Daily Topic for September 26, 2008

Gen. 26:28
"We saw clearly that the Lord was with you; so we said, 'There ought to be a sworn agreement between us.'"

These words from King Abimelech’s men to Isaac testify clearly to the reality that Moses would speak of centuries later: It is the Lord’s presence that distinguishes us from all the peoples of the world (Ex. 33:16). Unless he is with us we don’t dare venture out to fulfill the mission we have been given. His presence not only makes the mission possible, his presence is what the mission is all about. On many occasions God repeatedly reminded Abraham and his children of this reality, “I will be with you and will bless you” (Gen. 26:2). Two thousand years later, Jesus echoed the same words to his disciples when sending them out, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mt. 28:20).

Pray that every frontier people might experience the fullness of God’s presence.

Chamar people

To be untouchable, according to Indian-Hindu tradition, is to be undesirable, or unworthy of any sort of consideration or provision by society. This translates into frequent joblessness, lack of education and lifelong poverty. Traditional upper caste members will even avoid a Dalit’s shadow.

The Chamar people live primarily in India’s western states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat. They are considered untouchable, and most of them know nothing else their entire lives. With a population of about 50 million, they are among the largest untouchable, or Dalit communities in the Hindu world.

Day labor and petty business are their main sources of income, along with the manufacture of shoes and chappal, an Indian sandal. The origins of the name “chamar” come from their leatherwork. You can imagine how working with the remains of dead cows can be viewed in Hindu cultures where the cow is sacred.

There is a slightly higher degree of responsiveness to the gospel among the Chamars than among other Dalits. There is a church planting movement underway among Chamars in several districts across India.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray that these Chamar believers will be salt and light to Chamar communities throughout India. Pray that church planting will grow across all Chamar communities. Pray for more workers to enter the Chamar harvest.-JR

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