Russia

Welcome to What in the World Wednesdays. It is my hope that this blog will bring believers together in prayer for the nations. Each Wednesday, we’ll focus on a different nation. Thank you for joining us!

Blog:
In 1998, Tanya was a 10-year-old Russian girl separated from her siblings, living in an orphanage because her alcoholic parents couldn’t take care of her. On New Year’s Eve, 1999, she received the gift of hope through Operation Christmas Child, a global ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. Her teachers at the orphanage told her no one loved her, but the shoe box filled with small gifts was proof that her heavenly Father hadn’t abandoned her, proof that He cared for her.

In 2004, Tanya, her sister, and brother, were adopted by a Christian couple from Missouri. She was eager to learn more about Samaritan’s Purse and determined to give back to this ministry that had blessed her. Recently, after graduating from high school, Tanya traveled with Samaritan’s Purse to Ecuador to help distribute gift boxes.

QUOTE FROM SAMARITAN’S PURSE ARTICLE: “This is making me happier than anything,” [Tanya] said as she handed out a box she packed herself to a girl named Maria. “God is using me to serve Him, and I am trying to show kids just like me that there is hope.”  (Read the full article here)

Tanya’s story reminded me of what this blog is all about. She didn’t have the resources to feed thousands or a hundred or even ten. Initially, all she had was a great need and a prayer for help. The Lord heard the voice of a lonely little girl and moved with compassion to bless her. Out of that blessing, Tanya has determined to freely give what she has freely received, to make a difference in someone else’s life.

A shoe box packed with small gifts is more significant than we can know. It changed a little girl’s life. What can I do today to give out of what I have so freely been given? We all have something to give, either tangible or intangible. Is my “shoe box” packed away in a closet of comfort and convenience? Is it stacked up, collecting dust on a shelf of self-focused living? What’s in that little box? Love, kindness, generosity, grace? Maybe money, maybe the gift of my time? What’s in storage?  

Spiritually speaking, we don’t need these closets and shelves. We aren’t meant to store up these gifts, but to pass them along. We are filled, then spilled, filled then spilled. Vessels of His grace.

This week’s challenge…clean out those closets!!  

MAP

Russia Map

FACTS

An A to Z from CIA.gov World Factbook:

a)      Location: Northern Asia (area west of Urals is considered part of Europe)

b)      Size: approximately 1.8 times larger than the U.S.

c)      Capital: Moscow

d)      Climate: ranges from humid continental to subarctic in Siberia; tundra in polar north

e)      Terrain: broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions

f)       Bordered by Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Norway, Poland, Ukraine, Arctic Ocean, North Pacific Ocean

g)      Natural Resources: wide natural resource base including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, timber. NOTE- formidable obstacles of climate, terrain, and distance hinder exploitation of natural resources

h)      Natural Hazards: permafrost over much of Siberia; volcanic activity in Kuril islands, volcanoes and earthquakes on Kamchatka Peninsula; spring floods and summer/autumn forest fires throughout Siberia and parts of European Russia

i)        Highest Point: Gora El’brus 5,633m

j)        Lowest Point: Caspian Sea -28m

k)      Population: over 140 million

l)        Median Age: 38.4 years

m)   Religions: Russian Orthodox 15-20%, Muslim 10-15%, other Christian 2% NOTE: estimates are of practicing worshipers; Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers, a legacy of over seven decades of Soviet rule.

n)      Languages: Russian, many minority languages

o)      Birth Rate: 11.1 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)

p)      Death Rate: 16.06 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

q)      Life Expectancy: 66 yrs

r)       HIV/AIDS adult prevalence: 1.1%

s)       Government Type: federation

t)       Chief of State: President Dmitriy Medvedev; Premier Vladimir Putin

u)      Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (2008 est.)

v)      GDP per capita: $15,800 (est. 2008)

w)    *THIS INFORMATION IS NOT FROM CIA.GOV, BUT FROM THE US STATE DEPARTMENT. Human Trafficking: Russia is listed as Tier 2.

(Reminder- There are 3 tiers: Tier 1 – compliant with all laws, Tier 2 – some effort being made to comply, Tier 3 – ignoring or promoting traffic)

x)      Telephone main lines in use: 43.9 million (2006)

y)      Telephones-Mobile cellular: 170 million (2007

z)       Internet Users: 30 million (2007)

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China

Welcome to What in the World Wednesdays. It is my hope that this blog will bring believers together in prayer for the nations. Each Wednesday, we’ll focus on a different nation. Thank you for joining us!

Blog:
China is the most populous nation in the world with over 1.3 billion people. That’s 1.3 billion souls, 1.3 billion stories. When I think of China, I think in aggregate. But that aggregate is made up of individuals, each with their own struggles and dreams. There is a common expression, “don’t miss the forest for the trees,” which means don’t get caught up in the details and miss the big picture. I think with China, sometimes we do the exact opposite. Sometimes we miss the single tree for the overwhelming forest, so today I’d like to take a walk through that immense “forest” of people, up over the hill, around the river, and take a glimpse of one “tree” that stood tall for Jesus.

In Xiamen, China, a woman suffered with stage four liver cancer. Shortly before her death, she came to know Jesus as her Savior. Throughout the last days of her life, fellow believers came to visit her, praying for her, encouraging her, and giving her gifts. She experienced an amazing outpouring of love as the body of Christ surrounded her in the midst of her physical struggle. How she must have known that she chose wisely when she chose to follow Jesus! How she must have been overjoyed at the grace and mercy of the Lord who loved her. By the time she left this earth for eternity, the Lord had created something beautiful out of what had only been misery, pain and fear. She didn’t leave the earth swallowed up by cancer, but enveloped in the loving arms of Jesus, warmed by the outpouring of love and compassion of fellow believers. During her last days, she testified to the truth of John 12:24. When this grain of wheat fell to the ground and died, the single seed of her life produced a greater harvest. Six people received Christ at her funeral this month. As those six people continue to serve Christ, more will come to know Him, one “tree” at a time.

This week as we pray for China, pray for these six souls who came to know Jesus through this woman’s testimony. Pray their lives will be an example to many, and that the Lord would use them to reach this vast population. There are so many souls in this nation – pray that Lord of the Harvest will send more laborers to field. Pray for those who labor there now.   

MAP

China Map

FACTS

An A to Z from CIA.gov World Factbook:

a)      Location: Eastern Asia

b)      Size: slightly smaller than the U.S.

c)      Capital: Beijing

d)      Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north

e)      Terrain: mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas and hills in east

f)       Bordered by Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Vietnam

g)      Natural Resources: coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, world’s largest hydropower potential

h)      Natural Hazards: frequent typhoons (about 5 per year); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence

i)        Highest Point: Mount Everest, 8,850 m (on border w/Nepal)

j)        Lowest Point: Turpan Pendi, -154 m

k)      Population: Over 1.3 billion (world’s largest)

l)        Median Age: 34.1 yrs

m)   Religions: Mostly Daoist (Taoist), Buddist. (Christian 3-4%, Muslim 1-2%)

n)      Languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese, Fuzhou, Hokkien-Taiwanese

o)      Birth Rate: 14 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)

p)      Death Rate: 7.03 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

q)      Life Expectancy: 73 yrs

r)       HIV/AIDS adult prevalence: 0.1%

s)       Government Type: Communist state

t)       Chief of State: President HU Jintao

u)      Unemployment Rate: 4%

v)      GDP per capita: $6,000 (est. 2008)

w)    *THIS INFORMATION IS NOT FROM CIA.GOV, BUT FROM THE US STATE DEPARTMENT. Human Trafficking: Iran is listed as Tier 2. Most of the trafficking in China takes place within its borders, but there is some international exportation.

(Reminder- There are 3 tiers: Tier 1 – compliant with all laws, Tier 2 – some effort being made to comply, Tier 3 – ignoring or promoting traffic)

x)      Telephone main lines in use: 365.4 million

y)      Telephones-Mobile cellular: 547 million

z)       Internet Users: 253 million

Iran

Welcome to What in the World Wednesdays. It is my hope that this blog will bring believers together in prayer for the nations. Each Wednesday, we’ll focus on a different nation. Thank you for joining us!

Blog:
Two Iranian sisters came to the United States to pursue college education. These sisters plugged into a Bible study group and heard about a Savior who loved them. They met Jesus and His grace flooded their hearts with love and acceptance. They rejoiced at their newfound life but said, “Lord, please don’t send us back to Iran.” They knew it would be difficult to live in an atmosphere that was antagonistic to Christianity. They knew they would face rejection from their family. I have a feeling they also knew that’s just where the Lord would send them. And He did.

I had the opportunity to hear these beautiful women share a small part of the many wonderful things the Lord has done through their surrendered hearts. They went back to Iran and served the Lord, risking prison and even death. They were rejected by loved ones, but also saw the mercy of God when their mother came to know Christ. She died shortly after, without fear. No, not just without fear. She died longing to see Jesus, telling her family not to pray for her healing because she was ready for eternity with her loving Savior. These sisters served as missionaries in several other countries, including Afghanistan. Often they didn’t know exactly what to do, but they sought the Lord in prayer, enjoyed His presence, and knew Him time and time again as the God who is more than enough.

Iran is in the headlines frequently these days, and while I associate the country with its leader’s hatred for Israel and vocal pursuit of nuclear power, I think about these missionary sisters too. I think about how their love for Jesus made me want to love Him even more. I think about how they faced persecution by many in their country, but were also able to see the light of Christ shine and spread in the darkness. I think about how two Iranian women challenged my heart to think bigger, to live larger.

There are others there, like these two sisters, who meet in secret locations to study the Bible and pray. There are others who continue to risk imprisonment and death to tell the news that’s just too wonderful to keep silent. Let’s pray for our brothers and sisters in Iran whose hearts are broken for their people, who are reaching them for Jesus, one heart at a time.

 

 

Iran

Iran

FACTS

An A to Z from CIA.gov World Factbook:

a)      Location: Middle East

b)      Size: slightly larger than Alaska

c)      Capital: Tehran

d)      Climate: mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along Caspian coast

e)      Terrain: rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts, mountains; small plains along both coasts

f)       Bordered by Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan

g)      Natural Resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead

h)      Natural Hazards: periodic droughts, floods; dust storms, sandstorms; earthquakes

i)        Highest Point: Kuh-e Damavand 5,671 m

j)        Lowest Point: Caspian Sea, -28 m

k)      Population: Over 66 million

l)        Median Age: 27 yrs

m)   Religions: Muslim 98% (Shia 89%, Sunni 9%), Other 2%

n)      Languages: Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic 26%, Kurdish 9%

o)      Birth Rate: 17.17 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)

p)      Death Rate: 5.69 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

q)      Life Expectancy: 71 yrs

r)       HIV/AIDS adult prevalence: 0.2%

s)       Government Type: theocratic republic

t)       Chief of State: Supreme Leader- Ali Hoseini-Khamenei, President- Mahmud Ahmadi-nejad

u)      Unemployment Rate: 12.5%

v)      GDP per capita: $12,800 (est. 2008)

w)    *THIS INFORMATION IS NOT FROM CIA.GOV, BUT FROM THE US STATE DEPARTMENT. Human Trafficking: Iran is listed as Tier 3. “Iran is a source, transit, and destination for women trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude.”

(Reminder- There are 3 tiers: Tier 1 – compliant with all laws, Tier 2 – some effort being made to comply, Tier 3 – ignoring or promoting traffic)

x)      Telephone main lines in use: 23.8 million

y)      Telephones-Mobile cellular: 29.7 million

z)       Internet Users: 23 million

Israel

Welcome to What in the World Wednesdays. It is my hope that this blog will bring believers together in prayer for the nations. Each Wednesday, we’ll focus on a different nation. Thank you for joining us!

Blog:
This week, I am asking you to pray with me for Israel. I am asking you to engage yourself, invest yourself. Learn, study, pray, care, love. Do the work. Watch! Watch what the Lord is doing; see how things are moving according to His plan. See how Satan is carrying out his own schemes in this world, spreading delusion. Know the truth so you can expose the lies. Wake up! Watch! Pray!

I can’t watch the news or check out the internet headlines without offering up a prayer. The world is changing at a faster pace than ever before, whether we’re ready or not. Just a quick check this morning and I find that Russia may push for a universal world currency, Iran says the holocaust was a big deception, the president of our own country says the USA is “one of the largest Muslim countries in the world” – Oh really? Also in the headlines, Obama says “Iran has the right to nuclear power” and this, of course, is followed by another headline, “Israelis growing increasingly anxious about Obama policies.” Well, I am too.

While I don’t want to politicize things, I can’t – I won’t – stick my head in the sand either. And although we don’t know the day or the hour Jesus Christ will set His foot down on this earth (HIS EARTH) again, we are told in Scripture to discern the seasons and stand at the ready. If you haven’t sensed the winds of change, you need to poke your head out the door and take a good look. People, get ready. Jesus IS coming. I would never presume to even guess when, but the Word of God tells us plenty about how this age is going wrap up. The timetable is God’s business. It’s our business to watch and pray. It’s our business to continue Christ’s work until He returns. It’s my work, and it’s your work, to tell the world about Jesus. We who have witnessed His love and His grace firsthand must BE His witnesses in this earth.

When I am shocked over the headlines, when I can’t believe the things that people say and do, I need to realize who is in control. Today, I need to know that this is my Father’s world. It’s His. It doesn’t belong to blood-thirsty zealots spewing hatred and lies, or “enlightened” do-gooders who will compromise truth to gain popularity points. This is my Father’s world. It belongs to Him. America belongs to Him. Israel belongs to Him. Iran belongs to Him. Russia belongs to Him. North Korea belongs  to Him. France, Australia, Venezuela, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia…from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, the earth belongs to God Almighty. Any claim that man may stake is short-lived and subject to His sovereignty – just borrowed real estate. The deed to everything is in His name. The earth is the Lord’s.  God reigns in the heavens, He reigns in all the earth.

1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. 3 Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. 5 He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Selah 7 Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty– he is the King of glory. Selah  – Psalm 24

 Israel

FACTS

An A to Z from CIA.gov World Factbook:

a)      Location: Middle East

b)      Size: slightly smaller than New Jersey

c)      Capital: Jerusalem

d)      Climate: temperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas

e)      Terrain: Negev desert in the south; low coastal plain; central mountains; Jordan Rift Valley

f)       Bordered by Egypt, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, Mediterranean Sea

g)      Natural Resources: timber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays, sand

h)      Natural Hazards: sandstorms may occur during spring and summer; droughts; periodic earthquakes

i)        Highest Point: Har Meron 1,208 m

j)        Lowest Point: Dead Sea, -408 m

k)      Population: Over 7 million

l)        Median Age: 29 yrs

m)   Religions: Jewish 76%, Muslim 16%, Arab Christians 1.5%, other Christian .5%

n)      Languages: Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English most commonly used foreign language

o)      Birth Rate: 19.77 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

p)      Death Rate: 5.4 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

q)      Life Expectancy: 80.7 yrs

r)       HIV/AIDS adult prevalence: 0.1%

s)       Government Type: parliamentary democracy

t)       Chief of State: President Shimon Peres; Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu

u)      Unemployment Rate: 6%

v)      GDP per capita: $28,200

w)    *THIS INFORMATION IS NOT FROM CIA.GOV, BUT FROM THE US STATE DEPARTMENT. Human Trafficking: Israel is listed as Tier 2. The government does not fully comply with minimum standards to eliminate trafficking, however it is making significant efforts to do so. (Reminder- There are 3 tiers: Tier 1 – compliant with all laws, Tier 2 – some effort being made to comply, Tier 3 – ignoring or promoting traffic)

x)      Telephone main lines in use: 3 million

y)      Telephones-Mobile cellular: 8.9 million

z)       Internet Users: 2 million

Mauritania

Welcome to What in the World Wednesdays. It is my hope that this blog will bring believers together in prayer for the nations. Each Wednesday, we’ll focus on a different nation. Thank you for joining us!

Blog:

This week in the mail I received The Voice of Martyrs special issue for 2009. Folded inside was a world map depicting areas of restriction and hostility toward Christianity. Many nations in North Africa are colored red, specifying them as restricted nations which actively prevent or legally restrict Christians from obtaining Bibles, teaching literature, and/or sharing the Gospel. Our focus this week is on one of those nations – Mauritania.

The nation’s conventional long form name is Islamic Republic of Mauritania, and the state religion is Islam. Although it is illegal to proselytize Muslims, small groups of Christians travel through desert areas to share Christ with their Muslim brothers. The leader of one such group received a written threat from “the Islamic Committee” which made reference to a group trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. The mission of the Islamic group is clear: “We promise to eliminate [this Christian group] as we are commanded in the Quran.”  Even so, Christians continue to share the love of Christ.

One woman who became a Christian was bound and beaten by her family for months. Her parents would taunt her, saying why doesn’t your Jesus come and save you now from Mohammed’s anger…after seven months they realized she would not recant her belief in Jesus. They released her and sent her away. She is married and now lives in another area of Mauritania, ministering to a group of believers (former Muslims).

These precious believers risk losing their families, and even their own lives, to carry the Living Water throughout the desert areas of Mauritania, finding thirsting souls along the way. Pray with me this week for God’s grace to abound in their lives. Pray the Spirit of God will fill their hearts with boldness and joy so the Word of the Lord will flourish in the wilderness.

 

Map:

 Mauritania Map

Facts:
An A-Z from cia.gov

a)      Location: Northern Africa

b)      Size: slightly larger than three times the size of New Mexico

c)      Capital: Nouakchott

d)      Climate: desert; constantly hot, dry, dusty

e)      Terrain: mostly barren, flat plains of the Sahara; some central hills

f)       Bordered by Algeria, Mali, Senegal, Western Sahara, Atlantic Ocean

g)      Natural Resources: iron ore, gypsum, copper, phosphate, diamonds, gold, oil, fish

h)      Natural Hazards: hot, dry winds; periodic droughts

i)        Highest Point: Kediet Ijill 915 m

j)        Lowest Point: Sebkhet Te-n-Dghamcha -5m

k)      Population: Over 3 million

l)        Median Age: 19.2 yrs

m)   Religions: Muslim (100%)

n)      Languages: Arabic (official), Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof, French, Hassaniya

o)      Birth Rate: 34.11 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)

p)      Death Rate: 11.6 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

q)      Life Expectancy: 60.4 yrs

r)       HIV/AIDS adult prevalence: 0.8%

s)       Government Type: Military junta

t)       Chief of State: Ba Mamadou MBARE as President of the Senate is Acting President

u)      Unemployment Rate: 30%

v)      GDP per capita: $2,100

w)    *THIS INFORMATION IS NOT FROM CIA.GOV, BUT FROM THE US STATE DEPARTMENT. Human Trafficking:  Tier 2 –“ Mauritania is a source and destination country for children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Slavery-related practices, rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships, continue to exist in isolated parts of the country. Mauritanian boys called talibe are trafficked within the country by religious teachers for forced begging. Children are also trafficked by street gang leaders within the country who force them to steal, beg, and sell drugs. Girls are trafficked internally for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Mauritanian children may also be trafficked for forced agricultural and construction labor, herding, and for forced labor in the fishing industry within the country.” (Reminder- There are 3 tiers: Tier 1 – compliant with all laws, Tier 2 – some effort being made to comply, Tier 3 – ignoring or promoting traffic)

x)      Telephone main lines in use: 34,900 (2006)

y)      Telephones-Mobile cellular: 1.3 million (2007)

z)       Internet Users: 30,000 (2006)

 

 

Honduras

Jorge Zavala knew there was more. He was happily married, had a good family life, was a leader in the church, and made a good living as a salesman. He didn’t take these blessings for granted, but his heart knew there was more.

When he would drive around San Pedro Sula, he would see the swarm of children in the streets. He was heartbroken, knowing the risks and probabilities these children faced: gangs, drugs, and abuse. The whispering in his heart became clearer as his desire to help these children grew. But what could he do? There were so many children, the need was overwhelming.

Soon, the Lord opened a door for Jorge and his wife, Carmen, through a ministry of their church. He left his job to run Hogar de Zion, a new daytime care center for neighborhood children. The outreach has grown over time, and a larger building was constructed. This care facility is now an orphanage.

The urbanization rate in Honduras is nearly 50%, as more people are leaving rural areas for the city. In these cities, orphans and poor children walk the streets, struggling to survive on handouts and whatever they can scavenge or steal. Some churches and people are doing what they can, but they need help.

Samaritan’s Purse has helped Hogar de Zion through providing food and biblical education. They recently started an animal and agricultural program to help the orphanage support itself.

This is just one story from one city in one country. But things like this are happening all over the globe – and you can be a part. Is the Lord whispering in your heart, telling you there is more? Has He opened your eyes to see a need? Sure, it may not be on the scale of running an orphanage, but regardless of the size of the task, will you be willing to obey that calling? Will you do your part?

For Jorge, it all started with a broken heart. Through prayer and obedience, the Lord opened the way. Jorge could have stayed where he was, thinking the task was impossible. While he was driving through the streets as a salesman, overwhelmed by the needs of these children, Jorge couldn’t have known that God would use his church to open a care center that would eventually become an orphanage that would eventually partner with a global ministry. Jorge didn’t know the details of God’s amazing plan. He only knew his heart was breaking with a desire to minister to the needy.

 What is your heart breaking for? What amazing plan of God awaits your step of faith?

 

PRAY!

1)      For Hogar de Zion and other orphanages in Honduras who care for children

2)      For Samaritan’s Purse and other ministries who provide support through various means

3)      That the children they minister to will come to know the boundless love of their heavenly Father

4)      That this young generation will be filled with the knowledge and passion of Christ to share the message of salvation throughout Honduras in the power of the Holy Spirit

5)      Honduras has a high unemployment rate, over 27%, which contributes to standing as the second poorest nation in Central America. Their economy relies on agricultural exports which are susceptible to natural disasters. Pray for the expansion of diversified industries to strengthen the foundation of their economy.

 Honduras

A-Z FROM CIA.GOV

a)      Location: Central America

b)      Size: slightly larger than Tennessee

c)      Capital: Tegucigalpa

d)      Climate: subtropical in lowlands, temperate in mountains

e)      Terrain: mostly mountains in interior, narrow coastal plains

f)       Bordered by Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Fonseca 

g)      Natural Resources: timber, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron, ore, coal, fish

h)      Natural Hazards: frequent, but generally mild earthquakes; extremely susceptible to damaging hurricanes and floods along Caribbean coast

i)        Highest Point: Cerro Las Minas 2,870m

j)        Lowest Point: Caribbean Sea, 0 m

k)      Population: over7 million

l)        Median Age: 20.3 yrs

m)   Religions: Roman Catholic (97%), Protestant (3%)

n)      Languages: Spanish, Amerindian dialects

o)      Birth Rate: 26.9 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

p)      Death Rate: 5.36 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

q)      Life Expectancy: 69.4 yrs

r)       HIV/AIDS adult prevalence: 0.7% (2007 est)

s)       Government Type: democratic constitutional republic

t)       Chief of State: President Jose Manuel ZELAYA Rosales

u)      Unemployment Rate: 27.8%

v)      GDP per capita: $4,400

w)    *THIS INFORMATION IS NOT FROM CIA.GOV, BUT FROM THE US STATE DEPARTMENT. Human Trafficking: Honduras is listed as Tier 2 – According to the State Department’s human trafficking report, “Honduras is principally a source and transit country for women, girls, and boys trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Honduran children are typically trafficked from rural areas to urban and tourist centers such as San Pedro Sula, the North Caribbean coast, and the Bay Islands.” (Reminder- There are 3 tiers: Tier 1 – compliant with all laws, Tier 2 – some effort being made to comply, Tier 3 – ignoring or promoting traffic)

x)      Telephone main lines in use: 821,200 (2007)

y)      Telephones-Mobile cellular: 4.185 million (2007)

z)       Internet Users: 424,200 (2007)

*Source Link: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/loving_care_for_orphans/

South Asia

Welcome to What in the World Wednesdays. It is my hope that this blog will bring believers together in prayer for the nations. Each Wednesday, we’ll focus on a different nation. Thank you for joining us!

Prayer Focus:
JOY!

Blog:
I receive updates from various missions organizations. These updates include prayer requests, progress reports, and personal stories. Because of possible persecution, the people in these stories are often known by only an initial. Today’s story is about J. Now, I realize this week’s blog  is a bit different, as we are praying for a region rather than a specific nation. Because of this, I won’t include the A-Z facts. I didn’t want to break our format, so I initially skipped over J’s story and tried to find another to write, but I kept coming back to J – kept feeling that tug in my heart until finally I stopped to pray for J. I hope you will too.

I’m enclosing a small paragraph from an email I received from International Mission Board (IMB).

“SOUTH ASIA. Pray for J. He is 14 years old and wants to be an evangelist. Recently he took a bag full of tracts and went to a busy bus station. For hours, he shared Christ with people. At 2 a.m. the police questioned why he was in a bus station in the middle of the night. They took him into custody until his parents could be contacted. A South Asian Christian knows J’s parents. He convinced J that he needs a good education so he will be better equipped to serve the Lord as he desires to do. So J now lives with that Christian family and goes to school. When he is not in school, he is eagerly finding ways to serve the others and the Lord. Anytime someone calls his name, he runs to serve with a beautiful smile and a gracious heart. Pray that J will continue to grow in God’s grace and that he will always be eager to serve the Lord with all his heart. Ask God to anoint other young South Asian believers with the passion to share the gospel and serve the Lord.” http://www.go2southasia.org/

God has a plan for J. This young man is full of joy and a passion for the Lord. As believers, we are familiar with Nehemiah 8:10 that tells us, “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” I can tell you, the enemy of our souls knows this truth also. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Because of this, the enemy works to steal away that joy. I have seen it happen many times in the lives of others, and I admit, it has happened in my own life as well.

J is young. Things are going to happen in his life – lots of joyful moments, but suffering will be in that mix too. Disappointments, loss, perhaps betrayal. We can’t escape these things, and neither did our Savior. This is the way of it…the way of suffering. We must all walk that long and lonely corridor at some point in our lives – beaten and bruised, misunderstood, struggling beneath the weight of this cross we are destined to carry. But at the end of this road, a brilliant Light shines – lighting our way, warming our hearts with joy, even as we walk among the thorns. Christ is ever-present, ever-faithful. Sometimes it’s hard to see that in the struggle, and that is why we must be watchful and pray.

1 Peter 5:5-12
-Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.

James 1:2-4
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

We must pray for J and other young believers to persevere, to hold fast to the faith, to stand firm in truth, to celebrate the joy of the Lord. We must pray for each other to do the same, so that like J, we “run to serve with a beautiful smile and a gracious heart.”

How beautiful. And I just have to think, when Jesus sees that joy in our hearts, He knows it was worth it all.

 

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