Daily Topic for September 08, 2013
Was the apostle Paul too proud to preach the gospel where it had already been proclaimed? No, that was not the issue. He simply wanted to make the best use of his life and spend his energies in planting the church where it had not yet been established. To keep that vision, one contemporary mission board has even placed its goal prominently in its name: Regions Beyond Missionary Union.
Pray that the Father will keep us from complacency and satisfaction with what has already been accomplished in world evangelization. Pray that He will raise up missionaries to go to the regions beyond.
“You shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all of Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Jesus’ last words to His disciples declared that the good news of salvation is for all peoples, even those in “the remotest part of the earth.”
One of those “remote” people groups is the Afshari who are descendants from the larger Azerbaijani people cluster that occupies a wide area from the Caucasus of southern Russia to the Iranian Plateau. Like many other people groups in Central Asia, the Afshari, a nomadic group, have traveled and lived in areas that are today eastern Turkey (the Anatolia), Iran, and Armenia, as well as Azerbaijan.
We know very little about them. They are Shi’ite Muslims, though some from rural regions retain pre-Islamic animistic practices such as the reverence of specific sites and the worship of certain trees and rocks. The Turkic dialect spoken by the northern Afshari is closely related to the language of Azerbaijan. Since they still remain a largely nomadic group, evangelization is challenging.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that God will reveal Himself to the Afshari Muslims through dreams and visions, and pray for workers who will devote long-term service to them. Pray that their hearts will be prepared to hear and respond to the good news. May this “remotest part of the earth” people group hear and believe the gospel message.