Daily Topic for March 24, 2009

John 10:11
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."

Few people, including the disciples before the Day of Pentecost, clearly understood the reasons behind Jesus’ crucifixion. A major emphasis of Christ’s ministry was to show the Jews that He came to redeem the despised Gentiles as well as the Jews. This passage in John 10 clearly points to Jesus’ death for both the Jews and the Gentiles (v. 16).

Thank the Father that He has a shepherd’s heart. Thank Him that we experience His love and care daily. Pray that the Holy Spirit will remind us each day to pray for those unreached peoples who still have no opportunity to become part of His flock. Fill our hearts with His love for them.

Negidal People

The term “Negidal” means “a man of these parts.” For them, “these parts” are the region of Khabarovsk, just to the northeast of the China/Russia border. Their language, Negidal, is spoken, but it is not written.

Most of the 800 Negidals run household farms, raising cattle, pigs, and birds. Those living farther north raise reindeer, while those living more south raise sled dogs. Since the end of the 19th century, their primary food staple has been potatoes. At times, they will trade potatoes for fish from neighboring Russians. They typically live in Russian-style log cottages.

The northern Russian winters are extremely harsh, with temperatures well below freezing for months, and the Negidals have lived in that climate for many years. They utilize the skin of fish for footwear and other clothing, as well as homemade materials.

As far as we know, none of the Negidals have put their faith in Jesus Christ. They hold to their traditional animism and shamanism. Many of the Negidals are also Muslim.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray for inroads for the gospel to reach the Negidals. Ask the Lord to send the right people to “these parts” of Khabarovsk. Pray that there will soon be gospel recordings and Bible portions available in their language. Pray that God might even use dreams and visions to show their leaders the way to the cross.-JR

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