Basque Country Prayer Points for Week of March 20, 2023

Prayer Points and verse for the week:

Prayers points:

  • The Basque Government is offering several different options to help families offset some of the costs associated with having children. Historically the requests have been made by women, however over the past 2 years the number of men who are requesting these options have increased.
    • Pray for mothers and fathers as they look to make the best choice for supporting their families and decide about having more kids.
  • The Basque police recently reported the crime statistics to the Basque Legislature. One statistic that is being highlighted is the number of sexual aggressions in Gipuzkoa. In 2022 the number was 128, which is double from 2021 (57). Another area that was highlighted was inter family violence, which also saw an increase in 2022.
    • Pray for the victims of sexual aggression and against family violence along with the police officers that respond to assist in these situations.
  • March 2023 marks 10 years since Pope Francis was elected to be the new leader of the catholic church. The paper had an article discussing several different topics from this ten year period: potential for schism, receiving two leaders from South Sudan and mass for 6 million in the Philippines.
    • Pray for the Pope’s leadership of the catholic church 
  • Mental health education and support for minors is undergoing changes. On the education side they are planning to start offering some classes starting at 12 years old. The Basque Public health care system saw an ~16% rise in the number of minors needing such help.
    • Pray for education system leaders and the health care system as they look to support the youth’s mental health
  • Iñigo Urkullu, president of the Basque government, is on a push to show the importance of the Basque region in Spain and Greater Europe. To accomplish this, early last week meetings were held with other key Spanish regional presidents. Then later in the week he attended meetings with leaders from different regions in Europe.
    • Pray for Urkullu as he communicates with other leaders about the Basque Country and it’s offerings
  • Young adults looking to move out on their own continue to face challenges. One is the cost of rent, which currently has a minimum of ~500€/month. With the median salary being ~1400€/ month, that does not leave much room for the other expenses in life.
    • Pray for young adults as they look to start life in Basque Country
  • The increase in building materials and energy costs are impacting public construction projects in Basque Country. Currently there are 40 projects that do not have bids on them due to these factors, which is another economic impact for the region.
    • Pray for rising material & energy costs as the impacts are felt across several different sectors

The verse for the week:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 ESV

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