Prayer Points and verse for the week:
- Statistics for crime were recently released for the first half of 2023. An upward trend was seen in some areas: sexual violence was up ~20%, Cybercrimes was up ~30%. With a down trend being seen with robberies using violence and intimidation down ~10% and forced robberies in homes or other premises down ~10%.
- Pray for those who are victims of crime, the police officers who protect the city and those who commit the crimes to have their eyes opened to its effects.
- The Catholic Pope recently announced 21 new cardinals, with 3 of those being from Spain. The Pope has been working to make changes to the organization to have more representation from Catholic minorities. With the recent announcement Spain still has the 3rd most in the organization, behind Italy and the United States. Their purpose is to elect the new Pope.
- Pray for the Pope as he makes new appointments and for the cardinals when the time comes to elect a new Pope.
- A new president still has not been elected in Spain. Pedro Sánchez (PSOE) has until November 27 to rally enough votes, should that not happen. Spainards will once again be heading to vote in January. He is facing a lot of pressure as he looks to gain support from Catalonia, specifically Puigdemont who is requesting amnesty from the judicial process he is currently facing. Feijoó (PP) is also working to be elected, though he does not look to be able to gain enough alignment from others to get the needed votes.
- Pray for the legislatures as they look to elect/re-elect a President for Spain.
- The number of small businesses closing is quite large for the Gipuzkoa region of Basque Country. In the last 4 years ~1300 small businesses have closed, with ~60% of them having been open for 5 years or more. The service sector was most affected, seeing ~75%. One of the biggest reasons for the closures are the effects from the pandemic.
- Pray for small business owners, workers and the government as they look to navigate the current economic environment
- Last week Iñigo Urkullu (PNV), who is the leader of the Basque government, participated in a meeting sponsored by the local newspaper. During the discussion he talked about how the coalition between PNV and PSE was making progress even though another political party felt they were not making progress. He presented numbers showing how in the last 10 years GDP for the region has grown and that unemployment is down close to ~10%. He also talked about the current status for electing a new president of Spain and the desire to have healthcare wait times reduced to what they were before the pandemic, as they have increased afterwards.
- Pray for Urkullu as he works to lead the Basque Government with wisdom and peace amongst all the different parties.
- The concern for the mental health of youth was described as serious and increasing, as the professionals see higher cases of anxiety, depression and attempted suicides. They are seeing the causes be more than from COVID, as some students feel isolated and do not have a group of friends. Due to the situation the Basque Government put a strategy in place to address this and over a year 613 incidents for suicide prevention were opened in Basque Country. This is currently the highest non-natural cause of death in Basque Country and they are putting protocols in place to try and address it.
- Pray for the youth that have these thoughts that they find the right help, as well as parents, school administrators and leaders as they look to develop systems to help youth in these situations.
The verse for the week:
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
Mark 8:35 ESV