2015 Pray for Mongolia

Current Prayer Updates

 

praise Praise God for His protection and provision for many JCS volunteers who have been working in Mongolia for well prayingsover 10 years!

pray1 Pray for the work we are doing to reconstruct our website and also update all the information.

pray1 Pray that more volunteers will join JCS for long-term service in 2015.

pray1 Pray for the Leadership Team and the Mongolian Advisory Committee as they work on the JCS Strategic Plan for the next 5 years.

pray1 Pray for the Mongolian Prayer Movement Committee to continue their work of 24/365 with dedication and commitment.

Specific Prayer Topics

The following topics are ways to pray for Mongolia.  There may be opportunities for foreign workers in many of these prayer topic areas.

JCS International Placement Opportunities
Agriculture Poverty
Nomadic herders Prisons and Prisoners
Greenhouses Prostitution
Alcoholism Religion in Mongolia
ATCC, Celebrate Recovery Spiritual world
Business and Economy Mongolian Christian Church today
Papa Café & Eternal Springs Cafe Biblical and Theological Education
Artis Altai Translation of Bible and Books
Special Needs’ Community
Educational System Sports:
Teaching Opportunities Football
Environmental Issues Hockey
Government TCK (Third-Culture Kids)
Health Youth
Human Trafficking

 

 

JCS International

The vision of JCS International is to see Mongolians building and restoring families, churches, and communities.  They do this through development projects as well as placements of professional foreign volunteers in Mongolia. Today about 30 foreign volunteers work under JCS.

PRAYER POINTS:

• Pray for support resources to do their work. This includes prayer support, professional support, and financial support.

• Recently the number of foreign volunteers has been decreasing, even though many Mongolian organizations have requested for advisors and trainers to equip and teach Mongolians who are open to learn. There have been requests for leadership training, management training and mentoring for Mongolian leaders.

• Pray for more volunteers to come and assist their Mongolian brothers and sisters to do good works for Mongolia according to God’s plan.

Updated April 2015

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Agriculture

Agriculture in Mongolia is about 20% of Mongolia’s annual Gross Domestic Product and employs 42% of the labor force.1 The high altitude, extreme fluctuation in temperature, long winters, and low precipitation provide limited potential for agricultural development.  Only 1% of the arable land in Mongolia is cultivated with crops. The growing season is short with only 95 – 110 days. Because of Mongolia’s harsh climate, it is unsuited to most cultivation.

Greenhouses enable people to have a longer planting season, giving another means of producing food.

Mongolia has about 145,000 nomadic herding families2 and 51.9 million head of livestock.3 Animal herding is the most important sector of Mongolian agriculture, providing almost two-thirds of agricultural production (meat, cashmere, wool, leather, milk, etc.). It provides a source of income, food, and a mode of transportation for a significant part of the population as well as being an important part of Mongolia’s exports.  Nomadic herding is an important part of Mongolia’s culture and heritage.

Some mining activity has affected the land for both herders and farmers.

PRAYER POINTS:

• Pray for greenhouses to be fruitful and for more people to get involved in using them.

• Pray for Mongolia’s Nomadic Herders:

• As they face challenges such as children’s education, droughts, severe winter storms and floods. Pray that they be trained with new skills that support sustainable livelihoods and improved animal husbandry.

• As they are isolated, moving their animals in sub-zero weather to find better pasture; many have no access to medical assistance; many have a shortage of heating materials; many herders’ children leave school and are under-educated as they are needed to work with the herds.

• Pray for government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) to reach out and help these agricultural families.

• Pray for a wise balance of traditional herding, agriculture and mining.

• Pray for wisdom for government and aid agencies to promote initiatives for micro-business and agricultural ventures in rural Mongolia to counter urban migration.

1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_Mongolia

2http://www.mofa.gov.mn/new/images/banners/draft/ud03.pdf

3http://www.nso.mn/content/1046#.VRKRniarIdg

Updated April 2015

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Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a major problem in Mongolia for men, women, and youth.  Almost 20% of Mongolians binge-drink on a weekly basis.  One reason for the high level of alcoholism is the sheer availability of alcohol.1 Most crime is committed by people who are influenced by alcohol.  A study in Mongolia found that alcohol was involved in 58.4% of all homicides.2 The government and various anti-alcoholism organizations are taking steps to address this issue through workshops and forbidding the sale of alcohol to minors.

PRAYER POINTS:

• Pray that the government’s policy and preventive measures can be enforced effectively.

• Pray that measures taken by the government, organizations and projects such as Addiction Training & Counselling Center (ATCC) and Celebrate Recovery Network (CRN) that seek ways to help people in Mongolia to break free from alcoholism will be effective.

• Pray for discernment and skill for the ATCC project team as they counsel those in need, plan and implement new training programs; pray that the trainees will become more effective in their ministry.

• Pray that the people receiving counseling and participating in the Celebrate Recovery program will grow psycho-spiritually, be transformed in their lives, remain sober, and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to others.

• Pray that a recovery program for youth be started.

1http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112485545

2http://www.wpro.who.int/publications/docs/STRATEGYTOREDUCEALCOHOLRELATEDHARM_21June.pdf

Updated on April 2015

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Business and Economy

Not long ago Mongolia had some of the highest economic growth rates in Asia. Over 17% in 2011 and around 12% in each of 2012 and 2013. But now Mongolia faces a balance-of-payments crisis in which its hard-currency reserves have fallen by two-thirds. Part of this problem is because of world prices falling for coal, gold, and copper which are Mongolia’s main exports. Another reason is because many foreign investors have pulled out of Mongolia due to its political decisions. This credit crunch has brought Ulaanbaatar’s building frenzy to a near-halt. Other issues like air-pollution and environmental problems caused in part by industry need to be dealt with. Mongolia needs to look at what must be done to jump start the economy again with a focus not only on working towards a better economy, but also to preserve the environment. In the midst of this the poor and even the people who were just beginning to see economic hope between 2010 and 2013 are back to even lower and falling wage levels because if inflation and devaluation of the nation’s currency.

(http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21623783-mongolia-loses-its-shineand-some-its-treasured-autonomy-pits?zid=306&ah=1b164dbd43b0cb27ba0d4c3b12a5e227)

PRAYER POINTS:

• Pray for the many JCS projects which try to stimulate employment and business development, such as ArtisAltai, Papa Café, Eternal Springs Café.

• Pray for a good witness for our projects to promote honesty in business and responsibility in paying taxes and benefits for employees.

• Pray for Mongolians to be involved in the political process of holding leaders accountable and supporting good governance of their country.

• Pray for poor families that are caught in the economic difficulties and finding it difficult to feed and house their families.

http://www.artisaltai.org/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Papa-cafe-Mongolia/162821357072208; https://papacafemongolia.wordpress.com/;

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eternal-Springs/144567732291959;

Updated April 2015

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Educational System

Mongolian literacy started in 1208 when Genghis Khan commissioned his Uyghur scribe Tatar-Tonga to create the Mongolian alphabet known as “Uighur Script” and later as “Mongolian Traditional Script.” Following the decline of the Mongol empire, very few knew how to read and write in Mongolian; Buddhist monks in monasteries learned to read and write Tibetan Script.  As late as 1934, most of the Mongolian population could not read.  During Socialism, with Russian help, the Cyrillic Mongolian Script was widely taught and 8 years of compulsory education was introduced.  Dormitories were built so that children of herders could go to school. By 1990, Mongolia reportedly had 98% literary rate.  Today the literacy rate has slightly decreased at 97%.

According to current legislation, 6 years of primary and 3 years of lower secondary education is compulsory.  However, privatization of herds and the pressure of financial stability of families has led to an increasing amount of children being taken from school and put to work helping their families. Boys have suffered the most from school dropout because they are asked to tend herds or have to help support their families.  Other low-income families do not have access to pre-school and kindergarten.  Consequently these children find it harder to start in school and later have higher dropout rates.

In the last few years, Mongolia has gone through a major educational process that transitioned from a 10-year to a 12-year educational system.  This needs the support of curriculum reform, and aims to develop students’ competency to live in the global world.  With this reform, bi-lingual education (English as the national’s second language) has also been introduced.   This reform has been welcomed, but it puts financial and personnel strains on school budgets, teacher ability, and families.

Tertiary education and higher education are offered in colleges and universities.

(http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002113/211308e.pdf)
PRAYER POINTS:

• Give thanks and pray for discipline and wise decisions in the Ministry of Education as they lead the nation to move towards international educational standards.

• Pray that more high schools and dormitories can be built to accommodate the growing demand in cities and towns, and for better opportunities for nomadic children in remote areas.

• Pray for teachers who often have to work in less than ideal circumstances.  Especially pray for Mongolian Christian teachers and those involved in reaching out to students and teachers.

Updated April 2015

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Environmental Issues

“Environmental problems facing Mongolia include desertification, inadequate water supply, and air and water pollution.”1   Mongolia is a beautiful country, but its environment is becoming increasingly threatened by natural and man-made phenomena. In the past 20 years, global climate change has caused drought and harsh winters, which has negatively influenced the traditional Mongolian way of life: herding. Desertification and over-grazing have made nomadic herding difficult these days. This has caused many to move to city centers and has increased air pollution in these locations, especially in Ulaanbaatar, which is one of the most air-polluted cities in the world. Effective sanitation in these city areas also has become an issue with those who live in gers not being connected to waste treatment systems. In addition, Mongolia is a mineral-rich country and now has many mines extracting gold, coal, fluorspar, copper, and molybdenum. Large mining companies operate mines, but there is also a lot of independent artisanal mining. There is no doubt that the quality environment and the health on Mongolians is being decreased by these activities.
PRAYER POINTS:

• Pray that the Mongolian Ministry of Environment and Green Development and the Ministry of Health would have adequate funding, trained personnel, and efficiency to effectively build up environmental and public health in Mongolia.

• Pray that the School of Public Health (SPH) at the Mongolian National University of Mongolia, the only SPH in Mongolia, would have resources to conduct health studies that show how pollution is affecting Mongolians. Pray also for an increase in the quality of public health and environmental professionals who are trained at this and other schools.

• Pray that laws would be established and enforced to protect the health of workers exposed to toxic substances such as asbestos, metals, particulate matter, silica, etc. and to protect the environment.

• Pray that Mongolians would understand the effects of pollution on their health, especially air pollution, and that they would take steps to protect themselves. Many health effects, such as spontaneous abortions, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, etc. are suspected to be caused by the air pollution in Ulaanbaatar.

• Pray that mines would operate in environmentally-friendly manners and that those involved in artisanal mining would know how to protect themselves from hazards.

1http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Asia-and-Oceania/Mongolia-ENVIRONMENT.html#ixzz3VDeS1CUY

Updated April 2015

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Government

Political Background and Government

Mongolia won its independence from China in 1921 with Soviet backing and became the world’s second communist regime in 1924.  After 7 decades of socialist rule, the first multi-parties election was held in July 1990 to form a Great Hural (Parliament).  A new constitution was adopted in early 1992. Mongolia became the first Asian country that successfully transitioned from Communism to a free-market economy and democratic society.

Today, the government of Mongolia is headed by the Prime Minister whose party has won the national election.  The PM is confirmed by the Great Hural for a four-year term.  The Prime Minister chooses a cabinet for the Great Hural’s approval. The Great Hural is elected by citizens of Mongolian who are eligible to vote and is the highest organ of state power and legislative body.  Mongolia has undergone five sets of legislative elections since its Democratic Revolution in 1990.

The president is the head of state, a symbol of embodiment of the unity of the people and is elected directly by Mongolian citizens. Therefore, before inauguration, the President-elect is to renounce his membership of any political party.  The current President, President B. Elbegdorj is the fourth President since the Democratic Revolution and the outcome of Mongolia’s sixth free presidential election.

The balance of power between the Mongolian People’s Party and Democratic Parties continues to play out and affect parliament’s effectiveness to overcome Mongolia’s widespread poverty and unemployment.
PRAYER POINTS:

• Pray for courageous leadership in all levels of government to fight corruption and promote the rule of law.

• Pray for President Elbegdorj (Democratic Party, since June 2009) and Prime Minister Saikhanbileg  (Democratic, since 2014). Pray for courage and wisdom to lead with honesty and integrity, with the nation of Mongolia’s best interests at heart.

• Pray that Mongolian Christians will take serious interest in politics, participate in the political process wisely, and put themselves forward for positions of responsibility in government; pray that they would be able to persevere with integrity and faith as they serve the country.

Updated April 2015

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Health

Health is valued greatly by Mongolians, yet there are growing health concerns as Mongolians transition to city life and a sedentary lifestyle, as they increase their consumption of packaged foods, and as they experience worsening pollution and cold winters.  Mongolians spend a lot of money on western drugs & treatments and traditional medical treatments. Many will also pay for Buddhist lamas or Shamans to pray for either themselves or for someone else. New private for-profit hospitals are increasing in number and although the government is trying to raise standards, there continues to be challenges in ensuring quality health care delivery for all Mongolians.

PRAYER POINTS:

• Pray for the government and its employees as they develop policies and standards for the health sector. Pray that the policies will benefit all Mongolians.

• Pray for doctors, nurses, and other health professionals – that they will work to the best of their abilities for the good of each of their patients regardless of wealth or status.

• Pray for students studying medicine, nursing, and other health professions that they will have a desire to learn well for the good of their patients. Pray that during their time as students many will come to believe and be discipled in their faith.

• Pray for Mongolian Brothers and Sisters and their families to remain faithful even when they do not receive the healing they want or expect.

• Pray for the people of Mongolia that they will come to know their true healer.

Updated April 2015

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Human Trafficking

Mongolia is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking. Mongolian women and children were trafficked for sexual and labor exploitation.  Many Mongolians voluntarily migrate to work or study abroad but are later coerced into exploitative conditions. Some trafficked women were recruited through fraudulent marriages to foreign husbands.1
PRAYER POINTS:

• Pray for all those involved (government, NGO’s) to be able to coordinate consistent efforts across all levels to promote an effective response to flourishing crimes involving the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children.

• Pray for the victims and their families, that they will find help and healing

• Pray that the Mongolian church will respond to these issues.

1http://www.humantrafficking.org/countries/mongolia

http://asiafoundation.org/pdf/Mongolia-trafficking.pdf, p.6

Updated April 2015

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Placement Opportunities

(Soon to be updated)

Updated April 2015

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Poverty

In 2014 28% of the population was living at or below the poverty line. 1

While the Mongolian economy was one of the fastest growing in the world, today the growth is unstable and the country still struggles with unemployment and poverty.
PRAYER POINTS:

• Prayer for improvement in businesses to employ more workers at a liveable salary.

• Pray for continued improvement in Mongolia’s infrastructure.

• Pray for increased work ethics.

• Pray for diversification of the economy away from solely mineral export.

• Pray for strength and endurance for those working with the impoverished.

1http://www.borgenmagazine.com/poverty-mongolia/

Updated April 2015

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Prisons and Prisoners

One of the most significant human rights problems in Mongolia has been police abuse of prisoners and detainees While the law provides for protection of basic human rights, there was a disconnect between laws, regulations, and actual practice.

PRAYER POINTS:

• Pray for prison reform, especially that there will be fair trials, no abuse, and improvement in prisons’ conditions.

• Pray for social workers to be adequately trained in addressing the needs of prisoners.  Lack of training and resources makes their work extremely difficult.

• Pray that NGOs like Prison Fellowship, Caritas (Czech), Mongolian NGO’s and the Mongolian Church to effectively use resources to help train social workers, prisons wardens, guards, etc. to help bring about prison reforms that will benefit detainees and prisoners.

http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/11/justice-lost-in-mongolias-prisons/

http://mongolia.usembassy.gov/hrr2013.html).

Updated April 2015

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Prostitution

The main reasons women turn to prostitution are financial, but this is compounded by social issues of broken families, rape, poor living standards and the influence of peers. AIDS and HIV rate is increasing.1

Prostitution is illegal, as is public solicitation for prostitution and organizing prostitution. Women’s activists claimed that in Ulaanbaatar there were hundreds of brothels posing as saunas, massage parlours, and hotels. Some were occasionally raided by police. Some women worked abroad in the sex trade; an unknown number of them were trafficked.2
PRAYER POINTS:

• Pray for the Streams in the Desert project that is offering the women an alternative way to live.

• Pray for creative yet realistic and sustainable ways to create businesses to employ the women who want to leave prostitution.

• Pray for wisdom about how to reach out to the women and in providing solutions that enable the women to permanently leave prostitution.

• Pray for the government to change the law that currently only holds the women responsible while not prosecuting the male clients.

1Mongolia mining success brings booming sex trade, by Kitty Hamilton (AFP) – Jul 10, 2011

2http://mongolia.usembassy.gov/hrr08.html; April 14,2015

Updated April 2015

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Religion in Mongolia

Spiritual World:
The lives of many Mongolians are influenced by many dos and don’ts that have to do with pleasing the spirits and not aggravating them. For example, for many activities there are very good days for doing them, good days, bad days and very bad days.
The main religion in Mongolia is Tibetan Buddhism, but it is very hard to say how many Mongolians are actually proper Buddhists, since Mongolian culture and Tibetan Buddhism are so interwoven. A majority of the population consider Mongolians should be Buddhists. There is a significant resurgence of Shamanistic belief and practices around the nation.

Mongolian Christian Church Today:
With a population of ca. 3 million, Mongolia is estimated to have 2-5% 2-3%Christians (estimates vary, since some count the number of church-goers, but others only those who consider themselves disciples). There are currently over 250 ordained pastors and church leaders serving in churches inside and outside Mongolia. The Church of Mongolia is focusing on the 20/10 Goal: to see 10% of Mongolians become disciples of Christ by the year 2020.
There is a great need for more pastors, elders, and committed workers with youth, teens and children.

Biblical and Theological Education:
There are a number of Bible schools in Mongolia training students for ministry in the church and in society. In addition to several Bachelor’s degrees United Bible Theological Bible Centre now also offers some Master’s courses.

Translation of Bible and Books:
The Ariun Bibli (Mongolian Bible translation from English) has been thoroughly revised and was published in 2014. Currently the Mongolian Union Bible Society has started the Mongolian Standard Version project, a new translation into Mongolian from the original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek). This is expected to be completed in 15 years.
More and more books (mainly from the English) are translated into Mongolian, e.g. on family life, the Christian life, and Bible study.

PRAYER POINTS:

• Give thanks for the growth of the Church in Mongolia and the Bible and other books are available in Mongolian
• Pray that the Mongolian churches would prayerfully find ways to be salt and light and to serve Mongolian society.
• Pray for leaders committed to the Lord and to those they serve.
• Pray for true unity and cooperation between churches.
• Pray for the Mongolian Standard Version project run by the Mongolian Union Bible Society.
• Give thanks that many Christian books have been a blessing to individuals and families.
• Pray for the translators that they would be discerning in finding the right books to translate and be able to translate well.
• Give thanks for the opportunities there are for Biblical and Theological Education.
• Pray for those who teach; pray that the students would both grow in knowledge and in Christlikeness.

http://www.unitedbiblesocieties.org/christianity-land-genghis-khan/
Updated May 2015

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Special Needs’ Community

Our greatest prayer is that we in Mongolia would see the intrinsic value of human life, whether displayed in a perfect human being or one with a disability which may limit the individual’ s ability to fully participate in society. Pray that all children and adults realize that they have intrinsic value and are made in the image of their creator. Pray that all would believe in the value of every life and seek to help each individual, whatever their physical or intellectual ability, to reach their full potential in life and to have the same opportunities to participate in their community and families as able-bodied children. Pray that all children with special needs may have the opportunity to receive an education. Pray that many Mongolians in the next few years would receive specific training to this end.

In the past there was little offered for people with special needs in Mongolia. People were often ashamed to have a child with special needs and because of this they were often hidden. There are currently schools in Ulaanbaatar [the capital city] and other smaller cities that reach out to children with special needs. The government is now encouraging kids to attend the regular school system, but the community is not accepting them very well. There now exist some organizations reaching out to the community.
PRAYER POINTS:

• Pray for special needs’ children that they may have the opportunity to go to school and/or be involved in projects which will help them. Pray that people may see the beauty and value in each of God’s special gifts. Pray that these children may be accepted by the community.

• Pray for parent involvement at schools and in the children’s lives. Pray that the parents may see the value of their children’s education.

• Pray for Mongolian Asia Reach’s (MAR) projects:1

• Children’s Place – orphanage for abandoned and at risk children;

• Reaching the Light Development Center – a parent and child therapy training program offering physical, speech & language, occupational, and special educational programming for primarily countryside families with children with disabilities;

• Bright Future – program for street children;

• Happy Day – an after-school program for children who would otherwise be latch key kids (home alone).

• Pray for Hope School in Erdenet where children can receive an education and therapy.

• Praise the LORD for organizations which are working with special needs children, such as Mongolian Autism Society, Rainbow Center ICM, RLDC (Reaching the Light) DSAM (Down Syndrome Association of Mongolia), and APDC (Association of Parents with Disabled Children).

• Pray for funding for each of these projects and schools.

1www.mongolianasiareach.com

Updated April 2015

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Sports

Mongolian people love sports! Whether it be the Mongolian traditional sports of wrestling, archery and horse racing, or basketball, volleyball, football and ice-hockey. Turn on the TV and you can find a number of channels broadcasting sports. And getting young and older people together to play sports as part of a club or to a special event, is relatively easy, and such a wonderful opportunity through which it is possible to intentionally have a positive influence on lives.
PRAYER POINTS:

• Pray for JCS’s Eagle Wings Khentii Hockey, UB United Football Club, and KholbombogNemex in their work with young people to develop skills, sportsmanship, and character of the players.

• Pray for their financial needs and for sports areas to use.

• Pray for the JCS Project coaches and other Christian coaches as they are salt and light to these young people, and also that they are intentional in seeing wholistic development in each person.

• Pray for Christians playing in other teams, that they would be salt and light, playing with ‘Christman-like’ values.

Updated April 2015

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TCK (Third-Culture Kids)

Being a TCK (Third-Culture Kid) has been a great experience for our children, but is not without its struggles. Most would think that our upcoming home assignment would be the highlight of their year, but it’s hard to think of losing a whole summer of fun with their friends in order to travel all around a country that is not home to them. However, the advantages far out-weigh the struggles. Our children enjoy the many opportunities they have to experiences two countries, two cultures, two languages and different ways of doing things, giving them the opportunity to discover and adopt the best of both worlds and become a hybrid prepared for a better future.
PRAYER POINTS:

• Praise the Lord for the experiences TCK’s have that prepare to be servants of the King.

• Pray for TCK’s to adapt to feel at home in the country they are serving in, but not disconnected from the homeland of their parents.

• Pray for TCK’s to experience quality education whether it is homeschool, private school or local school.

• Pray for TCK’s to have meaningful relationships with both expat and local friends on the field and with family and friends abroad.

Updated April 2015

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Youth

The Mongolian government has announced 2015 as the “Year of Youth Development”.1  2014 statistics show that almost 46% of the Mongolian population is less than 24 years old.2  These young people will continue to influence the nation and future of Mongolia.

PRAYER POINTS:

• Pray for the physical, mental and spiritual health of the youth of Mongolia.

• Pray for the Mongolian government to have wisdom in protecting and helping to develop youth through programs and the education system.

• Pray for children and families affected by poverty, for street children and sexually exploited children.

• Pray for young Mongolians who are working, job searching, or idle.

• Pray for the Youth Alpha course as it helps youth answer questions relating to the purpose of life and the value of youth and to apply key life principles. Pray for the training of Mongolians who lead the course to help youth deal with their problems from a Mongolian perspective.

• Pray for Children of Promise, a JCS relief project, as it provides clothes, food and education to selected children at risk. Pray that these children will be equipped to be responsible and provide for themselves in the future.

• Praise the LORD for the JCS sports’ projects for youth (see above Sports) which provide youth with a healthy physical, emotional and mental activities through sports.

1mongolia.gogo.mn/r/144882

2http://www.indexmundi.com/Mongolia/demographics_profile.html

Updated on April 2015

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For Mongolian Prayer Movement Prayer Information, click here