Daily Topic for March 21, 2010
The Karachay people have known many “shepherds” throughout their history, and all of them came to take advantage of them, not to care for their needs. The Mongols, the Russians, all of them! You can understand how people with such a history could have trouble trusting anyone from the outside. What will it take for them to trust the Good Shepherd who laid down His life to pay for the sins of the world?
Pray that outside missionaries will come to the Karachai people and win their trust, so they can introduce them to the true, Good Shepherd of all mankind.
The Karachay people have been pushed around for 800 years! Their present location in southern Russia along the Georgian border near the Black Sea is the result of having been pushed there by Mongols in the 1200s. There they joined the Alans, a tribe that lived in that region. In the 1800s they settled along the Kuban River; and in 1943 the Russian Communists deported them to Kazakhstan for the duration of World War II. Today they live in both rural and urban communities. Most are still semi-nomadic.
In addition to raising cattle, sheep, and goats, rural Karachay grow barley, hay and corn. They also gather berries, fruits and herbs for food. These are supplemented with dairy products.
The culture of this Turkic people is family-centered and Islamic. Each family has its own council led by family elders of both genders. Like all the peoples of the Caucasus region, they value hospitality.
Their Islam is not orthodox. It is a blend of beliefs and rituals from their pre-Islamic past. There are less than 100 known followers of Jesus among them, although they have some parts of the Bible in their language.
Pray for the completion of the Bible in their language. Pray for God to protect and empower any effort to take the gospel to the Karachay people. Pray for Russian Christians to witness to them. Pray for the overthrow of spiritual principalities and powers that keep the Karachay people from embracing their Savior.