- The number of healthcare workers in the Basque system who requested mental health assistance has almost doubled compared to what was seen in 2019. The treatment is for anxiety, depression and for burn out. The increase in requests are also being seen across other communities in Spain.
- Pray for the mental health of healthcare workers.
- Suicide continues to be one of the leading cause of death for all ages and for youth it is currently near the top. This has raised concerns and they are working to understand them while looking to provide solutions for the causes identified. It is also being seen across the world as an issue. One solution for Basque Country has been to provide training in primary schools (US elementary school), talking with health care professionals on how to see at-risk people and have a special number for people to call for help.
- Pray for those who are contemplating suicide, their families and leaders as they look for ways to address the situation.
- The results for a EU wide evaluation exam of the education system showed that Basque Country had a significant drop in scores across language, reading and science. In Math, Basque country, even with the fall, was still above the rest of Spain & EU countries. However in reading and science they were below the averages.
- Pray for the educators, students and leaders as they investigate the drop in test scores and look to improve them for the future.
- Since 1975 the King of Spain has delivered a message on Christmas Eve at 9pm. For 2023 King Felipe VI started talking about the different problems in Spain. The focus then shifted to 45 years of the constitution for Spain, what it provides and how it needs to be protected, as well as the importance of unity in Spain as it looks to move forward in the future.
- Pray for the future of Spain and all the different regions that make up the country.
- Inflation is currently at 3.4% in Basque Country and is expected to continue to be high in 2024. The cost of food for the Christmas meals was higher than last year, as a result some families moved to other non-traditional foods for the meal. People are continuing to make changes to their regular purchases to get the most of the money they have.
- Pray for the population as they look to spend the money they have wisely
- Basque Country will be having elections sometime before August 11, 2024, with them likely happening sometime in April. The parties have started to circulate candidates for the open positions. At the national level Sánchez and the PSOE party continue to face opposition from the PP party due to the amnesty agreement.
- Pray for the upcoming Basque Country elections and that the national politicians would work together.
- Statistics about pornography were recently reported with ~63% of young people (13-17) have seen it for anywhere between 300-400 hours. Boys are more likely to consume ~82% compared to girls at ~40%. The government has attempted to put a verification system in place, though it does not seem to be working. The Basque school system currently has sex education in 5th/6th grade, though is thinking of moving it back to be in 3rd/4th.
- Pray for leaders as they look for solutions and young people to not be drawn to this form of media.
- Pope Frances is nearing the completion of his 11th year. Recently he stated that priests are permitted to bless same sex marriages or those who were divorced previously and remarrying. This is also after his announcement about baptisms for trans-sexual and babies of some sex couples.
- Pray for the catholic church and the impacts of these decisions.
The verse for the week:
Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.
Hosea 10:12 NIV