Daily Topic for June 16, 2009
Along the Mekong River, fathers teach their sons and mothers teach their daughters just as Paul taught Timothy. It has been this way for hundreds of years. But within the last 100 years or so, industrialized nations have changed in such a way that children are being influenced mainly by public schools and their peers rather than by a parent or a master (as an apprentice). Could it be that cross-cultural workers from industrialized nations can learn something biblical from the Buddhists they go to?
Pray that missionaries in Southeast Asia will respect and even emulate aspects of Asians culture that reflect the body of Christ better than Western culture.
According to their traditions, crossing a river of “running sand” was an important part of the history of the Karen peoples. In Chinese sources, the Gobi Desert is referred to as the “river of sand,” and it was this area in China and Mongolia that the Karens probably crossed in the process of migrating southward. Today they live near the much wetter Mekong River, in Thailand and Myanmar.
The Sgaw Karen people live in the Chiang Mai Province of Thailand. With a population of about 106,000, they form the largest subgroup of Karen peoples in that country. The Sgaw have many of their own myths, tales, and stories, as well as religious rituals and food and dress preferences. Most Sgaw Karen communities consist of between 10 and 100 houses, each being the home for one extended family.
In more recent times, Karen family and social traditions have been assimilated into the greater Thai ones, with the result that few Sgaw Karen children know their own stories, poems and songs. The process of assimilating with the Thai peoples has given the Karen peoples some improvements in their daily lives such as greater access to health care, education and energy for their homes.
Though there have been some excellent efforts to reach the Sgaw Karen people for Christ, most still adhere to animism, Buddhism or a mixture of both.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that the Lord would burden His Church to go to the Sgaw Karen people. Pray that a hunger for Christ would pervade the Sgaw Karen.-JR