Daily Topic for March 24, 2008

John 10:11
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."

Few people, including the disciples before the Day of Pentecost, clearly understood the reasons behind Jesus’ crucifixion. A major emphasis of Christ’s ministry was to show the Jews that He came to redeem the despised Gentiles as well as the Jews. This passage in John 10 clearly points to Jesus’ death for both the Jews and the Gentiles (v. 16).

Father, Your heart is a Shepherd’s heart, and we experience Your love and care daily. Remind us each day to pray for those unreached peoples who still have no opportunity to become part of Your flock. Fill our hearts with Your love for them!

Kalmyk People of Russia

Donskaia remembers growing up in Siberian camps, suffering from cold and hunger, watching most of his neighbors die. From 1944 to 1957, the Soviet government exiled most Kalmyk people from their homes. He remembers his father telling him about life before the camps. But everything was different when the ragged remnant returned: government, culture, language, employment opportunities, and religious practices. 

Historically, Buddhist monasteries conducted training and worship from felt tents, which were moved with the nomadic people. The people had looked to their religious leaders for spiritual, medical and political guidance. When they returned, there were no Buddhist monasteries. They still struggle to rebuild their culture and temples. This may be a strategic time to reach them with the gospel of Christ.

Christians working among the Kalmyks vary in their approach. Some stress rules, while others stress relationship with Christ. This must be confusing to unbelievers. New Christians from the Kalmyk Bible Society (a small indigenous church) are trying to evangelize their neighbors. They face ostracism from Buddhist families and friends. These brothers and sisters in Christ need our prayer support.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray for unity among Christians working with the Kalmyk people. Ask God to strengthen Kalmyks who are sharing their faith, and the new believers. Ask the Holy Spirit to grow love, joy and peace in Christian Kalmyk hearts. Pray that God will give the Kalmyk people understanding of His Word, and that they will desire to obey Him.-AK

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