Monday, December 23, 2013

Pray for Kosovo

Week of Dec. 23-29,2013

I thought the following observations on Kosovo were helpful to guide our prayers this week. Please read our Personal Prayer needs at the end.

Toward Sustained Rates of Dynamic Growth in Kosovo
Jan-Peter Olters, Country Manager for Kosovo [for the World Bank] OPINION

[Kosovo] …its current economic model is unsustainable, largely because the principal engines of growth thus far—foreign aid, large public investments, and remittances from the (generally successful) diaspora—will not suffice to maintain Kosovo’s recent growth performance, let alone to generate catch-up growth rates sufficiently dynamic to close (over a reasonable period of time) the income gap with other countries in the EU.

…obstacles for the private sector to start and operate a business tend to remain higher than those in southeastern Europe or the new EU member states. As of yet unaddressed bottlenecks in public infrastructure, state institutions, and (the implementation and uniform enforcement of) laws have affected detrimentally private-sector productivity.

“Fast, sustained growth does not happen spontaneously,” the Growth Commission warned. “It requires a long-term commitment by a country’s political leaders, a commitment pursued with patience, perseverance, and pragmatism.”  

1) Let us pray for patience, perseverance and pragmatism for the economy and social structures of Kosovo.
2) Kosovo declared its independence in 2008. Pray that all government institutions will come together to ensure peace for the people.

Report from Transform Europe Now:
[Kosovo] It is a country that is still in transition socially, politically and religiously. Throughout the country, Christians find themselves persecuted as both a religious minority and cultural aggressor.
Our partners are involved in leading and building churches, caring for the poor, national outreach initiatives and distributing emergency relief. For a more comprehensive look at Kosovo and the work Transform Europe Now and our partners are involved with please download the attached pdf.

There are only 23 churches in the whole country of Kosovo, and where one church stands alone in a town, the believers can feel isolated. Outreach events provide a feeling of unity and shared vision for believers, as well as spreading the good news of Jesus with neighbors and friends.

The International Red Cross reports that 44% of the population lives in poverty, whilst a further 14% live in extreme poverty. We partner with a church in Pristina, the capital city, and provide funds for them to buy and distribute food, firewood for the winter, and other aid items.

3) Let us hold up the arms of Transform Europe Now as they channel resources to the struggling churches in Kosovo. May many across the world that can give, freely give into these churches.
4) Let us pray for all the Christians in Kosovo. May they be strengthened as they live their lives in the mist of so many unbelievers that can be aggressive at times.
5) Especially pray for those believers that have Muslim families. May the joy of the Lord rest upon them and reassure their hearts.
6) Let us pray that the Evangelical churches will have recognition and peace from the government.

Personal Prayer needed: 
1. Pray for Zuzanna, her 92 year old mother passed away Saturday Dec. 22nd. Zuzanna had went ahead to spend Christmas with her mother and family in Serbia. We thank the Lord that Zuzanna was able to spend the last days with her mother before she passed. The funeral is set for Dec. 28th in Subotica, Serbia. Pray for the Balint family.
2. Because of some complications I was not able to fly out with Zuzanna on the 13th and I will be flying out on the 28th of December.
3. Pray for us as we make this transition to living and working out of Croatia. This winter and spring will be an important time of building relationships.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pray for Greece

Week of Dec. 16-22, 2013

In the NEWS: ECB's Weidmann urges Greece to stick to painful reforms - paper
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece must stick to painful reforms that are yielding results to make its economy competitive and help it exit its economic crisis, the head of the German central bank told Sunday's Kathimerini newspaper.

Greece is in the midst of talks with chief inspectors from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund who are conducting a bailout performance review before the remaining funding is released.

The review has been interrupted twice since September due to the reluctance of Greece's fragile, austerity-weary coalition government to adopt any more unpopular measures to satisfy its lenders.

Successive governments have imposed higher taxes, wage cuts and redundancies in the public sector and cuts to pensions, leaving an economy that has shrunk by a quarter after a six-year depression, with more than one in four Greeks unemployed.

"Greece is going through fundamental changes with huge pain for its people. But the pursued policy is already showing signs the macroeconomic situation is improving," Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann told the paper in an interview.

Prayers for Greece in the Past:
1. 7/18/11 - I know we are always praying for Greece’s financial situation, but that seems to be their national problem now. We need to pray that the Greeks will learn their lesson and not create huge entitlements in the future. They have promised more than they can afford. Luke 14:28
For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—
2. 3/18/13 - Let us pray for the return of the former glory of Greece. Let us pray that Greece would be repositioned to the place of taking Goodness/Good News to the world again.
3. 7/13/09 - Let us do warfare for Greece. Although it may not be seen in the natural, but Greece is the spiritual gateway to Europe. Let us join together in pulling down strong-holds over Greece.

Isaiah 66:3b-4
Just as they have chosen their own ways,
And their soul delights in their abominations,
So will I choose their delusions,
And bring their fears on them;
Because, when I called, no one answered,
When I spoke they did not hear;
But they did evil before My eyes,
And chose that in which I do not delight.

1. Let us be thankful to the Lord for the signs of recovery.
2. Because of Greece’s miss-management of government expenditures they have put on a diet. The Greeks had an economic delusion and the payday has come. Let us pray that Greeks will face their fears with patience and seek wisdom.
3. Outside entities like the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund have had to come in to rescue the broken economy. The bible says “a debtor is slave to the lender”. Let us pray that Greeks will rise up to recover their country.
4. Let us pray for a complete change in the government bureaucracy and the revamping of spending policies.
5. Let us pray for policies that give hope to the people and guide them into responsibility and productivity.
6. Greece needs intercessors. Nehemiah 1:4 “And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, Let us pray God would raise up men and women to stand in the gap for Greece.
7. Greece needs some good men like Nehemiah and Zerubbabel that can inspire and organize the rebuilding of sound walls to hold up the nation.

8. As you pray for Greece you can read and meditate on the following scriptures from Nehemiah.
Nehemiah 12:
44)   And at the same time some were appointed over the rooms of the storehouse for the offerings, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions specified by the Law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who ministered.
45)   Both the singers and the gatekeepers kept the charge of their God and the charge of the purification, according to the command of David and Solomon his son.
46)   For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chiefs of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.
47)   In the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah all Israel gave the portions for the singers and the gatekeepers, a portion for each day. They also consecrated holy things for the Levites, and the Levites consecrated them for the children of Aaron.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you prayed.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Pray for Croatia

Week of Dec. 9 -15, 2013

It is interesting that as we pray for the Balkan countries in alphabetical order, Croatia is this week’s prayer focus; the very week Zuzanna and I are moving there. I like the way the Lord coordinates His divine plans.

If you will kindly focus your prayers on us this week we will be so grateful.

1) Our intention is to move to the Balkans for the rest of our lives. Having a deep burden for the Balkans, this is a fulfillment of prayers and dreams. We love our family and friends in Texas and the USA, but God and our church has commissioned us to go. We go with much joy in our hearts. Pray for us as we go.
2) We fly out Friday, Dec. 13th at 12:15pm on US Airways to Charlotte, NC and from there on to Croatia. Pray for good weather so our flights arrive and leave on time and
connections are smooth.
3) This week will be very intense with many last minute details. There is so much that needs to fall into place before Friday morning. Pray with us as we finish packing, put things in storage, disconnect utilities, say goodbye to loved ones, etc.
4) We know the enemy wants to throw up road blocks. Pray we will maintain a confidence, have divine grace and most of all see the enemy defeated.
5) We will live in Zagreb, Croatia where the Lord has prepared an apartment for us. There have been many confirmations that Zagreb is the place for us in the coming season. Pray for us as we arrive and set up a home and a ministry base.
6) Pray for European Initiative, the mission organization which we will be serving with, as they launch us out to be harvesters in the Balkan countries and pray for us as we set up the second missions base for European Initiative. Learn more about EI at
7) Of course pray for our funding. We go from routine monthly checks to living by faith. We have spent a year sharing the vision, fund-raising and developing partners. Pray that our Partners will be abundantly blessed. Many more funds are needed in order to set up the ministry base and fulfill the task that the Lord called us to. This is a definite step of faith for us, but with God’s confirmation of the timing, we move full speed ahead and believe for the rest of our funds to come in.
8) As of right now we will not have a vehicle. Please pray that the Lord would provide the funds for one quickly.

Thank you so much for praying with us for the Balkans. We started systematically praying for the Balkans five years ago. We are confident that that intercession will translate into an abundant harvest. Already we have seen much fruit in the yearly January outreaches to Romania. Also there have been many reports of change from missionaries and native workers/pastors over these years. Your prayers have

changed and continue to change the spiritual atmosphere of the Balkan countries. So it is with great anticipation we take this step of faith, knowing the Lord has gone before us. Your prayers are the platform we stand on.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Pray for Bulgaria

Week of Dec. 2-8, 2013

In the News: Squalid camps and bleak prospects greet Syrians at EU's door

Over 11,100 refugees, most of them Syrians, have entered Bulgaria illegally this year, crossing the porous 274-kilometre (170-mile) border with Turkey.

That may be a drop in the ocean compared to the two million refugees sheltering in Syria's neighbouring countries, but they are overwhelming the European Union's poorest nation.

Bulgaria's three refugee facilities were quickly overfilled. Authorities hastily opened four more shelters in dilapidated former schools or deserted army camps, like the one in Harmanli, where 1,254 Syrian and Afghan refugees are registered.

On an AFP visit of the Harmanli camp, thick black smoke from improvised stoves filled the area, as children waded barefoot in freezing puddles and their mothers cooked on open fires outside rows of khaki tents and metal containers.

Coughing could be heard everywhere. Many complained about not being able to get simple medicine or proper treatment for chronic illnesses.

The camp's inhabitants are not allowed to leave except to buy food, which is not provided by the cash-strapped Bulgarian government. They are given no money either, forking out whatever they still have to pay for bread and potatoes, the cheapest foods available.  

Over the past year, with the rebel insurgents in Syria, I have heard reports of many Christians having to leave Syria because of persecution. I have not been able to confirm if these refugees in Bulgaria are Christians but either way I am moved by their story.

1)      There are many things to pray for concerning Bulgaria but let us pray for these refugees from Syria.
2)      May the Christians among the refugees be visited with special grace as they endure these hard times. Let us pray that their distress would be changed to hope and their hope changed to physical relief.
3)      Let us pray that the Bulgarian Christians would be moved by the needs of these refugees and take the opportunity to minister Jesus’ love with humanitarian aid.
4)      Not only Bulgarian Christians, but let’s pray that Christians worldwide would get involved to help these displaced Syrians.
5)      Recently the European Commission allocated EUR 5.6 million to Bulgaria to help with the refugee problem. Let us pray this money will be handled by honest people that are dedicated to truly helping the suffering in the camps. Let’s pray that there would be adequate rations of food and medicine.
6)      As we have prayed for many Balkan countries, let us pray for unity and acceptance among ethnic groups in Bulgaria, let us pray for an end to hatred.
7)      We want to pray for the Christians to set the example of acceptance. Let us pray for those Bulgarian churches that exclude Gypsies, Turks, etc. Lord, speak to them about how we are to be all things to all people.

1 Corinthians 9:19-22  For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;  and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;  to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;  to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.