Daily Topic for February 19, 2007
Jesus had just called Matthew-a tax collector, a despised “sinner,” an outcast-to follow Him. This disturbed the Pharisees, who would not associate with such people. But Jesus’ response was as convincing as it was clear: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick…. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” This is the state of countless millions in our world today. Outcasts, despised minorities, oppressed peoples; are they within God’s scope of concern? In fact, our Lord focused His concern on them. Should we not do the same?
Savior, give us Your sacrificial love for the despised and oppressed.
Hidden away in the rugged Balkan mountains of Bulgaria and forgotten by the rest of the continent live 250,000 Pomaks. They are a people dependent upon agriculture, cattle breeding and some lumbering. The Pomaks are Sunni Muslims. However they have kept a number of pre-Islamic customs since the 1370s when tradition says the Pomaks did not voluntarily accept Islam but were forced to do so. Today there appears to be a mixture of both marginal Bulgarian Orthodox Christianity and Islam among them. The Muslim practice of fasting during Ramadan as well as other rituals have largely disappeared, while they continue to observe the feast days of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Christ seems to be forgotten in this confusing mix. Weddings and other ceremonial occasions often combine both traditions. The relative isolation of the Pomaks from radical Islamists has allowed this mixing of beliefs to go unhindered. There are few churches and ministries now reaching out to them. Christian radio and television broadcasts as well as evangelistic literature are all greatly needed. The Bible is available, but strongholds have kept the Bulgarian Pomaks in spiritual bondage.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that God will create hunger in Pomak hearts throughout the Balkans to know Jesus as Savior and Lord.-MH