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.