Daily Topic for March 13, 2009
All of humanity falls into the category of “sinners” who need to repent. But a little more than half the world’s population lives within people groups that have access to the Scriptures in their own language and/or a fellowship of believers. What about the other half, the other “sinners”? The first group has access to the life-saving gospel, and a relationship with our sin-forgiving Savior. The other half looks to rituals and religion to heal this mortal wound. Don’t we owe them the gospel?
Pray for the gospel to quickly go to the peoples that still have no way to atone for their sins, and do not yet know the One who alone can forgive.
A small group of people who have lost much of their culture and identity, the Chulym Tatars, have very few fluent speakers in their language. The youngest fluent speaker is in his 50s. Forced out of western Siberia in the 1500s, they settled in the Chulym River Valley in southern Central Asia. There they intermingled with Turkic peoples.
Originally the Chulym Tatars were shamanists, but they, like many other Central Asian people groups, converted to Islam through conquest. They were forced to declare themselves Christians in 1720, but this did not totally wipe out their pagan beliefs. Russia has repeatedly exploited both the land and its people. Russian settlers practiced slash and burn techniques to clear the huge tracts of forests to create land for agriculture and villages. The loss of their forests and traditional way of life forced the Chulym Tatars to hire out as laborers to the Russians and harvest the trees that had formerly sustained them. Even in recent times nuclear testing in this area has caused infant mortality to skyrocket, and in some areas life expectancy is not more than 45 years. The Chulym Tatars do not have adequate health care, shelter or transportation.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray for Christian medical teams and health care workers to live among the Chulym Tatar people. Pray for church planting teams to take them the gospel, and help them form Christ-centered fellowships.-JS