Saturday, September 9, 2017

Pray for Albania

Ponzi Scheme in Albania, 1991 - 1997

The pyramid schemes started operations in 1991. Their activity was based on making payments to old investors using money contributed by new investors. The first scheme was that of Hajdin Sejdisë, who later fled to Switzerland with several million dollars. It was followed by "Sudja" of shoe factory worker Maksude Kadëna in 1993, then the "Populli" foundations run by an opposition politician, and "Xhaferri". By the end of 1996 the schemes peaked. The interest rates they offered were very tempting; Sudja offered 100% interest. The schemes were not criticized immediately because of bad banking laws. Despite IMF advice to close these schemes, the government continued to allow their activities, often participating in them. Between 8–16 January 1997 the schemes collapsed. On 22 January the government froze the Xhaferri and Populli firms. "Gjallica", another firm, was nearly bankrupt, while "Vefa", which had invested in Albanian hotels, fuel and factories, continued normal activity. The economic crisis was the worst in Albanian history.

The number of investors who had been lured by the promise of getting rich quick grew to include two-thirds of the population. It is estimated that close to $1.5 billion was invested in companies offering monthly interest rates ranging from 10%-25%, while the average monthly income was around $80. People sold their homes to invest. Immigrants working in Greece and Italy transferred additional resources to the schemes. When the realization that most of the money was lost, the people begin to protest, forming rebel gangs that took to the streets. Many government buildings were attacked, looted and burned. Chaos was everywhere, especially in the south. The ruling party was blamed and the rebel groups demanded their removal. The army ammunition depots were raided by rebel gangs and even the army ended up giving out guns to citizens so they could defend themselves. Although the government quelled revolts in the north, the ability of the government and military to maintain order began to collapse, especially in the southern half of Albania, which fell under the control of rebels and criminal gangs. Prominent organized-crime figures escaped from prison and put together gangs, effectively taking control of many areas. Gangs looted banks, took hostages and grabbed businesses. The chaos was complete and the whole country (except for the capital, Tirana) was completely paralyzed. The rebellion started in January of 1997 and did not end until August of the same year.

Damage from the rebellion was estimated at 200 million dollars and some 3700 to 5000 wounded and 2000 dead. Lawsuits were filed against the bosses of the rogue firms. In elections in June and July 1997, Berisha and his party were voted out of power, and the left coalition headed by the Socialist Party won. The Socialist party elected Rexhep Meidani as President of the Albanian Republic. All UN forces left Albania by 11 August. >Full details can be read at

Over the many decades of hardline communism, atheism reigned supreme and religious services were forbidden. This left the people spiritually empty with no moral base. This ponzi scheme was a symptom of misguided hope. There was no wisdom to govern as personal gain excelled through criminal minds. No fear of God.

It is good news now to report the Gospel is spreading across the Albania and changing the hearts of those that once had little or no hope. Many churches and mission organization are reporting many coming to faith.
Prayer Points:
1)    God is so gracious. He will not abandon us forever. He loves the nations and He loves Albania. Pray that a humbled people will find full forgiveness in Jesus.
2)    The hope we have in the resurrected Savior gives us strength and assurance. May the Gospel message continue to grow in the cities of Albania.
3)    Lord, may the Holy Spirit go forth across the land preparing the people’s hearts to receive the Gospel. Lord, release an atmosphere of hope.
4)    The Gospel will be preached to all men before the end comes. Lord, we ask for the doors to be fully open for the proclamation of the Gospel in Albania.  4)    Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
5)    Let us pray for an excitement to fill the hearts of the Albanian Christians. May they move in the power of the Holy Spirit and let Jesus shine through their lives.
6)    May the churches in Albania be safe places for many to receive healing and abundance in this life.     John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Pray for Serbia

Praying for Serbia.
Damage to crops from drought to exceed USD 1bilion.

The drought has reduced agricultural output by about 20 percent compared to the average annual yield, and by 30 percent compared to the previous, record year.
That is why the lost value exceeds a billion dollars, says Milan Prostran, an agriculture expert.
"The average annual agriculture production value in Serbia ranges from five to six billion dollars," Prostran said.

He added that by the end of the season, the situation could improve - but could also worsen - and that the rain, which fell on Saturday in much of the country, has helped the plants recover a little.

"High temperatures have mostly destroyed corn, that makes up 20-25 percent of the total agricultural production, and it is grown on 1.1 million hectares," Prostran said.

"Within two weeks, the deadline for autumn sowing begins, so everything that can withstand low winter temperatures - wheat, oats, barley, rye and rapeseed - should be planted," Prostran said.

This expert added that the spring sowing should begin "a month early to avoid high temperatures and drought [next year]." >Read More<
Prayer Points:
1.    The Bible tells us that when Israel was given over to sin, the wrath of God was often a drought. Let us pray that Serbia would examine themselves and turn toward moral values. Moral values can include: government vs. the people, the people’s attitude toward the government, business principles, government and the people’s attitudes toward foreigners and relations with other nations especially Israel.
2.    Let us pray for blessings to come upon Serbia. Pray that the mercies of heaven will be extended to Serbia so they may fully turn to God Who loves them as an important nation upon the earth.
3.    Serbia is strategically placed in the Balkans to be very influential to the region. Serbia can bring balance to the Balkans when it operates in truth and righteousness. Let us proclaim that Serbia will step into its Godly destiny. 
4.    May the intercessors of Serbia rise and take their place on the wall. Where is the Elijah who can call down rain? May there be such a blessing come upon Serbia that even her enemies will come to buy grain. 
5.    Here at ISTgroup, we look for the day when Serbia has dedicated intercessors that cry out daily for the blessings of heaven to touch Serbia. Let us pray for a house of prayer in Serbia along the lines of the Tabernacle of David. (Acts 15:16-17)
NOTE: You might think we are overly critical of Serbia. Please know that this is not in our heart. Each nation has its challenges and God desires that all nations be “Sheep nations”, (Matthew 25:31-36) and we are believing Serbia will be one of those.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pray for Croatia

At the Upper Room House of Prayer (HOP) in Zagreb we pray for the nation and we expect results from His throne. This News Article brings up interesting things about Croatia, and we would like to pray into some of these issues this week.

In the News: Health Minister: “One Priest Is Worth More Than 20 Physicians”

This article is interesting in several ways:

1)    That a health minister would make such statements are in some ways signs of progress, yet in other ways not. As Christians, we do believe we are to bring Biblical truth into government, and in all other influential areas of society.
2)    A good aspect of Minister Kujundzic’s comment is that he validates the importance of the spiritual needs and not only the medical needs of patients and their families. 2)    Proverbs 15:30 The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and a good report makes the bones healthy.
3)    Then there is the third point from the statements he made about the Catholic churches roll. This can be disturbing, “Croatian nation survived thanks to the Catholic Church. If the Catholic Church were not here, the Croatian people would no longer exist”. This statement pretends to give credit to God, but shortly after the formation of the nation, there was an altar built and a special ceremony held to dedicate Croatia to Mary. The Croatians rallied around the Catholic Church to strengthen their resolve during the war that broke up Yugoslavia. The sad reality is that most commonly, Jesus is not exalted in the Croatian Catholic Church but rather Mary. We do believe that Mariology, as defined by the Catholic Church is a false doctrine.
4)    We cannot leave out however, that we are seeing significant hunger and forward movement specifically in the Charismatic Catholic movement here. In these groups, even though they still pray to Mary, we see a growing focus on Jesus.
5)    Another real positive in the article above is that minister Kujundzic did make a stand for the life of the unborn. For the Health Minister of a country that has legalized abortion to make a pro-life statement like that, is really positive.

Prayer Points:
1)    Let us pray for Croatia. We at Upper Room Zagreb HOP have been praying for the government and the health minister’s statements yield encouraging forward movement in regards to the unborn especially.
2)    Pray for this minister, that he will stand true to his statements and that he would not waiver in the face of opposition. Sometime politicians just say things to please their audience. Pray that he really meets Jesus.
3)     Almost daily we pray for the spirit of freedom to overcome the spirit of religion. This spirit has two main faces in Croatia; apathy and division. Pray that Jesus would be lifted up and seen for who He really is.
4)    Pray that the Lord would raise up believers in Croatia that desire a relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Pray that the churches (all churches) would teach relationship not religion.
5)    During the Lent season the Catholics come out strongly against abortion. Pray that Evangelicals would join in this, overcoming their personal prejudices against the Catholics. Pray that this cry against abortion would be heard in the government offices.
6)    Pray for the IST Group and our HOP; we have had some spiritual battles this month. Pray that we will continue to be a light house for many and a spiritual force to confront the enemy.

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

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Pray for Macedonia

In the News: Macedonian president warns EU, NATO of Albanian meddling  By Georgi Gotev

In a letter sent to European Council President Donald Tusk ahead of the 9-10 March EU summit, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov warned against attempts by Western powers to impose on his country a political platform “written in Tirana”.

On 1 March Ivanov refused to allow a coalition of Social Democrats and parties representing the country’s big ethnic Albanian minority to form a government because of their pledge to allow wider official use of the Albanian language.

“The Tirana platform became a condition for forming the government of the Republic of Macedonia,” Ivanov wrote.

The so-called Tirana Platform was discussed by the three ethnic Albanian parties in Macedonia and with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in Tirana, and was later signed in Skopje on 8 January. It seeks, among other things, to give Albanian the status of an official language in Macedonia.

Russia has accused Albania, NATO and the European Union (on 2 March) of trying to impose a pro-Albanian government on Macedonia.

“The platform is a post-elections document, adopted in another country, in a cabinet of a foreign statesman and with the mediation of a Prime Minister of a foreign country,” Ivanov wrote. Reportedly, the Platform was drafted in the cabinet of Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati with the approval of Rama and was also discussed in Prishtina [Kosovo].

Any time a government of a nation tries to influence another sovereign countries’ laws and policies through the back door, there should be concern. God deals with nations on a one-on-one basis, and they as a nation must stand before Him to give an account. (Matt. 25:31-34, Psalms 74:17) God will at times use other nations to punish a nation, but in the end the citizenry of that nation is responsible for it’s own representation before God. This is a pivotal time for Macedonia, and a fight for its very survival.

There is a House of Prayer in Skopje, Macedonia that has been operating for 5 years. God has pulled together a very responsible team of intercessors to stand in the gap there. (Ezekiel 22:30) Visit them at 

The Macedonian problem is very connected with the rest of the region of South Easter Europe (SEE) or otherwise known as the Balkans. The region is plagued by powerful entrenched problems; politically, ethnically and territorially.  The countries are having a hard time learning to govern themselves. For centuries they were governed and manipulated by empires mainly residing outside the region. Even now the EU, NATO and other outside forces are trying to impose unworkable solutions. Most of these SEE countries are in deep debt to international bankers and corruption runs rampant.

Prayer Points:
1)    Here at IST Group we try to tap into the heart of God to know the desires He has for SEE as a whole. Let the Lord give you a mental picture of the SEE map, and then pray for the region. May His plan be released.
2)    Ask the Lord how you can pray for Macedonia. This downward slide toward a civil war must be stopped; especially in the spirit.
3)    There is generally a war somewhere in SEE in every generation. May this generation be the one to break this cycle and curse.
4)    Pray for the House of Prayer in Skopje, Macedonia. May the Lord give them authority in the spirit to bring down principalities.
5)    There is no evangelical church among the ethnic Albanians of Macedonia and they are mainly Muslim. Let us pray that the Lord would rise up a champion that can walk in and out among them to proclaim the Gospel.
6)    Pray for existing ministries who work with the ethnic Albanians in Macedonia. May strength, wisdom and love be their portion.
7)    Let us pray for the Peacemaker to arise in the SEE countries. Only the King of kings can properly direct the hearts of these governments.
8)    Even the common people in the region recognize that corruption is a curse upon their countries. Let us as Christians, cry out for justice. In your mind, now write the word JUSTICE across the mental picture of the region of SEE.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pray for IST Group

Teacher, Zuzanna and (8 of the 10) Sponsored Roma Children

The following article/prophetic word really speaks to us as a ministry in this season. May we recommend that you too read this article, perhaps it may speak to your life also.

"Expect a Tidal Wave of God's Promises" by Joe Joe Dawson, Texarkana, Texas
Here are the highlights:
⦁    Don't quit now, your breakthrough is coming. Your destiny is so obtainable. It is right at your fingertips! A Tidal Wave is Coming.
⦁    The Lord spoke clearly to us that many promises and prophetic words that have been given in past seasons, will come to pass in this next season.
⦁    Don't be surprised if in this next season, despite the tidal wave, the enemy will release opposition. The Fulfillment is Worth the Season of Trial.
⦁    Every trial and every hard situation you are facing is preparing you to be complete, lacking nothing. You will be found lacking nothing when this tidal wave of purpose and destiny comes crashing onto the shore of your life!
⦁    Don't ever let the enemy steal your joy.
⦁    When God gets ready to release all those things to you, that tidal wave of God's destiny and purpose for your life will come crashing over you.
Our recent trip to Romania
As a part of IST Group’s broader vision for the Balkans, we have been investing into one of the poorest villages in central Romania. With the help of some amazing sponsors, we are helping change the lives of 10 Roma (Gypsy) children through an after-school program. Without intervention, the Roma children of Romania have little hope. Rather than making a wide but shallow impact, our heart is to concentrate our efforts and hopefully make deep, lasting impact on the next generation. Our nine first-graders and 1 second-grader are already making progress. We hired a teacher to come and work with them every weekday. We are also making arrangements for weekly spiritual teaching and nurturing by a partner ministry in the area.
It was so encouraging to see God’s hand in sovereignly picking the children and the teacher. It was clear that the teacher had genuine love for these children and it was equally clear that the children felt loved and were learning to love in return. As part of this program, the children also receive a nutritious lunch. 
We felt so much hope and assurance for these 10 children. Our goal is, to pour into and track their progress from first grade to college. The cost is $500 per child per school year. By the way, if you are interested in sponsoring any of our Roma children, please email
Prayer Points:
1)    Let us first celebrate the goodness of the Lord. Pray that IST Group will always seek and hear the Lord’s direction in all we do.
2)    Pray that we would walk in joy toward all men as we endure trials, knowing those trials lead to perfection. James 1: 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
3)    Please pray for these Roma children in our program. The forces of evil and poverty are all around them.
4)    Pray for their families. Pray that their parents will understand the magnitude of blessing that the Lord has extended to them.
5)    Pray for the salvation of the children and their parents.
6)    Pray that the funds needed for the next school year come in. $5000 for the children plus $1000 for other expenses around the program. Pray about becoming a sponsor yourself.
Thank you so much for your prayers and financial help. Our prayer for you is that the Lord will also pour upon you the joy we experience in seeing lives changed.
Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pray for Balkans 2-14-17

Pray for Balkan Change

We encourage you to fully read these two news articles that show hope of righteousness replacing corruption and light replacing darkness. We include not only the link but a large portion of the articles here.

5 Things You Need to Know About the INSANELY Huge Protests in Romania
With so much noise surrounding everything Trump, most people haven’t even noticed that massive protests are going on right now in Romania.

The public outcries by the citizens of the small nation are becoming louder by the day as they take to the streets to protest the country’s corrupt government, a reputation Romania now has among other European Union members.

1. What happened in Romania to spark the protests?
Last Tuesday, the newly selected Romanian prime minister Sorin Grindeanu passed a decree that would protect corrupt politicians from being prosecuted…

[Prime Minister] Grindeanu decided to pass the decree without the consent of parliament or the people. Thousands of citizens responded by hitting the streets to protest the decision because it would allow political criminals to go free from jail. According to media reports, 24 hours after the regulation was first passed, over 250,000 people went to the streets to protest the decision and over the weekend the “anti-corruption” protests gained momentum and escalated to roughly 500,000 people.
2. Who is against the decree?
Romanian citizens and world powers like the United States are standing against the decree because it would allow members of the prime minister’s party, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) to go free from prison without being forced to serve out their sentences or face financial penalties.
3. What is the prime minister doing about it?
The prime minster has attempted to calm the protesters this past weekend by abandoning the emergency decree. A strategy that is quite different than his original one, where he reportedly told reporters that he would “push ahead” with it.
4. So why are people still protesting?
Most citizens don’t believe the emergency decree was actually repealed while others are begging for political reform and the resignation of Grindeanu, so they continue protesting.
5. What are the protests like?
They have reportedly been peaceful and include people of all ages.

Sasa Bakic from Leskovac, Serbia

Roma Christians testify that a new identity—being a child of God—emboldens a new confidence in being Roma.

Excited and nervous on his first day of high school in Leskovac, Serbia, Saša Bakic waited his turn to introduce himself. After he said his name, his new teacher stopped him: “Are you Roma?” she asked. “Let’s make a deal—if you don’t skip school and stay quiet in class, I will pass you with a D.” Stunned and humiliated, Saša tried to protest amidst the class’s laughter, only to be told, “You are all the same.”

The history of the Roma—Europe’s largest minority—is pockmarked with stories of forced assimilation, enslavement, and even attempted genocide during WWII. Today, despite efforts of state and EU policy toward integration, many Roma in Eastern Europe are still mired in systemic poverty and social stigma. 

Prayer Points:
1)    Romanians are amazing people, and 5.6% of the county are Evangelical Christians; most of these are serious evangelicals. Let us express thanks to the Lord for redeeming a country that suffered under a cruel dictator during communist days.
2)    The protests in Romania are fueled by righteous indignation and they are peaceful. Let us pray that this protest will continue to be motivated by the Biblical principle of light replacing darkness.
3)    Pray that these protests will ingrain into the political landscape and cultural life of Romania a righteous reformation.
4)    True freedom is the establishment of a Biblical worldview. Pray that there would be a righteous indignation arise in all the Balkan countries.
5)    In the Balkans, light needs to replace darkness. Pray that corruption will be exposed regionally, and the people will demand justice.
6)    According to Mathew 25, at the last judgment, the nations will stand before the Lord to be separated into two categories: goats and sheep. Before He returns, nations must come to the point of their decision. Pray that your nation will choose righteousness.
7)    Saša, the young man mentioned in the above article, lives with us in our home while he pursues his degree in theology here in Zagreb. Pray for Saša, he is destined to be a leader among the Roma people in Serbia and the Balkans.
8)    Romania has one of the largest Roma (Gypsy) populations in Europe, but there are large clusters or Roma in all of the Balkan countries. Pray for all the ministries who work with them, that Godly strategies would replace human strategies. There is yet much work to be done among the Roma.

All these years we have been praying against corruption in the Balkans and to see these protest is really encouraging.

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

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Pray for IST Group

Pray for IST Group

Praise Report: This past week was amazing at the Upper Room Zagreb, House of Prayer. New people came and they were ministered to. Monday night, a young man experienced the presence of God for the first time and amid tears declared: “I have only seen religion in the Catholic church and did not want that. This here is something totally different. Your relationship is real with God. Whatever this is, I want THIS.” Thursday evening was also special. Two young ladies, neither one knew the other, but after worship, they both confessed depression and a lack of self-worth. In both of their lives it was due to absent fathers. The young man form Monday night was back and ministering to them as well! These ladies went away not only touched by the Holy Spirit, but a deep work had begun in their lives. As a matter of fact, we are getting crowed in the house of prayer! Praise God.

On another note, Jerry went to the doctor on Monday for his heart check-up, and he received a good report! Praise God!

The Lika initiative is progressing well. We have our next meeting with the team on the 26th and some individual meetings the week prior to that. It is wonderful to see this team beginning to take shape and get really excited.

The third week of February, we will be traveling to Greece for a meeting with Balkan Networks. Balkan Networks is a loose network of like-minded ministries that meet to encourage one another and coordinate resources. We will be in Athens for 5 days.

The ministry is growing! We are currently in the vetting process of a young couple. We are looking for them to join us here in Croatia and help in various ways. They have lots of cross-cultural ministry experience and we are excited about this possibility.

God is beginning to open doors for us to minister and speak in churches. This has never been something we sought after, but as the Lord is opening doors we feel Him releasing us to take the opportunities.
Prayer Points:
1)    We thank the Lord for new people who are coming to Upper Room. May this growth continue, and may the authentic presence of God be experienced by many more here in Zagreb.
2)    Pray that the HOP will attract more Levite worshipers and musicians. We believe that having a bigger variety would bring a new level of growth to the Upper Room.
3)    We are starting to outgrow our current space. We have an attic which has been offered to us free of rent, but it requires about $25K upfront cost to renovate. We appreciate your prayers specifically in this direction.
4)    Keep the Lika team in prayer. Especially the family of six, as they prepare to move to Lika. Each family had tremendous attacks ever since the first meeting. Pray for discernment and protection over each of the families.
5)    Pray for Balkan Networks. We want to strengthen each other and hear from the Lord as to how to properly minister to the region.
6)    What an exciting opportunity for us to lock arms with others to bring the love and presence of Jesus to the Balkans. Please keep us in prayer through the vetting process. Pray for this couple  specifically.
7)    We are happy for these open doors to minister in the churches. Zuzanna is preaching this coming weekend. Appreciate your prayers for the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Thanks for your prayers. They truly strengthen us.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Pray for the Balkans

Pray for the Balkans

Heroes and Villains

Heroes and villains is what the Balkans is all about. One ethnic group’s hero is another group’s villain. One nation’s war criminals are another nation’s victorious heroes. Keeping the peace in the Balkans is very complex. Due to the many past wars and the multi-national populations of each country, this is the reality here. There seems to be a war somewhere in the Balkans every 25-40 years. This is a curse which has devastated this region and this cycle must and can be broken by the power of Jesus Christ.

The following stories are rooted in this problem. A small portion of each article will give you a taste of the challenges. You can open the links to read the full articles.
Croatian Anne Frank Tribute Commemorates Fascists’ Victims
The anti-fascist association in the town of Sibenik will mark Holocaust Remembrance Day with a reading of Anne Frank’s diary after a local school director barred an exhibition about the WWII diarist.
Albanians Await Access to Communist-Era Police Files
State institutions and individuals have started applying for access to information kept confidential in secret police files for more than 25 years after the Albanian Communist regime fell. - See more at:
Montenegro’s Bosniaks Thwart Njegos National Holiday
Montenegro’s government dropped plans to declare the birthday of Petar II Petrovic Njegos a national holiday after opposition from Bosniaks who accuse the poet-prince of glorifying the killing of Muslims.
The Bosniak Party said at the time that certain ideas in Njegos’s works “were used to justify genocide against the Muslim community in both the 19th and 20th centuries in Montenegro and in the region”.
Defiant Bosnian Serbs Celebrate Banned ‘National Day’
Celebrations in the Bosnian Serb entity Republika Srpska saw a ratcheting up of independence rhetoric as well as high-level spats over the participation of members of the country’s armed forces.
Bosnian Serb President Milorad Dodik used the occasion of the biggest-ever celebration of the Day of Republika Srpska, which went ahead on Monday in defiance of a ban by Bosnia's Constitutional Court, to demand greater autonomy for the entity.

Prayer Points:
1)    The “Peace Maker” must be welcomed in every Balkan country. Only Jesus can bring permanent peace. Lord, let Your presence come to this region and bring true transformation.
2)    Pray that ethnic groups in the Balkans would learn the power of forgiveness. This must be supernatural, as hatred is such an intricate part of the Balkans. 
3)   Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. This verse comforts us as Christians and it shows the depths of God’s love. Pray that all Christians in the Balkans would be able to accept God’s forgiveness so they can forgive others.
4)    Pray that Christians would be the example to their countrymen in showing the freedom of forgiveness.
5)    There are Balkan-wide Christian efforts that are displaying unity among ethnic groups. Pray for Brother’s Keepers and Daughters of the King. Two annual regional gatherings which have done much to bring healing in the past 10 years.
6)    The battle is not against men but against spiritual principalities in high places. 6)    Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Let us stand in the gab against these spiritual host of wickedness that have been stirring up hatred in the Balkans for centuries.

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pray for Croatia and Church Planting

This past weekend The Lausanne Movement conducted a three-day Church Planting Workshop here in Croatia. For more information on what they are about, check them out: This was the third such meeting in the past year. The purpose of the Lausanne Movement is to help national evangelicals to see the need to promote the Gospel through planting new churches. The first meeting was for the purpose of finding out who were interested in church planting. The second was to explore what works and what does not work. This third meeting was for the purpose of putting a plan together for going forward. At the IST Group, we are participating in this endeavor for several reasons, one being our Lika Project.

The encouraging thing is, that pastors and ministry leaders from four to five denominations have been joined together for this endeavor. I remember George Otis, Jr.’s research of modern day revivals or moves of God. He concluded, that there were two things common to all revivals: 1) desperate prayer, and 2) unity between pastors and churches.

When we first came to Croatia and the Balkans, division in the body of Christ was so very evident. Division remains a challenge, however we can see measurable progress not only resulting in these meetings but as well, through IST Group. This workshop is a crowning example of the Holy Spirit softening hearts.

In the UR Zagreb, we pray often for unity, and it is so encouraging for us to see things happening in Croatia, like the Lausanne Movement coming here to work with us and the pastors responding so willingly.

God is responding not only to our intercession, but I assure you, your prayers are being heard! God is on the move here in Croatia and throughout the Balkans.

Prayer Points:
1)    We rejoice in the small beginnings. Pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to stir the Christians to join forces. May they get a revelation of the synergy that such unity creates.
2)    Pray for this Lausanne group as they move forward. May God give them wisdom to communicate to the national leadership that programs and methods are only good if we allow for God to be in charge.
3)    Pray that serious church planting will go forward in Croatia. Many world Christian leaders are understanding that the prayer/worship movement, global missions and the church planting movements all need to work together in order to accomplish the Great Commission.
4)    Our goal at the IST Group, is to utilize all three in the task assigned to us here in the Balkans. Pray that we have wisdom above all, in order to move forward in His strategies and not ours.
5)    IST Group has a clear mandate form the Lord to establish a work in an unreached area of Croatia, Lika. There is much excitement on the team, and we are preparing for our second monthly team-building meeting for the Lika Project. Pray that God would continue to unite our hearts into His plan for the region. Pray for wisdom as we move forward with the many plans.
6)    Let’s also take a minute and pray for the world. It is projected that the New Testament will be translated into all the languages of the world by 2020. Let us fervently pray for this accomplishment.

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

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Pray for IST Group

Pray for Intentional Strategies for Transformation

This is the beginning of a new year, 2017. Many churches and ministries, stop and take time to look back on the past year and look forward to the year ahead. What was accomplished last year in ministry?  What and how to move forward in the new year with the vision the Lord has put in our hearts to accomplish?

Habakkuk 2:2
Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.

First, we acknowledge that it is His vision, He birthed that vision in us and He is working to accomplish it. Therefore, in order to know His vision, we must prepare ourselves to hear His voice.  Here at the IST Group, we have chosen to fast and pray this week, in pursuit of Him and to hear His plans for the ministry this year.

Psalm 103:7
He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.

Although the children of Israel saw the acts of God, He made His ways known to Moses. It is very important to us that we are found to be trustworthy. God does not just trust His ministry to anyone. Ministry is handling people’s souls. Jesus died for them and they are precious to Him, so we will fast and pray for a door of grace to be opened to us for 2017.

Prayer Points:
1)    Revelation 3:8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” Pray that IST will obtain a greater measure of the above verse this year. 
2)    Joshua 22:5 “But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Pray that we would walk in all His ways.
3)    Also, as we pray for an open door, we must be ready to face down the adversary by walking in Jesus’ victory.    1 Corinthians 16:9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
4)    We see God moving in ever increasing ways. We are very encouraged with what He has done this past year at the Upper Room Zagreb. There are opportunities presented to us for growth this year in human recourses as well as geographically and at the House of Prayer facility. Pray that we as a ministry take the leaps of faith which He requires of us.
5)    IST is moving forward to develop a plan for mentorships throughout the region. Pray with us for all the details and plans to flow in line with His heart and come to fruition at the right time. There is huge potential for impact with connecting mentors.
6)    Doors continue to open and there is forward movement with the Lika project. Pray that God leads our monthly meetings with the Lika team and that He would speak to their hearts confirming to each their involvement with this project. We need much prayer as we walk through the “landmines” of the planning process.
7)    Pray with us that the funding for everything He is asking us to accomplish would materialize.

We know that 2017 is an important year for what God has called IST to. We walk humbly and in the fear and the admonition of the Lord. We invite you to continue partnering with us, lifting us up to His Throne of Grace.