Daily Topic for November 28, 2009
One of the things that opens the door to cross cultural mission is openness among leaders. These “gate keepers” can decide whether or not workers can enter the country, and whether or not their message is acceptable. We know that God can get in through other means, but we also need to pray for gatekeepers.
Pray that God will raise up Meskhtian Turkish leaders, who, unlike the evil “gatekeeper,” Josef Stalin, will point the way to Christ.
Mass deportations carried out by the Soviet Union during the 1940s forced thousands of Meskhetian Turks out of their homeland. They were labeled as an “untrustworthy population” by Soviet dictator, Josef Stalin and carried in cattle cars to regions such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Experts believe that as many as 20 percent of the total Meskhetian population died within the first four years after deportation due to disease, cold and hunger.
Their original homeland is a region known as Meskhetia in southern Georgia, on the northeastern border of Turkey. Their exact ethnicity is debated. Some say they are ethnic Georgians who converted to Islam during Ottoman rule, while others claim they are truly Turkic and moved into southern Georgia prior to the Ottoman Empire.
Today, there are approximately 350,000 Meskhetian Turks living in nine different countries. According to centralasia.imb.org, over the last eight years there have been 10,000 Meskhetian Turks who have been allowed to resettle in the United States. Through all of the upheaval and unsettledness of their lives, most Meskhetian Turks have held onto their Sunni Muslim belief system, although they are not strictly observant.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that God would give new spiritual awareness to the Meskhetian Turks in all of the places they call home. Pray that new relationships will begin between them and God’s Church. Pray that the Church will be intentional about reaching Meskhetian Turks.-JR
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