"Most of your unhappiness in life is because you're listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself." - Martin-Lloyd Jones
FROM THE DESK OF: the Director of Communications
First two rounds of the NCAA tournament are behind us. My bracket is essentially in flames and Erin is now out of the office and doing soccer clinics overseas. Feel free to pray for both her work and my bracket...
For the Win[dow],
Bubby Bryan, DOC
VERSE OF THE WEEK: Isaiah 62:5
"...as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you."
COUNTRY OF THE WEEK: Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan - a nation with a majority-Turkic and majority-Shia Muslim population - was briefly independent (from 1918 to 1920) following the collapse of the Russian Empire; it was subsequently incorporated into the Soviet Union for seven decades. Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily ethnic Armenian-populated region that Moscow recognized in 1923 as an autonomous republic within Soviet Azerbaijan after Armenia and Azerbaijan disputed the territory's status. Armenia and Azerbaijan reignited their dispute over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated militarily after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven surrounding provinces in the territory of Azerbaijan. The OSCE Minsk Group, co-chaired by the US, France, and Russia, is the framework established to mediate a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Corruption in the country is widespread, and the government, which eliminated presidential term limits in a 2009 referendum and approved extending presidential terms from 5 to 7 years in 2016, has been accused of authoritarianism. Although the poverty rate has been reduced and infrastructure investment has increased substantially in recent years due to revenue from oil and gas production, reforms have not adequately addressed weaknesses in most government institutions, particularly in the education and health sectors, as well as the court system.
- Pray for God's love to be proclaimed in the dozens of towns and villages which have never heard the Gospel.
- Pray for enduring solutions to conflicts with Armenia and Russia.
- Pray for mature leaders, deepening unity, and increased discipleship for the growing Church in spite of government surveillance.
- Pray for the Uttermost workers in the field.
- Pray for the US office.