Daily Topic for January 29, 2009

Song of Solomon 6:3
"I am my lover's and my lover is mine."

When we gaze upon the beauty of our Savior, who loves us with an everlasting love, the significance of Solomon’s words comes home to us: He is ours and we are His. He claimed us as His “bride” before we claimed Him as our “groom.” We did not choose Him, but He chose us and loved us, and then set us free to love Him in return. He chose us “to go and bear (lasting) fruit” (John 15:16). Unlike the love between a man and his wife, the love between Jesus and His disciple is meant to be shared with many others. This way His love can spread throughout the earth.

Pray that Christ’s beauty will be in us so that those who don’t know Him may come to know Him intimately.

Muslim Afar People of Ethiopia

It’s 3:00 am, and the Afar father is still awake. The desert night is cold. He snuggles up to his wife and newborn baby to keep them warm. Their stomachs rumble with hunger. Should he slaughter his scrawny goat to feed his wife, hoping she will produce enough milk for their baby? Or should he beseech the clan elders to move again, in search of weeds for the goat, or maybe even some fresh water? They are fortunate; both his wife and their baby survived the birth.

The Afar people have the highest maternal fatality rate in the world. Women give birth without benefit of sterile conditions, or even clean water. Of the babies born alive one-third die before age five. Afar people roam throughout one of the most desolate places on earth: the Ethiopian desert. Drought and malnutrition make them vulnerable to diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, conjunctivitis, and other water-borne illnesses. Of 13 million Afar people, three million are infected with HIV/AIDS. They have never been taught basic hygiene or sterilization techniques. Sources of clean water are few and far between.

Nomadic and clannish, the Afar people are suspicious of any outsiders. Ninety-five percent of the Afars are professing Muslims.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray for non-threatening missionaries to reach the Afar, so they might receive His truth. Pray for Afar elders to experience Jesus in dreams and visions. Pray that Christian radio broadcasts in the Afar language will show them the way to Jesus, and also include teachings on how to address their many health problems.-JWS

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