Basque Country Prayer Points for Week of November 28, 2022

Prayer Points and verse for the week:

Prayers points:

  • Violence against women has seen a 14% increase over the last year. This information was shared in the lead up to International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25. A call center has already received ~2500 calls this year from women requesting help.
    • Pray for women, children, families and men impacted by these actions.
  • Currently ~80 minors are needing a foster home in Gipuzkoa. There are already ~380 in foster homes.
    • Pray for those who are in foster care and those still needing to be placed with a family.
  • A shortage of ~5000 skilled workers for Basque businesses such as plumbing, bakeries and construction are having a hard time finding trained workers. While others workers trained in fabrication, industrial robots and computing are having a hard time finding employment. A general concern exists with an aging population and not enough births the labor shortages will worsen.
    • Pray for those businesses needing workers and those looking for work.
  • Since 2015 the percentage of young people that want to have kids has been decreasing, with a 17.8% drop in the last 7 years. The reasons noted for the decrease are economic insecurity, culture changes and social priorities. Additionally, COVID-19 added to the uncertainty of them wanting to bring kids into this world.
    • Pray for those who are trying to determine if they want to have a child.
  • The debate about how Basque Country and Catalonia relate to Spain is a topic that will likely be put on the legislative calendar for 2024. Leaders from both regions believe now is the time to once again have conversation.
    • Pray for political leaders as they look to determine how these regions interact with Spain, the EU and the world.
  • In Gipuzkoa the number of homes that have been built for the different social programs are at historic lows. To address this shortage, plans are being made to start construction on 500 new homes before the end of the year.
    • Pray for those who are building them and those who are needing to find affordable housing

The verse for the week:

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:14–16

News for prayer for Week of May 30, 2022

Headline News:

The Basque Government is looking for ways to increase the birth rate in the region. The latest measure passed will be that for every child under 3 years old, 200€/month will be sent starting in 2023. They will also see some tax breaks in the following year. The paper also shared how other European countries are attempting to address the situation. Most of the other countries are also giving money along with some type of tax benefit. The birth rate last year was the lowest it’s been. The impacts are being seen in the education system as they reduced the minimum number of students to form a class. They are also concerned about longer term impacts on the work force and pension system.

Sexual aggression saw a significant increase of from 2021 (8) to 2022 (23). Given the increase in this area concerns exist for the summer, with the nightlife and celebrations that will be happening. To help educate young women on prevention a guide has been released. They also saw an increase in contact made with minors for sexual purposes. Last week also saw passing of new legislation that changed several parts of defining, punishments and assistance for sexual offenses. The conversation took two years before it was passed. 

Economy:

Over the last five years ~1100 businesses have closed. A majority of those, 605, have closed in the last two years. The reasons for closure are from COVID, impact from people moving to online shopping and people retiring. These numbers are similar to what was seen in the 2008 financial crisis and is a cause for concern for the area.

The Association for Gipuzkoa business released its latest forecast for the GDP for the region. When they released information in February it was at 5.5%, however the number released now is showing growth at 4%. The reasons they listed for the change was the cost of raw materials, increase in salaries and the decline of sales margins. It will be a joint effort between businesses, employees, governments and society in order to continue operations.

The IBEX35 ended last week on an upward trend closing at 8933.60,  a 5.29% increase for last week.

Political:

Last week the Atlantic Arc convention met in Donostia. This organization was established to show how different regions in Spain and other countries contribute to a better and richer EU. Urkullu presented a 64 page document and re-committed the Basque region for another 2 years as part of the group. Additionally Urkullu started his trip that was discussed in the last news for prayer, which is the first time he has traveled internationally in close to 3 years. 

Juan Carlos I is making an unexpected return to Spain to have a private conversation with his son. All that has been going on Felipe VI, his son and the current King, has been creating distance between them.The last time the two were together was May of 2019. A quote from him on what he was looking forward to in the visit, was hugging and seeing his family.

85 years ago Gernika, Eibar, Irun, Elgeta and Durango suffered attacks from German planes. The attacks on Gernika were brought up by Ukranian President Zelenski in his speech to the Basque parliament. The damage done by these attacks was very impactful. This year the Spanish government approved a declaration condemning the attacks on Gernika and the pain to its victims.

International:

The international section continues to have a focus on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Currently 3060 people from Ukraine have asked for temporary living assistance in Basque Country and the school system has 748 Ukrainian students. Other international items included: ArchBishop of San Francisco’s statements to Pelosi regarding communion, the tragedy that occurred in Uvalde Texas and the Colombian elections.

Sports:

Real Sociedad has completed their season. The final game was a 1 Р2 loss to Atl̩tico of Madrid. The team finished in 6th place overall, which qualified them for the Europa League for next season.

GBC has also completed its season. The final game was a 93-92 win in overtime against Castello. The team finished in 11th place overall missing the playoffs for this year. The team finished 17-17 for the season.

Prayer Points and verse for the week:

Prayers points:

  • Birth rate
  • Sexual Aggression
  • Economic Growth

The verse for the week:

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:21-23