Daily Topic for October 23, 2009

Joshua 6:13b
"If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all His wonders that our fathers told us about..."

Bangladesh is a country that has suffered a much greater share of agony than most. Poverty, natural disasters and political shenanigans have brought about great suffering for centuries. It would be very easy for Bangladeshis to think, like Gideon did here when hiding from Midianite raiders, that their nation has no future and there is nothing they can do about it. But like ancient Israel, Bangladesh can have a happy future, if they will only do things His way.

Pray that the peoples of Bangladesh, especially the Balijas, will fully surrender to the will of God.

Hindu Balija People

The Balijas trace their origins to antiquity, to fire and sacrifice to a Hindu god. In Medieval and early modern India, long before the creation of Bangladesh, they were often attached to courts. There were once a number of Balija dynasties. Under the British, they were part of military units, which accounts to a degree for their presence outside Tamil Nadu, their original homeland. However, because historically they have been a trading people, it is not surprising that you can find them in Bangladesh. Today they engage in the manufacture and sale of bangles, pearls and salt. Others sell medications. Some own land. A number are in civil service.

In Bangladesh, they are a minority in a number of ways. Religiously, although Hindus, they do not cremate their dead as do most of their co-religionists. Rather, they prefer to bury them in an upright or sitting position. Furthermore, because they are Hindus, they are a religious minority in a predominately Muslim land. Speaking Telugu means they are also a linguistic minority. Clearly life can be complicated for a Balija person in Bangladesh.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray that Balijas will become spiritually hungry and open to the gospel. Pray that God will sovereignly bring Balijas who are open to the gospel into contact with Bangladeshi believers through business and work place connections. Pray for churches to adopt this people group. May Balijas become living sacrifices to Lord Jesus.-TP

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