Daily Topic for June 14, 2009
Cross cultural workers can very easily get ahead of themselves when they preach the gospel to Buddhists in Southeast Asia the same way they would preach to Westerners. Most Westerners understand the concept of resurrection; whereas people in the Buddhist world would consider it to be a weird idea. To them, we are reincarnated. How does one go from reincarnation to resurrection? It certainly doesn’t come by assuming they accept the latter!
Pray for God to give His workers discernment when they teach on the essential truth of resurrection. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help Buddhists to understand and embrace Christ’s resurrection.
For many of us, when we think of Southeast Asia, we think of the Mekong River. But there is another Southeast Asian river farther west, the Irrawaddy River, and the closed militarist state of Myanmar, home of the Buddhist Burmese and other unreached peoples. For the Burmese, Buddhist temples, shrines and monasteries are important. Almost all Burmese males spend some time in a monastery.
When we hear the word “gnat,” we think of pesky insects. When Burmese hear the word, they think of their word for evil spirits. According to the Joshua Project, Burmese farmers spend more money appeasing nats than they do on education, health and clothing. Long-time readers of the GPD will recognize that Burmese Buddhism is more animistic than Buddhist. Otherwise, the faith teaches that one must work out one’s own salvation.
Unlike other peoples in Myanmar such as the Karen, the Kachin, the Mara, and others, few Burmese are believers. Indeed, the current military government has evicted missionaries and forbidden church building programs. Often believers are under pressure to convert to Buddhism.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray for an end of government oppression of its people and for its reopening to the outside world. Pray for God’s kingdom to come to the Burmese Buddhists in such a way that many non-Burmese will take notice of God’s power and righteousness. Pray for strength for tribal believers to stand up against government and local pressure to convert to Buddhism. Pray for Christians in Myanmar to effectively reach the Burmese with the gospel.-TP