Daily Topic for September 22, 2010
Ishmael was born through Abraham’s attempt to do God’s work in man’s way. From this act of unbelief was birthed the Arab peoples of the world, who today live in great hostility to their Israeli cousins. But even so, the grace of God is greater still. God’s promise to bless Ishmael is echoed later in Scripture, through the prophet Isaiah who declared, “The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth.” Do you have faith to believe?
Pray that all Muslim peoples everywhere might become recipients and agents of God’s blessing.
Like the Malayalees we read about yesterday, the Mapillas of Sri Lanka are also natives of the Indian state of Kerala. Whereas the Malayalees were primarily Hindu, the Mapillas are Muslims following the Shafi’ite sect of Islam. The Mapillas have staunchly rejected Christianity, probably due to past historical atrocities.
The Mapillas are the earliest known Indian Muslim community, having existed since the 8th century A.D. when they converted to Islam through contact with Arab merchants. Although Islam has been known historically for its brutal and forceful conversions, it was the 16th and 17th century Portuguese Inquisition and forced conversion of native people along the Malabar Coast that elicited an intense hatred of Christianity among the Mapilla people.
The Mapillas have been active traders with Arab nations, and today many are employed in the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Like the Malayalees, the Mapillas are a small, tight knit community in Sri Lanka. It will take culturally sensitive followers of Christ to effectively witness to the Mapilla people and overcome their deep-rooted prejudice against Christianity.
Pray for culturally and spiritually sensitive followers of Christ to befriend Sri Lanka’s Mapilla community and share with them the true “Christianity” that they have never known.
Pray that they will see and experience Christ’s disciples who follow Him no matter what the cost.