Daily Topic for April 14, 2011
Some Judean Christians went to Antioch and taught the Gentile believers that they had to be circumcised in order to be acceptable to God. This upset Paul and Barnabas, who decided to go to Jerusalem to talk with the church leaders. James concluded the discussion at this meeting by quoting the prophets, affirming God’s intention to include the Gentiles in His redemption. The council concluded that circumcision was unnecessary. That decision was a watershed event in the history of the expansion of the Christian faith. It was clear at this point that the gospel would expand within each culture, unencumbered by Jewish traditions.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to give wisdom to missionaries and national church leaders who must be tactful and carefully distinguish between biblical absolutes and cultural norms.
How can a people group create a country within a country? Over 200,000 Soninkes of Mali have done just that. The Soninke people just picked up “Mali” and moved it with them to Paris. They transplanted their way of life and their culture to the City of Lights. The immigrants from Mali are the largest West African group in Paris. Today there is growing hostility in France towards immigrants who live in crowded foyers, cheap concrete block apartments built by the French government to house West African migrants. The people from Mali live in the foyers in unsanitary conditions and work for minimum wages. But when asked why they stay, they reply that Paris is still better than rural poverty in West Africa.
Polygamy, high birthrates, illiteracy, and genital mutilation for females are part of the culture the Soninkes bring with them. All of these traditions are abhorrent to the French. Many Soninkes do not speak French, especially the women.
President Nicolas Sarkozy has aggressively insisted that people in France speak French and know French laws. Many requests for work permits are denied if one cannot prove proficiency in the French language. Charity organizations are offering free classes in French, and the classes are filling up. Husbands who previously had prevented their wives from attending classes now ensure that they do because if the women don’t speak French, they might be deported.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that believers will conduct classes for the Muslim Soninkes that not only teach them French, but also life skills they need to survive in Paris. Also, pray that they will share the love of Christ with the Soninke people.