Monday, March 24, 2014

Pray for Croatia

Week of March 24-30, 2014

This is the third month for Zuzanna and me living in Croatia, interacting with pastors, church workers and the Croatian people. We are beginning to understand the needs, hindrances and church conditions of this unique nation.

⦁    Most Croatians are Catholic  –  over 90% - they follow the traditions and beliefs of the Catholic Church and most often there is no real dedication to righteousness
⦁    Very few evangelical churches – less than 0.5% – most villages  and small towns do not have an evangelical church at all
⦁    According to some pastors, even among the evangelicals there is a lack of righteousness – they love to come to church, worship, listen to preaching and even get prayed for but live secular lives the rest of the week
⦁    We found a few groups here in Zagreb who are sold out to Him and live the gospel. They present hope for this city. We look forward to finding more such groups throughout the country
⦁    There is very little evangelism outside the churches in Croatia
⦁    There are a few churches reaching out to the Roma (Gypsies) - the Roma are very open to the Gospel. Though this is hard work, those who are reaching out to the Roma, are seeing real fruit
⦁    There is a “silent protest” by the Catholics against abortion that is being conducted in front of hospitals which perform abortions. They call it “40 days of Life”. This is being carried out during the days of Lent. This cannot be ignored by the media or the public due to its length.
⦁    God is on the move – a number of foreign missionaries have moved to Croatia in recent years, and especially this past year – they are passionate about evangelism and are stirring up the local Christians
⦁    Here is a real positive thing happening in Croatia, the churches are taking steps toward unity. This is significant as the Balkans is filled with disunity and constant church splits over nominal issues
⦁    A major victory for Evangelicals recently - the government granted full equality of religious freedom – equal rights to all religious groups

We love living in this country! We are making new friends weekly and we have seen God’s hand in opening doors to networking. Here at European Initiative Balkans (EIB), we are busy planning several outreaches in the city squares and malls of Zagreb, the capital. We are partnering with 10 churches who will actively take part in sharing the gospel.

Lets Pray:
1)    Thank the Lord for the Croatian Catholics and their concerns for the unborn. Let us pray that government officials would take up their cause and pass legislation to stop abortion.
2)    Thank the Lord for more missionaries coming to Croatia. Pray they will focus on stirring up the Croatian Christians to pray for and evangelize their country.
3)    Let us thank the Lord for religious equality being accepted by the Croatian government. Let us honor Pastor Mario Ducic and the activism he lead that brought about these results.
4)    May the evangelical churches now be active through acts of kindness to change the minds of the population that often times still considers all non-Catholics a cult. Also, pray for the media, may they align with this government edict and stop slandering non-Catholics.
5)    Pray that true intercession would be stirred up for the country.  There are some churches who conduct special times of prayer but it seems orchestrated and not Holy Spirit led.
6)    Pray that a full time house of prayer would arise here in Zagreb, Croatia. Pray that those called by the Lord to intercede would join together t to pray.
7)    Please pray for us at EIB as we organize outreaches in Croatia. Pray for deepened cooperation among the churches, favor with government agencies and open hearts by the Croatian people.
8)    Let us also pray for a team from Bethel Church in Redding, California who is ministering in Zagreb this week. May the Lord touch many as they witness on the streets and hold a faith building seminar.

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

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pray for Bulgaria

Week of March 17-23, 2014

Elections for Metropolitan Bishop to be held in Bulgaria’s Ruse

 First round of the elections for Metropolitan Bishop will be held on Sunday, March 16 in the city of Ruse, the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church announced. Two out of nine Bishops will be elected by voters in the Eparchy of Ruse.

The Holy Synod is to hold a sitting on March 22 and if it deems the results of the vote valid, the second round of the elections will take place on March 23.

NOTE: The supreme clerical, judicial and administrative power for the whole domain of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church is exercised by the Holy Synod, which includes the Patriarch and the diocesan prelates, who are called metropolitans. Church life in the parishes is guided by the parish priests, numbering some 1,500. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church also has some 120 monasteries in Bulgaria, with about 2000 monks and nearly as many nuns.

Bulgaria without Censorship inks coalition agreement
Sofia. Bulgaria without Censorship party inked an official coalition agreement with the IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement (IMRO – BNM) and the Agrarian People’s Union, the press centre of Bulgaria without Censorship announced.

Bulgaria without Censorship’s leader Nikolay Barekov, Krasimir Karakachanov, leader of the IMRO – BNM, and MP Rumen Yonchev, who last month left the parliamentary group of the mandate-holder Coalition for Bulgaria to become an independent MP, and who is also a leader of the Agrarian People’s Union, attended the ceremony at which the document was inked.

The coalition was officially announced after the three formations held negotiations over several months. They were joined around the principle of equality, the fight against the political status quo in the country and by the desire to achieve a way of governing it so that issues faced by Bulgarian people are resolved.

Nikolay Barekov said there was no such an agreement in the history of Bulgarian politics, in which a citizen’s movement, grown into a party [his party] along with the two of the country’s oldest formations wanted the whole power and responsibility for the way Bulgaria is governed.

1)    The Bulgaria Orthodox Church (BOC) claims some 6.5 million members in the Republic of 1)    Bulgaria and between 1.5 and 2.0 million in other countries. Let us pray for this large Orthodox Church.
2)    Most Protestants and Non-denominationals believe the Orthodox churches are weak in doctrine and have no strategy for evangelism. Let us pray for a genuine love of Jesus to move through these churches.
3)     The Patriarch of the BOC does not have power over the church like the Pope does in the Catholic Church, but does have influence. Let us pray for His Holiness Neophyte, the Patriarch of Bulgaria and Metropolitan of Sofia. We are seeing the Pope in Rome reach out to other evangelicals may we see the Patriarch do the same.
4)    Unity is so needed throughout Christendom, pray that Body of Christ can unite in Bulgaria and in the Balkans around Jesus and who He is.
5)    This new political party, Bulgaria without Censorship Party, in Bulgaria at this junction sounds encouraging. They are challenging the other parties to own up to corruption in their ranks. Continue to pray for this positive move in Bulgarian politics.
6)    Pray for Bulgarian Ex-Journalist Nikolay Barekov who is boldly stepping out to lead this attack on corruption in Bulgaria. Not only that laws be passed to protect the innocent and punish evil, but that righteousness spring forth.
7)    Let us pray for a changing of the guard in Bulgaria. Let righteous men and women take their place in guiding the nation.

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

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pray for Bosnia Herzegovina

Week of March 10-16, 2014

Recent News:
Men make up nearly 90 percent of the missing in the armed conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s, which left women and children to fight the difficult consequences alone and they are frequently threatened so that the truth about those missing or killed is not found out, the International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP) said.

More than 30,000 people are believed to have gone missing in the 1990s armed conflicts and the latest statistics from the Missing Persons Institute and the ICMP show that men account for 87 per cent.
Some of the women left behind were victims of sexual violence and they were displaced from their homes, the ICMP said.

Despite the personal setbacks, many of those women have assumed the leading role in the non-governmental sector and are successfully fighting to solve the issue of the war missing in Bosnia and raise public awareness of this issue. More than 70% of those gone missing during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia have been found but the missing continue to be one of the biggest human rights problems in the country, the ICMP said.

In the News: Bosnia's worker to pensioner ratio a mere 1.13 to 1

The ratio of workers to pensioners, known as the support (or dependency) ratio, is worst in Bosnia and Herzegovina when compared to other countries in the area of former Yugoslavia, the Sarajevo-based Dnevni Avaz reported on Wednesday.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, on average there are only 1.13 workers per each pensioner. Croatia follows with a ratio of 1.23 workers per each pensioner. In Slovenia, 1.27 workers work for one pensioner, Serbia's ratio is 1.46 to 1, and Macedonia fares best with a ratio of 1.76 to 1.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's authorities are concerned by an increase in the number of pension recipients while the number of workers, that is, pension contribution payers, keeps falling.

"The ratio is bad. Since the onset of the economic crisis, we have been recording a drastic deterioration," said Tihomir Joksimovic, the spokesman for the pension insurance fund in the Bosnian Serb entity, "Republika Srpska".
The average monthly pension is slightly over EUR 150 ($208) in that country.

1)    Lord Jesus, please extend grace to the people of Bosnia Herzegovina and a season of relief come to that land.
2)    We pray that the country would stabilize. May a national pride arise, which disregards ethnicity for the common good of the country. We pray for a day when the Bosnian Muslims, the Serbs and the Croats can walk together in peace. Let us pray against ethnic divisions, especially where demons of revenge and rage torment people’s thoughts.
3)    Lord, help the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina heal from the effects of the war. Lord, bring a massive revival to this needy land. The emotional effects of war can only be healed by a sovereign move of God. Let our intercession be deep and heartfelt as we ask the Lord to initiate a His plan from heaven.
4)    This is a time when the men of Bosnia and Herzegovina especially need our prayers. With a lack of men leading families women have to function in dual roles. Lord, give the women strength as they carry on to keep families together.
5)    Let us pray for the equipping of ministries, with empathy, to go unto the people of Bosnia Herzegovina with a gentle spirit that releasing healing from heaven.
6)    Productivity is very poor in BH. Let us pray for laws to be enacted that release the entrepreneurial spirit in the country to counter act this negative worker to pensioner ratio. Let us pray for ethical practices between business and government.

Please Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed

Monday, March 03, 2014

Pray for Albania

Week of March 3-9, 2014

In praying for Albania I was led to look for heroes. I found two whose stories intrigued me. One is Ded Coku, an Albanian freedom fighter and the other Aubrey Herbert, an Englishman who loved Albania and represented her in many world courts.

Mr. Zef Coku [Ded Coku’s son] said recently through a translator. ''My father cried out before he died, 'Long life to Albania,' and he made the sign of the cross. But in the end, the Communists had their way.''

Let us take inspiration from a fallen hero of Albania, Ded Coku. He was executed when the communist took over in 1945.

Impeccably aristocratic and eccentric in a uniquely English tradition, Aubrey Herbert was at first sight an incongruous champion of Albanian nationalism, to say the least. Tall, slender and slightly stooped, with a mustache and heavily lidded eyes, within England - let alone abroad - he cut a colorful figure. But Herbert was also an acclaimed linguist, intrepid traveler and an outspoken and independent thinker, who became enthralled by the Balkans on his first visit to the region in 1904 as honorary attaché at the British Embassy in Constantinople. From that time until his death in 1923, he was unrelenting in campaigning for the Albanian cause. He returned frequently to the country and gained respect as an expert on the region. 

Aubrey Herbert was twice offered the throne of Albania. On the first occasion, just before World War I, …the second occasion the crown was offered was after the defeat of the Italian Army by the Albanians in September 1920. Again the offer was unofficial, though it was made on behalf of the Albanian government. The National Library of Albania in Tirana was once named after Herbert, as was a village in the country.

1)    Let us pray blessings upon Albania, a country greatly misunderstood but greatly loved by the Lord. Because Abraham is a blessing to all nations let us pray the Abrahamic blessing. 1)    Genesis 12:2  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.
2)    Let us pray for heroes to emerge who will give themselves like Ded Coku did for Albania. Christian or secular may they work toward the good of Albania.
3)    May those who have been influenced by a Biblical worldview rise to the top of every institution in Albanian society. Lord, release in Christians a sense of duty and service to country.
4)    May the churches rise up and touch the social fabric of Albania. Give the pastors vision and strategies to communicate the gospel to the population.
5)    Let us pray for friends of Albania. People like Aubrey Herbert that went beyond the call of duty to see that justice was extended to Albania. May foreigners of influence be sympathetic toward Albania.
6)    Lord, I ask You to put Albania on the hearts of Your church throughout the world. Not only that the saints would pray but they would go or send others. Just as Paul (Ro. 15:19) went to Albania (Illyricum) 2,000 years ago, may others hear the call today.
7)    Investment is coming into the country, although slowly. Let us pray that these assets would not only be invested wisely but that productivity in the country would rise.

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