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.

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