Daily Topic for March 28, 2012
When Jesus went to the cross, He did so voluntarily. We know that He could have called a legion of angels to save Him, but that would have defeated the purpose of His mission to pay for the sins of the world. Over 2000 years later, Muslim peoples like the Turkmen continue to attempt to pay for their own sins by submitting to the laws of the Qur’an. But true submission means accepting Christ’s ways.
Pray that Turkmen people, be they in Turkmenistan or Ukraine, will hear of and respond to Christ’s offer of forgiveness for sin based on the cross.
“Wow! Look at this stuff!” commented the Korean tourist to his wife, as they walked through a Turkmen bazaar in Ukraine. “All these utensils and furniture.” “And this carpet here,” his wife remarked. “Isn’t it lovely?”
Such bazaars are common in Turkmen communities. The Turkmen are noted for their hospitality, but they are also known to be argumentative and revengeful. Nearly 3,000,000 Turkmen live in Turkmenistan, while others live in various parts of Central Asia near the Caspian Sea. Only about 3,500 reside in Ukraine.
For centuries the Turkmen lived as nomadic herdsmen. Under Soviet rule their nomadic lifestyle was virtually eliminated. The socialization of farmland changed their traditional settlement patterns, and movement into cities has weakened their customs and traditions.
By the 14th century Islam had replaced Christianity which had been their faith since the 4th Century. Today, there is little awareness of Christianity among them, and less than 1,000 anywhere are followers of Christ. Turkmen churches in Turkmenistan have been closed, and members are told they can’t meet.
As the Korean tourist and his wife prayed while flying over Ukraine on their way home, so should we pray: ask the Lord to call a people to live among the Turkmen in Ukraine, sharing the love of Christ with them. Pray that Christian radio broadcasts, the JESUS Film, and literature will be made available to the Turkmen. Pray that Turkmen believers will preach the gospel without fear and with a calm and gentle spirit.