Daily Topic for March 08, 2008

Luke 4:26
"Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon."

Jesus’ initial statements brought murmurs of approval, but when He went on to speak about Elijah, the Scripture says, “All the people in the synagogue were furious” when they heard this. Why? What turned the people from praise to violent anger? Jesus spoke of a purpose for His ministry (like Elijah’s) that would include the Gentiles (like the widow of Zarephath)-those people outside Israel. How do we respond to people and programs outside our concern or without benefit to ourselves? How do we respond to a Jesus sent not only for us, but for lost unreached peoples?

Our God, give us generous hearts like Your own.

Dolgan People of Siberia

“No Papa! Don’t shoot Sasha!” Bang!! Five-year-old Ivan’s favorite reindeer, the oldest in the herd, was dead. Papa set down his rifle, and tried to comfort the shaken boy.

“I’m sorry son; but when you live in the Arctic Circle, every member of the family and every member of the herd has to be able to work. Sasha was too old and couldn’t keep up with the younger deer.”

The Dolgan people rely on domesticated reindeer for dragging sleds that carry goods, mail, and people back and forth from neighboring villages. They also hunt wild reindeer for their meat and their antlers. There is a saying among the Dolgan people that every part of a reindeer, except his breath, can be used for something.

The Dolgans have a low standard of living. Many are alcoholics, which makes the economic situation even worse. Because of the harsh climate, it is hard to attract teachers, so education is spotty at best. 

About 7,000 Dolgans live on the Taimyr Peninsula near the northern coast of Russia. Formerly nomadic, the Dolgans were collectivized by the Soviets in the 1930s. The Shamanistic Dolgans believe in good spirits (Aiyy) and evil spirits (Abassy). The four Gospels have been translated into Dolgan.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray for hearty missionaries to live among them. Pray for pastors who can teach the Bible and help the Dolgans to understand what Christ has done for them. Pray for a move of the Holy Spirit that will break the cycle of alcohol abuse.-JCS

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