Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pray for Kosovo 7-26-16

Pray for Kosovo

Kosovo, much as the rest of Southeaster Europe, suffers from high rates of unemployment, particularly among young people. In 2014, about 2 out of 3 young Kosovans in the labor force did not have a job, contributing heavily to the 35 percent unemployment rate among the population. The grim reality is, that the current economic growth is able to create jobs for only about 29% of the 11,500 persons entering the labor market each year.

Ethnic minorities, especially the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians in Kosovo are significantly excluded from the labor market in Kosovo. Young and older workers, women, and ethnic minorities are more likely to be jobless or employed in informal or low-wage jobs. 

When we were last in Kosovo, what we saw was very alarming. The Albanian flag flying everywhere, yet very few Kosovo flags. The sense is that if the country were allowed to vote, the majority would vote to join Albania. At this time Kosovo is under a United Nations protective government and a vote like that would be a direct embarrassment to the UN. Much like the Greater Serbian spirit back 20 years ago that actually led to the Kosovo war in 1999, now there is a Greater Albania spirit in the region. The question is, what really is Kosovo’s identity as an emerging nation?
Coupled with this, is the reality that cities are run by corruption and a real lack of properly trained staff. This is adding pandemonium to the complexity of the Kosovo problem.
Prayer Points:
1)    God loves the nations and various ethnic groups. Let’s pray that Kosovo could develop into a stable country. Let us pray for God’s mercy to come.
2)    There are often mixed feelings in other Balkan countries towards Kosovo because of so many negative actions of the past; the Kosovo war of 1999, Serb and Gypsy refugees and imbedded poverty. Lord, we pray for the righteous to rise up and bring forth godly intellectuals to govern and set policy.
3)    Kosovo needs to establish its identity. As Christians we desire and pray for it to be a “sheep” not a “goat” nation. (Matt. 25:32)
4)    The spirit of Greater Albania can be a game changer that could disrupt the present balance of powers if it proceeds unchecked. As we pray for peaceful settlement of affairs, let us pray for our loving God to settle the destiny of Kosovo as He prefers. 
5)    There are some healthy churches in Kosovo. So let us pray that they would take opportunities to go the “extra mile” for their Muslim countrymen. (85% Muslim) 5)    Matthew 5:41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. (It is being proven in Muslim countries worldwide that kindness is a powerful tool that wins them to Jesus)
6)    As of now many Muslims in Kosovo are very nominal in their beliefs, but there is a strong push by Wahabi Muslims to radicalize Kosovo. They paid for the building of over 200 mosques in the country. Let us pray for confusion to disrupt their plans.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pray for Croatia 7-18-16

Pray for Croatia

We were praying for the education system in Croatia the other day, at Upper Room Zagreb. 
The educational system was dominated with communist philosophy while Croatia was part of Yugoslavia. After independence, the Catholic Church took educational dominance. This year there has been a backlash against Catholic dominance and a demand for more practical courses. During our prayer time, one of IST’s interns Cynthia, brought forth Daniel 2: 20-23

20 Daniel answered and said
 “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
21 And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
22 He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him.
23 “I thank You and praise You,
O God of my fathers;
You have given me wisdom and might,
And have now made known to me what we asked of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s demand.”

Join us in praying into this:
1)    Lord, we ask for a change in the Croatian educational system.
2)    Dear God, forever wisdom and might are Yours. You can remove bad educational administrators and You set good ones in office.
3)    Those good administrators that are set in position can be wise in knowledge and understanding. Father, You can open their minds to the deep and secret things.

Daniel prayed three times a day and was made an adviser to four kings. Where no one else could interpret King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, Daniel inquired of God and got the interpretation. Wisdom from heaven was given to the king.

4)    We ask You, Lord, to surround the educational minister of Croatia; give him a dream or dreams from heaven. May his office doors be wide open for the God of wisdom to come in. Surround him with godly counselors.
5)    For generations Croatian children have received manipulated education. Let us pray that now would be the time for a healthy change in the system so a wise generation can come forth.
6)    Pray that teachers also would be touched by godly wisdom.
7)    Croatians have hard hearts because they have endured hard times. May their hearts be softened so godly wisdom can be understood.
Ezekiel 36:26
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

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

Monday, July 4, 2016

Pray for IST Group 7-4-16

For the past four days we have hosted the board members in our home in Zagreb where we have been praying, strategizing and planning how to move forward with Intentional Strategies for Transformation for the next 18 months.  This past month, we moved some steps closer to IST becoming an official organization in Croatia as well as the US. Strategies are coming forth as we develop a solid structure and foundation. The vision of IST Group rings even clearer: We exist to pioneer and resource redemptive transformation in Southeastern Europe. We see God merging vision, strategy and obvious needs to unfold His plan for the Balkans or as it is now becoming known Southeastern Europe. (Please note this name to be used in our future communications)

One of the first items on the way forward for IST is economic development and justice for the underutilized. We see this materializing in the form of a farm development in an area of Croatia with no known community of evangelical believers. This project needs your prayers as we make slow but calculated steps toward it. You will hear more about this in the coming months.

We have two interns with us at this time, Cynthia and Laurel. They have been a tremendous blessing to us in so many ways! Not only are they participating in and helping lead prayer sets, but they have rolled up their sleeves and we were able to help a local church move to a new building. The interns are not only of great help but they are going out to the streets each weekend to talk with people about Jesus and loving on them.
Prayer Points:
1)    We are filled with gratitude for the boards willingness to set aside time and resources in order to join us here in Zagreb, spend time in the Upper Room HOP in order to hear His heart and then lay out a way forward for IST. Pray they receive a special blessing.
2)    Pray that the bond of unity will remain as we go forward to accomplish His will for Southeast Europe.
3)    We have identified an area of Croatia, known as Lika, with a population of 100 thousand people that has no evangelical church community. It is also an area that was heavily affected not only by the war of 1991-1995 but this area has served as a key battleground for wars dating back beyond Napoleon. This is the targeted area for the proposed farm project. Pray with us for the Lika area and the Lord of the harvest to reveal His heart concerning this area and our involvement.
4)    Doing life with the interns has been so rewarding. Pray for the Lord’s blessings to be upon them as they are giving their summer to serving with IST Group.
5)    Especially pray for those we have shared Jesus with. May they see Him as their hope and salvation. We believe these have been divine encounters.
6)    Our steps forward will require financial windows to open. Pray that God would supply all we need for what we consider His plan.

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