Daily Topic for October 25, 2009
Gideon demonstrated a humble, teachable spirit when he tactfully answered an angry crowd of Ephraimites. As a result, he averted a tragic, violent confrontation that could have stopped the people of Israel from moving ahead. Today’s missionaries would do well to recognize the accomplishments of the people to whom they go. The unreached people groups in South Asia have existed for thousands of years, and they have built up great cities, empires and civilizations. Smaller groups like the Sutradhars have excelled in artistic endeavors as diverse as woodcutting and dance.
Pray that God will give missionaries in South Asia respect for the people they go to as Christ’s ambassadors.
Art museums around the world have displayed the woodworks of the Sutradhars from Bangladesh. Sutradhars are a Hindu carpenter caste, strongly skilled in door designs, windows, boats, temple walls and agricultural implements. The term Sutradhar literally means “thread holder,” and they have lived up to their name. The contemporary furniture industry has brought significant changes to the way Sutradhars live and work. Many of them now work under entrepreneurs in urban settings. Some, who can prove their adeptness, can be well paid, but the majority, who are novices, can barely survive on their earnings. In Hindu societies, the Sutradhars hold a low caste position. High caste Brahmins will not take water from the Sutradhars, because they believe it would “pollute” them.
A relatively recent issue that has come up among them is illegal immigration. The Sutradhars’ livelihood is being threatened by the Bangladeshis, who take their land without proper authority. Bangladeshis have set up homes and have harassed the Sutradhars. This is creating great tension. There are few, if any, believers in Jesus Christ among the Sutradhars.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that God’s people will be stirred and motivated to go to the Sutradhars with the gospel of peace. Pray for spiritual release to occur among the Sutradhars. Pray that these creative people will put their trust in the carpenter from Nazareth.-JR