1. PRAY FOR THE ASIA PACIFIC MISSIONS CONGRESS THIS WEEK!
Please PRAY for this important event happening this week in Singapore.
See Prayer Requests for this:
2. FOCUS ON THE PACIFIC NATIONS
We are thankful for:
- the amazing diversity of people and cultures living on the islands of Oceania
- the magnificent natural scenery and sea life
- the strong, faithful presence of churches in these lands
- Thank God for the strength of Christianity in the Pacific Islands. The Pacific was one of the first areas to be evangelized in the modern Protestant missionary era. By the end of the 19th Century, most of the Pacific region had become Christian through the sacrificial labours of early LMS (London Missionary Society), Methodist, Anglican and Pacific Islander missionaries.
- Missionary casualties were high through disease, violent death and cannibalism, and the gospel arrived alongside Western colonialism, but great people movements brought whole peoples and islands to Christianity.
- Praise God for the continued legacy of their work, and for continued spiritual life to the churches they planted.
We pray for:
- efforts to preserve these island nations in the midst of rising seas
- those adversely affected by earthquakes, volcanoes and cyclones
- those dealing with the legacy of past nuclear weapons testing and with garbage dumping today
- good governance – especially in preserving indigenous cultures –which effectively serves those who are impoverished, hungry, lacking education or unable to make a living.
- Renewal of the Pacific Islands vision for mission and prayer. In recent years, New Zealand has had a good record in sending out missionaries. Other nations such as Fiji and Papua New Guinea are seeing more significant sending movements occur.
- Unrest and violence have occurred in several locations for ethnic, economic, political and socio-cultural reasons. Fiji – with its split between indigenous Fijians and the large ethnic Indian population and its history of coups – remains the most obvious example.
- A large-scale demographic shift is occurring across the region. Migration is happening on an unprecedented scale. Many Pacific Island ethnicities have a larger population in diaspora than in their traditional homeland.The main contributing factors are:
- Demographic. As Australia and New Zealand deal with ageing populations and low fertility rates (at least among the majority Caucasian population), the Pacific Islands have high fertility rates and a burgeoning young population.
- Economic. Vast disparity between the haves and have-nots, lack of opportunity in the Pacific Islands and the need to fill current and future employment gaps in wealthy nations (especially Australia/New Zealand) pull many Islanders away from their traditional homelands.
- The health and viability of many isolated island communities are threatened by modernity and globalization, large-scale unemployment, heavy dependence on aid, isolation from health, education and modern consumer goods as well as prohibitive costs of inter-island travel. The replacement of a subsistence economy, driven by agriculture and fishing, with a cash economy pushes many men abroad to find work, generates a brain (and muscle) drain and introduces a changed diet that, in turn, intensifies already existing health issues.
- Increasing investment, involvement and immigration from Pacific Rim nations will profoundly shape the Pacific’s future. China in particular but also Japan, Korea and Taiwan have significant stakes in the natural, material and human resources of the Pacific islands, stakes that will most likely grow in scale and influence.