Daily Topic for January 25, 2007
What a beautiful picture of God’s deliverance of His children! So many “things” accompanying our earthly life can become great weights, binding us and holding us down. Those who have faced extreme difficulty in the service of Christ testify that human extremity actually brings a wonderful freedom. It is like a bondslave’s freedom: having died to his own freedom, he is now free to completely serve the Master he loves. And Christ promises His presence with us-especially in our moment of trial and especially as we go forth in His service.
“From subtle love of softening things, from easy choices, weakenings… From all that dims thy Calvary, O Lamb of God deliver me.” (Amy Carmichael)
Trembling with fear and excitement, seven-year-old Cheba follows his older brother through the dense African forest to a secret clearing. A circle of older boys and men solemnly welcome him to the first of three secret training sessions that develop boys into strong, courageous leaders and elders of the village.
Cheba’s people, the Senufos of Burkina Faso, are mostly farmers. They have a strong sense of community, so it’s important that children get integrated into village life early. Village elders make decisions by consensus. Unless the entire village decides together to make a change, no one does. But, while conversion decisions should be individual ones, missionaries should recognize that a decision as to whether Christianity should be sought, heard, welcomed, or entertained might well follow a group consensus.
They practice a traditional religion, including belief in ancestral spirits, bush spirits, witchcraft and magic.
Since World War II, more and more young men move to the closest city for paid employment. To fit in with urban society, the young men from villages often shed their traditional beliefs and adopt a recognized religion such as Islam or Christianity. Thus, in the cities, they are free to make individual spiritual decisions. Unfortunately, Islam appeals to many Senufos because it allows them to retain more of their traditional religion than does Christianity. About one-fourth of Senufos are Muslim, and that number is increasing.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Ask the Lord for workers to live Christ-like lives in Senufo villages, and in their urban communities. Ask Him to soften the hearts of the older generation toward Jesus.-JWS