Daily Topic for June 21, 2007

Philippians 1:12
"...what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel."

Paul was in prison, but he was rejoicing because his imprisonment had resulted in the spread of the gospel. What a tremendous example for so many of us who vacillate between self-centeredness and sacrificial living! How many of us would rejoice that personal adversity had advanced God’s purposes among the nations?

Dear Lord, we pray that we may live so close to You that Your concerns become ours. May it not be said of us that we cared more for personal comfort than for those for whom You died. Help us to see with Your eyes.

Muslim Peminggir Lampungese People of Indonesia

“Fallen durian!” The young Peminggir Lampungese man shouted as he saw the large durian fruit almost hit his friend’s head. Raja quickly jumped aside. He rejoiced, “Allah has blessed me!” Getting a fallen durian means unexpected good fortune. “I will wear the rich fabric of honor and marry a beautiful bride who will eat many durians” (also considered a fruit of love). His friend smiled and commented, “Did you smell how strong this durian is? If she eats too much of it, she will be too stinky for you to get near!” 

An estimated 625,000 Lampungese Peminggir people live in villages primarily along the coast of southern Sumatra. Traditionally they maintain their form of community government, which is directed by their local king. Hard work has lead the Peminggirs to succeed with their crops of pepper, chocolate, durian and rice. Fishing and new jobs in industrial companies also supplement their income. 

They follow the Islamic tenets of Sunni Islam, but many still hold to their superstitious beliefs in spirits. One custom is the painting of a cross with betel-nut juice over their doors to keep away the evil “kuntilanak.” They have been very resistant to Christianity.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray that God will open many doors to reach the Peminggirs through Christian businessmen and educators. Pray that the Peminggirs will be open to the Word of the Lord and come to know the true meaning of the cross.-PD

click here to access previous and next days.