GIVE THANKS! We should be so grateful for living in one of the most blessed nations on Earth. Our economy is strengthened by our rocks, trees and oil and analysts figure that Canada has a great long term future. May there be a national awakening from coast to coast to coast, may the nation praise the Creator and the Sustainer of life, may the name of Jesus be on everyone’s lips. There are many opportunities for improvement in Canada and a good number of concerns. Here are a few prayer points:
AFGHANISTAN WOUNDED The war in Afghanistan has been very costly to thousands of Canadians. We are aware of the 158 soldiers and 1 civilian killed, but beyond that over 1850 have been seriously wounded. 615 have been injured by IED, direct fire, or friendly fire in battle. A surprising 1244 sustained non battle injuries. Over the last 9 years 27,000 troops have served but it is estimated that 20% of returning soldiers may suffer from operational stress injury or mental health concerns. We now have only 950 troops in Kabul involved in training the Afghan security forces to take over. But they are under threat very day of the week from infiltrators and 50 NATO troops have been killed by sudden attacks inside camps. PRAY FOR: Our wounded - for healing both physically and mentally. For the many thousands of family members supporting them. For the grieving families who lost loved ones. For the local churches to reach out to them all over the nation.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING Canada is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking according to the US Department of State’s 2008 Trafficking in Persons Report. Several thousand people are trafficked in and through Canada every year. We praise God that our Government has committed to developing a 'National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking'. Parliament has acted unanimously to support MP Joy Smith's recent private members bill, C-310, and on December 12th it was sent into the committee stage. The bill amplifies the definition of trafficking and also makes it a criminal offense for a Canadian to traffick in another country. MP Joy Smith from the Winnipeg area has championed this cause over several years. PRAY FOR: MP Joy Smith, for her health and strength in confronting a dreadful evil. For the Government to be diligent in preparing the promised National Action Plan. For organized crime rings to be apprehended and the slaves set free.
THE TRUTH NORTH, STRONG AND FREE? Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic could become a very intense issue in 2012 and beyond. The Arctic neighbours to Canada are USA, the Russian Federation, Denmark & Norway. Apart from security there are the huge issues of the Northwest Passage and the massive gas and oil deposits under the ocean floor. Russia is being especially aggressive in seeking to extend their rights to considerable territory through mapping a large underwater shelf. When the ice melts sufficiently many nations would like to sail through the waters to Asia and save 5000k through the Panama Canal. Although the islands are Canadian there is big question of who owns the water between them. Canada Coast Guard has 18 icebreakers with more on order. A deep water port and an arctic warfare training centre are in the process of being built. PRAY FOR: Wisdom for our Government in planning for these issues. In 2003 Canada ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and had 10 years to submit scientific data to a UN Commission. These results will ultimately decide Canada’s sovereignty. Pray that the work will be completed and submitted in good time in 2012.