Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pray for the Roma People

Week of Feb. 24 - March 2, 2014

Before we move forward with our prayer topics of the week, Zuzanna and I would like to express our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you praying for me during the past two months as I battled with my health. The diagnoses is a serious and chronic heart condition and we appreciate your continued prayers as we believe for a miracle in the form of a renewed heart.

The Roma are a distinct people group with a common language and history. Often referred to as Gypsies, the Roma are the largest minority group in Europe, with population estimated as high as 14 million. Numbers are difficult to determine because of a verity of reasons, some of which are that Roma are sometimes not counted in census statistics due to their nomadic lifestyle, yet other times for some reason the Roma do not indicate on censuses their Roma ethnicity.

The Romanians and the citizens of Rome complain about the word Roma being used but the term "Rom" means "people" in Romani, the mother language of the Roma.

Although the Roma never claimed to be Egyptians, the term "gypsy", which stems from "Egyptian", was given to the Roma by Europeans who thought that they originated from Egypt. The more popular theory is that the Roma originated from India.

Though this people group for so long has been considered the outcast of society, God has not forgotten them. Many Roma are coming to Jesus, not only in the Balkans but in other parts of Europe. 

Recently, European Initiative conducted its 6th annual outreach to the Roma in the Transylvanian region of Romania. We worked with four Roma communities in Romania, where we distributed bags of groceries,coats and boots. We shared the gospel in homes, where many came to the saving knowledge of Christ, and the local Roma churches were strengthened. Here is a 3 minute video of the outreach http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90xR4kpN7as&feature=c4-overview&list=UU7XcSP0N1IM_rT32JfDTjyg

1. Thank You Lord for bringing many Roma to salvation. Truly, You desire that none perish. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
2. Whether they become part of established churches or they gravitate to their own culturally distinct churches, let us pray that above all they will be cared for by loving pastors.
3. Let us rejoice in the beneficial things built into their culture that can be of redemptive value. Tight family units, tribal, honor given to patriarchal leadership, and culturally connected throughout every country. 
4. In their tribal communities when one gets saved many times others easily follow. Lord, we ask for deep and true conversions and not just religious acts to satisfy others.
5. Lord, we ask that You speak directly to family and tribal patriarchs. Because of the respect afforded the elder male, many in the family will come to faith in You. Lord, send your word from family to family and from nation to nation. Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, Your God reigns!
6. With many Roma coming to know Jesus in the past few years, and many churches springing up, there is a need for scriptural teaching and the operation of the five-fold ministry. Lord raise up more Bible schools throughout the Balkans to train those that are called to evangelize, pastor, and teach the Roma people. May the present Bible schools embrace the Roma in their countries. Pray for the Lighthouse of Life congregation in Zagreb, Croatia who has recently begun a mini Bible school in a Roma village they work in, training up future leaders in the Roman community.

The Roma culture needs full transformation. Their primitive and often pagan lifestyle brings with it deep challenges, from hygiene to education to incest and many others issues. This is a people group in need of   workers who are willing to lay down their lives for the transformation of the Roma people.

1. Lord, we ask that you bring to the surface the leaders in each community that You select and who will have open hearts to be instrumental in bringing change to their communities. 
2. We pray for Your strategies to be deposited into organizations like Buckner Romania, who are laying down their lives for the Roma. 
3. We thank you for entrepreneurial investors like the Elias Reyes model in Subotica, Serbia, which helps Christian Roma with small businesses. Lord, release more such creative ideas into the Body of Christ aimed at helping this people group.
4. We pray for the release of many funds that are needed to bring training and education along with the Gospel.
5. There are many Roma churches outside of the Balkans that are mature in the faith; May they be senders of missionaries to the struggling Balkan churches.

"And I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' And they will say, 'You are my God!'" Hosea 2:23 (NIV)

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Monday, February 17, 2014


In publishing the Prayer Directives for the nations in the Balkans at this time we will pause for an urgent prayer need. This week, we would like to take time and ask you to pray for myself and my wife. Shortly after moving to Croatia I developed pneumonia. After going to three doctors, two emergency rooms and three sets of antibiotic we see minimal improvement and then a relapse. Tomorrow I am scheduled to see another doctor in another hospital. I am not only under attack physically but mentally and spiritually also. We know that according to Ephesians 6:12 we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in the heavenly realm.

Please pray for me and Zuzanna who is doing her best to care for me and carry the wait of the ministry as well. After nearly two months, my faith has reached a low point. We very much appreciate your prayers and any words of encouragement.

Jerry and Zuzanna Low

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pray for Turkey

Week of Feb. 10-16, 2014

Just a little south of the present Turkish border, in the first century there lay the city of Antioch.  There was a strong church in this city, which was used as a launching base to reach the gentiles. We read in the book of Acts how the apostles went out from Antioch into Asia Minor and the Greek cities preaching the Gospel. Turkey was then called Asia Minor and the people there were very open to the Good News. In Asia Minor strong churches arose, so important that Jesus spoke directly to them in Revelations. These churches are credited with launching evangelistic campaigns that influenced the Greek speaking world and eventually spread the Gospel across the Balkans and throughout Europe.

In the 11th to 15th centuries, the Oghuz Turks who embraced Islam and were from central Asia, pushed the old Christian cultures out of Asia Minor.  Asia Minor (Turkey) has been predominantly Muslim ever since.

You may ask why pray for Turkey, it is not part of the Balkans? European Turkey is on the Balkan Peninsula. Lying on the northwest side of the Sea of Marmara and the Bosporus Straight, European Turkey is only 5% of the Turkish land mass. The fact is that the country of Turkey, especially in the recent past, embodied by the Ottoman Empire, has had a deep and lasting effect on the Balkans. The Ottoman Empire occupied most of the Balkans for 500 years as the Turks pursued a policy to conquer Christian Europe.

When praying for the Balkans we must recognize these two major world changing events that originated out of Turkey. 1) Today’s western world was first evangelized by Christians from then Asia Minor. 2) and the Ottoman Turks occupied the Balkans for 500 years.
Turkey as a whole needs the Gospel again.

1) Turkey is 97% Muslim. Let us simply ask the Lord to change that number. Pray that the Muslims in Turkey would open their eyes to the Gospel.
2) How can a lifeless religion last this long. Let us ask the Lord to break into their lives with the message of everlasting life. Lord, put a hunger in their hearts to seek truth.
3) I believe the Turks will be evangelized from within. Although it is kept silent for fear of reprisal, there are many prayer groups meeting in homes. Lord, bless these houses of prayer; protect them from informers as they meet to pray.
4) These houses of prayer serve as change agents, moving undercover through the culture. Let us ask for an open heaven over them to empower them to do the works of Jesus.
5) There are many reports of Muslims receiving dreams of Jesus as the savior. As prayer goes forth from these houses of prayer, God is changing the atmosphere. Let us ask the armies of heaven to take dominion once again.
6) The most encouraging news out of Turkey is a website and Chat-room run by Turkish World Outreach. The Christian workers who oversee the outreach say there are about 3,500 visitors every week and an average of eight conversions every month. Pray that all of these converts will be gathered into vibrant local churches.

I have mentioned Turkish World Outreach before but I want to remind everyone of their work. Their mission statement is “Our mission at Turkish World Outreach is to work until the Turkic peoples become a force as strong for the spread of the gospel as they have been for the spread of Islam.” Read of their work at http://www.two-fot.org/. 

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Monday, February 03, 2014

Pray for Slovenia

Week of Jan. 3-9, 2014

It has been a long time since I have driven through Slovenia but I still remember the rolling hills, the thick forest and the tall peeks in the distance. Then there are all the pictures of haystacks in the open fields and mountain streams that flow through astonishing beautiful valleys. Looking at this beauty you can’t help but realize how great our Creator God is.

Romans 1: 20-22 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.

Do Slovenes look at the beauty around them and give God His due honor?

Operation World reports a serious apathy among Slovenes. http://www.operationworld.org/country/slvn/owtext.html
A long history of Catholic tradition is under threat. The three main Christian groups (Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran) are lacking in spiritual vitality. They are rapidly declining into irrelevance while agnosticism, New Age and different forms of Eastern religious beliefs are increasing, as is general spiritual apathy, even among those who notionally believe in God.

1)    One of the most visible attributes of God is His creation. We can worship Him in a greater measure when we appreciate the wisdom displayed in what He spoke into existence.  May the Slovene people look to the hills and see His greatness.
2)    Pray for an awakening in the mainline churches which will draw the many nominal Christians into personal faith in Christ.
3)    Evangelical churches are few, underfunded and in disunity. Let us pray first for unity among the Christians in Slovenia. It is time to put away personal ambitions and seek to honor every Christian’s contribution. Let us pray these verses over Slovenia: John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Operation World also reports: Of the few dozen fellowships, almost none are self-funding; most pastors rely on secular employment or external financial support, and there is little teaching in churches on stewardship and giving.

4)    Let us pray that Slovene Christians will bring not only the tithe, but offerings over and above the tithe, to the church and give with hearts of joy.
5)    Let us pray for evangelist church planters. Lord, raise up Christians that have a passion for the lost and will do what it takes to touch individuals and communities.
6)    Slovenes need to take serious their responsibility to support their pastors and give toward evangelizing the country. Let us believe that churches will expand and not withdraw.
7)    Let us pray for Slovene Christians to get a firm understanding of their rightful inheritance. Because they are children of God they should walk proudly into the marketplace as over-comers.
8)    We pray that boldness, assurance and steadfastness would rise up in the Christians; not letting the enemy steal their joy.
9)    Pray for financial blessings for the Slovene Christians. The Father desires to release creativity through us. He desires for us to study His ways and use His wisdom in the market-place. Lord, we ask that You would give Your people creative ideas, inventions and business concepts so they may have honor and success. Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

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