Monday, April 28, 2014

Week of April 28 - May 4, 2014

FYR Macedonia is investing nearly 2 million euros for Roma education

(FYR) Macedonia is investing nearly 2 million euros to build and equip the first Roma high school in Suto Orizari in Skopje, where 30,000 Roma live.

Officials said more than 2,000 Roma children are expected to enroll in the high school in September.
“We expect the structure to be finished [this] month and the high school will be fully functional for the upcoming academic year,” said Spiro Ristovski, education and science minister of (FYR) Macedonia.
Read More

Prayer points:
1) At European Initiative we are always excited to hear about good news for the Roma. We are thankful to the Lord for the favor being shown to the Roma in Macedonia. We believe that our prayers about past ethnic tensions in Macedonia are being answered. God is at work.
2) Let us now pray that these funds will be administered by honest men and women. No amount will fall into corrupt hands and be diverted from benefitting the Roma.
3) Let us even pray that compassionate Christian teachers and administrators will be hired for this new school.
4) We pray for the whole of Macedonia, that Christians would go into the educational field. Lord, raise up teachers that will bring the Christian worldview to the classrooms of Macedonia,

I was talking with a Christian from Macedonia the other day about the spiritual atmosphere of his country. He informed me that Macedonian Christians are in disunity, much like the rest of the Balkans. He said that there was a small revival in the late 90s that brought much joy. There was many churches that formed from the revival but it was because of division not multiplication.

5) Let us ask the Lord how to come against this spirit of division over Macedonia and the Balkans. Lord, we beseech You on the behalf of Your bride in Macedonia. To break the power of this spirit that causes disunity.
6) Let us pray for a move of humility and forgiveness in the Macedonian churches.
7) Lord, we ask for a culture of honor to be released into the Christians of Macedonia
Romans 12:9-11 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;

8) Please join with me and declare with boldness, “Macedonia will be a Sheep nation before God’s throne!”

EI Ministry prayer need: This week (Mon & Tue, April 28-19) there is an outreach in Zagreb, Croatia. Please pray that the Lord will use the Christian ballet troupe, Ballet Magnificat, to reach many souls. Pray that the rain will clear out so the dancers can dance in the open air venue.

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

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pray for Kosovo

Week of April 21-27, 2014

Personal Story: In 1985 I visited a couple in Kosovo, John and Maria Angelic, who just moved from Serbia to start a church in Kosovo. It was Easter Sunday and I remember thinking; “In America the churches are filled on this day but here in Kosovo there is not even one Evangelical Church to attend”.
Last week, while in Kosovo, we talked with two local pastors and they spoke of their advancing congregations. They report that although there is national dislike and sometimes persecution against the few Orthodox who remained in the area, the Evangelicals are somewhat respected.

From Operation World: Kosovo’s Albanian population is predominately Muslim. Many Kosovars are quite nominally Muslim, though extremism is on the rise. Large financial injections from Saudi Arabia and Iran come with strings attached that pull Kosovo toward more radical forms of Islam. Reportedly, hundreds of mosques have been erected using such funds…

There is no official count of the number of Evangelicals in Kosovo today but they are growing monthly. Most of the larger cities like Pristina, Gjakovë, Prizren, etc now have growing churches.

Prayer points:
 1. God is good as he took the seed John and Maria Angelic and missionaries before them planted some 30 years ago and has allowed it to flourish.   Let us now pray for exponential multiplication.
 2. A lot of Muslims seem nominal toward Islam and with the right approach accessible to the Gospel. Lord, we ask for the Christians in Kosovo to be trained to reach out to their Muslim friends.
 3. Let us pray against these foreign Muslim influences that are pouring money into Kosovo to “buy” the hearts of Kosovars and lead them in following the teachings of Islam.
 4. Let us pray for strategies from heaven to be imparted into the leaders that will expedite the growth.
 5. May the Christians be motivated to reach out to their Muslim neighbors and co-workers.
 6. Lord, show the churches how they can serve their city. Give them ideas of kindness toward their cities so they may have favor in the eyes of the people.
 7.     Let us pray for a spirit of unity over the believers in Kosovo. Much like in the rest of the Balkans, disunity has claimed its victims in Kosovo as well. May the Body for Christ learn to live in unity, with gladness and simplicity of heart. May the world see that they are one.

Acts 2: 46-47 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Special Report - BalkanNetworks Meeting

Week of April 14-20, 2014

This week, instead of a prayer directive, we will report on our visit to a refugee camp in Podgorica, Montenegro and the Balkan Networks strategy meeting in Gjakove, Kosovo which we attended last week.

Zuzanna and I started out by driving down the Croatian coast Monday and Tuesday (April 7-8) and were amazed at the beauty our creative Father laid out for us to enjoy.

We arrived to Montenegro and met with Sinisa Nadazdin who pastors in a Roma (Gypsy) refugee camp. At the camp we observed the degrading conditions of life for about 1,600 refugees. Several have come to know Jesus in the camp and are so hungry for Him. This was evident in the mid-week service we attended where about 75% was made up of young people. He has worked with the refugees for some six years and has earned their trust. Sinisa helps them in countless ways, among which is worth noting that he helps the refugees work through the entangled bureaucracy of the paperwork in order to establish their identity. These refugees have been struggling to get legal status for many years. They had fled from Kosovo during the conflict there about fourteen years ago.

On April 10th we boarded a bus for a six and a half hour ride into Kosovo. I want to say, Montenegro has some of the most unappreciated beauty Zuzanna and I have ever seen. The mountains and valleys are just breath-taking.

We arrived in Gjakova, Kosovo for the Balkan Networks meeting Thursday afternoon.  It was great to meet men and women I had been corresponding with, some for years, through Praying for the Balkans, Project. It was good to meet many other Christians who have a burden for the Balkan countries. The meeting was very on purpose and we saw in many ways how each of us fit into the puzzle of the coming revival in the Balkans, which we firmly believe is on the horizon.

The inspiring news is that there has been an increase over the past few years of ministries coming or being raised up in the Balkan countries. We were blessed to have some pastors from the region that came and shared their dreams with us. I know I will leave some out but let me mention some of the participants at the meeting and the ministries they represent.

   ·    Albin Larsson, from Romania, missionary and organizer of the event. Truly Albin did a remarkable job of pulling us together and setting the agenda.
   ·    Jeff McLaughlin, from Kosovo – missionary, who did the ground work in Gjakova and lead our worship times.
   ·    Dag Schjelderup who has been serving in Albania for many years as a prophetic voice and pastor.
   ·    Bryan Brenchley, businessman from Macedonia, spoke to us about deepening our relationships and connecting with Kingdom minded people throughout the region.
   ·    Lee Saville, missionary from Romania, was our main speaker. Thank you Lee, for setting the tone and challenging us to press on with expected assistance from heaven.
   ·    George Markakis, pastor form Athens, Greece. Pastor George was a defining voice that helped bring clarity to the meeting.
   ·    Venco Nakov, pastor from Macedonia, stressed to us the importance of prayer that must precede the move of God coming to the Balkans.
  ·    Werner Woiwode, from Switzerland with Trumpet Call – Europe, is going forth blowing the Trumpet of  the Lord in all European nations; the sounds of heaven are coming to earth. (Werner, I started reading your book “Stranded on Life’s obstacles” )
   ·    Many others:
      o    Michael Long, missionary from Thessaloniki, Greece.
      o    Julian and Beatrice Kastrati, local church leaders in Albania
      o    Barry Ogden, missionary in Albania
      o    Pal Katona, missionary in Macedonia
      o    Rachel Bevan, missionary in Romania
      o    Katrine Drevon, YWAM representative from Serbia
      o    Athol Barnes from the USA, with Call2all, an organization to reach all hidden people     groups
      o    Jerry McCarty and Donald Chandler from the USA with Serve the City
      o    Others, unnamed but special participants to the meeting

We were blessed to also have with us four pastors/evangelist from Argentina that had come with Michael Long. These gentlemen challenged us and spoke into our lives great Hope. They spoke of their plans to mobilize hundreds of missionaries from South America to take the Gospel back to Europe as a way of thankfulness to Europe for bringing it to them many years ago.

To Zuzanna and I, this Balkan Networks meeting was reassuring to us that God is truly answering the prayers we have prayed for the Balkans all these years.

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

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Pray for the Roma People

Week of April 7-13, 2014

The communist governments in Eastern Europe worked hard to settle the Roma (Gypsy) populations in their respective countries. The Roma people, who traveled around a lot without established homes, just did not work well in with a highly controlled economy.

In the mid-1980s I traveled a great deal on trains and buses in the former Yugoslavia and Hungary.  I would see the Roma in the train and bus stations camped out on the pavement or around benches. They would have all their belongings with them and often things they were selling. I was amazed how they could live like that. The new democratic governments in Easter Europe have continued to encourage the Roma to settle and most have complied. Now you see Roma settlements in many East European cities. In some places there are complete villages of just Roma people. They remain true to some of their own tribal structures, with a leader or strong man in charge that helps to keep order. This leader is respected and often becomes the lesion between city officials and the Roma people.  To provide for their families, the Roma do travel to other locations, even other countries for seasonal work but most now have a place they call home.

Much like in any other populations there are some who live in better conditions than others, but it is common to see their homes as pieced together shacks, small, not well ventilated or too ventilated that families crowd into. Most cities now have water going into Roma villages, but generally there are still only outdoor toilets.
However, a remarkable thing is happening; they are accepting Jesus by the hundreds! Foreign missionaries and local Christians are reaching out to them with humanitarian aid and the message of salvation. We also see many efforts to bring Bible training and social help to improve the quality of their lives. Whole villages are being transformed by the power of the Gospel. Villages, which were once ravaged by crime are now becoming peaceful and safe communities.

There have been many studies conducted in universities across Europe concerning this paradigm shift among the Roma. They are amazed because it does not fit the prevailing humanistic worldview.

Prayer Points:
1)    Lord, You are faithful and You have a time of visitation for every people group. We are amazed how You have opened doors into the Roma communities. Pray that many more Roma will accept Jesus into their hearts.
2)    Let us pray for the leaders in the Roma communities. Because of the respect they carry, when these leaders accept Jesus, many in their family and in the whole community will follow suit.
3)    There is a big need in the Roma communities to plant churches. Pray for Roma churches to be planted that specifically minister to Roma needs.
4)    Pray that pastors will be raised up with a passion to lead the communities into transforming grace.
5)    Teaching for Roma church leaders is needed desperately. The Roma Christians are so hungry for the truth and they need teaching and deliverance from their destructive lifestyles. Pray that God would send anointed teachers into the Roma churches to lay out Gospel truth. Pray that God would raise up teachers among the Roma Christians.
6)    For so many years governments have held back education from the Roma communities. A great percentage of Roma can’t read or write. Let us pray for gifted teachers to give of their time and provide classes and much needed education to the Roma.

It is so encouraging to see the efforts of groups like Lighthouse of Life church in Zagreb for example. Lighthouse is bringing education not only of basic academics, but Bible training as well in order to disciple the many who have come to know Jesus through their efforts. They are now sending Roma evangelist out to other Roma villages. There are several such groups which are doing solid work, and of course, we at European Initiative, have sowed into the Roma in Romania for the past six years.

7)    Let us take a moment to celebrate what Jesus is doing for the Roma people!
8)    Let us pray for more Roma evangelist. They are travelers; having the knowledge and ability to travel at low expense. The network they have across the world is naturally setup for quick evangelization. Release them, Lord, into the harvest fields.

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

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Pray for Greece

Week of 3/31 - 4/6, 2014

In the News:
The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund agreed last week on the release of long-delayed emergency loans, after seven months of negotiations. The next bailout tranche is due to be released "well before" Greece faces a large bond redemption in May, an EU official said in Brussels on Thursday. Eurogroup finance ministers are expected to discuss Greece's latest reform pledges when they meet in Athens next week, with a view to formally concluding the agreement by the second half of April. The eurozone's rescue fund still has 10.1 billion euros (13.8 billion dollars) available for Greece. Greece has been granted 240 billion euros in bailout loans since 2010. In exchange, it is required to cut public spending and implement economic reforms. -  
  • Social support in Greece not adequate enough to deal with crisis, says OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Total household income in Greece dropped by 1/3 between 2007 and 2012, with average anual losses of some 4,400 euros per person.
  • At 49 percent, the share of working age people in employment is the fourth-lowest among 34 OECD countries…
  • The social protection system in Greece was ill-prepared for the economic and social crisis.
  • The share of people saying that they cannot afford food has doubled, putting this subjective measure of economic distress at a higher level than in some emerging economies…
  • Young people in particular have been emigrating in increasing numbers, reducing potential future economic growth and further accelerating population ageing.

    Prayer points:
    1. Europeans are very concerned about the failure of the economy in Greece. Let us pray that solutions for Greece will be released from heaven.
    2. God has an answer to crises in nations. Let us pray that godly wisdom be welcomed by policy leaders. Lord, we call forth the Solomon’s of this age, whom You anointed for this time to bring Your solution into the chaos.
    3. When will Greeks look to You for help? How much pain does it take to humble a nation? Lord, we ask for a paradigm shift in Greece that awakens Greeks and brings them to Your table to cry for mercy.
    Proverbs 13:11
    Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labor will increase
    …the sovereign debt crisis in Greece has caused many to question the government support and tax breaks given to the Greek Orthodox Church. Some 100,000 people have joined a Greek Facebook page, "Tax the Church." Church finances, tax payments and assets lack transparency. However campaigners claim that [the] Greek Orthodox Church owns more land than any entity other than the state and owns 1.5% of the National Bank of Greece. The government spends 268 million Euros each year paying the salaries of 9,000 priests as well as pensions for retired clergy. The Church says it paid 1.3 million Euros in taxes last year. The Church says payments of priests' salaries are justified by the fact that the Church handed over 96% of the property it owned to the state when Greece became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1821. Also several ministry buildings, universities and hospitals in Athens are on church property that is leased to the state for a nominal amount.
    Prayer points:
    1) Let us pray that the Greek Orthodox Church would stop using the state for financial gain. (Investment)
    2) This church/state union reveals the corruption in the church. Let us pray against this unholy union. The church cannot speak against sin in government if they are part of the government. Lord awaken your remnant in the Orthodox Church and give them boldness to speak out against this perverted gospel their church is promoting.
    3) Lord, we ask that You would send the true Gospel of redemption across Greece. Raise up evangelist who will boldly proclaim the pure Word of God.
    4) Let us pray that Greeks would wake up to the fact that Jesus saves, and not a religious system bound by tradition.
    5) Let us pray for the Greek Orthodox Church. Lord, we ask for an invasion of the Holy Spirit. Lord, let mercy triumph over judgment!
    Please leave a Comment or reaction so we will know you Prayed