Daily Topic for April 23, 2007

Acts 15:16-18
"...that the remnant of men may seek the Lord."

Some Judean Christians went to Antioch and taught the Gentile believers that they had to be circumcised in order to be acceptable to God. This upset Paul and Barnabas, who decided to go to Jerusalem to talk with the church leaders. James concluded the discussion at this meeting by quoting the prophets, affirming God’s intention to include the Gentiles in His redemption. The council concluded that circumcision was unnecessary. That decision was a watershed event in the history of the expansion of the Christian faith.

Father, give wisdom today to missionaries and national church leaders who must carefully distinguish between biblical absolutes and cultural norms.

Buddhist-Shintoist Japanese in Peru

Many people were puzzled in 2000 when they read about President Fujimori’s attempt to run for a third term as president of Peru. For those who were not familiar with the South American news and politics, it was a surprise to learn that an ethnic Japanese was president of a South American country. Fujimori was able to win the war against the brutal Shining Path guerillas in his country, but after two presidential terms, he had become increasingly autocratic, so new elections in 2001 overturned his bid for a third term.

The story of the Japanese in Peru goes back to 1899 when the Japanese government was worried about its population growth. They began to send Japanese to different parts of the world to gain foreign funds and provide for territorial expansion. That same year, 790 Japanese arrived in Peru to work on sugar and cotton plantations. For 40 years 33,000 Japanese migrated to Peru with the dream of acquiring wealth, but few did. Since there were few opportunities to acquire land, most migrated to Peru’s cities.

Today, they have had a large impact on Peru’s economy. The 131,000 ethnic Japanese in Peru are a very closed society, and they still have very close ties to Japan. Like their cousins in Japan, few have dared to follow Christ.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray for the Japanese of Peru to find true acceptance, fulfillment, and salvation in Jesus Christ. Pray for believers to share the gospel sensitively with the Japanese so they can respond.-JS

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