Daily Topic for February 04, 2009

Is. 58:10
"If you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday."

There is significant overlap between the “unreached people groups” without a church in their midst and the “hungry half” of the world without adequate physical and material resources. Isaiah reminds us that the people of God are called not only to spend their money to feed the hungry, but also to spend themselves, to pour out their lives in sacrificial service. That service cannot be a mere token. It must “satisfy the needs” of the oppressed. Isaiah also points out that those who serve receive the fruits of service: healing, answered prayer, guidance, personal provision, and joy.

Pray that our Gracious Father will teach us to “spend ourselves” on behalf of those who are desperately hungry both for bread and the Bread of Life.

Mandingo People of West Africa

Ebrima’s chest swelled. Strong arms lifted his first son to Allah. Then he whispered in the boy’s ear, “You are Ismaela.” To the other Mandingos he beamed, “This is Ismaela, named for the firstborn of Ebrima whom Allah led out of Ur. He is the promised son.” Food and dancing followed.

Throughout the ceremony, a man in white sat, watched and waited. He was a griot, a Mandingo historian. At his side lay a large musical instrument, the kora. Made from half of a large calabash and covered with cow’s hide, 21 strings stretched from the base up the neck. It sounded like a harp.

The griot began his singsong account. Starting centuries before, with the mighty Mali Empire, he recalled Ebrima’s noble ancestry, then finally came to the new father himself. The art of the griot is to remember the genealogies of each person in the Mandingo community. With little or no written communication in the culture, the griots serve as the preservers of tradition, culture and knowledge.

Centuries ago, about one third of the Mandingos were shipped to western countries as slaves. Most of the remaining Mandingos converted to Islam through a series of wars.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray that the Mandingo peoples will learn of God’s Son of Promise, Jesus. Pray that soon, griots will be able to tell the story of His glory to this fascinating people-EF

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