Daily Topic for March 26, 2012
Jesus had already given His disciples the Great Commission on four separate occasions. Yet His disciples quickly went back to their old professions after the crucifixion. After all, how were they going to pay their bills? But when Jesus appears to them, He calls Peter to lay down what he knows as a fisherman and live by faith. He demonstrated once again that He can provide all that is needed, even through a large catch of fish. And so He asks the question which we should all be asking continuously. Is there anything I love more than Christ?
Pray that God’s people would be willing to put Christ first in their lives and let go of all things that stand in the way of full obedience.
The news picture showed the smiling Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev shaking hands with his Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yanukovych, and the headlines read, ”Oil, gas, and much more drive Ukraine, Kazakhstan relations.” Ukrainians supply metals and machinery in exchange for Kazakh chemical and agricultural products. Yet Ukraine’s thirst for oil isn’t the only factor binding the two countries. In the 19th century Russian tsars gave landless Ukrainians land plots in Siberia and Kazakhstan. Both Ukraine and Kazakhstan also share painful chapters with the execution and exile of millions under Joseph Stalin.
The lives and fates of these two countries have been intermingled for some time. According to the 2009 census, there are more than 300,000 Ukrainians living in Kazakhstan; however, only a little over 5000 Kazakhs live in the Ukraine. Many of the Kazakhs in the Ukraine have settled there after receiving their education in Ukraine during a popular Soviet exchange program during the 1980s. Powered with a Ukrainian degree and education, many Kazakhs chose to stay in the Ukraine rather than return to the very autocratic rule in Kazakhstan.
However, there are abundant opportunities for Kazakhs in both countries. The Ukraine has religious freedom, and there is a growing evangelical community in Kazakhstan.
Pray for evangelicals to befriend and share Christ with Kazakhs in the Ukraine. Pray that the Holy Spirit will prepare Kazakh hearts to receive the gospel message when they hear it.