Côte d’Ivoire

7 06 2016

 

Known until 1985 as ‘Ivory Coast’ (English), Côte d’Ivoire is an extremely beautiful place.

It is an African wet coat nation situated between Ghana and Liberia. It has rainforest to the south and savannah and highlands in the north.

Capital: Yamoussoukro (895,000 approx.) Abidjan is the economic, cultural captial.

Population:  24 million approx.

Operation World says: it is “One of the world’s largest producers of cocoa, coffee and palm oil” (p. 284).

They obtained independence from France in 1960.  But political coups, failed peace agreements, and political tensions have dogged the nation. As with many other African nation, there is a Muslim north and a non-Muslim (Christian and animist) south.

Religions: Muslim 41%, Christian 33%, Ethnoreligious 24%

Money: They use the West African Franc. As does Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

It is good to ponder the very existence, life, uniqueness and glory of every nation. For just as the nations enter the arena of the Olympic Games in a unique, noble, glorious manner, so too from Côte d’Ivoire, “people will bring into [the Holy City , the future community] the glory and honour of this nation” (Revelation 21:26).

Prayer Points:

  1. For political leaders who are visionary, non-partisan and free of corruption.
  2. For ways to handle million of immigrants from neighbouring countries.
  3. For the ongoing growth of the Evangelical churches, sharing God’s Word.
  4. For believers in Christ to resist the temptation to return to animist ways.
  5. For the demographic sectors of society needing the gospel.
  6. For the nearly 1 million people who have contracted AIDS in the country.
  7. For the ministries of many young people who have recently become Christians, to flourish.

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Cameroon

18 04 2013

Capital: Yaounde 1.8 million.  Total Population in Cameroon 20 million.

Geography: On the continental ‘hinge’ between West and Central Africa. Semi-arid in the north, grasslands in the centre, rainforest in the south.

Cameroon

286 “Peoples” – 52% Bantu: “One of Africa’s most ethnically and linguistically complex countries” (Operation World, p. 189)

Economy: Agriculture, oil exports. Lots of rain and minerals. High unemployment, high debt level, high corruption. Even so, they have a high literacy rate for an African country.

Politics: A German colony from 1884—1919, then divided between Britain and France. Independence 1960.

Religion: Secular state that guarantees religious freedom. Islam is strong in the north, especially among the Fulbe, and interfaith tensions have increased over recent decades, especially with the increased profile of more radical Islam.

Christian 53.8%     Muslim 26%     Ethnoreligionist  19%

Prayer Points:

1. ANSWERS – give thanks for

(i) the growth of evangelicals since 2000 despite the decrease in high-profile campaigns [or because of that decrease, perhaps?   …just sayin’];

(ii) many significant leaders – professional, military, police and political – have been converted to Christ, giving hope for changing a society infamous for corruption – even regular prayer meetings are taking place when parliament is in session.

(iii) Media use for evangelism has increased, building upon the legalisation in 2000 of Christian private radio and TV broadcasting (according to OW, p. 190)

2. That Cameroon internal forces may be overcome: (i) Corruption is deeply entrenched and widespread; (ii) has deep division of language, politics and faith [religion] – a recipe for trouble, but something the gospel and its message of The Reconciler, is perfectly “designed” to overcome; (iii) integrity in leadership – pray for examples, a few more and a few more people to speak up and act truly in righteousness, rather than perpetuating the ‘status quo’.

3. The Spiritual Poverty of the Churches is a great tragedy. Nominal Christianity is a bigger problem in Cameroon than in most of Africa.  

Dear Lord Jesus, may your Presence stir afresh an awareness of the power of your Lordship to bring lasting light and helping hope and practical peace wherever your love is made known, and lived in, and prayed for – to spread.

4. Pray For more co-operation between the many African and Western Evangelicals and Pentecostal Groups.

5. For Quality Leadership and Discipleship Training among the shallowness of many churches.

6. Pray For a Growing Sense of the Church’s Mission

7. Young People are frustrated by the unchanging political status quo, high unemployment, cheating and bribery and favouritism. We pray that in this climate the young people will have the strength and vision of Christ and REFUSE to turn to crime, prostitution and violence as their way ahead. We pray for the Student Ministry movements to be effective and for schools and universities to lay a foundation thereby, for a fruitful future.

8. Pray for Less Reached People Groups: Muslims are a majority in 59 people groups. Also the many peoples among the Mandara Mountains need to hear the Word, as some breakthroughs are occurring. The Baka/Pygmies in the southeastern forests – are being reached at last, pray for a hearing amidst their animist ways. The northern plans people are being pressured by Islam – pray for inroads of freedom in the gospel to be a truly appealing contrast.

9. A missionary growth of interest and of contributors to the great task of Bible Translation and mobilisation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Burkina Faso

26 03 2013

A land-locked African country of 17 million people. One of the world’s poorest countries.

Capital: Ouagadougou 1.9 million.

Water-carryingBurkina Faso

Cotton is the main cash crop. About 90% of the population rely on subsistence agriculture, which is vulnerable to drought. Can you imagine?

Gold and other mineral resources are in the land, and signal possibilities of increased wealth.

High national debt and low levels of education make progress difficult.

Political History, Briefly: Independent of France in 1960, but with 6 coups since 1966, with ‘the military’ in power often; multiparty democracy has been introduced.

Religion: Muslim 52.2%;  Ethnoreligious 26.44%;  Christian 20.69%;  Non-religious 0.65%;  Baha’i 0.02%

Churches:

  • Roman Catholic                                1.08 million;
  • Assemblies Of God                           611,732
  • CMA                                                      28,200
  • Evangelical Church Association  25,926
  • Reformed                                              10,825
  • Apostolic Church                               12,500
  • Baptist … and others…. less

The increase of Christianity, particularly evangelicals over recent decades has been very promising.  The AoG have a strong missionary vision, and many have been converts from Muslim backgrounds.

Prayer Points:

1. Poverty: pray for Aid, development and micro-finance and micro-enterprise that will actually life the people out of poverty rather than create further dependence. Pray against corruption in the government and the aid industry that siphons resources away from the people most in need of it; pray for creative solutions to this longstanding problem.

2. The many Burkinabe’ – (information from OW) “…who emerge for work. An estimated three million Burkinabe’ worked in Cote d’Ivoire before violence broke out there in 2002. Large numbers fled back to Burkina Faso, but are now returning to Cote d’Ivoire. As many as 70% of these emigre’s convert to Islam while away from home. Burkina churches are taking up the challenge by sending pastors and missionaries to reach these Burkinabe abroad, especially AoG, CMA and WEC, but more are needed.

3. Rapid Urbanisation continues as subsistence agriculture and traditional rural life proves inadequate to support families or to keep young people occupied.

4. The spirit world is very real in Burkina Faso, where as the saying goes: ‘the population is 50% Muslim, 20% Christian and 100% animist’. The power of the occult needs to be decisively challenged and broken, to see that Jesus Christ is Lord. “Few countries in West Africa are more dominated by idolatry, fetishism and secret societies. Even in churches, occult power is wielded, hampering and polluting the message of Christ” (OM).

5. The evangelical churches need leadership and unity.

6. The unreached include 27 people groups (nations). 17 of these are Muslim. The challenges are huge … (see page 179 Operation World). 

7. Missionaries and a strong Mission Vision.

8. Christian Aid and Relief – adds credibility to the message of Christ, in significant ways here.

9. Young People: Street kids are increasingly common. Student ministry, and educational ministry, is crucial to reach many too.

10. Bible Translation: help!

11. Media Ministries. Pray for the fruitfulness of the Radio broadcasting of the gospel into remote areas.





Bolivia

11 12 2012

Bolivia is a land-locked Latin American country. And what a history it has. Prior to European Colonization the Andean region of Bolivia was a part of the Inca Empire.  The conquistadors took control of the region in the 16th century. During the Spanish colonial period it was known as ‘Upper Peru’.

(Peru is to the West, then the sea… while Chile is southwest, and Brazil to the north. Paraguay and Argentina are to the south).

Bolivia

Independence from Spain came in 1825. But. Over 200 successful coups or revolutions have retarded genuine progress.

“Once South America’s richest area, but corrupt, unstable governments, the fall in silver, tin and cotton prices on international markets and a poor infrastructure render it the continent’s poorest nation”.

Population: 10 million. Of these, 9.1 million identify as Christian (7.7 million Catholic).

The Roman Catholic Church remains the official State religion—and that is a problem, in so far as the other groups experience discrimination.

“Pray that the millions of nominal and Christo-pagan Catholics might come to a living faith in Christ”. (OW)

Leadership Training is a desperate need. Evangelical Christians are praying the nation may grow to consist of 30% Christian.

CapitalLa Paz (administrative) 1,673,401; Sucre (legal) 288,000, Other major city: Santa Cruz 1.7 million.

 





Benin

31 10 2012
  • Witch doctors.
  • Voodoo.
  • Animism.
  • People-smuggling.
  • Black market.
  • Corruption.
  • Syncretism.

Consider Benin. A republic in Africa of only 9.3 million people, situated between Togo and Nigeria. It is a nation with complete freedom of religion. It became Independent from France in 1960. “After seven coups and one Marxist regime, a democracy was formed in 1991. The government has since remained stable and witnessed a smooth transition via elections from the previous president to its current one.

This is one of the world’s poorest countries. Agriculture is key to the economy, but the movement is towards rapid urbanisation. It trades heavily with neighbour Nigeria. Cotton accounts for half of the GDP. Income per person is $828.

Christians with a heart for mission and language translation, please note: this is probably the least evangelised non-Muslim country in Africa, with many unreached peoples. Pray for ministry of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and his resurrection power at work in the world, to reach:

1. The Fon – voodoo still permeates their lives.

2. The Gbe – includes 19 southern peoples from the Kwa/Guinean grouping.

3. The Ede Nago – located on the southern border with Nigeria – no Scripture in their tongue.

4. Muslim peoples – in the far northern prt of the nation,

5. The Fulbe (Fula) – several thousand came to Christ through Western (SIM, AoG) and indigenous ministries.

6. The 1.3 million urbanites of the cities of Porto-Novo (Capital), Cotonou and Parakou.

So, much to consider, hey?

  • Responsiveness to the gospel is high in many places.
  • More workers are absolutely vital.
  • Bible Translation remains a pressing need: Nearly half of Benin’s languages are without a Bible or even a NT.
  • Media opportunities abound: Radio, TV, the JESUS film, audio recordings on CD and MP3.

The country is a long narrow piece of land. The official language is French.

Religious make-up:

  • Christian                   40%
  • Ethno-religionist    36%
  • Muslim                      23%
  • Other                            1%








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