Daily Topic for January 12, 2010
We have read today about why the unreached Digo people are suspicious of outsiders. They have been exploited and their children have been taken away. Outsiders from Muslim communities have offered them “help” if they accept Islam. It’s no surprise that the Digo people expect the same jaded behavior from Christian missionaries who come to them!
Pray for purity of heart and holiness of motive for missionaries working among the Digo people of Tanzania.
“Tell me the story again, Papa.” All children begin to make sense of the world around them through stories, but for Digo children, storytelling is a lifeline to their past, provides understanding of the present and serves as a map for the future. With a rich oral tradition shared with other Digo tribes outside of Tanzania, stories are the primary way information as well as history is communicated.
This is of particular interest for those seeking to present Christ in primarily oral cultures. We are not only presenting information about a man from Nazareth and his teachings, but we are re-telling the “greatest story ever told.” Surely the Digo people might better understand their own history better by hearing where their people fit in the story of God.
Yet missionaries must proceed with caution. In a not too distant past, the Digos were forced to sell their children into slavery for temporary collateral or a loan of food during a famine. Freedom for these children could be granted, but with one condition: acceptance of Islam. As a result, many Digos practice a form of folk Islam, blending their traditional animist beliefs with a veneer of Islamic teachings. Missionaries would do well to note that this is a people rightly suspicious of help with strings attached.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that the God who gives of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts (Rev. 21:6) is recognized, received and worshipped among the Digo people, with no other debt incurred than the debt of love (Rom. 13:10).