Daily Topic for March 14, 2009

Luke 6:27b
"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."

What other “religious” leader could offer such a radical teaching? Jesus really was asking the humanly impossible! God the Father told Moses that there should be an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” He was setting limits that would prevent an endless stream of retaliation. Now Jesus was saying to “do good,” “bless” and “pray for” our enemies. Only the Holy Spirit can give us the strength to do these things! And only those who are following Christ have the power of the Holy Spirit. But this is this kind of radical obedience that draws the nations to Christ.

Pray that you will have the kind of obedience that sets you apart.

Crimean Tatars

In 1944, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin accused these Tatars of collaborating with the Nazis, so he exiled them to Uzbekistan. Forty-seven percent of them died on the long march or in concentration camps. The Tatars are from southern Russia’s Crimean Peninsula, which juts out into the Black Sea.

A yearning to return to their cultural roots gradually formalized into a political process for the Crimean Tatars. This small community of Muslim farmers developed a national identity and a political attachment to a land defined in secular terms as their “homeland.” Attempts to return to their historic territory began in 1987, and in 1989 the Soviet Supreme Court adopted a formal decision to allow them to return to the Crimean Peninsula. Today 250,000 Crimean Tatars are back where they belong.

Although granted some degree of self-determination, the Crimean Tatars who have returned still face problems. Tatar children have no school of their own, and the school system available to them does not teach them about their nationality, history, language, or culture. As a result, 75 percent of the children cannot read or speak their own language, Krym. They use Russian instead. Some evidence suggests that the Crimean Tatars have a thirst for the Word of God.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray for a translation of the Bible into Krym and wide distribution of it. Pray for tentmakers with skills in agriculture and construction to live among them, evangelize them and plant Tatar churches.-JS

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