Operation World - Malta and Mauritania
Earlier this year I was pondering my family and how to get my children to have a love for the gospel and missions like I do myself. I realised that just telling them it's important was never going to work, and I needed to change something in my life so that they would "catch it" from me. That was when I decided as part of our evening prayers every night, that we would pray for one nation in the world, and gradually over the course of a year pray for every country.
I obtained a copy of Operation World which lists every country in the world in alphabetical order and has prayer points and missions facts for each nation. Each country is listed by date so you can prayer through the whole world in a year. So we looked up the date and started praying from the letter G onwards, praying from Gibraltar, Grenada and other countries.
As we have prayed each night we have learned so much about the work of the gospel and even basic geographical facts. Its been good for the kids in many ways. However what I wanted to tell you about was an experience in reaching the letter M.
One night we were praying for the nation of Malta. This was the first nation in Europe to receive the gospel. The Apostle Paul shipwrecked there and for 2000 years the gospel has had a strong footprint. Even today, nearly 100% of people consider themselves Christian and there is a very strong Charistmatic Catholic presence of people who genuinly love Christ. I'm sure its not perfect, but it encouraged me much knowing that there are places in the world where the gospel has done a good work, even if there is still more to do.
Then the next night we prayed for Mauritania and I was shocked. Mauritania is a nation of about 4 million people where 1 in 5 is in slavery, and there is no gospel, no churches, and apparently no real work of God, no known missionaries... how is this possible in such a world that we live in.
I remember years ago using ICQ and chatting with someone from Mauritania and not knowing much about this nation I asked him if he had hear about Jesus. He immediately said he didn't want to talk about that.
In reading Operation World I found out that in Mauritania is it illegal to listen to someone tell you the gospel. I now realised why that man on ICQ wasn't interested. He didn't want to break the law of his nation.
So here we contrast two nations completely opposite. One is 100% Christian, the other is 100% Muslim and they are close together on the map of the world. We need to pray for all nations, but please consider the nation of Mauritania and pray for this country today.
One more thing.... stop for a minute of silence. Does Christ want you to go to the nations for the gospel. It could be Mauritania, or anywhere... take a moment to hear His voice.
Did you get an answer.... if not I'll tell you what He said. He wrote it down for you and you can locate it at Matt 28:18-20 in the scriptures... go have a look today.