Daily Topic for March 09, 2011
John the Baptist was discouraged and tired. He had put his life and his reputation on the line for Jesus, and now he was imprisoned by Herod. If Jesus was so powerful, then why was he languishing in prison? Though Jesus will some day judge the Herods of the world, He first came as the Lamb of God to pay for our sins. That means that judgment has not yet come. Sometimes we feel more like reeds swaying in the wind than courageous prophets like John. But out of love for our Lord and for the nations, we must stand firm and rely on His strength until the Day of Judgment.
Pray that you will stand firm, and not sway as you wait for the Lord’s return as the Lion of Judah.
The word Tatar means “archer” and was applied to Turkic and non-Turkic peoples by the Russians. Most Chulym are descended from Slovak Bulgar peoples. Under the Soviets, they were isolated on de facto reservations, and their children were sent to boarding school, much like American Indians were in the U.S. The Soviets thus ended nomadism. Next they ceased indigenous-language education.
A common saying in Siberia is that if you scratch a Tatar, you will find an animist. However, the Chulym Tatars of the Chulym River Valley are a religious mixture of Sunni folk Muslims Orthodox Christo-pagans and animism. The shaman is their religious specialist. He or she is healer, exorcist, philosopher, and mediator between people and the spirits, offering propitiatory sacrifices. Even though these practices seem to have diminished over the years, the shamanistic mentality persists, building a wall between themselves and Christ.
Chulym Tatars are an example of failed forced conversion. They need to know that Christ has power over spirits, can heal, and that He alone is the only mediator and sacrifice God recognizes.
The Chulym Tatars lack many things: a large population (they number less than a thousand), adequate health care, housing, transportation, safe drinking water, diversified diet, and the Bible in their language.
Pray that God will send His ambassadors to them as medical teams, agriculturalists and missionaries. Pray that they will soon have the JESUS Film and Bibles widely available in their tongue.