Worldwide Prayer Meeting November 2, 2023
Prayer Focus: The Netherlands,
Czech Republic & Slovakia Territory
This I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for Him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him,
to the one who seeks Him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
Heavenly Father, I pray this morning for the one who is losing hope. I remember times when I have felt hopeless, when things seemed stacked against me, when I couldn’t figure out the answers. I knew You were there and I knew that You would see me through but I didn’t know when and I didn’t know how. Please, dear God, remind that one who is losing hope that You are as close as the breath in their lungs. Please send them a song, a note, a word of encouragement. If I can be a messenger, even if I don’t know it, please let me be Your messenger of hope. Make me aware, because so often I am intent on getting to this place or doing this thing that I miss the opportunity right there in front of me. Let me hear with Your ears and see with Your eyes for that one who may need a warm touch and a gentle voice. I give myself to You for service. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Commissioner Dick Krommenhoek is the best known modern Salvation Army composer and song writer in recent history. A past territorial commander, he and his wife have continued to serve as corps officers in retirement. This song, “Surely He has Borne Our Sorrows” is a beautiful musical setting for Isaiah 53:4-6.
Background of the Netherlands, Czech Republic & Slovakia Territory
As the name of the territory says, there are three distinct countries that comprise it. They are as follows, each with its own opportunities and challenges;
The Netherlands: Historically, the Netherlands was one of the key nations where the Protestant Reformation took root and where Christianity enjoyed a long and fruitful history for centuries. Unfortunately, in the latter half of the twentieth century a sharp U turn was made. With some of the most liberal laws in the world, for example, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia. Less than 20% of Dutch Christians attend church with any regularity, with 65% of Dutch citizens claiming no church affiliation at all. However, church declines lately has been slowing and in some cases reversing. Immigrant churches have shown diversity and vitality and some of this has spilled over into the traditional churches. A growing unity among evangelical denominations has also helped.
One of the conspicuous social problems has resulted from a liberal immigration policy that allowed large numbers of Muslims to come in. The thought was that they would integrate with the rest of the population but when that did not occur friction began to grow that has resulted in more restrictive immigration policies and resentment from the majority population. Some Muslims have turned to Christ but these numbers are small.
Czech Republic: The Czech Republic suffered from a number of years under a communist government that openly fought against Christianity. However, there is now growing expressions of Christianity even while more traditional ones are struggling. It is a country very much in flux from a religious standpoint but with promise for the future. The economy is steadily growing and with that, people are able to turn their attention to other aspects of life. Not surprisingly, with the tensions from the conflict in Ukraine, there is some uneasiness as they cast their eyes eastward.
Slovakia: This country enjoys a very strong Christian heritage among the Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed traditions. Presently, there are renewal movements within those expressions that are calling people back to a more vital faith. Evangelical denominations remain few and small but there is some growth here as well. One of the threats to both the established and the newer evangelical churches is aggressive growth from the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
A special population where opportunity is presenting itself for the gospel and other ministry is the Romani, otherwise known as the Gypsies. Often misunderstood and despised, the Romani have suffered a great deal of discrimination but they are by far the most responsive ethnic group in Europe to the gospel.
The Salvation Army: The Army opened fire in the Gerard Doustraat, Amsterdam on May 8, 1887 under the leadership of Captain and Mrs. Joseph K. Tyler, English officers, and Lt. Gerrit J. Govaars, a gifted Dutch teacher. Operations soon spread across the country and then into what were then the Dutch colonies of Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) in 1894 and Surinam in 1926.
The Salvation Army originally opened work in Czechoslovakia in 1919, pioneered by Colonel Karl Larsson, continuing there until 1950. Operations were suppressed by the communist government and discontinued until reopened in 1990 with the work placed under the direction of the then Netherlands Territory. Later, work was extended to Slovakia in 2015. The territory was renamed in 2015 to its current name.
Facts, Stats and Leadership of the
Netherlands, Czech Republic & Slovakia Territory
- Total population with which to fish and disciple: 34,212,201
- 100 officers, 9 auxiliary captains, 2 envoys, 8 cadets, and 7,865 employees
- 189 retired officers
- 63 corps; 85 outposts
- 3,120 senior soldiers
- 1,147 adherents
- 316 junior soldiers
- Territorial Commander: Commissioner Bente Gunderson
- Chief Secretary: Colonel Donna Evans
- President of Women’s Ministries – Commissioner Bente Gunderson
Prayer Requests of the Netherlands, Czech Republic & Slovakia Territory
- Praise God for the development of our scouting groups and adventure clubs. Pray for new volunteers as we continue to develop this area of ministry
- Praise God for sending us new Christian workers to bring in the harvest.
- Praise God as He still calls men and women to serve as officers.
- Praise God for the new fresh expressions that have started.
- Pray that we continue to find new ways of connecting with people to create new community based ministries.
- Pray for the children's and youth work in corps and in our community centers. That we make room for a new generation to rise up and serve God in new and creative ways.
- Pray for the leading and dependency on the Holy Spirit and a brave heart to take bold decisions
- Pray that the Dutch Government does not change the right for employees to be selected on a religious background
- Pray for safety and openness for employees in our social services as we continue our focus on Christian identity.
- Pray for victims of human trafficking and discernment and wisdom for officers, employees and volunteers who are involved in this ministry
- Pray for the work that continues with refugees who have been displaced due to conflict
- Pray for additional funding to support TSA (Armada Spasy) to develop social work for vulnerable adults and children in the Czech and Slovakia.
- Pray for our Roma community as we continue to develop this ministry, including the establishment of kindergartens. (There some 700 settlements in Slovakia).
- Pray that the joy of the Lord will be our strength and that we would continue to unite, encourage and support each other on our journey
USA Southern Territory Prayer Requests
- The Major Betty J. Johnson whose son was Promoted to Glory
- Lt. Colonel Carolee Israel
- Major Amy Lee
- Risk Management
- Johanna Wint, Program and Operations Director, Social Services
- Nick Simmons-Smith, Music & Creative Arts Education Secretary, Music
- Mercy Cosme, Program Assistant, Communications
- Captain Bryan Farrington, Director of Property/Home/Transportation, EBC
- Cadet Christopher Swinney
- Captain Elyse Doborwicz, Candidates’ Secretary, AOK Division
- Captain Min-Kee Kim, Korea Territory
- Colonel Ralph Bukiewicz, National Chief Secretary
- Majors John & Cristina Murphy, officers, employees and volunteers of the ARC Command
- Services Against Human & Sexual Trafficking
- An anonymous request that God will help us make it through another week; that God will help her not live according to the ways of the world and to remember that God is there to help her and that He will not leave her.
Something to Consider
In Richard Collier’s matchless book on William Booth, and the early day Salvation Army, General Next to God, he tells a story from the pioneering days of the work in India. I cannot possibly tell it better than he, so it is quoted below:
“…A dark handsome blue-eyed girls from Dundee, Scotland, Elizabeth Geikie, was a matchless example. To her tiny hut in the jungle near Nagercoil – its one touch of home The War Cry pictures pasted to the mud walls – the villagers brought a man almost crazed with pain. Bending close to the litter Elizabeth Geikie saw a huge thorn driven like a nail though his foot; only the pinpoint was visible. Her medicine chest held only Vaseline, Epsom salts and castor-oil, but if Elizabeth had no forceps she had white firm teeth. Kneeling, she managed to clamp them round the thorn and wrench it free. Then she bathed the round in coconut oil and wrapped it in clean lint.
“Next day, when the pain had gone, the villagers were curious to know more of Elizabeth Geikie’s God. Both the wounded man and his wife – though they never fully understood her sermons – became Salvationists. But they understood to save a life a woman had placed her lips, the most sacred part of the body, upon the most despised member, the foot.”
We do not know what God may call upon us to do. The question is, when the moment comes, will we be ready? And will we do what needs to be done?
May the strength the Lord gives you this day make the burden He gives you light and the yoke upon you joyful. Amen.
The classic hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” continues to bless through the generations. Let the lyrics and tune wash over you once again.