FROM THE DESK OF: the Director of Partnerships
Growing and maintaining partnerships is a fluid process that ebbs and flows as relationships begin and change over time. Our network of churches, Christian sports organizations, missions agencies, and individual advocates has supported the work in every way from sending coaches and sports experts overseas, to giving financially, to inviting us to present at their missions events. And for this we are so grateful. But the push in the secular sports world for programs that use sport to impact communities and at-risk populations has opened the door to a new type of partnership. Grants. I had no idea when I began just how crucial partnerships with grant-making organizations would be to us and our work. Pray for us to be connected to the right organizations, to write proposals that reflect excellence in all that we do, and to find favor with the decision-makers, knowing that, ultimately, the Lord is the one who will bring the finances and partners we need.
For the Win[dow],
Annie Fox, DOP
VERSE OF THE WEEK: Ephesians 2:4-5
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ..."
COUNTRY OF THE WEEK: YEMEN
Yemen is an Arab country in Southwest Asia, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. Yemen is the second largest country in the peninsula, occupying 527,970 km2 (203,850 sq mi). The coastline stretches for about 2,000 km (1,200 mi). It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, the Gulf of Aden andArabian Sea to the south, and Oman to the east. Its capital and largest city is Sana'a. Yemen's territory includes more than 200 islands, the largest of these is Socotra.
Yemen was home of the Sabaeans (biblical Sheba), a trading state that flourished for over a thousand years and probably also included parts of modern-day Ethiopia and Eritrea. In 275 AD, the region came under the rule of the laterJewish influenced Himyarite Kingdom. Christianity arrived in the 4th century AD whereas Judaism and local Paganismwere already established. Islam spread quickly in the 7th century and Yemenite troops were crucial in the expansion of the early Islamic conquests. Administration of Yemen has long been notoriously difficult. Several dynasties emerged from the 9th to 16th century, the Rasulid being the strongest and most prosperous. The country was divided between the Ottoman and British empires in the early 20th century. The Zaydi Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen was established afterWorld War I in North Yemen before the creation of Yemen Arab Republic in 1962. South Yemen remained a British protectorate until 1967. The two Yemeni states united to form the modern republic of Yemen in 1990.
Yemen is a developing country. Under the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen was described as a kleptocracy. According to the 2009 international corruption Perception Index by Transparency International, Yemen ranked 164 out of 182 countries surveyed. In the absence of strong state institutions, elite politics in Yemen constituted a de facto form of collaborative governance, where competing tribal, regional, religious and political interests agreed to hold themselves in check through tacit acceptance of the balance it produced. The informal political settlement was held together by a power-sharing deal between three men: president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who controlled the ‘state'; major general Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who controlled the largest share of the army; and sheikh Abdullah al-Ahmar, figurehead of the Islamist Islah party and Saudi Arabia's chosen broker of transnational patronage payments to various political players, including tribal sheikhs. The Saudi payments have been intended to facilitate the tribes autonomy from the Yemeni government and to give the Saudi government a mechanism with which to weigh in on Yemen's political decision making.
Yemen has been in a state of political crisis since 2011. In January 2011, a series of street protests began against poverty, unemployment, corruption and president Saleh's plan to amend Yemen's constitution and eliminate presidential term limit, in effect making him president for life. He was also grooming his eldest son Ahmed Saleh, the commander of theRepublican Guard, to succeed him. The United States considers Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to be the "most dangerous of all the franchises of Al-Qaeda". The U.S sought a controlled transition that would enable their counter-terrorism operations to continue, while Saudi Arabia's main concern was to maintain its influence in Yemen through some old regime figures and other tribal leaders who were part of the so-called "GCC initiative". Ali Abdullah Salehhanded over power to his vice president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, and was granted immunity from prosecution. ANational Dialogue Conference was launched on 18 March 2012 to reach consensus on major issues facing the country's future.
President Hadi's term was extended for another year. However, the transitional process was disrupted by conflicts between different factions in northern Yemen, as well as the al-Qaeda insurgency. In September 2014, the Houthis took over Sana'a and prompted the formation of a new "unity government" including a variety of Yemeni factions. On January 22 2015, after 4 days of fighting in the capital, Sana’a, the president, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi; the prime minister, Khaled Bahah; and the whole cabinet he formed in November resigned their posts.
On February 6 2015, the Houthis declared a national council which was rejected by all political parties. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for the restoration of power to President Hadi. Yemeni factions resumed United Nations mediated talks in February 9 2015. (Wikipedia)
- Pray for the Gospel to go forth in power despite current legal restrictions.
- Pray for freedom from the narcotic qat that holds 80% of Yemeni adults captive.
- Pray for the desperate economic situation to ignite a longing for lasting hope and security.
- Pray for safety and stability during yet another violent overthrow of the government.
- Pray for the Uttermost workers in the field.
- Pray for the US office.