Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Praying for Eritrea: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - May 16 (Day 137)

In his book, The Bottom Billion, Paul Collier highlights "Why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it." While I don't endorse all his conclusions, the basic premise of his book is important to understand: One billion people live in countries that are not developed, or developing, but actually declining - countries where all standard poverty-alleviating approaches are simply failing.

Hoping to avoid self-fulfilling prophecies, Collier chose not to list the countries where "the bottom billion" live. Almost certainly, though, Eritrea is one of them. I certainly think "declining" is a mild way to describe a country where over 50% live on less than $1 a day; where the agriculture provides only a fraction of the food needed for people to live; where a Marxist president has enacted policies that forced out the UN and foreign non-governmental organizations so that the people who could help are not even welcome in the country. Operation World observes that "some development of infrastructure and of the mining industry are among the few positives." That's reaching pretty far down to try to find indicators of progress.

So I'm thrilled today and tomorrow that we are pouring our hearts out for this country. Please read about Eritrea on pages 322-325.

This simple video will guide our prayers today. It captures the need to pray for the country on multiple levels, for the persecuted church there, and for the refugees who often pay what precious money they have to be sneaked out of the country, often going through multiple national borders (some legally and some illegally) simply in order to find a country to give them asylum. Let's join these believers and seek to obtain the heart of God for Eritrea today. 

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