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21 May 2015

Pray for Europe says mission in Zimbabwe

Pray for Europe says mission in Zimbabwe

Thousands of Zimbabweans have committed to praying for Europe throughout the month of May.

The initiative comes from Operation Mobilisation (OM) Zimbabwe, which has produced a 31-day prayer booklet to help people pray for the continent. It also encourages people to get involved in mission to Europe.

This continent is not one of the first places we think of for missionaries to go to because of its Christian heritage, its legacy of producing incredible theologians and the impact of its history of sending missionaries into the far-reaches of the world.

In the first century Paul set foot on European soil when he sailed to Rome, and from there the influence and spread of Christianity has been practically unstoppable.

The initial band of fervent but persecuted believers became an official religion in Constantine's time, leading to reformation and world-wide expansion and since then Christians have maintained a significant presence on the continent.

Yet today, on the continent where Paul gave his life, there are unreached and unengaged people groups who have little or no access to the Gospel message.

A group is considered to be 'unreached' when less than two per cent of its population is evangelical Christian, and considered to be 'unengaged' when no evangelical church planting strategy is being implemented among them.

In the UK all indicators show a continued secularisation of British society in line with other European countries. The cultural attachment to Christianity in general lives on, but church attendance continues to decline.

Indeed Islam is the largest growing religion in the UK, owing to the high birth rate among Muslims.

It has been estimated that from 2001 to 2011, about 100,000 people converted to Islam but 75 per cent of these converts quickly renounced their declaration of faith.

"The role of OM Zimbabwe in the body of Christ is to mobilise the church to send workers, and facilitate the sending of workers, to make disciples of all nations," says OM Zimbabwe.

"Our vision is to see God mobilise, equip and send out 500 missionaries from Zimbabwe to the nations of the world by the year 2020."

The African continent itself had witnessed various Pentecostal renewals, which have changed the outlook of the continent having been the recipient of European missionary activity 100 years ago. One of the results of these revivals is that Africans are now bringing the gospel back to Europe and other parts of the world.

With the stagnation of Christianity in the West and the siege under which the faith has sometimes come, Africans may well be vessels through whose service God will accomplish His purposes.

Each day of the prayer booklet focuses on a country in Europe, providing some background and information about the church or OM ministries, or sharing some stories of what God is doing, even opportunities for people to serve and a couple of key pointers for prayer.

There are currently over 3,100 people serving within the OM family of ministries in more than 110 different countries. They work on every continent and on every ocean using their ocean-going ship, Logos Hope to see lives and communities transformed.