Lutheran and smaller, but similar, Free Churches are often compromised by liberal theology and practice; many are opposed to the preaching of the true gospel. A few pastors and congregations remain faithful, and in some cases congregations are growing.
Pray that they might prosper in the Lord.
Only a fraction of members actually attend church.
Pray for a surge of new vigor and fervor in the congregations, the leadership and the Theological Faculty where all pastors are trained.
31. India: The need for change in the Church has never been greater. Pray for:
i) Unity. The All India Christian Council was formed in 1998 to protect and serve Christians from all denominations. Over 2,000 denominations and associations are participating in the AICC. There is greater unity than ever known before, because of the more hostile national environment. The past has been characterized by a spirit of divisiveness.
Pray for this unity to mature and develop and to be made visible to the watching world. There also needs to be a greater cooperation and accountability between local churches and sending agencies.
ii) Indigeneity in music, worship and culture – for too long churches have appeared foreign.
iii) Greater reliance on cell/house churches of an Indian model than on Western-style buildings.
iv) More effective discipling of the many being touched or stirred by multiple evangelistic programmes.
Pray for a greater integrity of life, earnestness and commitment to the Lord among those evangelizing. v) More effective outreach through personal evangelism rather than mass rallies.
vi) More relevance to impact the mainstream of national life. The Church is seen to be linked to the marginalized, deprived sections of society. Business, politics, arts, culture, the middle and upper classes have been neglected.
I thank you for praying and believing that the whole earth will be filled with the Glory of God. Until next month,
Blessings,Lane M. Holland, M.Div.
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