Daily Topic for May 10, 2010
Paul’s single–minded vision should be an encouragement to Christians today. In this verse he reminds the Romans of his primary ministry—preaching the gospel to the Gentiles. Many Christians set out on the path of bringing the gospel to the nations, but become sidetracked by good, perhaps even urgent tasks, such as other forms of church work or Christian ministry. But who will go to the nations? We need thousands of new workers who, like Paul, will focus exclusively on the task of reaching the nearly unreached people groups that have no church of their own. Who will go to the small people groups like the Matis?
“The Matis are the most exotic tribe in the world, but because they have been exploited by outsiders, the Brazilian government no longer permits visitors to go to the villages of Aurelio and Beija Flor. However, I could arrange for you to meet some of their leaders outside of Brazil’s Indigenous Reserve. They enjoy telling people about their culture.” Dr. Dan Panteous, a friend and researcher of the Matis Indians, was sharing this information with interested visitors.
Life for the 300 Matis people of Brazil has seen little change over hundreds of years. They live in primitive shelters, and most of their food is obtained through hunting game, such as monkeys that they kill with blowguns. Fishing and some agricultural foods supplement their diet. Ritual ceremonies are a major part of their lives. Preparations for the rituals involve painting bright pigments on their unclothed bodies, wearing masks and sometimes covering their bodies with clay. During the “Marvin” ceremony, they dance and carry sticks that they use to discipline children and others that have misbehaved.
The Matis people have serious physical problems, especially hepatitis, which has diminished their population. Although the government has made attempts to help them, the greatest contributions towards upgrading their health care and standard of living have been from Christian sources that provide water filters. The Matis do not know their Savior or the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Pray that God will send well-equipped servants to them with water filters and the Water of Life.